Slavic studies

Image - Slavia Orientalis (2002). Image - Revue des Etudes Slaves (2018). Image - Slavic Review (2011). Image - Canadian Slavonic Papers (2020).

Slavic studies (славістика, словянознавство; slavistyka, slovianoznavstvo). A branch of the humanities and social sciences dealing with the archeology, history, language, literature, culture, folklore, and ethnography of the various Slavic nations and the Slavs as a whole. Until the beginning of the 19th century knowledge about the Slavs was provided by missionaries (eg, Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, Jurai Križanić), travelers, Byzantine, Arab, German, and other chroniclers, and early philologists (in Ukraine, primarily 16th- and 17th-century grammarians and lexicographers, such as Lavrentii Zyzanii, Meletii Smotrytsky, Ivan Uzhevych, Pamva Berynda, and Yepifanii Slavynetsky). The groundwork for modern Slavic studies was prepared by various pre-Romantic archeographers and collectors of Slavic ancient manuscripts, antiquities, and ethnography, as well as by the South and West Slavic liberation struggles. The biblical-textual research of the Czech scholar J. Dobrovský and his Institutiones linguae Slavicae dialecti veteris ... (1822) provided the basis for including the Slavic languages in the study of comparative Indo-European philology. Pavel Šafařík’s two epoch-making works, Slovanske starožitnosti (Slavic Antiquities, 1837) and Slovanský národopis (Slavic Ethnography, 1842), placed the study of the origins and history of the Slavs on a scientific basis and thus served as a turning point in the history of Slavic studies.

In the early 19th-century Russian Empire the ideological influence of Pan-Slavism engendered widespread intellectual interest in Slavic history and ethnography (by V. Lamansky and others) in addition to philology and archeology. In 1811 a Chair of Slavic Literature, held by Mikhail Kachenovsky, was created in Moscow University. In 1835 the minister of education, Sergei Uvarov, established chairs of the ‘history and literature of Slavic dialects’ at all of the empire’s universities. The first generation of Slavists (young university graduates, including the Ukrainians Osyp Bodiansky, Izmail Sreznevsky, and Viktor Hryhorovych) were sent abroad to study and do research in various Slavic countries and Western and Central European universities.

With the establishment of the Russian chairs, a Slavic chair at the Collège de France in Paris (1840, first held by Adam Mickiewicz), and chairs of Slavic philology at Vienna University (1849, held by the pioneering Slavists Franz Miklosich, Vatroslav Jagić, and Nikolai Trubetskoi) and other universities in Austria-Hungary and Germany, Slavic studies entered their modern stage of development. Until 1918 Vienna, with its university, academy of sciences, and institutes of Slavic philology (est 1886) and Eastern European history (est 1907), was a major center, where many Western Ukrainian and other European Slavists were trained. In the interwar period Prague (with its Slavic Institute), Cracow, Warsaw, Berlin, Breslau, and Leipzig filled the same role. Saint Petersburg (Leningrad), Moscow, and Kyiv have remained important research centers.

Large-scale development and specialization in Slavic studies has occurred during the 20th century. Since the end of the First World War, and particularly after the Second World War, Slavic studies institutes, departments, and chairs have been created at many Western universities. The most prominent centers in the English-speaking world have been the University of London, with its School of Slavonic Studies (est 1915), Columbia University, Harvard University, and the University of California at Berkeley.

