Vyacheslav Vsevolodovich Ivanov

Vyacheslav Vsevolodovich Ivanov

Vyacheslav Vsevolodovich Ivanov (born 21 August 1929, Moscow) is a prominent Soviet/Russian philologist and Indo-Europeanist probably best known for his glottalic theory of Indo-European consonantism and for placing the Indo-European urheimat in the area of the Armenian Highlands and Lake Urmia.

Early life

Vyacheslav Ivanov's father was Vsevolod Ivanov, one of the most prominent Soviet writers. His mother was an actress who worked in the theatre of Vsevolod Meyerhold. His childhood was clouded by disease and war, which he spent in Tashkent evacuation.

Ivanov was educated at the Moscow University and worked there until 1958, when he was fired on account of his sympathy with Boris Pasternak and Roman Jacobson. By that time, he had made some important contributions to Indo-European studies and became one of the leading authorities on Hittite language.


During the early 1960s, Ivanov was one of the first Soviet scholars to take a keen interest in and develop semiotics. He worked with Vladimir Toporov on several linguistic monographs, including an outline of Sanskrit. In 1962 he joined Toporov and Juri Lotman in establishing the Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School.

In the 1980s Ivanov worked with Tamaz Gamkrelidze on a new theory of Indo-European migrations, which was most recently advocated by them in "Indo-European and Indo-Europeans" (1995). He led the All-Union Library of Foreign Literature between 1989 and 1993 and held a seat in the Supreme Soviet. Simultaneously, he established the Institute of World Culture and held a chair in Theory and History of World Culture at the Moscow University.

Since the late 1990s Ivanov shares his time between Moscow and Los Angeles, where he delivers courses at University of California. He also worked as a professor in Stanford University and Yale University.

Other interests

Apart from his scholarly pursuits, Ivanov writes poetry. He also published several books of memoirs, including two on his acquaintance with Pasternak and Akhmatova.

External links

* [http://www.slavic.ucla.edu/faculty/ivanov_v.html Faculty Profile at UCLA] en icon
* [http://kogni.narod.ru/vvivanov.htm Biography] ru icon
* [http://www.peoples.ru/science/linguist/ivanov/ Biography] ru icon


* Vyacheslav V. Ivanov and Thomas Gamkrelidze, The Early History of Indo-­European Languages, Scientific American, vol. 262, N3, 110­-116, March, 1990.
* Gamkrelidze, Tamaz V.; Vjacheslav V. Ivanov (1995). Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans. Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-014728-9.

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