Between Africanistics and cosmoglottics: on the concept of universal language as conceived by Nikolai Vladimirovich Yushmanov.

2015. №1, 118-132

Aleksandr D. Duličenko
University of Tartu, Tartu, 50090, Estonia;


In the Soviet linguistics of the 1920—30s Nikolai V. Yushmanov takes a prominent place. He was a talented specialist who in addition to exotic languages, on the one hand, studied and researched rare for that time African languages, such as Amhara, Tigrinya (Tigrai), Hausa and wrote the pioneering grammar of Arab standard language. On the other hand, he was concerned with international artificial languages and in particular with the problem of global language. Two poles: the artificial global language turning off linguistic differences of mankind and exotic «natural» languages making those differences profound. His scientific activity took place in such dialectically conflicting unity.