THE RUSYN LANGUAGE:

RECENT ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT CHALLENGES

 

Introduction

The Rusyn language is considered one of the newest Slavic literary languages. Together with Russian, Belarusan, and Ukrainian, Rusyn is an East Slavic language that functions as the national language of Carpatho-Rusyns, a stateless people living within a historic territory called Carpathian Rus’.

 

Historic Carpathian Rus’ refers to lands within present-day southeastern Poland (the Lemko Region), northeastern Slovakia (the Prešov Region), far western Ukraine (the Transcarpathian oblast), and the north central Romania (Maramures,). There are also a few communities of Rusyn speakers in northeastern Hungary, northern Serbia (Vojvodina), and far northeastern Croatia (Srem). The number of Rusyn-speakers and/or persons who identify as Rusyns in the above-noted countries ranges from an official figure (according to recent census data, 2001-2002) of 90,500 to unofficial estimates that are as high as 890,000. 1

 

The current status and present challenges facing the Rusyn language are in part a function of the group’s complicated evolution as a stateless people living since the late eighteenth century in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and from 1918 to 1989 in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, the Soviet Union, and Romania. During this entire period Carpatho-Rusyns, regardless of the state in which they lived, struggled to find an appropriate literary language. The problem in one sense was straightforward: (1) to create a literary language based on the local Carpatho-Rusyn vernacular; or (2) to adopt a related and already codified Slavic language (Russian or Ukrainian). The debates about such choices came to be known as the language question (языковый вопрос), which,  in turn, was intimately related to another challenge, the nationality question. In other words, did Carpatho-Rusyns form a distinct nationality, or were they a branch of the Russian or Ukrainian nationalities?

 

Historical background

The secondary literature about the language question among Carpatho-Rusyns is quite extensive  and the problem need be discussed at any length here.2 It might be useful, however, to mention briefly the challenges faced during five chronological periods from the year 1848 to the present. I use 1848 as a starting point because it is from that year that some form of the Rusyn language became legally possible for use in the media, cultural life, education, and eventually governmental affairs. Debates among intellectual leaders  could and did continue as before, but after 1848 the language question took on a practical dimension. Since the governing authorities approved the view that local languages should be used as a medium in schools, it was necessary to decide on the specific form of the a literary language before textbooks could be published and teaching in schools could begin.

 

During the first period, 1848 to 1918, when all of Carpathian Rus’ was under the rule of Habsburg Austria-Hungary, two trends developed.3 The Rusyn intelligentsia generally favored the adoption of Russian as an appropriate literary language, although in practice publications and school instruction were conducted in the so-called traditional Carpatho-Rusyn language, that is, Russian mixed with varying degrees of Church Slavonic and Rusyn dialect. At the same time, the Hungarian government (during its short-lived tolerant phase toward national minorities) favored the use of local Rusyn vernacular as the basis for a distinct literary language. 4 

 

During the second period, lasting from 1919 to 1938, Carpatho-Rusyns found themselves within the borders of two countries: Czechoslovakia and Poland. This period proved to be the most productive  for Carpatho-Rusyn cultural life, and it was particularly complex period regarding the language question. In Czechoslovakia, where a portion of that country’s Carpatho-Rusyn inhabitants had their own autonomous province  called Subcarpathian Rus’, three languages were in competition for acceptance as the group’s literary standard: Russian, Ukrainian, and Subcarpathian Rusyn. In neighboring Poland, among Lemko Rusyns, the same three language orientations existed, although with lesser intensity than in Czechoslovakia. For their part, the Czechoslovak and Polish governments initially tried to remain neutral on language matters, but by the 1930s  both seemed to favor the Rusyn orientation.

 

The third period, 1939 to 1944, basically coincided with World War II. In the Rusyn-inhabited Lemko Region, at the time ruled by Nazi Germany, the Ukrainian orientation was officially favored. In Hungary, which annexed Subcarpathian Rus’, part of the Prešov Region from Slovakia, Maramures, from Romania, and the Vojvodina from Yugoslavia, the authorities rejected the Russian language, banned Ukrainian, and supported what was called the Uhro-Rusyn language. In effect, Rusyn vernacular was given official status as a literary language and was used in government documents, civic affairs, and for school instruction.5

 

