Sixth Polivanov Readings open in Smolensk

The Sixth Polivanov Readings opened Tuesday in Smolensk (350 km west of Moscow). Yevgeny Polivanov (1891-1938), one of the major Russian linguists of the 20th century, was a native of the Smolensk region.

The readings are attended by leading philologists from the universities of Moscow, St Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Yaroslavl, Krasnoyarsk, Kaluga, Rostov-on-Don, Vladimir, Minsk, Mogilev, Vitebsk, Kiev, Simferopol.

The range of interests of the prominent Orientalist imprisoned and executed by the Stalinist regime was exceptionally wide. In particular, he studied comparative grammar of Indo-European languages, Japanese and Chinese languages, phonetics and phonology.

In addition, Polivanov studied the theory of linguistic borrowings, sociolinguistics, methods of teaching Russian in Oriental countries and creation of alphabets for non-literate peoples of the former USSR.

The scholar was also engaged in creating first readers, grammars and dictionaries for schoolchildren of Middle Asia.

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