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Historical linguistics, "Moscow school"
Dr. Starostin on June 2, 2000
Name: Sergei Anatolyevich Starostin
Birth: March 24, 1953(1953-03-24)
Death: September 30, 2005 (aged 52)
School/tradition: Linguistics
Main interests: long-range language reconstruction (especially Nostratic and Dené-Caucasian), glottochronology, accentology (especially Indo-European)
Notable ideas: Dené-Caucasian hypothesis, reconstruction of Proto-Altaic, Proto-North-Caucasian, Proto-Yeniseian, Proto-Tibeto-Burman, Proto-Kiranti, reconstruction of Old Chinese and Proto-Japanese, advancement of "recalibrated glottochronology"
Influences: Aharon Dolgopolsky, Vladislav Illich-Svitych, Andrey Zaliznyak, Vladimir Dybo

Dr. Sergei Anatolyevich Starostin (Cyrillic: Серге́й Анато́льевич Ста́ростин, March 24, 1953 – September 30, 2005[1]) was a Russian historical linguist and scholar, best known for his work with hypothetical proto-languages, especially the controversial theory of Altaic languages and the formulation of the Dené-Caucasian hypothesis, which assumes that Northwest Caucasian, Northeast Caucasian, Yeniseian, Sino-Tibetan, and Na-Dené all have a genetic relationship. He was instrumental in the reconstruction of Proto-Kiranti, Proto-Tibeto-Burman, Proto-Yenisseian, Proto-North-Caucasian, and Proto-Altaic. He devoted much of his later life to developing the theory, originated by Abu al-Ghazi Bahadur Khan in the 17th century, but really revived by Gustaf John Ramstedt in the early 20th century, that Japanese is an Altaic language.

Since 1985, Starostin had been developing STARLING, a linguist's workplace software.

At the time of his death, he was a professor at the Russian State University for the Humanities, a visiting professor at the Santa Fe Institute, and a frequent guest lecturer at Leiden University in the Netherlands, where he was awarded the degree of Doctor honoris causa in June 2005.

Starostin died of a heart attack on September 30, 2005, shortly after delivering a lecture in Moscow. His son, George Starostin, is also a linguist, as well as being well-known on the internet as a hobbyist music critic.


See also


  1. ^ The Tower of Babel


External links

  • The Tower of Babel "a massive resource, containing huge amounts of information on almost all of Eurasia's language families"


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