Georgiy Starostin

Georgiy Sergeevich "George" Starostin (Russian: Гео́ргий Серге́евич Ста́ростин; born 4 July 1976)[1] is a Russian linguist who presides the Center of Comparative Studies at the Russian State University for the Humanities. He is an active participant of the Santa Fe Institute's Evolution of Human Languages project. He is the son of the late Sergei Anatolyevich Starostin (1953–2005), and carries on several of his father's projects.

Starostin is the son of the late Sergei Starostin (1953–2005), formerly Russia's leading specialist in comparative linguistics and head of the so-called 'Moscow school' of that field.

Since the early 2000s[citation needed] he has worked at the Center of Comparative Studies at the Russian State University for the Humanities, where he also teaches, as well as serves as head of the Department of Far Eastern Philology at the same institution; specializing in Dravidian, general Nostratic, Sino-Tibetan (mainly Chinese), Yenisseian, and Khoisan studies.[2] He carries on several of his father's projects, including the participation at the Santa Fe Institute.[3]

With John Bengtson, Starostin edited the journal Mother Tongue in 2003.[citation needed] He is also a music blogger.[4]

Starostin's research focuses on the Evolution of Human Languages project;[5] The Tower of Babel, a publicly searchable online database containing information about many Eurasia's language families;[6][7] and STARLING, a software package to aid comparative linguists.[2][8]

The Evolution of Human Languages (EHL) is an international project on "the linguistic prehistory of humanity" coordinated by the Santa Fe Institute. The project distinguishes about 6000 languages spoken in the world nowadays, and aims to provide a detailed classification similar to the accepted classification of biological species.

Their idea is that "all representatives of the species Homo sapiens presumably share a common origin, it would be natural to suppose - although this is a goal yet to be achieved - that all human languages also go back to some common source. Most existing classifications, however, do not go beyond some 300-400 language families that are relatively easy to discern. This restriction has natural reasons: languages must have been spoken and constantly evolving for at least 40,000 years (and quite probably more), while any two languages separated from a common source inevitably lose almost all superficially common features after some 6,000-7,000 years".[9]

George Starostin's research here focuses on the Khoisan, formerly, Bushman-Hottentot languages of South Africa. According to Starostin "important work on Khoisan languages has been done in the past century, mostly in the descriptive and taxonomic area, not much progress has been achieved in establishing regular phonological correspondences between the main branches of Khoisan and reconstructing the phonological and morphological system of Proto-Khoisan."[10]

This page was last edited on 20 April 2018, at 16:25 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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