Tamaz V. Gamkrelidze

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Tamaz (Thomas) V. Gamkrelidze

Tamaz (Thomas) Valeryanovich Gamkrelidze (Georgian: თამაზ ვალერიანის ძე გამყრელიძე; Russian: Тама́з Валериа́нович Гамкрели́дзе) (born 23 October 1929) is a distinguished Georgian linguist, orientalist public benefactor and Hittitologist, Academician (since 1974) and President (since February, 2005) of the Georgian Academy of Sciences (GAS), Doctor of Sciences (1963), Professor (1964).

Gamkrelidze was born in Kutaisi, Georgian SSR. His brother Revaz Gamkrelidze is also an Academician, a famous mathematician.

Tamaz Gamkrelidze graduated from the Faculty of Oriental Studies of the Tbilisi State University (TSU) in 1952. Since 1964 Gamkrelidze has been a professor of this university, and since 1966 the Head of the Chair of Structural and Applied Linguistics. In 1973-2006 he was a Director of the Tsereteli Institute of Oriental Studies (Tbilisi). He is the author of many outstanding works in the fields of Indo-European linguistics, Ancient languages, Theoretical linguistics, Structural and Applied Linguistics and Kartvelology. He is a leading proponent of the glottalic theory of Proto-Indo-European consonants.

In 1988-1995 he edited the Journal of the Russian Academy of Science "Voprosi Yazikoznanya". He is a Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences (2006), Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the European Society of Linguistics (in 1986-1988 President of this Society), Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Academician of the Russian Academy of Science, a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science (2006), Doctor honoris causa of the Bonn University (Germany) and the University of Chicago (U.S.), Honorary Member of the Linguistic Society of America, etc. He has received the Lenin Prize (1988), the Humboldt International Prize (1989) and the Ivane Javakhishvili Prize of the Georgian Academy of Sciences (1992). From 1992 to 2005 Gamkrelidze was a member of the Parliament of Georgia.

Some of the main works of Tamaz Gamkrelidze

  • The Akkado-Hittite syllabary and the problem of the origin of the Hittite script, "Archiv Orientalni" (vol. 29). 1960
  • Anatolian languages and the problem of Indo-European migration to Asia Minor, Studies in General and Oriental Linguistics. Tokyo, 1970
  • Alphabetic writing and the old Georgian script. New York, Caravan Books, 1994
  • with V. V. Ivanov: Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans: A reconstruction and historical analysis of a proto-language and a proto-culture (vols. I-II). Berlin / New York, 1994-1995

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