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Alexei Alexandrovich Shakhmatov (russian: Алексе́й Алекса́ндрович Ша́хматов, – 16 August 1920) was a
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...
n Imperial
philologist Philology is the study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languag ...
and historian credited with laying foundations for the science of
textology Text linguistics is a branch of linguistics that deals with Textuality, texts as communication systems. Its original aims lay in uncovering and describing text grammars. The application of text linguistics has, however, evolved from this approach t ...
. Shakhmatov held the title of Doctor of Russian language and philology (since 1894).Aristov, V.
Aleksei Aleksandrovich Shakhmatov (ШАХМАТОВ ОЛЕКСІЙ ОЛЕКСАНДРОВИЧ)
'. Encyclopedia of History of Ukraine. 2013
He was a full member of the
Russian Academy of Sciences The Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS; russian: Росси́йская акаде́мия нау́к (РАН) ''Rossíiskaya akadémiya naúk'') consists of the national academy#REDIRECT National academy A national academy is an organizational bo ...
(before 1917 the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences) since 1899 and a chair of the Department of Russian language and philology of the Academy of Sciences (1908–1920), a member of the
Constitutional Democratic Party ) , newspaper = ''Rech Rech may refer to: People * Almine Rech, French art dealer * Anthony Rech (born 1992), French ice hockey player * Bianca Rech (born 1981), German football player * Erich Rech, List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cr ...
(1905) and the Russian Empire State Council (1906–1911).


Biography

Born in
Narva Narva () is a municipality and city in Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in . It is bordered to the north by the across from , to the west by the across from , ...

Narva
, present-day
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
, Shakhmatov was brought up by his uncle near
Saratov Saratov (, ; rus, Сара́тов, a=Ru-Saratov.ogg, p=sɐˈratəf) is the largest city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Sc ...
. He went to a public school in
Moscow Moscow ( , American English, US chiefly ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐˈskva, a=Москва.ogg) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities and towns in Russia by population, largest city of Russia. The city stands on the ...

Moscow
and developed interest for
Old Russian Old East Slavic (traditionally also: Old Russian, be, старажытнаруская мова; russian: древнерусский язык; uk, давньоруська мова) was a language used during the 10th–15th centuries by East ...
language and literature at an early age. At the age of 16, his articles started to appear in the most authoritative journal of Slavic studies of that time, the ''Archive of Slavic Philology'' (german: Archiv für slavische Philologie). Shakhmatov furthered his education at the
Imperial Moscow University Imperial Moscow University was one of the oldest universities of the Russian Empire, established in 1755. It was the first of the twelve imperial universities of the Russian Empire. History of the University Ivan Shuvalov and Mikhail Lomonosov ...
(1883–1887), later delivering lectures in the same institution. His first
monograph A monograph is a specialist work of writing (in contrast to reference work A reference work is a work, such as a book A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data. It pro ...

monograph
, published in 1886, examined the language of ancient
Novgorod Veliky Novgorod ( rus, links=yes, Великий Новгород, p=vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj ˈnovɡərət), also known as just Novgorod (russian: Новгород, lit=newtown, links=yes), is the largest city and administrative center of Novgorod O ...

Novgorod
charters. In 1891 he became so enthusiastic about ''
zemstvo A ''zemstvo'' ( rus, земство, p=ˈzʲɛmstvə, plural ''zemstva'' – rus, земства) was an institution of local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public adminis ...
'' that he gave up his scholarly pursuits for three years and held a minor administrative office in his native village. In 1894, Shakhmatov returned to Moscow and won great acclaim for his
Ph.D. A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Ph.D., or DPhil; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'' ...
dissertation, entitled ''Studies in the Sphere of Russian Phonetics''. Five years later, he was admitted to the
Russian Academy of Sciences The Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS; russian: Росси́йская акаде́мия нау́к (РАН) ''Rossíiskaya akadémiya naúk'') consists of the national academy#REDIRECT National academy A national academy is an organizational bo ...
, and over the following years became one of the most reputable academicians. He revived the Academy's linguistic periodicals, edited the academic dictionary of
Russian language Russian (, tr. ''russkiy yazyk'') is an East Slavic language The East Slavic languages constitute one of the three regional subgroups of Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European lang ...
and was elected to represent the Academy at the
State Council of Imperial Russia The State Council ( rus, Госуда́рственный сове́т, p=gəsʊˈdarstvʲɪnɨj sɐˈvʲɛt) was the supreme state advisory body to the Tsar , by Ivan Makarov Tsar ( or ), also spelled ''czar'', ''tzar'', or ''csar'', is a ...
and . In 1909, Shakhmatov moved to work at
Saint Petersburg University St Petersburg University (SPbU, Saint Petersburg State University; russian: СПбГУ, Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет) is a public university, public research university based in Saint ...