The fourth period, which lasted from 1945 to 1989, coincided with the dominant presence of Soviet rule not only in Subcarpathian Rus’, which was annexed to Soviet Ukraine, but also through Communist proxies in neighboring countries Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Romania which ruled over smaller parts of Carpathian Rus’.  The Soviet regime proclaimed that it had resolved the nationality question.6 All Carpatho-Rusyns, regardless what  they called themselves, were  simply declared  to be of Ukrainian nationality. That being the case, Carpatho-Rusyns should have only one literary language to represent their nationality—Ukrainian. In practice, the Russian orientation also survived (and in Czechoslovakia even flourished until 1951), since Russian was the dominant language of prestige throughout the Soviet Union and was a required school subject in neighboring Communist-ruled countries where Rusyns also lived. On the other hand, the Rusyn language and nationality orientation were banned in all countries where Carpatho-Rusyns lived with one exception. That exception was Yugoslavia, which was Communist-ruled but soon outside the Soviet bloc. There Rusyns were recognized as a distinct nationality and their Vojvodinian (Bac(ka-Srem) variant of Rusyn was allowed to develop  into a distinct and sociologically complete literary language.

 

The fifth period began in 1989 and continues to the present. The Revolutions of the 1989 and the collapse of dictatorial Communist rule resulted in what has come to be known as the third Carpatho-Rusyn national revival. In all countries where Carpatho-Rusyns live, they have once again been allowed to identify as a distinct nationality. A portion of Carpatho-Rusyns decided to return to the nationality of their ancestors and in the new post-1989 political environment they have been permitted to publish materials in  the Rusyn language and to use the language in public discourse.

 

Achievements since 1989

In the wake of the political changes initiated by the Revolutions of 1989, what have been the achievements of Rusyns in the realm of language? In one sense, the decades-old language question did not go away. Rusyn speakers remained divided between those who favored the creation of a distinct literary language, those who favored Ukrainian, and still a few who favored Russian. The rest of this essay will look at the achievements and point out some of the challenges still faced by language planners who have not only created but who continue to develop the four variants of literary Rusyn.

 

The first challenge faced by the post-1989 language planners was to determine how to create a literary standard. Several options were possible: (1) adopt an earlier Rusyn standard, such as those used in the grammars of Ivan Haraida (1941), Ivan Pan’kevych (1922), or Avhustyn Voloshyn (1907 and 1927)7; (2) formulate a new standard based on the main dialects in one region, such as Subcarpathian Rus’, where the largest number of Rusyn speakers reside; or (3) create a koiné, or  single standard based on input from all regions where Rusyn is spoken. In fact, none of these options was chosen.

 

Instead, in November 1992 a representative group of writers, journalists, and scholars from all countries (except Romania) where Rusyns live—Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary, and former Yugoslavia—met at what came to be known as the First Congress of the Rusyn Language. Together with Rusyn and non-Rusyn scholars from abroad, the language congress debated several theoretical options and adopted a practical methodology. At the suggestion of Professor Paul Robert Magocsi the so-called Romansch principle was adopted.  In other words, Rusyn language planners were called upon to follow the example of the Romansch people of Switzerland, who in the course of the twentieth century first codified five regional variants and then formulated a koiné, that is, an amalgamated standard intended to serve all regions.8 Analogously, Rusyns  would develop four regional variants (Subcarpathian, Prešov Region, Lemko Region, Vojvodina), all the while keeping in mind that they would eventually create a fifth variant, i. e., a koiné for all regions. The participants at the First Language Congress also accepted the principle that each  of the four variants should be based on the spoken vernacular of the given region.9

 

How has theory been transformed into practice? First, it should be mentioned that the  task faced by Rusyn language planners was made somewhat easier, since one of the projected regional variants, Vojvodinian (Bac(ka-Srem) Rusyn, already existed as a standard literary form used by the Rusyns of former Yugoslavia, today Serbia-Montenegro and Croatia.10 With regard to the other three regions, Rusyn language planners (not in all cases professional linguists) set out to publish rule-books, grammars, dictionaries, and school texts  as part of the standardization project.

