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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.