Zhou Tingsheng received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from Minzu University of China in Beijing. His doctoral research focused on a comprehensive documentation of the Lalo language (a.k.a. western Yi), a minority language spoken in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan, and then writing a reference grammar of the language. Tingsheng was born and raised in a traditional Yi family in a remote but beautiful mountain village in southern Dali, Yunnan, and worked in his hometown for several years promoting rural development programs in native Yi villages. He received his M.A. in English language and literature from Yunnan University, and was a Chinese-English translator before starting his doctoral studies. He is interested in ancient Yi (Lolo) scripts and literature, linguistic anthropology, language diversity preservation, intangible cultural heritage inheritance, rural development, and countryside tourism. He also enjoys writing Chinese brush calligraphy.
His current research project is entitled "Collection of Lalo Oral Literature" and is funded by the Firebird Fellowship for the Documentation of Oral Literature and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. He is also joining the China Language Resource Preservation Project (Zhongguo Yuyan Ziyuan Baohu Gongcheng) and documenting the Phula (Azha) Yi language in Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in southeast Yunnan. He is interested in linguistic and cultural diversity in the Eastern Himalayan Region and border-crossing areas between Yunnan and Southeast Asia.