Balticist & Orientalist, Ethnologist

                            Cell. ph.
+370 67746906,  e-mail:  [email protected]

  1. Introduction
2. Positions and grants
3. Research work:  ORIENTALISTICSIndoeuropean and general linguistics,     
Indoeuropean and Baltic linguisticsPrussology  
  4. Life programme:
N.-Baltic boundaryToponymsRurikExperimental Prussian,
Documented novel about Ingermanland
5. Support

As an orientalist Dr. Letas Palmaitis has dealt with Semitistics (history of the Semitic languages, North-West Semitic paleography) and with Kartvelology (history of the Kartvelian languages, research of Upper Svan dialects).

Nord-West Semitic paleography was his first theme under the guidance of Prof. Isaac Vinnikov at Leningrad University. Several paleographic inscriptions were investigated from the linguistic, epigraphic and historic points of view. The interest to the origin and history of the Semitic languages arose in connection with the interest to Nostratic hypothesis of pre-historical relationship between Afrasian (Semitic and Hamitic), Indoeuropean, Kartvelian, Uralic, Altaic and Dravidian families of languages. On this stage a new interpretation of the origin of the Semitic marker of the feminine gender was given.
      Only 3 articles have been published:

The Ammonite inscription of the 1st millennium B.C. [in Russian]. / Vestnik drevney istorii [= VDI, Moscow], 1971, 4, 119 - 126.
On the origin of the Semitic marker of the feminine. / Archiv Orientalni [Praha], 49, 1981, 3, 263 - 269.
Trans-Jordan in the light of the paleographic data from Tell-Arad: the Ostracon Ramat-Negev [in Russian]. / VDI 1992, 4, 99 - 105.

The theme of the Semitic marker of the Feminine Gender later led to the problem of the pre-accusative ("active", later named "fientive") language structure and the functioning of the pure stem in it. This was no more a Nostratic research but a research in the field of the diachronic typology of languages. The Semitic marker of the feminine, as primarily a pure stem form, appeared to be typologically comparable with the Georgian "emphatic -a" as well as with the Indo-European bare-stem neuter marker.
    New ideas could not be verified without comparative studying of the Kartvelian languages, of which Svan, as especially archaic and less researched, attracted the main attention. As a result the first dictionary of 2 Svan dialects (Upper and Lower Bal) was compiled with the help of Dr. Chato Gudjedjiani, and a description of these dialects was fulfilled.
    Simultaneously Kartvelian and Svan folklore was investigated. Dr. L. Palmaitis succeeded to reveal the Christian origin of the imaginary "Old Kartvelian deity" Kwiria, as well as to find in Svan a striking parallel to Lithuanian fable
Egle the Queen of Grass-Snakes. The latter once again forced to revise the views on Nostratic relationship and to accept the idea of George Cereteli about possible Proto-Indo-European origin of Pra-Kartvelian with later Caucasisation of the latter.

1. [Together with Chato Gudjedjiani] Svan-English Dictionary. Ed. B.G.Hewitt. Delmar, New York: Caravan Books 1985.
2. [Together with Chato Gudjedjiani] Upper Svan, Grammar and Texts. / Linguistics XXXVII (4): Description of Languages. Collection of Scientific Papers of the Higher Schools of the Lithuanian SSR. Vilnius: Mokslas 1986.
1. The "emphatic -a" in connection with the main problems of the nominal morphology [in Georgian]. / Macne [Papers of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR], 1978, 1, 113 - 125.
2. Notes on the Svan declension [in Georgian]. / Macne, 1979, 3, 113 - 126.
3. Kartwelologische Miszellen I: 1. Das Problem des Phoneminventars im Swanischen; 2. Zur Feststellung der Deklinationstypen im Swanischen; 3. Über die Herkunft der kartwelischen Versionisatoren; 4. Reflexiv und Medium vs. Passiv; 5. Kartwelisch und Baltisch; 6. Gibt es das Partizip im Kartwelischen? 7. Swanisches dsch , tsch, tsch' - eine Satemisation im Kartwelischen? / Georgica [Jena], 1984, 7, 26 - 33.
4. Kartwelologische Miszellen II: 8. Wieviel Reihen besitzt das swanische Verb? 9. Noch einmal über die "urkartvelische" Gottheit Kwiria; 10. Kartwelisch und Semitisch: das kartwelische na-Derivat und das semitische Nif'al; 11. Die Natterfabel in der kartwelischen und baltischen Folklore; 12. Die Wurzel -rd- im Swanischen; 13. Akademiemitglied A.Schanidse über den Pluralanzeiger der 1, 2. Personen im Swanischen. / Georgica, 1986, 9, 13 - 20.
5. Kartwelologische Miszellen III: 14. Silbenbetonung und Länge im Swanischen. / Georgica, 1988, 11, 24 - 25.
6. Romeo Moses and Psyche Brunhild? Or Cupid the Serpent and the Morning Star? / In: Caucasologie et mythologie comparée, Actes du Colloque international du C.N.R.S. - IVe Colloque de Caucasologie (Sévres, 27 - 29 juin 1988). Paris, PEETERS, 1992, p. 177 - 185.