Buzuk, Petro

Buzuk, Petro [Бузук, Петро], b 1 July 1891 in the village of Ternivka, Tyraspil county, Bessarabia, d 7 December 1938 in Vologda, RSFSR. A prominent Ukrainian linguist, professor at Odesa University and Minsk University (from 1925), and director of the Institute of Linguistics of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences from 1931. Buzuk’s first works on general linguistics were compilations and psycholinguistic in character (eg, Ocherki po psikhologii iazyka [Essays on the Psychology of Language, 1918]). Later he turned to researching Church Slavonic and comparative Slavic grammar. He studied Old-Ukrainian records such as the Lutsk Gospel, the Arkhangelsk Gospel, and Hryhorii Skovoroda’s works. He published several series of etymological studies. He wrote the comprehensive Narys istoriï ukraïns'koï movy (Outline of the History of the Ukrainian Language, 2nd edn, 1927) and was the first to attempt to apply the principles of linguistic geography to Ukraine and Belarus in his ‘Diialektolohichnyi narys Poltavshchyny’ (A Dialectological Study of the Poltava Region, Ukraïns'kyi diialektolohichnyi zbirnyk, 2, 1929) and Sproba linhvistychnai heohrafii Belarusi (An Attempt at a Linguistic Geography of Belarus, 1928). He investigated Ukrainian and Belarusian dialects and described Ukrainian-Belarusian and Ukrainian-Moldavian linguistic relations. In his ‘Sproba historyi dahistarychnai epokh slavianskai fanetyki’ (An Attempt at the History of Slavic Phonetics in the Prehistoric Period, Zapiski Addzelu humanitarnykh nauk, 2, Minsk, 1928) Buzuk pioneered the historical-chronological approach to the Common Slavic language. Under the pseudonym of Rosich he published literary and critical works in Belarusian and popularized Ukrainian literature in Belarus. After his arrest in 1933, he lived (according to Soviet sources) in Vologda and taught at the local pedagogical institute. He was arrested again by the NKVD in 1937 and sentenced to be executed. He was posthumously ‘rehabilitated’ in 1956.

[This article was updated in 2021.]

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