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Ukrainian Language in the First Half of the Twentieth Century (1900-1941): Its State and Status

by George Shevelov Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute
Pub Date:
09/1989
ISBN:
9780916458300
Format:
Hbk 256 pages
Price:
AU$57.99 NZ$60.00
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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The first half of the twentieth century was in many respects crucial for the evolution and character of Modern Standard Ukrainian. Prior to World War I, the Ukraine was divided between the Russian and the Austro-Hungarian Empires. The standard language lacked uniformity even though the primacy of the standard established in Russian-dominated Ukraine was theoretically accepted in Austrian-ruled Galicia and Bukovina. Up to 1905 the tsarist government forbade the public use of Ukrainian beyond belles-lettres, and excluded it from education until 1917. In the interwar period the country was divided among the USSR, Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia, and social and cultural conditions differed drastically. Shevelov's book, based on extensive study of factual material, traces the development of Modern Standard Ukrainian in relation to the political, legal, and cultural conditions within each region. It examines the relation of the standard language to the underlying dialects, the ways in which the standard language was enriched, and the complex struggle for the unity of the language and sometimes for its very existence. While shunning excess linguistic terminology, the book presents the essentials of linguistic development in connection with broad political and cultural conditions.
George Y. Shevelov was Professor Emeritus of Slavic Philology, Columbia University. He graduated from the University of Kharkiv, the Ukraine and later taught at that university, at the Ukrainian Free University in Munich, Germany, the University of Lund, Sweden, and at Harvard University. He published many books on Slavic philology, linguistics, and the history of literature and over three hundred articles and reviews by him have appeared in American and European scholarly publications. His books on the Ukrainian language include The Syntax of Modern Literary Ukrainian, Die Ukrainische Schriftsprache 1798-1965, and A Historical Phonology of the Ukrainian Language. He held honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Alberta, Canada and the University of Lund, Sweden.