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Georgiy Sergeevich "George" Starostin (Russian: Гео́ргий Серге́евич Ста́ростин; born 4 July 1976)[1] is a Russian linguist. He is the son of the late historical linguist Sergei Anatolyevich Starostin (1953–2005), and his work largely continues his father's. He is also known as a self-published music reviewer, author of the Only Solitaire Blog.[2][3]

Georgiy Starostin
Georgiy Starostin in 2011
Georgiy Sergeevich Starostin
Гео́ргий Серге́евич Ста́ростин

(1976-07-04) 4 July 1976 (age 46)
ParentSergei Anatolyevich Starostin
Academic background
Academic work
Main interestsHistorical linguistics
Notable worksTower of Babel project


Starostin focuses almost exclusively on maintaining the following of his father's projects: the Evolution of Human Languages project; The Tower of Babel, a publicly searchable online database containing information about many Eurasia's language families;[4][5] and STARLING, a software package to aid comparative linguists.[6][7]

Evolution of Human Languages

The Evolution of Human Languages (EHL) is an international project – of which Starostin inherited his father's membership – on "the linguistic prehistory of humanity" coordinated by the Santa Fe Institute. The project distinguishes about 6000 languages currently spoken around the world, and aims to provide a detailed classification similar to the accepted classification of biological species.

Their idea is that "all representatives of the species Homo sapiens presumably share a common origin, [so] it would be natural to suppose – although this is a goal yet to be achieved – that all human languages also go back to some common source. Most existing classifications, however, do not go beyond some 300-400 language families that are relatively easy to discern. This restriction has natural reasons: languages must have been spoken and constantly evolving for at least 40,000 years (and quite probably more), while any two languages separated from a common source inevitably lose almost all superficially common features after some 6,000-7,000 years".[8]

Tower of Babel project

The Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1563)
The Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1563)

The Tower of Babel [ru] is an international etymological database project coordinated by the Center of Comparative Linguistics [ru] of the Russian State University for the Humanities. The project aims to "join efforts in the research of long range connections between established language families of the world. The Internet is used to combine these attempts and to build up a commonly accessible database of roots, or etyma reconstructed for the World's major (and minor) linguistic stocks." Starostin's role specifically is for hosting the website.[9]

Starling database program

The Starling database management system software program is part of his father's Tower of Babel project. This software program aims to support "various types of linguistic text and database processing, including handling of linguistic fonts in the DOS and WINDOWS operating systems, operations with linguistic databases and Internet presentation of linguistic data".[10]

Music criticism

Since 1998, Starostin has also written a large number of extensive reviews of rock music groups and albums on his site, Only Solitaire, named after a Jethro Tull song.[11] Until April 2006 the site was frequently updated, and covers in detail the music of most of the major rock groups and musicians of the 1960s and 1970s, although he has reviewed less material of groups primarily associated with the 1980s and beyond. He has said that the main reason for this is because he believes that rock music has been becoming steadily worse since the 1960s to the point that it is now "dead",[12] and cites Mark Prindle as the original inspiration for him becoming an online music critic.[1]


Starostin has written a number of articles on Dravidian, Yeniseian, Khoisan, and language isolates. A selection includes:[13]

See also


  1. Introduction: Stuff About Me
  2. Pfeil, Eric (23 September 2014). "Eric Pfeils Pop-Tagebuch: Bruce Low schrieb nie ein Lied über mich". Rolling Stone (in German). Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 May 2019. Der einzige Mensch, dessen schreiberisches Schaffen in den Weiten der Digitalität ich verfolge, ist George Starostin. Starostin heißt eigentlich Georgiy Sergeevich und wirkt, wenn er nicht gerade Musik rezensiert, als russischer Linguist.
  3. "Efeu - Die Kulturrundschau". Spiegel Online (in German). 25 September 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2019. Und Eric Pfeil schreibt im Rolling Stone weiterhin fleißig Poptagebuch, unter anderem empfiehlt er ganz ausdrücklich das Musikblog des russischen Linguisten George Starostin
  4. The Tower of Babel: Evolution of Human Languages Project, at Tower of Babel site
  5. The Tower of Babel: Evolution of Human Languages Main Page at Santa Fe Institute
  6. FAQs of The Tower of Babel project at
  7. The STARLING Database Program at Tower of Babel site
  8. "Evolution of Human Languages - An Introduction" at, retrieved 25 October 2007. New link, see here. Accessed Oct 27, 2009.
  9. The Tower of Babel project. at, retrieved 25 October 2007.
  10. STARLING project at, retrieved 25 October 2007.
  11. George Starostin's Music Reviews - Introduction
  12. "Music: Where The Hell Is It Heading To Today?" - Essay at Only Solitaire: George Starostin's music reviews; retrieved 28 October 2007
  13. For an overview of further work in his Tower of Babel project, see The Tower of Babel Electronic Library.

На других языках

- [en] Georgiy Starostin

[ru] Старостин, Георгий Сергеевич

Гео́ргий Серге́евич Ста́ростин (род. 4 июля 1976) — российский лингвист, кандидат филологических наук (2000), заведующий кафедрой[1] истории и филологии Дальнего Востока ИВКА РГГУ, главный научный сотрудник и заведующий кафедрой[2] Дальнего Востока и Юго-Восточной Азии Института классического востока и Античности ВШЭ. Специалист в области синологии и сравнительно-исторического языкознания. Сын лингвиста Сергея Анатольевича Старостина, занимается разработкой некоторых отцовских научных проектов. Автор музыкальных рецензий, выложенных им на собственном сайте.

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