Thomas (Tamaz) Gamkrelidze#

Short laudatio by Jacek Fisiak#

There is no doubt that Professor Tamaz Gamkrelidze is one of the leading Indo-Europeanists and a remarkable specialist in historical Kartvelian linguistics today.

His major contribution to Indo-European linguistics is the GLOTTALIC theory which has changed the well-established view in the Indo-European consonantal system generally accepted by scholars from Schleicher and Brugmann to Kurylowicz and Lehmann. It is true that there are still scholars who have not accepted it but a large number of linguistics have described it as a revolution which has to be taken seriously.

Gamkrelidze has devoted several works to this issue in a seminal paper "The Indo-European glottalic theory: A new paradigm in IE comparative linguistics" and in his two-volume work with Ivanov (first published in Russian in 1984 and in 1994 - 1995 in English by Mouton de Gruyter). Apart from this ground-breaking achievement Gamkrelidze has contributed seminal works to Kartvelian linguistics, in particular studies to apophony in "Gemeinkartwelischen".

More recently he has concentrated on the Old Georgian script and the issue of reconstruction in IE and Georgian languages as well as the problem of the cradle of Indo-Europeans and the process of migrations. His contribution to reconstruction is particularly important. The use of typology as a supporting instrument is especially worth of note. It should be remarked in particular that Professor Tamaz Gamkrelidze has a permanent position of historical importance in the fields of IE linguistics, Kartvelian linguistics and historical linguistics in general. He is a scholar of international standing who has exerted influence on the fields that have been mentioned above.

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