Saint Petersburg University
as a professor. By that time, he had been elected doctor ''
honoris causa An honorary degree is an academic degree for which a university (or other degree-awarding institution) has waived all of the usual requirements, such as matriculation, attendance, course credits, a dissertation, and the passing of comprehen ...

honoris causa
'' by the
Charles University Charles University, known also as Charles University in Prague ( cs, Univerzita Karlova (UK); la, Universitas Carolina; german: Karls-Universität) or historically as the University of Prague ( la, Universitas Pragensis), is the oldest and large ...
, Berlin University, Polish Academy of Sciences, and many other scholarly societies.


1917 Revolution

Shakhmatov participated in the Commission for the Study of the Tribal Composition of the Population of the Borderlands of Russia set up in February 1917. He also helped prepare Reforms of Russian orthography, sweeping reforms of Russian orthography, which would be implemented by the Bolsheviks in 1918, and his Russian orthography, orthography is still used to this day. Shakhmatov refused to leave Petrograd for the West, a fatal decision that led to his premature death from malnutrition and exhaustion in 1920. The Academy subsequently cherished his memory and instituted a special Shakhmatov Prize, to be awarded "for the best works in source science, textology and linguistics".


Works

Shakhmatov is an author of several works in phonetics, dialectology, lexicography, syntax, history of East Slavic languages, modern Russian literary language, history of East Slavic people, history of Old Russian literature, Slavic accentology. In his monographies "Research in a field of the Russian phonetics" (Исследования в области русской фонетики, 1894), "To the history of sounds in the Russian language" (К истории звуков русского языка, 1903), and others, Shakhmatov set a goal to restore the All-Russian pronunciation in all of its phonetical details by way of juxtaposition of old and modern eastern Slavic dialects with involving of data from other Slavic languages. Shakhmatov is best remembered for having pioneered textological research of early Russian chronicles, notably the ''Primary Chronicle''. He established with a great degree of precision the stages of evolution of that key document, even attempting to reconstruct the postulated proto-version of Nestor the Chronicler, Nestor's chronicle. His research proved seminal for subsequent generations of historians. Shakhmatov was also responsible for publication and pioneering studies of minor or derelict Slavic languages. His studies of Slavic etymology revolved around the idea of close contacts and influences between the ancient Slavs and Celts, a hypothesis that was subsequently discarded. In particular, Shakhmatov was convinced that Prekmurje Slovene, spoken in Prekmurje and the Slovene March (Kingdom of Hungary), Slovene March, contains Celtic elements due to its front rounded vowels ''ü'' and ''ö''. In fact, Prekmurje Slovene is simply dialect of Slovene language, Slovene, and the sounds ''ü'' and ''ö'' are common in other dialects of Slovene, such as in Prlekija and some parts of Carinthian dialect group, Carinthia. Hungary, Hungarian nationalists employed this theory of Shakhmatov against the Slovenes as part of magyarization of the Slovene March (Kingdom of Hungary), Slovene March.Quelques remarques sur la brochure intitulée: La question du Prekmurje étudiée et présentée par M. Slavič. Par I. Melich et S. Mikola. Budapest – 1919.


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Shakhmatov, Alexei 1864 births 1920 deaths People from Ivangorod People from Yamburgsky Uyezd Russian Constitutional Democratic Party members Members of the State Council (Russian Empire) Philologists of the Russian Empire Linguists from Russia Full Members of the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences Full Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences (1917–1925)