Zilynsky, Ivan

Zilynsky, Ivan [Зілинський, Іван; Zilyns’kyj] (pseud: Ivan Korostensky), b 22 May 1879 in Krasna (Korostenka), Krosno county, Galicia, d 23 April 1952 in Prague. Phonetician and dialectologist; member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society (NTSh) from 1917, the Dialectological Commission of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences from 1927, and the Language Commission of the Polish Academy of Learning from 1927; father of Orest Zilynsky. Born Ivan Kobasa, he began using his mother's family name as a student at Lviv University (1900–2) and Vienna University (1903–7). After receiving a PH D in 1907, he taught at gymnasiums in Berezhany, Stanyslaviv, and Lviv (1913–14, 1921–6) and lectured at the Lviv (Underground) Ukrainian University (1921–5) and Cracow University (1926–39), where he became a professor of East Slavic and Ukrainian linguistics in 1931. He was a member of the Commission for Research on Ukrainian-Polish Relations of the Ukrainian Scientific Institute in Warsaw and contributed to the Polish linguistic atlas of Subcarpathia (1934). During the Second World War he was in charge of cultural and educational affairs at the Ukrainian Central Committee (1939–40) and chief editor (1940–1) and director (1941–4) of the Ukrainske Vydavnytstvo (Cracow) publishing house. From 1944 he served as a professor of Slavic philology at Prague University. Zilynsky contributed valuable studies on the Lemko dialects, Boiko dialect, and Sian dialects and on Ukrainian phonetics and linguistics to Western Ukrainian, Polish, and émigré Ukrainian periodicals. He devoted his energy to gathering materials for a linguistic atlas of Galicia. These materials were later edited by Yosyp Dzendzelivsky and M. Karas and published as Studia nad dialektologią ukraińską i polską (Studies in Ukrainian and Polish Dialectology, 1975). Zilynsky was also the author of booklets on the classification of Ukrainian dialects (1914, 1926) and the orthography adopted by the NTSh (1922); a map of the Ukrainian dialects (1933); and a book of Ukrainian orthography (4 editions, 1941–3), which was used by Ukrainian schools and publishers in German-occupied Galicia. His most important work, first published in Polish in 1932, was revised and translated as A Phonetic Description of the Ukrainian Language in 1979. Kost Kysilevsky wrote a booklet about him and his work in 1962.

Roman Senkus

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

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