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Ivan Zakharov

We begin this classic reprint series with the publication of Grammatika man’chzhurskogo iazyka (A Grammar of the Manchu Language, 1879) by Ivan Il’ich Zakharov. Despite the fact that a number of grammars, sketches and textbooks of the Classical Manchu language appeared in the twentieth century, Zakharov’s grammar remains an important contribution to the study of the language and is frequently consulted by specialists. Unfortunately, in contrast to another major contribution by Zakharov, Polnyi man’chzhursko-russkii slovar’ (A Complete Manchu- Russian Dictionary, 1875), his Manchu Grammar was never reprinted and remains a bibliographical rarity. His grammar does not comply with modern methodology as regards language description; rather, he based his approach on the conventions of his day as found in Latin grammars. Despite this, and other minor shortcomings, Zakharov’s grammar contains a mine of valuable information. At the time Zakharov wrote his grammar, Manchu was still in use to a limited extent. This reprint of Zakharov’s grammar should continue to be seen as a useful resource by scholars for generations to come.

Zep Honselaar

This book offers a synchronic description of the dialect of a village in the western part of the Pskov oblast (north-western Russia). The dialects spoken there have long since attracted the interest of linguists. This is mainly due to features of the Old Novgorod dialect preserved in that area, such as the absence of the Second Palatalisation and cokan’e, i.e. non-distinction of dental and palatal affricates. The dialect of Ostrovcy shows a high concentration of such features. The book is relevant in yet another respect: it is one of the very few extensive descriptions of a Russian dialect. The description is based on fieldwork by the author in recent years. It concentrates on phonology, morphology and lexicon, but also gives an account of the most interesting syntactic and semantic characteristics.

Adriana Pols

This study examines the correlation between form and meaning of Russian prefixed imperfective verbs ending in -át'/-ját' and -yvat'/-ivat' which are derived from one and the same root (-gotóvit', podgotovlját'/podgotávlivat'). The following questions are discussed: Which factors determine the use of either the form -át' or the form in -yvat'? What is the role of the opposition determinate/indeterminate in verbs which do not express linear motion? What is the relation between prefix and suffix? (-xvalit', vosxvalját', vyxvalját'/vyxválivat', naxválivat').Is there a tendency for forms in -át' to be replaced by forms in -yvat' (prisposoblját' by prisposáblivat') or vice versa (obsú^zivat' by obsu^zdát')?
Besides present-day Russian, literary, journalistic and scientific publications from the 19th century have been examined in order to establish the dynamics of the linguistic development.