Academician Pang-hsin Ting passed away in the United States on January 30, 2023. He was 86 years old.
Dr. Ting was an internationally renowned linguist, specializing in historical Chinese phonology and dialectology. Dr. Ting joined the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica in 1963 and obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Washington, U.S.A. in 1972. Then he returned to the Institute of History and Philology, where he proceeded to serve as Deputy Director and Director. Later, he served as professor at the University of California, Berkeley from 1989 until 1994 and at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology from 1996 until 2004, where he became Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. After his retirement in 2004, he became Agassiz Professor Emeritus of Chinese Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Ting was a student of such notable linguists as Dong Tonghe and Li Fang-Kuei. He made notable contributions in Old Chinese and Middle Chinese phonological evolution theories, which laid the foundation for historical Chinese phonology studies. Combining philology methods, Dr. Ting’s work on the criteria for Chinese dialects classification and tonal reconstruction had a lasting impact on dialectology research.
Eager in his participation in academic administrative work, Dr. Ting also helped establish the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, served as Convener of its Academic Advisory Committee in 1992, and helped establish the Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica. Dr. Ting also served as Member of the Academia Sinica Council and the Central Academic Advisory Committee for many years, promoting academic development at Academia Sinica.
During his distinguished career, Dr. Ting received numerous honors, including the Academic Works Award from the Sun Yat Sen Academic and Cultural Foundation, the Outstanding Research Award from the National Science Council, the Timeless Award from the University of Washington, Seattle, U.S.A., and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the National Taiwan University. He was elected President of the International Association of Chinese Linguistics (1993-1994) and Honorary Member of the Linguistic Society of America (2000). Dr. Ting was elected Academia Sinica Academician in 1986.