Zhelekhivsky, Yevhen

Zhelekhivsky, Yevhen or Zhelekhovsky [Желехівський, Євген; Želexivs'kyj, Jevhen], b 24 December 1844 in Khyshevychi, Lviv circle, Galicia, d 2 March 1885 in Stanyslaviv, Galicia. Lexicographer, folklorist, and community figure. After graduating from Lviv University (1869) he taught languages at Ukrainian gymnasiums in Peremyshl (1870–2) and Stanyslaviv (1872–85). He was a founding member of the Prosvita societies in Lviv and Stanyslaviv. Zhelekhivsky is renowned for his Ukrainisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch, one of the most important Ukrainian lexicographical works of the 19th century. Letters A–O were published in fascicles from 1882 on and in one volume in Lviv in 1884. Letters P–Ja were edited and supplemented by Sofron Nedilsky and published posthumously as a second volume in 1886. The dictionary, which he began to compile in 1869, has approximately 65,000 words and is based on the earlier Ukrainian dictionaries of Mykola Zakrevsky, Mykhailo Levchenko, Fortunat Piskunov, and Kalenyk Sheikovsky; on published ethnographic collections; on contemporary literary and scholarly works and grammars; and on vernacular lexical data recorded by 92 correspondents, mostly from the southwestern dialects. It also includes puristic (see Purism) terminological neologisms, many of them nonproductive. With its phonetic orthography (see Zhelekhivka) it played a key role in forcing out the etymological spelling and yazychiie in Galicia and Bukovyna. The dictionary was reprinted in Munich in 1982.

Roman Senkus

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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