Levytsky, Yosyp

Levytsky, Yosyp [Левицький, Йосип; Levyc’kyj, Josyp], b 1801 in Tovmachyk, Kolomyia circle, Galicia, d 24 May 1860 in Nahuievychi, Sambir circle, Galicia. Writer, philologist, publicist, and Ukrainian Catholic priest. After completing his theological studies in Vienna he taught Church Slavonic in Peremyshl (1825–53) and served as curator of several parishes. His translations of German literature (Johann Christoph Friedrich Schiller and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) and his own fables and verses began to appear in yazychiie in 1822. In 1834 he wrote Grammatik der ruthenischen oder kleinrussischen Sprache in Galizien. Levytsky believed that Church Slavonic should be the basis for literary Ukrainian, although the revised version of this grammar, Grammatika iazyka russkogo v Galitsii (Grammar of the Ruthenian Language in Galicia, 1849 and 1850), was closer to the vernacular. In his grammar and in Priruchnyi slovar slaveno-pol’skii (Slavonic-Polish Reference Dictionary, 1830) he intermixed elements of the Ukrainian vernacular (Sian dialects of the Peremyshl region) with elements of Church Slavonic and Russian. In the 1830s he engaged in polemics with Yosyp Lozynsky, criticizing particularly his proposals to adopt the Latin alphabet for Ukrainian.

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

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