From 2008 to 2012, I coordinated a five-year research project that was funded by the French National Research Agency:

What Defines Qiang-ness? Towards a Phylogenetic Assessment of the Southern Qiangic Languages of Muli

This project — a collaboration of scholars working in Paris, Zürich, Taipei, and Beijing — aimed at a systematic documentation and a phylogenetic assessment of the Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in the Muli Tibetan Autonomous County (see map) of Sichuan Province in China.

Map of Muli Tibetan Autonomous County in Sichuan Province, China

Location of Muli Tibetan Autonomous County (marked red) in Sichuan Province in the People's Republic of China

The project focused on languages that are classified as belonging to the "southern branch of Qiangic" (a putative subgroup of Sino-Tibetan languages proposed in the 1980s by Chinese linguists). Languages included Xumi (Shuheng), Pumi, Kami, Lizu, Namuzi, and Laze.

Qiaowazhen — county seat of Muli Tibetan Autonomous County in Sichuan Province in the People's Republic of China

Output of the project includes diverse language documentation materials, including a DVD and a textbook, as well as several academic articles (see Publications page for details).

For more information about the project and the research team, a detailed description in both English and French is available here, and the final report of the project is available here.