Major books on comparative Slavic grammar have been written by Franz Miklosich (4 vols, 1852–75), V. Vondrák (1906, 1908), J. Mikkola (3 vols, 1913–50), V. Porzhezinsky (1916), Grigorii Ilinsky (1916), A. Meillet (1924; 2nd edn 1934), A. Vaillant (5 vols, 1950–77), Samuil Bernshtein (2 vols, 1961, 1974), the Ukrainian linguists George Yurii Shevelov (1964) and Oleksander Melnychuk (1966), Zdzisław Stieber (1969), and S. Ivšić (1970). Comparative Slavic etymological dictionaries have been compiled by Franz Miklosich (1886), Erich Berneker (1908, 1914), L. Sadnik and R. Aitzetmüller (1963–), F. Koneczny (1973–), F. Sławski (1974–), and Oleg Trubachev (1974–). Tadeusz Lehr-Spławińki and A. Brückner (1929), M. Weingart (1937), R. Trautmann (1947), R. de Bray (1951; 3rd expanded edn 1980), T. Lehr-Spławiński, Władysław Kuraszkiewicz, F. Sławski (1954), and K. Horálek (1955) have written survey histories of the Slavic languages. Survey histories of Slavic cultures have been produced by Timofii Florinsky (1895), Lubor Niederle (1909), the Ukrainian historian Dmytro Doroshenko (1922), and P. Diehls (1963). With the exception of the synthetic comparative histories of Aleksandr Pypin and V. Spasovich (1880–4), J. Karásek (1906), J. Máchal (1922–9), F. Wollman (1928), E. Georgiev (1958–63), and the Ukrainian scholar Dmytro Chyzhevsky (1952, 1968), the study of Slavic literatures has been limited to national histories or the history of general developments and literary currents in relation to the non-Slavic world. Synthetic studies have been written on Slavic folk culture by Kazimierz Moszyński (3 vols, 1929–39) and on Slavic archeology by Niederle (11 vols, 1902–25) and members of the Polish archeological-linguistic (Lehr-Spławiński [1946], G. Labuda [2 vols, 1960, 1964]) and anthropological (J. Czekanowski [1957]) schools.

Thousands of Slavic studies monographs have been published around the world. Research has also been published in a multitude of scholarly serials and journals, such as Archiv für slavische Philologie (Berlin, 42 vols, 1876–1929), Russkii filologicheskii vestnik (Warsaw, 78 vols, 1879–1918), Zhurnal Ministerstva narodnago prosveshcheniia (Saint Petersburg, 1834–1917), Prace filologiczne (Warsaw, since 1885), Izvestiia Otdeleniia russkogo iazyka i slovesnosti Akademii nauk (Saint Petersburg, 1896–1927) and its Sbornik (101 vols, 1867–1928), Slovanský přehled (Prague, since 1899), Rocznik slawistyczny (Cracow, since 1908), Južnoslovenski filolog (Belgrade, since 1913), Slavia occidentalis (Poznań, since 1921), Revue des études slaves (Paris, since 1921), Slavia (Prague, since 1922), The Slavonic and East European Review (London, since 1922), Zeitschrift für slavische Philologie (Heidelberg, since 1925), Slavische Rundschau (Prague, Berlin, and Vienna, 17 vols, 1929–40), Byzantinoslavica (Prague, since 1929), Slavic Review (United States, since 1941), Slavia antiqua (Poznań, since 1948), Pamiętnik słowianski (Warsaw, since 1949), Uchenye zapiski Instituta slavianovedeniia (Moscow, since 1949), Oxford Slavonic Papers (since 1950), Wiener slavistisches Jahrbuch (Vienna, since 1950), Osteuropa (Stuttgart, since 1951), Ricerche slavistiche (Rome, since 1952), Slavia Orientalis (Warsaw, since 1952), Scando-Slavica (Copenhagen, since 1954), Studia slavica (Budapest, since 1955), Canadian Slavonic Papers (Canada, since 1956), Die Welt der Slaven (Wiesbaden, Köln–Vienna, and Munich, since 1956), Études slaves et est-européennes / Slavic and East European Studies (Montreal, 1956–76), Zeitschrift für Slawistik (Berlin, since 1956), Slovo (Zagreb, since 1957), Slovanské štúdie (Bratislava, since 1957), The Slavic and East European Journal (United States, since 1957), Romanoslavica (Bucharest, since 1958), International Journal of Slavic Linguistics and Poetics (The Hague, Lisse, and Columbus, Ohio, since 1959), Slavica Pragensia (Prague, since 1959), Slavica (Debrecen, since 1961), Voprosy istorii slavian (Voronezh, since 1963), Acta Baltico-Slavica (Białystok, since 1964), Sovetskoe slavianovedenie (Moscow, since 1965), Anzeiger für slavische Philologie (Wiesbaden and Graz, since 1966), Slavica Slovaca (Bratislava, since 1966), Canadian-American Slavic Studies (since 1967), Slavica Wratislaviensia (Wrocław, since 1969), Zbornik za slavistiku (Novi Sad, since 1970), Folia Slavica (Columbus, Ohio, since 1977), International Review of Slavic Linguistics (Edmonton, since 1979), and Die Slawischen Sprachen (Salzburg, since 1982).

