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Jan Baudouin de Courtenay, Hugo Schuchardt, Nikolaj Marr e un’enigmatica iscrizione georgiana

Vittorio Springfield Tomelleri    Università degli Studi di Torino, Italia    



Around the end of the 19th century, a philologically and linguistically rather insignificant inscription on a cross, written in Old Georgian script, drew the attention of the Polish linguist Jan Baudouin de Courtenay, who, however, was not able to identify neither the language nor the alphabet. After having drafted in his own hand several copies of the inscription, he submitted them to scholars and orientalists all around Europe, without getting a univocal or satisfying answer; he then consulted in Petersburg the Georgian philologist Nikolay Marr, who provided a transcription of the Georgian text in the modern (civil) alphabet and a Russian translation. The present paper describes and discusses how surprised and disappointed were the linguist Hugo Schuchardt and Nikolay Marr himself about Baudouin de Courtenay’s not impeccable publication of the Old Georgian inscription and, above all, the fact that he had introduced the edition with a detailed enumeration of the many failed attempts at deciphering the mysterious alphabet. In the appendix the short statement by Nikolay Marr, written in Russian, is reprinted with an Italian translation by Margarita Blinova.

15 Novembre 2018
03 Giugno 2018
21 Maggio 2018

Keywords: Old Georgian alphabetNikolay MarrHugo SchuchardtInscriptionsBaudouin de Courtenay

Copyright: © 2018 Vittorio Springfield Tomelleri. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.