Maksymovychivka

Maksymovychivka [Максимовичівка; Maksymovyčivka]. An etymological spelling first used by Mykhailo Maksymovych in his three editions of Ukrainian folk songs (1827, 1834, 1849). Its principles were set forth in his article on orthography and pronunciation in the 1827 edition and in an 1842 letter to Hryhorii Kvitka-Osnovianenko. In order to distinguish the Ukrainian language from Russian and yet make it recognizable to Russian readers, Maksymovych retained the etymological letters ы, и, Special font, and ъ (eg, sыnъ, robиtи, lSpecial fontъ‘son, to work, forest’); rendered the letters o, e, i, and и, when pronounced as i, simply with a diacritical mark (eg, vônъ, mêdъ, dobrи ‘he, honey, good’ pl), and used ъ after labial consonants before iotated vowels (eg, Special fontzžae, krovъju ‘(s)he drives in, with blood’), ë instead of йo and ьo (eg, ëho, sëho ‘his, of this’), and e for both e and je. Platon Lukashevych used the maksymovychivka in his 1836 song collection, and Panteleimon Kulish wrote in it for a while, but almost all writers in Russian-ruled Ukraine rejected it. In Galicia, Bukovyna, and Transcarpathia, however, a modified version (mainly with regard to etymological markings and the use of -l endings in the past tense [eg, хodylъ instead of xodyv ‘he went’]) was adopted by the 1848 Congress of Ruthenian Scholars in Lviv and was used in the grammars of Mykhailo Osadtsa (1862), Hryhorii Shashkevych (1865), P. Diachan (1865), Omelian Partytsky (1873), and Omelian Ohonovsky (1889). In Galicia and Bukovyna the maksymovychivka remained in force in the schools until 1895, and in the Russophile press and books until the 1930s. Yevhen Zhelekhivsky's Ukrainian-German dictionary (1886) and Stepan Smal-Stotsky's Ruthenian grammar (1893) played a decisive role in its withdrawal from the schools and its replacement with the zhelekhivka orthography. In Transcarpathia, however, an etymological spelling based on the maksymovychivka was sanctioned by Oleksander Dukhnovych's grammar (1853), László Csopey's primers of the 1880s, and the school questionnaire issued in Uzhhorod in 1920. It remained current there because of the archaic phonetics of the Transcarpathian dialects and the unfamiliarity of Transcarpathian populist writers with literary Ukrainian. Ivan Pankevych's (1923, 1927) and Avhustyn Voloshyn's (1907, 1920) grammars were based on this orthography.

Oleksa Horbach

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]




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