V.I. Rassadin In The Space Of Turkic-Mongolian Linguistics And Cultur


The article is devoted to V.I. Rassadin, an outstanding scientist and linguist of our time, a major specialist in the comparative historical study of the Turkic-Mongolian languages and their dialects, the creator of the writing of the Tofalar and Soyot peoples, a talented teacher and translator. The authors analyzed the main stages of the eventful life and career of a scientist. The creative legacy of Professor Rassadin allows the authors to talk about the fundamentality and depth of his scientific research, originality of ideas, the breadth of scientific relations of the researcher with domestic and foreign Mongolologists and Turkologists. The article reveals the variety of scientific interests of the scientist, innovation in works, combining the achievements of Western and Russian linguistics. The scientist devoted many years of his scientific work to field expeditionary research, collecting unique folklore of small Turkic reindeer herding peoples, recording them with experts and guardians of oral traditions. These are proverbs and sayings, tales, legends and traditions that have survived to this day. Everything done by V.I. Rassadin in the field of the humanities is difficult to overestimate; he was distinguished by his endless dedication, dedication, friendliness and scientific generosity. The scientist created the scientific school “Comparative-historical, typological and comparative linguistics”, prepared 50 candidates and 6 doctors of sciences. The authors note the scientist's invaluable contribution to Russian and world Mongolian studies, to the study of the history and culture of the indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation.

Keywords: RassadinTurkic-Mongolian linguisticsAltaiisticscultureBuryatiaKalmykia


The modern global crisis that has embraced all the peoples of the planet is accompanied by a crisis of identity, a transformation of the spiritual foundations of society, a decline in the criteria of morality. Globalization leads to the erosion of national characteristics, the formation of a whole layer of "citizens of the world." The world is actively assimilating people of different cultures, including the inhabitants of Russia. It should be noted that in our country this was largely facilitated by the totalitarian system of the Soviet state, when there was an artificial acceleration of the assimilation of ethnic groups. As a result of this, many peoples of Russia lost their true spiritual and moral features and national characteristics of culture. Some small nations almost disappeared from the map of mankind. To reduce antisocial phenomena, it is necessary to turn to the past, revive culturally positive cultural traditions, study the positive and negative historical experience of previous generations, rethink miscalculations and learn from them. Rare representatives of small nations try to preserve and pass on to the descendants and the world the spiritual values, traditions and customs of their people. There are people among scientists, writers, people of other professions who, to the best of their ability and ability, seek to support the efforts of indigenous peoples to revive and preserve their culture, folk wisdom and centuries-old experience of their ancestors. Thanks to them, the life story of the small peoples of Russia reveals its secrets - useful and instructive, which have not lost their relevance to date. For the small peoples of the Sayan region such a person was a doctor of philological sciences, professor V.I. Rassadin. Thanks to his works, the language of these small nations gained a new life, and they themselves received a spiritual basis for their further ethnic development.

Problem Statement

The huge contribution of prof. Rassadin to Altaistics is universally recognized and deservedly received high praise. However, the life path and work of the scientist have not yet been the subject of holistic study and comprehension. This determines the statement of the problem as a holistic study of the scientific heritage of prof. Rassadin in the synthesis of its scientific, personalological and sociocultural components.

Research Questions

This paper considered the scientific works of prof. Rassadin on the basis of a complex analysis. The overview of scientific literature on this issue indicates that the stated problems have not yet been the subject of a special research. Research questions are as follows: reconstruction of the scientific biography of Rassadin, assessment of his contribution to the development of Altaistics; identification of of the main stages and analysis the results of his scientific and practical activities.

Purpose of the Study

In modern Oriental Studies, an important place is occupied by the analysis of the scientific heritage of scientists – creators of knowledge. The authors set the goal of a comprehensive study of the scientific views of the scientist who made a significant contribution to Altaistics.