In Ukraine. For practical reasons and because of political circumstances, Slavic studies in Ukraine have not focused on the Slavs in general, but on individual Slavic languages and literatures, especially Old Church Slavonic, Russian, and Polish. Until the Soviet period many leading Slavists at universities in Ukraine were Russian (eg, Aleksei Sobolevsky, Nikolai Durnovo) or Polish (eg, Tadeusz Lehr-Spławiński and Zdzisław Stieber in interwar Lviv). Among Ukrainian scholars, pioneering contributions to the study of comparative Slavic linguistics were made by Oleksander Potebnia in the 19th century and Mykola Hrunsky and Leonid Bulakhovsky in the 20th century. After 1946 Bulakhovsky and his colleagues in Kyiv (eg, Oleksander Melnychuk, Volodymyr Kolomiiets, Ivan Bilodid, V. Skliarenko, Vitalii Rusanivsky, Zinaida Veselovska) created a major center of Slavic accentological and syntactic research. A former student of Bulakhovsky, George Yurii Shevelov of Columbia University, made significant contributions to Slavic phonology.

From 1957 Slavic studies in Ukraine were co-ordinated by the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (now NANU) Presidium’s Ukrainian Committee of Slavists, headed by Leonid Bulakhovsky (1957–61), Maksym Rylsky (1961–4), Ivan Bilodid (1964–81), and Vitalii Rusanivsky (from 1981). In addition to the many scholars of Slavic languages and literatures in Ukraine, in 1980 there were 124 professional Slavic historians (including many not specializing in Russian history): 34 in Kyiv, 25 in Lviv, 13 in Kharkiv, 13 in Uzhhorod, 8 in Odesa, 5 in Donetsk, and 5 in Lutsk.

Ukrainian Slavists have published in many Ukrainian, Russian, and foreign periodicals and collections and participated in many national and international Slavic studies conferences. The Ninth International Congress of Slavists was held in Kyiv in 1983. The Ukrainian-language serials devoted to Slavic studies have been the journal Slovo (Lviv, 1936–8), Pytannia slov'ians’koho movoznavstva (Lviv, 8 issues, 1948–63), Slov'ians’ke movoznavstvo (Kyiv, 4 vols, 1958–62), Mizhslov'ians’ki literaturni vzaiemyny (Kyiv, 3 vols, 1958–63), Slov'ians’ke literaturoznavstvo i fol’klorystyka (Kyiv, since 1965), and Problemy slov'ianoznavstva (formerly Ukraïns’ke slov'ianoznavstvo, Lviv, since 1976 [no. 39 in 1989]).

Old Church Slavonic studies. Until the Revolution of 1917 textbooks of Old Church Slavonic (OCS) were available only in Russian in Russian-ruled Ukraine. In Soviet Ukraine in the 1920s, such scholars as Mykola Hrunsky, Petro Buzuk, and Hryhorii Holoskevych produced studies of OCS writing and grammar in Ukrainian. In the 1930s the Stalinist suppression of Ukrainian culture and the exclusion of OCS as a subject of study in postsecondary schools brought about a decline in the area. Conditions improved significantly in the postwar period, particularly after Joseph Stalin’s death. Textbooks of OCS have been written by Hrunsky (1941, 1946), K. Trofymovych (1958), V. Besedina-Nevzorova (1962), M. Stanivsky (1964), and A. Maiboroda (1975). Studies in OCS morphology have been produced by M. Boichuk (1952), Trofymovych (1958), and others.

