Vilhelm Ludwig Peter Thomsen
– May 12
) was a Danish linguist
. In 1893, he deciphered the Turkic Orkhon inscriptions
in advance of his rival, Wilhelm Radloff
. He also studied the origins of Russian and Finnish.
He is honored on a stela set up in central Copenhagen along with three other Danish pioneers of modern linguistics, Rasmus Rask, N.L. Westergaard, and Karl Verner.
His name is given to the the street where The National Library of Turkey, in Ankara, Turkey is located : Wilhelm Thomsen Caddesi (= Wilhelm Thomsen Street). This is apparently due to the fact that Thomsen's deciphering of the Orkhon Turkic, was a definitive contribution during the formative period of modern turkish national identity, at the turn of the century.