Skip to main content

Victor Denisov

The Expert in the Spotlight feature gives you the chance to interact one-on-one with our Ask the Expert-section. The feature also provides interesting and insightful comments regarding the subjects mentioned above, in-depth content and exclusive Q and A's.

Summer 2019

Featured Expert / Area of focus:

Victor Denisov (Ph.D, Associate Professor) is a specialist in the Udmurt philology (phonetics) and general linguistics. He is also an expert on the preservation of the sound heritage of minority peoples and works as consultant of the Center for International and Interregional Cooperation (Moscow).

This year, Dr Victor Denisov has written the first edition of the Mercator regional dossier about the Udmurt language in education in the Udmurt Republic in Russia.

Face to face with Victor Denisov

What is your background in the field of regional and minority languages, education and multilingualism? 

"In 1976, I graduated from the Faculty of Foreign languages at the Udmurt State University (Izhevsk). The subject of the Ph.D research I did afterwards, at the Philological Faculty of the State University of Leningrad (St. Petersburg), was “Phonetics and stress in Finno-Ugric languages”, phonetics of contemporary Udmurt language.

I also coordinated some international projects: the Endangered Archive Programme, EAP089 from 2006 to 2008 (“Safeguarding and preservation of sound materials of endangered languages in the Russian Federation for sound archives in St. Petersburg”), and EAP347 (“Vanishing Voices from the Uralic World”) from 2010-2012 under the auspice of the British Library and financially supported by the “Arcadia” foundation."

What do you think is the major challenge in your field of work?

"In Russia, many old sound recordings still remain hidden in archives and in private possession, where the quality of preservation is not guaranteed. Thus, the problem of preserving the sound heritage of endangered languages, which are still stored in analogue formats, remains relevant for Russia."

What special projects have you been working on lately?

"I have been compiling Dossiers on endangered languages, located in the Russian Federation."

Are there any important references such as articles etc. you would like to mention?

  • Vakhrushev V. M. & V. N. Denisov (1992). Sovremennyy udmurtskiy yazyk: Fonetika. Grafika i orfografiya. Orfoepiya (Contemporary Udmurt language: Phonetics. Graphics and orthography. Orthoepy). Izhevsk: Udmurtiya. 144 p.
  • Victor Denisov, Tjeerd de Graaf, Natalia Svetozarova (2009). New sound collections in the Phonogram Archive of the Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkinsky Dom) in Saint-Petersburg. /A Catalogue resulting from the European Project EAP089/. – Institute for Linguistic Studies, Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkinsky Dom), Russian Academy of Sciences. – St. Petersburg. 74 P.
  • Tjeerd de Graaf & Victor Denisov (2015). The use of sound archives for the investigation, teaching and safeguarding of some endangered languages in Russia // From Dust to Digital: Ten Years of the Endangered Archives Programme / Ed.: Maja Kominko. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers, P. 617–634.
  • Victor Denisov (2017). On the collections of historical recordings of the Finnish and Saami languages and folklore in the sound archives of Vienna, Berlin and St. Petersburg // Folklore and written traditions of the Finno-Ugric peoples II. Abstracts of the 5th day of Agricola conference / Ed. Szilard Tibor Toth. University of Tartu Narva College, Narva, P. 39–41.
  • (2018). Sound Documents from the Phonogrammarchiv of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The Complete Historical Collections 1899-1950. / Series 17/2. Recordings from Prisoners-of-War Camps, World War I. Finno-Ugric Recordings // Editors: Gerda Lechleitner, Christian Liebl, Ulla Remmer. Transcriptions, translations and comments: Niina Aasmäe, Juha-Matti Aronen, Victor Denisov (with the help of Ulla Remmer), Armin Eidherr, Gerson Klumpp, Nikolai Kuznetsov, Triin Todesk, Elena Vedernikova (with the help of Natali Pärtin and Nikolay Vasiliev). OEAW PHA CD 42, Vienna.