In Austrian- and interwar Polish-ruled Western Ukraine, studies of Old Church Slavonic texts and language were produced by Omelian Kaluzhniatsky, P. Kopko, Ilarion Svientsitsky, Ivan Ohiienko, Oleksander Kolessa, Ivan Pankevych, and Yaroslav Hordynsky. OCS grammars for Ukrainian gymnasiums and theological seminaries were written by Mykhailo Vozniak (1925), Spyridon Karkhut (1931), A. Hryhoriev (1938), and N. Rusnak (1943) in Western Ukraine, and by the émigré scholars Jaroslav Rudnyckyj (1947) and Vasyl Lev (1956).

Russian studies. Before the Revolution of 1917 many prominent Russian specialists (eg, Ivan Rizhsky, Izmail Sreznevsky, Mykhailo Maksymovych, Nikolai Lavrovsky, Oleksander Potebnia, Mykhailo Khalansky, Aleksei Sobolevsky, Dmitrii Ovsianiko-Kulikovsky, P. Vladimirov, Dmitrii Zelenin, Nikolai Durnovo, Mykola Dashkevych, Stepan Kulbakin, Mykola Sumtsov, Volodymyr Peretts, Mykola Hrunsky, Mykola Gudzii, Boris Liapunov, and Vasilii Mochulsky) taught at universities in Russian-ruled Ukraine and influenced the development of Ukrainian studies. After the revolution many Russian specialists emigrated to the West (eg, Dmytro Chyzhevsky) or to Russia. Others were repressed during the Stalinist terror. In interwar Lviv Ilarion Svientsitsky and V. Vavryk were Russian specialists.

Because of the Stalinist nationality policy (the promotion of Russian as the second native language in Ukraine), from the 1930s Russian studies had a preferred status in Soviet Ukraine. University departments of the Russian language also doubled as departments of general linguistics, especially after 1945, and Russian subjects were allotted increasingly more space in journals devoted to Ukrainian philology, such as Ukraïns’ka mova i literatura v shkoli, Movoznavstvo, and Radians’ke literaturoznavstvo, in addition to having their own Russian-language serials (eg, Voprosy russkoi literatury, Voprosy russkogo iazykoznaniia). The main centers of Russian studies were in Kyiv and Kharkiv (and, to a lesser extent, Odesa), which trained the Russian specialists teaching in Dnipropetrovsk and (after 1945) in Lviv and Chernivtsi.

In the Soviet period efforts were initially applied to the writing of postsecondary textbooks, some of which have been used outside Ukraine. Among the many books published were ones on the history of the Russian language by Leonid Bulakhovsky (1929, 1931, 1935; 2 vols, 1941, 1948), Oleksnader Finkel and M. Bazhenov (1941), and F. Huzhva (1967); on Russian historical grammar by Leonid Bulakhovsky (1921–31, 1935) and N. Bukatevich, S. Savitskaia, and L. Usacheva (1974); on Russian historical syntax by Ya. Sprynchak (2 vols, 1960, 1964); on the history of standard Russian by V. Brodskaia and S. Tsalenchuk (1951) and G. Shkliarevsky (1959, 1967, 1968); on Ukrainian and Russian comparative grammar by T. Baimut, Boichuk, M. Volynsky, Mykhailo Zhovtobriukh, T. Malyna, and Stepan Samiilenko (1957, 1961), and by M. Britsyn, Zhovtobriukh, and Maiboroda (1978); and on East Slavic comparative grammar by Bukatevich, I. Hrytsiutenko, H. Mizhevska, M. Pavliuk, Savitskaia, and F. Smahlenko (1958). A Russian etymological dictionary was compiled by H. Tsyhanenko (1970).

Russianists in Ukraine studied various aspects of the Russian language, such as phonetics (P. Kryvoruchko, N. Yakovenko, L. Skalozub, L. Tsyptsiura), morphology (H. Kyrychenko, A. Hermanovych, N. Vakulenko), word formation (I. Markovsky, E. Okhomush, V. Franchuk), lexicology (I. Sydorenko, V. Syrotina, M. Muravytska, A. Matveev), intonation (Yakovenko), stylistics (Volodymyr Masalsky, L. Loseva, L. Rikhter, S. Puhach), dialectology (M. Tikhomirova, Usacheva, Loseva, V. Stolbunova, L. Buznik, Britsyn), and especially syntax (V. Borkovsky, L. Kirina, V. Rinberg, E. Kuzmicheva, H. Pavlovska, H. Chumakov, R. Shvets, A. Akishyna, N. Arvat, M. Karpenko, Finkel, Huzhva, R. Boldyrev, Loseva, Kryvoruchko, M. Ionina, V. Kononenko).

