Pavlovsky, Oleksii

Pavlovsky, Oleksii [Павловський, Олексій; Pavlovs'kyj, Oleksij], b 1773 in Shutivka (now Sosnivka), near Hlukhiv, Nizhyn regiment, d after 1826. Ukrainian philologist and linguist. A graduate of the Kyivan Mohyla Academy (1789) and the Saint Petersburg Teachers’ Seminary (1793), he had ties with the Novhorod-Siverskyi patriotic circle and probably worked in the civil service under Prince Oleksander Bezborodko in Saint Petersburg. In the 1790s he began writing a survey of the Ukrainian language. Completed in 1805 and published in Saint Petersburg in 1818 as a 114-page ‘grammar’ of the ‘Little Russian dialect,’ it was the first work describing the basic phonetics and morphology of vernacular Ukrainian based on the northern Left-Bank dialects. It was also the first work to render the voiced i in a phonetic orthography as the letter ‘i’, and provided a valuable dictionary of 1,130 words and phrases taken from proverbs, maxims, and poetic works. Its description of the Ukrainian people and their history, language, and literature linked the ideas in Istoriia Rusov with those of Ukrainian pre-Romanticism. In 1822 Pavlovsky published a brochure in reply to Nikolai Tsertelev’s review of his book.

Shevel'ov, Iu. ‘“Hramatyka,” shcho nalezhyt' do istoriï literatury,’ Slovo: Zbirnyk, 2 (New York 1964)
Nimchuk, V. (ed). Z istoriï ukraïns'koï movy: Do 150-richchia ‘Grammatiki’ O. Pavlovs'koho (Kyiv 1972)

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

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