Research Methods

Research Methods: comparative historical analysis of scientific and biographical materials; method of retrospective reconstruction of the personality of a scientist and scientific creativity; source study method; interview method; content analysis method; expert assessment method; qualitative analysis method; method of periodization of scientific creativity; general scientific methods of analysis, generalization and systematization.


November 12, 2019 marks the 80th anniversary of the birth of Valentin Ivanovich Rassadin. The name of one of the most authoritative Russian scientists in the field of Turkic-Mongolian linguistics has long been well known to a wide circle of linguists in Russia and beyond. He was born in Pskov before the Great Patriotic War in a Finno-Izhora family. After the Nazis occupied their hometown, a mother with her 3-year-old son, Valya, was driven to forced labor in Lithuania, where, living in unbearable conditions, experiencing the hardships of a half-starved life, they barely survived and waited for Victory Day. In 1957, V. Rassadin graduated from high school in the city of Kholmsk on Sakhalin. Since 1962, his life has been connected with the city on the Neva; the linguistic abilities of the young man brought him to the Eastern Department of Leningrad State University named after Zhdanov (now St. Petersburg State University), where he studied Mongolian philology. In his student years, V. Rassadin enthusiastically read a lot, getting acquainted with the history, culture and traditions of the Mongolian peoples. Along with this, V. Rassadin sets himself the task of perfectly mastering the Mongolian and German languages, as a result of persistent study he succeeded brilliantly.

Many prominent scientists worked at Leningrad State University, among them Professor L.R. Zinder. In the late 50s–early 60s. of the last century, Lev Rafailovich headed the Department of phonetics and at the same time the Department of methods of teaching the German language. Valentin Rassadin attended classes in the phonetics laboratory of L.R. Zinder. Here he, like other students, practiced with great interest in describing the sounds of different languages. This skill later became very useful for a novice scientist, especially in the scientific description of the phonetics of Tofalar and Soyot languages, as well as in the study of various dialects of other languages.

V. I. Rassadin began his labor activity in 1966 at the Buryat Institute of Social Sciences of the Siberian Branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, now it is the Institute of Mongolian Studies, Buddhology and Tibetology of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, one of the largest and recognized oriental centers of Russia. Here, on the shores of the holy Baikal, he worked for more than 40 years. These years were the most productive period of his scientific career. Starting as a junior researcher at the Department of Linguistics, Valentin Ivanovich went through all the career stages of a scientist, reaching impressive heights in his profession. Scientific expeditions to the most distant settlements and camps became the most important thing of his life.

He meticulously studied not only the language of the Tofalars and Soyots, but was keenly interested in their national crafts, religion and the problems of restoring reindeer husbandry. All this later gave him the opportunity to create works on the traditional material culture of Sayan reindeer herders-tafalars, hunting and fishing vocabulary of Tofalar and Soyot speakers ​​of the taiga range, etc. (Rassadin, 1971; Rassadin, 1978; Rassadin,1995; Rassadin, 2003; Rassadin, 2005; Rassadin, 2006).

V. Rassadin met with shamans. He devoted many years to the collection and study of shamanistic rites, mythology, invocations and traditions. According to the results of the 2010 All-Russian Census, the number of tofalars in the country was 762 people. Mainly they live in three districts of the Irkutsk region. It was believed that the number of Soyots was 500 people, however, at present, due to the growth of national identity, 2 thousand people already recognize themselves as Soyots. They live in the Republic of Buryatia. The People’s Khural of the Republic of Buryatia, in connection with the appeal of the Soyot people to the Government of the Russian Federation by Decree No. 540-1 of November 21, 2001, created the Oka Soyot National Region as part of Buryatia, which greatly expands the capabilities of a small ethnic group to revive and preserve its unique culture.

Over the years, the geography of expeditionary studies of the living Mongolian and Turkic languages has expand significantly. He visited the places of resettlement of native speakers in Buryatia, Tuva, Gorny Altai, Khakassia, Irkutsk Region. He made a number of trips to Mongolia, China and Kyrgyzstan.

