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Tamaz (Thomas) Valerianis dze Gamkrelidze (Georgian: თამაზ ვალერიანის ძე გამყრელიძე, 23 October 1929 – 10 February 2021) was a Georgian linguist, orientalist public benefactor and Hittitologist, Academic (since 1974) and President (2005–2013) 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 Academic, a famous mathematician.

Tamaz Gamkrelidze graduated from the Faculty of Oriental Studies of the Tbilisi State University (TSU) in 1952.[1] Since 1964 Gamkrelidze was 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 was the author of many outstanding works in the fields of Indo-European linguistics, Ancient languages, Theoretical linguistics, Structural and Applied Linguistics and Kartvelology. He was a leading proponent of the glottalic theory of Proto-Indo-European consonants.

In the 1980s Gamkrelidze worked with Vyacheslav Ivanov on a new theory of Indo-European migrations, which was most recently advocated by them in Indo-European and Indo-Europeans (1995).

In 1988–1995 he edited the premier linguistics journal of the Russian Academy of Science "Voprosy jazykoznanija". He was 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.

In August 1991 Tamaz Gamkrelidze was appointed the Rector of the Tbilisi State University, however, he stayed on this post for a very short time.[2]

Since 2000, he was an honorary citizen of Tbilisi.[3]

Gamkrelidze died on 10 February 2021, aged 91.[4]

Selected bibliography

See also


  1. ^ "Гамкрелидзе Тамаз Валерианович". (in Russian). Russian Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 17 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Tamaz Gamkrelidze // Tbilisi State University: The University Rectors -
  3. ^ "თბილისის საპატიო მოქალაქეები". (in Georgian). Tbilisi. Retrieved 17 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Грузинский академик Тамаз Гамкрелидзе скончался на 91-м году жизни" (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-02-10.