Nikolai Sergejewitsch Trubetzkoy

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NS Trubetzkoy

Prince Nikolai Trubetzkoy ( Russian Николай Сергеевич Трубецкой , scientific. Transliteration Nikolaj Sergeevič Trubeckoj ; * 4 . Jul / 16th April  1890 greg. In Moscow ; † 25. June 1938 in Vienna ) was a Russian linguist and anthropologist and founder of Phonology .


Trubetzkoy came from the old Russian aristocratic family Trubezkoi . His father, Prince Sergei Trubetskoi , was a full professor of philosophy in Moscow and also rector of the university there . He began to study linguistics and ethnology at an early age . He published his first article in 1905, studied from 1908 to 1913 at Moscow University and received his doctorate in 1913 with a thesis "On the designations of the future tense in the most important Indo-European languages". In 1916 he completed his habilitation in comparative linguistics and Sanskrit .

In 1917 he traveled to the Caucasus, where the October Revolution surprised him, in 1918 he briefly became a professor in Rostov-on-Don , and in 1920, forced by political developments, he emigrated to Bulgaria , where he taught as a lecturer in Slavic philology at the University of Sofia . In 1922 he was appointed professor at the University of Vienna . Trubetzkoy died of a heart attack in 1938 , shortly after the Gestapo interrogated him for a critical article on National Socialism and confiscated his archives.

Trubetzkoy expanded linguistics to include phonology . With Trubetzkoy's teaching activity, a new era in linguistics has dawned in and from Vienna: In the past, language was primarily interpreted as written language, and the new way of looking at language that he developed related for the first time to a function-logical consideration of language (sounds, phonemes ). In 1929 he proposed the term morphonology .

Agitator for Eurasism

See main article: Eurasism

In the 1920s, Trubetzkoy was a leader in advocating Eurasism, an ideological current in Russian exile that was based, among other things, on the works of Vladimir Solovyov . She aspired to a leadership role for Russia in a future united, huge Eurasia.

This movement disintegrated after a few years due to internal disagreement and after infiltration by the Soviet secret service, and since the early 1990s it has been revived by the neo-Eurasist and national Bolshevik Alexander Dugin .

See also


  • Europe and humanity. With a foreword by Otto Hoetzsch . Drei Masken Verlag, Munich 1922.
  • Polish Studies. Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, Vienna 1929.
  • The morphonological system of the Russian language (= Travaux du Cercle Linguistique de Prague. 5). Harrassowitz, Leipzig 1934; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1958.
  • Guide to phonological descriptions. Harrassowitz, Leipzig 1935.
  • Basics of phonology (= Travaux du Cercle Linguistique de Prague. 7). Prague 1939 [posthumously]; 7th edition: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1989, ISBN 3-525-26401-1 .
  • Old Church Slavonic grammar. Writing, sound and form system. Edited by Rudolf Jagoditsch. Rohrer, Vienna 1954; Böhlau, Graz / Vienna / Cologne 1968.
  • The Russian poets of the 18th and 19th centuries. Outline of a development history. Edited by Rudolf Jagoditsch. Böhlau, Graz / Cologne 1956.
  • Dostoevskij as an artist. Mouton, The Hague / London / Paris 1964.
  • NS Trubetzkoy's letters and notes. Mouton, Berlin / New York / Amsterdam 1985, ISBN 3-11-010593-4 .
  • Opera slavica minora linguistica. Publishing house of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 1988, ISBN 3-7001-1422-2 .
  • Russia - Europe - Eurasia. Selected writings on cultural studies. Edited by Fedor B. Poljakov. Publishing house of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 2005, ISBN 3-7001-3329-4 .


  • Л. И. Новикова, И. Н. Сиземская (Ed.): Россия между Европой и Азией: Евразийзкий соблазн. Moskwa 1993, ISBN 5-02-008215-5 . (Russian)
  • Utz Maas : Persecution and emigration of German-speaking linguists 1933–1945. Entry on Nikolai Sergejewitsch Trubetzkoy (accessed: April 15, 2018)
  • Fedor B. Poljakov: Nikolaj Trubetzkoy's Eurasian vision: background and effect. In: Nikolaj S. Trubetzkoy: Russia - Europe - Eurasia. Selected writings on cultural studies. Vienna 2005, ISBN 3-7001-3329-4 , pp. 315-414.

Web links

Commons : Nikolai Trubetzkoy  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Leonid Luks : The "third way" of the "neo-Eurasian" magazine "Ėlementy". Back to the Third Reich? Studies in East European Thought, 52, 2000, pp. 49-71; and dsb .: Eurasia from a neototalitarian perspective. On the renaissance of an ideology in today's Russia. Totalitarianism and Democracy , 1, 1, 2004, pp. 63–76 passim