The scientist developed major problems of Mongolian and Turkic linguistics, such as the historical phonetics of the Buryat language, Sayan and Lower Udi Buryat dialects, the comparative historical grammar of the Buryat language, etc. (Rassadin, 1982). Professor Rassadin played a major role in creating the Department of Philology of Central Asia at the Eastern Department of the Buryat State University, leading this Department for 14 years, and continuing to work at IMBIT SB RAS until moving to Kalmykia. Arriving in Elista in February 2006 by invitation of the rector of Kalmyk State University, Professor G.M. Borlikov, V.I. Rassadin headed the Center for Mongolian and Altai Studies. The scientific ties of Kalmyk State University with domestic and foreign oriental centers have intensified, new master's programs have opened.

The scientist published new works, he continued to work on the scientific management of graduate students and doctoral students who came to him from different regions of our country and abroad. Over the years of work in Elista, the scientist actively collaborated with the academic institute (Ochirova, 2012).

Scientific views of prof. Rassadin are reviewed and analyzed by many modern scholars (Lindsay, 2010; Montgomery, 2012; Eriksonas 2013; Maharramly, 2016; Omakaeva, 2009; Dybo, Salayev, & Trofimova 2014; Trofimova & Salayev, 2014; Alekseev, Filippov, & Efimova, 2015).

Professor Rassadin successfully engaged in translation work. So, the scientist translated from German into Russian the volume of classical classical work of the outstanding German scientist, academician O. I. Betlingk "On the language of the Yakuts", which was published in St. Petersburg in 1851 and still has not lost its scientific value.

Director of the Institute of Linguistic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, academician E.V. Golovko writes: “The whole life of Valentin Ivanovich was devoted to a passionate and sincere service to science. He gained world fame as an outstanding specialist in comparative historical Altaistics and the study of the Mongolian and Turkic languages of Siberia and Central Asia, the author of a number of fundamental works, which, without exaggeration, are included in the golden fund of world science. Some of them, in particular monographic descriptions of the Tofalar and Soyot languages, are still the most valuable, in many ways, simply a unique source of information about these practically disappeared languages. Valentin Ivanovich made an invaluable contribution to the study of the history of the Mongolian languages and their historical ties with the Turkic languages, to the description of dialects of the Buryat language. His works put into scientific circulation a colossal volume of completely new linguistic material, which he obtained in the course of many years through field research among speakers of the Turkic and Mongolian languages of Russia” (Golovko, 2018). And one cannot but agree with this high assessment of the scientist's contribution.

V.I. Rassadin received state awards of the Russian Federation and the Mongolian People's Republic. He was awarded the Order of Friendship (RF), the Order of the Polar Star (Mongolia), many honorary titles (an Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation, an academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, a corresponding member of the International Finno-Ugric Scientific Society, etc).


Research on the scientific heritage of prof. Rassadin made it possible to determine his place in the history of Russian Altaiistics and his contribution to its development. V. I. Rassadin was not only a famous scientist and an excellent teacher. He was a real intellectual. He was distinguished by endless devotion to work, absolute personal decency and that cordial charm that attracted everyone who knew him better. He was an example for others, was able to create a special moral climate in the team, allowing his students and work colleagues to choose the style of behavior that matches the personality of the Teacher. V. I. Rassadin was distinguished by high efficiency, friendliness, and a willingness to help. He was an amazingly multifaceted man who left a deep mark in the science, life and memory of grateful students.


The publication was prepared in the framework of the implementation of the State task of the SSC of the Russian Academy of Sciences, state number project AAAA - A 19 - 119011190182-8.


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31 October 2020

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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, semantics, discourse analysis, translation, interpretation

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Omakaeva, E., Dyakieva, B., Ochirova, N., Ochirova, N., & Selninov, V. (2020). V.I. Rassadin In The Space Of Turkic-Mongolian Linguistics And Cultur. In D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism» Dedicated to the 80th Anniversary of Turkayev Hassan Vakhitovich, vol 92. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 3216-3221). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.10.05.427