The Info List - Vilhelm Thomsen

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Vilhelm Ludwig Peter Thomsen (25 January 1842 – 12 May 1927) was a Danish linguist and Turkologist. He initially began studying theology at the Danish University in 1859, but soon switched his focus to philology.[1] He learned Hungarian and Finnish, and received his doctoral degree in 1869 with a dissertation on Germanic loanwords in Finnic. He taught Greek at the Borgerdyd school in Copenhagen
before becoming a professor at the University of Copenhagen; among his students at the university was Otto Jespersen. In 1876 he was invited to give the Ilchester Lectures at the University of Oxford, and they were later published as The Relations Between Ancient Russia and Scandinavia, and the Origin of the Russian State.[2] Thomsen made a number of important contributions to linguistics, including his work on the Germanic, Baltic, and Indo-Iranian influences on Finnic.[3] In 1893, he deciphered the Turkic Orkhon inscriptions in advance of his rival, Wilhelm Radloff. According to an article on "The history of Uralic linguistics" by Bo Wickman (1988:808),

The Danish scholar Vilhelm Thomsen (1842–1927) was one of the greatest linguists of all times. He was active in an astoundingly great number of linguistic disciplines, and he was equally masterful in all of them.


1 Honours 2 Selected publications 3 References 4 Sources

Honours[edit] Thomsen is honored on a stela set up in central Copenhagen
along with three other Danish pioneers of modern linguistics, Rasmus Rask, N.L. Westergaard, and Karl Verner. Thomsen was President of the Danish Academy from 1909 until his death, and was an honorary member of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland.[4] A street is named after him in Ankara, Turkey, Wilhelm Thomsen Caddesi (" Vilhelm Thomsen Street"), on which the National Library of Turkey
is located. This is apparently because Thomsen's deciphering of the Orkhon inscriptions was perceived as an important contribution during the formative period of modern Turkish national identity at the turn of the 20th century. Selected publications[edit]

The relations between ancient Russia and Scandinavia and the origin of the Russian state. Three lectures delivered at the Taylor Institution, Oxford, in May, 1876, in accordance with the terms of Lord Ilchester's bequest to the University 1896: Inscriptions De L'Orkhon Déchiffrées Ueber den Einfluss der germanischen Sprachen auf die finnisch-lappischen. Eine sprachgeschichtliche Untersuchung


^ Konow, Sten. 1927. Vilhelm Thomson. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, No. 4 (October 1927): 929–934. ^ Vilhelm Thomsen, The Relations Between Ancient Russia and Scandinavia, and the Origin of the Russian State (B. Franklin, 1877) ^ Konow 1927 ^ Konow 1927


Brøndal, Viggo. 1927. "L'œuvre de Vilhelm Thomsen." Acta philologica scandinavica 2:289–318. København. Wickman, Bo. 1988. "The history of Uralic linguistics." In The Uralic Languages: Description, History and Foreign Influences, edited by Denis Sinor. Leiden: Brill.

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 49270404 LCCN: nr92016774 ISNI: 0000 0001 0898 6669 GND: 118980521 SUDOC: 030452333 BNF: cb12186379t (data) NDL: 00526748 BNE: XX1136312 CiNii: DA09929024 SNAC: w6tt53q3

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