Randy J LaPolla
BiographyRandy J. LaPolla received his PhD in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1990. He joined Nanyang Technological University as tenured Professor of Linguistics at the beginning of August, 2012, where he was also head of the Division of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies until the end of 2015. He also has a courtesy appointment as Professor of Chinese. Before joining NTU he was Chair Professor of Linguistics at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia (2004-2012). He was also Head of the Linguistics Program during most of his tenure at La Trobe University, as well as Director of the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology at La Trobe 2008-2010. Before moving to Australia he worked at the Academia Sinica (1990-1998) and City University of Hong Kong (1996-2004). He was selected by the Ministry of Education of the PRC to be a Cheung Kong Scholar 2005-2008, and he was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy for the Humanities in 2008, and President of the Australian Linguistic Society for 2007-2009. He was elected Honorary Member of the Philippine Linguistics Society in 2008, and Lifetime Member (Eminent Scholarship) of the Singapore Association for Applied Linguistics in 2016. His research focuses on the history and typology of Sino-Tibetan and Austronesian languages and issues related to the nature of communicative behavior and functional explanations for the patterns found in languages.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Historical linguistics (including grammaticalization and Sino-Tibetan reconstruction)
Functional, constructionist, and interactional approaches to communication and language emergence
Pragmatics (particularly relevance-based theories)
Anthropological Linguistics (Asian languages on which I have done fieldwork: Cambodian, Chinese dialects [Southern Fujian, Beijing subdialects, Shanghai, Guangzhou dialects], Dulong [1st Township, 3rd Township, 4th Township, Nujiang dialects], Qiang [Ronghong, Qugu dialects], Rawang [Mvtwang, Dvru dialects], Tagalog, Vietnamese.)