Start page

Valentyn Stetsyuk (Lviv, Ukraine)

Personal web site


Historical Macrolinguistics.

Introductory Survey

Decipimur specie recti

Quintus Horatius Flaccus. "Dе arte poetica"

O, viel neue Feinde der Wahrheit!
Mir blutet die Seele,
Seh' ich das Eulengeschlecht,
das zu dem Lichte sich drängt.

Friedrich Schiller. "Falscher Studiertrieb".

Despite the technical education, the last 40 years of my life I spent on the humanities, especially historical linguistics and the study of the prehistoric ethnogenic processes. The knowledge of the prehistory of mankind is important to us because it helps to comprehend God's plan for the creation by Him our planet and life on it and at the same time to understand the sense and purpose of our existence.

The foundation, holding the whole framework of the subsequent history of mankind that is its structuring by race and language with the formation of ethnic groups and communities according to the geomorphological features of the continents due to geophysical processes managed from height, was laid at the prehistoric time. Originally, God gave man greater freedom in his work on Earth, but this activity should follow God's plan and submit to his ideas in the organization of co-existence of human society. If a man takes erroneous initiatives leading to tragic consequences, God adjusts the development of planetary civilization by His intervention which can be drastic for man. These thoughts were not an incentive for research which started out of a natural desire for knowledge but were the outcome of understanding obtained results.

Applying mathematical methods for studying the historical development of language requires digital material what for vocabulary suits well. However available lexical material should be considered in certain time frames and its constant part has to be distinguished, as, for example, it is done in mathematics by expansions of complex functions in power series. As for the theory of probability, the knowledge of it even without the use of its methods makes it possible to estimate the simultaneous appearance of several low-probability events as trustworthy in a whole, while people with no knowledge of this theory may find such coincidences simply random.

But being a person of engineering mentality, of course, I was subconsciously trying to assess the historical processes by quantitative methods. The knowledge of higher mathematics and probability theory was my additional benefits from the very first steps of research. What does higher math? I treated historical events in my imagination as a variable one according to the variable value in mathematics. That is, for example, any language in its development was considered as me as the only variable phenomenon from its origin to the present. Linguists may argue that some language in some time or another have existed or appeared in a period of time and are right at their understanding languages. But for me, every language is a separate variable event, if its difference from others are so small that even their speakers overlook these differences.

However, to apply mathematical methods for studying the historical development of the language, what to is well-suited vocabulary, it is necessary to consider the available lexical material in a certain time frame and allocate it a constant component as it is, for example, made in mathematics while decomposing of complex functions in power series. As for the theory of probability, the knowledge of it, even without using its methods makes it possible to evaluate the simultaneous occurrence of several phenomena of small probability in general as sufficiently probable, while people without the knowledge of this theory can be considered such as a random coincidence. My research began with a practical question: What language can be learned most likely already knowing several other languages? Just this was an attempt to evaluate linguistic material in quantitative terms. Simply put, the issue turned into this: What language has most words similar words of already learned languages?

In the future, the main research tool was a special graphic-analytical method that provides a geometric interpretation of lexical data. Principles of its application have been shown by the example of the Slavic languages in the article "Determination of habitats of ancient Slavs by the graphic-analitical method" (STETSYUK V.M. 1987). The method allows obtaining an empirical graphics model of the kinship of languages within language family or group. The resulting models are associated with the so-called Ethno-prodicing areas having clear geographical boundaries, where took place isolation of the primary dialects from a common paternal language. The results of the studies were associated with archaeological data, onomastics, mythology, ethnography. In general, about thirteen dozen different languages were examined, and the total amount of vocabulary used for the construction of graphical models has about 135,000 words (see. Table 1). Approximately half of the used data was taken from the projectThe Tower of Babel, and the second half was collected by me from etymological and bilingual dictionaries. In addition to graphical-analytical studies searches of lexical correspondences between languages of different groups and families were carried out, as well as analysis of place names in Ukraine, Central Russia, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Southern Scandinavia, the Baltic States in regard to the results obtained ethnogenetic research.

Table 1. Quantitative data about vocabulary taken to the study.

Families and groups of languages Number of languages Number of isoglosses General amount of words
Sino-Tibetan 7 2.775 9.700
Tungus 11 2.234 10.200
Mongolic 8 2.250 8.500
Nostratic 6 433 2.600
Abkhaz-Adyghe 5 1.800 4.500
Nakh-Dagestan 27 1.900 24.000
Indo-European 14 2.554 12.381
Finno-Ugric 12 1.913 9.584
Turkic 13 2.558 19.670
Germanic 6 2.630 11.065
Iranian 11 1.773 8.249
Slavic 10 3.200 12.000
Total 130 ≈ 26.000 ≈ 135.000

The project “Historical Macrolinguistics” could not be realized without the assistance of specialists and the moral support of my near friends. I thank them heartily. All names could not be mentioned here but individual thanks are worthy Doctor V.T. Kolomiets, Academician A.S. Melnichuk (Kiev, Ukraine), Academicians G.G. Litavrin, N.I. Tolstoy, V.V. Sedov, and V.N. Yartseva (Moscow, Russia) for my start in the science, and methodological assistance during preparing my article with the first description of the graphic-analytical method. I am especially grateful to the leaders of the German-Ukrainian project “Transformation processes in Western Ukraine” Professor Harald Plachter (Philips Universität Marburg, Germany), Professor Mechthild Roth (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany), Dipl.-Biologist Stephan Niemeier (Frankfurt am Mein, Germany) for the technical possibility to work in the frames of this project. I also thank my friend Doctor Mykola Zharkykh for the assistance in preparing the publication of two of my books “The Study into Prehistoric Ethnogenic Processes in Eastern Europe” (1998, 2000), Elena Romanova (Montreal, Canada), Norm Kisamov (Plymouth, USA), and Tim Lelchuk (Chicago, USA) for the special literature, translation in English of some my texts, Professor Osman Karatay and Fatih Şengül (Turkey) for the special literature, the translation my works in Turkish and the publication them in Turkey, and also Martin Markovič for the acquaintance with the works of Czech scholars carrying cross-disciplinary researches on the osculation of social and natural sciences, Yuriy Kobiv for the consultation in botany, Vadym Stetsyuk for the consultation in mythology, Volodymyr Bakus for the acquirement of dictionaries, Vira Konchak for translation in English, Natala Veselovski for Translation in German (all latter – Lviv).


Ukrainian, Russian and English texts describing the studies that are submitted on my site are not identical as to their content. Some questions for various reasons, they are covered with more or less complete.

The etymological tables used by means of the graphic-analytical method for constructing graphic models of language relationships.

Übersicht über Methoden und Ergebnisse der Untersuchungen zu ethnogenetischen Prozessen