Ukrainian specialists on Russian literature wrote about many writers, particularly Nikolai Gogol (Halyna Izhakevych, N. Krutikova, D. Miroshnyk, I. Zaslavsky), Mikhail Lermontov (D. Iofanov, I. Zaslavsky), Aleksandr Pushkin (Leonid Bulakhovsky, Mykola Gudzii, Maksym Rylsky, Oleksander Biletsky, Krutikova), Anton Chekhov (V. Kapustin, Krutikova, Mykhilo Levchenko), Nikolai Nekrasov (V. Malkin, Yevhen Shabliovsky, Dmytro Chaly), Leo Tolstoy (A. Chicherin, Krutikova), Maksim Gorky (Shkliarevsky, O. Burmistrenko, Karpenko, Syrotina, N. Zhuk), Vladimir Maiakovsky (Aron Trostianetsky, H. Makarov), M. Sholokhov (S. Koltakov), A. Tolstoi (T. Chertorizhskaia, V. Verbytska, L. Zvereva), K. Fedin (H. Sodol, V. Oleshkevych), A. Fadeev (Izhakevych, S. Tsypin, Tsalenchuk, I. Kruk, H. Samiilenko), L. Leonov (V. Ruban, Kruk, Marharyta Malynovska), V. Shishkov (M. Sydorenko), and A. Tvardovsky (Andrii Khvylia), as well as the Russian works of Hryhorii Kvitka-Osnovianenko (T. Velychko), Taras Shevchenko (P. Petrova, Chertorizhskaia, L. Kodatska, and others), and other Ukrainian writers. A two-volume multiauthor monograph on Ukrainian-Russian literary relations (ed Krutikova et al) appeared in Kyiv in 1987.

Polish studies. Until 1939 Lviv University, the Ossolineum Institute, and numerous Polish scholarly journals and learned societies made Lviv a major center of Polish scholarship, with specialists in the fields of Polish language (A. Małecki, W. Taszycki, S. Rospond, Stefan Hrabec), literature (R. Pilat, E. Kucharski, J. Kleiner, K. Kolbuszewski, R. Ingarden), and ethnography (A. Kalina, Adam Fiszer). Lviv’s Ukrainian philologists (eg, Omelian Ohonovsky, P. Kopko, Kyrylo Studynsky, Vasyl Shchurat, Ivan Franko) also wrote frequently on Polish subjects. In the 1920s and early 1930s the Soviet Ukrainian scholar Serhii Rodzevych wrote about Polish literature. After the Second World War Galicia’s Polish scholars were repatriated, and only a few Ukrainian specialists in the Polish language (eg, Lukiia Humetska, Mykhailo Onyshkevych) and literature (eg, Teoktyst Pachovsky, Roman Kyrchiv) remained active in Lviv. Kyiv became a major postwar center of studies in Polish literature (Maksym Rylsky, V. Vedina, Hryhorii Verves, Yu. Bulakhovska, O. Tsybenko, S. Levinska, P. Verbytsky, I. Lozynsky, R. Radyshevsky) and language (Orest Tkachenko, M. Pavliuk, Levinska, Mariia Pylynsky, Vitaii Rusanivsky). A few Polonists were active in Chernivtsi (eg, V. Fedorishchev). Postwar émigré scholars who wrote on Polish linguistic subjects included George Yurii Shevelov and Oleksa Horbach.

Belarusian studies. Belarusian studies were less developed in Ukraine. Until 1939 they were cultivated in Lviv by scholars such as Ilarion Svientsitsky and L. Ossowski. In Soviet Ukraine scholars such as Petro Buzuk in the 1920s and Lukiia Humetska, Zinaida Veselovska, V. Kupriienko, H. Pivtorak, I. Vykhovanets, and A. Nepokupny in the postwar period studied Belarusian linguistic problems. In the West, George Yurii Shevelov also contributed to Belarusian linguistic studies.

