Filin, Fedot

Filin, Fedot [Филин, Федот], b 7 March 1908 in Selino, Tula gubernia, Russia, d 6 May 1982 in Moscow. A Soviet Russian linguist specializing in Slavic linguistics. Filin was a supporter of Nikolai Marr’s theories until their prohibition; subsequently he became a leading figure among orthodox ‘Marxist’ linguists, opposing structuralism, generative linguistics, and, on the whole, most modern Western linguistics. In 1968 Filin became director of the Institute of the Russian Language at the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and, in 1971, editor of the journal Voprosy iazykoznaniia. Filin actively promoted the Russification of the national languages of the USSR. His works pertaining to the Ukrainian language include Leksika russkogo literaturnogo iazyka drevnekievskoi epokhi (The Vocabulary of the Russian Literary Language of the Ancient Kyivan Epoch, 1949), Obrazovanie iazyka vostochnykh slavian (The Formation of the Language of the Eastern Slavs, 1962), and Proiskhozhdenie russkogo, ukrainskogo i belorusskogo iazykov (The Origin of the Russian, Ukrainian, and Belorussian Languages, 1972); among the symposia edited by Filin are Voprosy istoricheskoi leksikologii i leksikografii vostochnoslavianskikh iazykov (Questions of Historical Lexicology and Lexicography of the Eastern Slavic Languages, 1974) and Aktual'nye problemy istoricheskoi leksikologii vostochnoslavianskikh iazykov (Topical Problems in the Historical Lexicology of the Eastern Slavic Languages, 1975). In his historical works he defended the theory of the Common Russian language and the long-lasting Eastern Slavic unity, but stressed local differences as dialectal ones.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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