The very first LH post was about the “My language is the original language” phenomenon, and here we have a sterling example of it. For non-Russian-speaking readers: Valerii A. Chudinov, professor of, um, culturology and management at ГУУ (the State University of Management, founded in 1919 as Московский промышленно-экономический практический институт [Moscow Engineering-Economic Institute], in case you were thinking it was some ’90s fly-by-night creation), although his graduate studies were in physics, has an abiding interest in Slavic mythology and paleography, and when he talks about Slavic paleography he doesn’t mean medieval runes—he means “что славянская письменность и прежде всего русская письменность существуют, по крайней мере, несколько десятков тысяч лет” [‘that Slavic writing, and above all Russian writing, has existed for at least several tens of thousands of years’]. He has found Slavic runes not only on Byzantine icons of the fifth to tenth centuries, but on Greek vases from the second to sixth centuries BC—not to mention the prehistoric cave paintings of France:
And when you begin to work on them [obrabatyvat’ ‘treat, process; refine, polish’] skillfully, because otherwise the inscriptions are not visible, it turns out that on the mammoth is written mamont [‘mammoth’], and on the horse is written dil! This is where the Russian word korkodil [apparently 16th-century Russian chronicles refer to water-dwelling beasts called “korkodily”] comes from. Because the plan of word formation is identical – korkovyi dil – horse from korka [‘crust/rind’], and korka is ‘scale.’ So we don’t have a distortion of an English or Latin word, but rather the reverse: the Latin word is a distortion of the Russian: it was korkodil, and it became krokodil [‘crocodile’].
Mind you, he’s not a dogmatist—he admits that Chinese may possibly be as ancient as Russian (“I haven’t touched on southern Asia”)—but he’s quite sure that all of northern Asia, from Britain to Alaska, “in the Stone Age was entirely Russian.”
I’m quoting from the amused summary at i_crust’s Live Journal page; those wanting to read the full interview (or just see a couple of photographs of the impressively bearded professor) should go here. And if you’re truly interested in his theories, he’s got a new book out.
(Many thanks to frequent commenter Tatyana for the link, which made my day!)