Slovak, Czech, and Sorbian studies. In the early 20th century, Slovak ethnography and history were studied in Lviv by scholars such as Volodymyr Hnatiuk and Stepan Tomashivsky. In the interwar period Slovak linguistic subjects were studied at Lviv University by Zdzisław Stieber. In the postwar period scholars such as Mykhailo Onyshkevych and V. Andel (author of a textbook on the Slovak language [1972]) in Lviv, Yosyp Dzendzelivsky and M. Symulyk in Uzhhorod, and V. Kolomiiets-Melnychuk, V. Skrypka, and M. Haidai in Kyiv wrote on the Slovak language. Slovak literature was studied by H. Syvachenko and others. Scholars living in Slovakia, such as Mykhailo Molnar and Mikuláš Nevrlý in Bratislava and Ivan Matsynsky in Prešov, also wrote on Slovak literature and Slovak-Ukrainian literary relations.

In the prerevolutionary period and the 1920s the main centers of Czech philological studies were Kharkiv (Leonid Bulakhovsky) and Kyiv (Timofii Florinsky, Andronyk Stepovych, Yevhen Rykhlik). In the postwar period Kyiv remained the main research center of Czech linguistics (Bulakhovsky, Oleksander Melnychuk, Kolomiiets-Melnychuk, R. Kravchuk, V. Pitinov, V. Tsviakh, Y. Andersh), literature (P. Hontar, V. Shevchuk, Fedir Pohrebennyk, I. Zhuravska, V. Motorny, Syvachenko, and others), and folklore (Skrypka, Haidai). The Czech language was also studied by Lviv scholars, such as Trofymovych, H. Lastovetska, Andel, and Mykola Pushkar (author of textbooks on modern Czech [1963], historical phonetics [1965], and historical morphology [1970, 1972]).

In the interwar period the Sorbian languages were researched by the Lviv Polish linguists Taszycki and Zdzisław Stieber. In the postwar period they were studied in Drohobych by Ivan Kovalyk and in Lviv by Trofymovych (author of a textbook on the Upper Sorbian language [1964] and coauthor, with Motorny, of books on the history of Sorbian literature [1970, 1987]).

Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian studies. In central Ukraine the Southern Slavic languages were studied in the context of Old Church Slavonic at Kharkiv University, Odesa University, and Kyiv University by scholars such as P. Biliarsky, Viktor Hryhorovych, Aleksandr Kochubinsky, Boris Liapunov, Vatroslav Jagić, and M. Popruzhenko. Marin Drinov of Kharkiv University wrote pioneering works on Bulgarian and South Slavic history. Bulgarian studies were later pursued in Kharkiv by Stepan Kulbakin and Leonid Bulakhovsky, and in Kyiv by Timofii Florinsky, K. Radchenko, and Andronyk Stepovych. In the 1930s Dmytro Sheludko wrote on Bulgarian literature. In the postwar period modern Bulgarian was studied by Samuil Bernshtein (author of an atlas of Bulgarian dialects in the USSR [1958]), M. Pavliuk, N. Kossek, S. Ovcharuk, T. Nikolaevskaia, I. Stoianov, and others. Studies of Bulgarian literature were written by V. Zakharzhevska, N. Shumada, O. Shpylova, M. Golberg, O. Hrybovska, M. Maliarchuk, and others. O. Mordvintsev studied Bulgarian folklore and ethnography.

Serbo-Croatian studies were pursued in the prerevolutionary period by Stepan Kulbakin, Timofii Florinsky, Radchenko, Andronyk Stepovych, and Volodymyr Hnatiuk. In the postwar period I. Zheliezniak in Kharkiv and Z. Rozova in Lviv specialized in the Serbo-Croatian language. Serbian and Croatian literatures were studied by Yevhen Kyryliuk, V. Hrymych, P. Rudiakov, I. Yushchuk, and others. Serbo-Croatian folk songs in Ukraine were studied by M. Huts.

(See also Linguistics, Literature studies, Polish language in Ukraine, Russian language in Ukraine, and Slovak-Ukrainian linguistic relations.)

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Oleksa Horbach, Roman Senkus

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]




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