Miklosich, Franz

Miklosich, Franz (Miklošič), b 20 November 1813 in Radomerščak, Slovenia, d 7 March 1891 in Vienna. Prominent Slovenian Slavist; member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences from 1851. A graduate of Graz University (PH D, 1838) and Vienna University (D JUR, 1841), he was a professor of Slavic philology and literature at Vienna (1850–86), where he established a comparative-historical school of Slavic grammar. Among his students were the Western Ukrainian linguists Mykhailo Osadtsa, Omelian Ohonovsky, and Stepan Smal-Stotsky. His works Vergleichende Grammatik der slavischen Sprachen (4 vols, 1852–75), Die slavischen Ortsnamen aus Appellativen (1872–4), Die türkischen Elemente in den südost- und osteuropäischen Sprachen (1884–90), Etymologisches Wörterbuch der slavischen Sprachen (1886), and Über die Wanderungen der Rumänen in den Dalmatischen Alpen und den Karpaten (1879) are rich in factual information, including information about the Ukrainian language. In his Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Zigeunermundarten (1872–80) he analyzed the Romani language in Ukraine. Miklosich was one of the first Western linguists to treat Ukrainian as a distinct language. He supported the attempts by Galicia's Ukrainians to develop a literary language based on the vernacular and believed that their alphabet should be Latinized. Miklosich's methodology prevailed among Ukrainian linguists in Galicia and Bukovyna until the advent of structuralism. A book of letters to him from Ukrainian Slavists was published in Kyiv in 1988.

Oleksa Horbach

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

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