 

The first of the new Rusyn variants to be standardized was in the Prešov Region of Slovakia. In January 1995, the Prešov Region literary standard was proclaimed to exist11 following the appearance of a rule-book by Vasyl’ Jabur, an orthographic dictionary, and a dictionary of grammatical terminology.12 Since that time a cycle of 26 textbooks has been published. They represent the Prešov Region standard to teach language and literature in classes 1 through 9 of elementary school and classes 1 through 4 of secondary (seredna) school. Most recently a revised edition of the standard rule-book has appeared.13

The second Rusyn variant to be standardized was for the Lemko Region in Poland. In the year 2000, a grammar of the Lemko language was published by Henryk Fontan'ski and Miros?awa Chomiak.14 The Fontan'ski-Chomiak grammar  serves as the standard for a few other school textbooks as well as a Lemko-Polish dictionary by Jaros?aw Horoszczak that have also apeared.15

 

More complicated have been the efforts to create a standardized Subcarpathian variant for Rusyns in the Transcarpathian oblast of Ukraine. In 1994, a four-member language commission  representing the local Aleksander Dukhnovych Cultural Society  began work on a grammar that was expected to provide the basis for a standardized regional variant. Written primarily by Igor Kercha and Stefan Popovych (neither of whom were linguists by training), the Subcarpathian grammar was indeed published in 1999, but it was not accepted by a large number of authors in the region, including some members of the commission under whose name it was published.17 Consequently, other language publications in Subcarpathian Rus’, which include a few dictionaries and books designed for use in schools, have followed the “standard” of their given author or publisher.[xvii] In 2005, the priest Dymytrii Sydor published another grammar (written in Rusyn and English) intended not only for use by “the Rusyns of Ukraine” but also by those in “Central Europe and America.”18

 

Present challenges

When, in 1995, the codification of the Rusyn language  was proclaimed in Slovakia, its creators and supporters were wise to point out that their declaration was only the beginning of an on-going process. This makes eminent sense, since literary languages do not suddenly come into existence; rather, they are living entities which continually evolve and develop. What are some of the challenges that face the Rusyn language at the present? I would suggest that there are two kinds of challenges which are separate but related: those at the regional level, and those pertaining to the projected all-Rusyn koiné.

 

Not surprisingly, it is at the regional level that the Rusyn language has made its greatest advances since  the First Language Congress of 1992. In all four regions some form of a standard language is used in schools (from elementary to university level), in churches,19 in publications and the media, and in some cases in official government documents.

 

One of the principles accepted from the outset was to create regional variants on the basis of the local spoken vernacular. Since each region has several dialects, the regional literary variant by definition represents a form of language based on one or more dialects within the given region, that is, a kind of mini-regional koiné. For instance, the Prešov Region variant in Slovakia is based primarily on the “eastern” dialects of the Laborec valley, a decision which has caused displeasure among some writers from the central (Sharysh) and western (Spish) areas of the Prešov Region. Dialectal differentiation is one of the reasons why language planners in Subcarpathian Rus’ not have been able to agree on a standard regional literary variant. Disagreements persist among supporters of the eastern (Maramorosh), central, and western (Uzh) dialects.

 

Another problem concerns borrowings from other languages. Since, in principle, each literary variant is to be based on the spoken vernacular of a given region—which means, in effect, the present-day spoken vernacular—language planners have had to face the practical reality that spoken Rusyn, depending on region, has since World War II been heavily infiltrated by a high number of Polish, Slovak, Ukrainian, Russian, and Serbian borrowings. For instance, Rusyn readers in neighboring counties, when they pick up a Rusyn text published in Slovakia, often think they are reading the Slovak language written in the Cyrillic alphabet. What, for instance, should be done with  words like:  вызкум (Slovak: výskum), влак (vlak), обход (obchod), розлучка (rozlúc(ka), сполочность (spoloc(nost’), скусенность (skúsenost’), таёмник (tajomník), узнесіня (úznesenie)? Should such borrowings be left in individual Rusyn literary variants because they are part of the present-day spoken vernacular, or should they be replaced. And, if replaced, replaced by what: (1) international words (usually based on Latin or English and French derivatives); (2) older Rusyn/East Slavic words; or (3) newer East-Slavic sounding calques, which would then be taught in schools until they became part of a future Rusyn spoken vernacular?

 

Geographic terminology is also problematic and there are some basic methodological questions that still need to resolved. Should placenames outside Carpathian Rus’ be given Rusyn equivalents—Краків, Пряшів, Словакія—or should they be transliterated into the Rusyn Cyrillic alphabet according  to pronunciation in the original language—Кракув (Polish: Kraków), Прешов (Slovak: Prešov), Словеньско (Slovak: Slovensko)? Perhaps new Rusyn forms should be created, such as Новоє місто пуд Шатром instead of Шаторалйауйгей (Hungarian: Sátoraljaújhely), or Калный Потук instead of Шарошпатак  (Hungarian: Sárospatak).20

 

While much work has been undertaken on regional variants of literary Rusyn, less attention has been given to common concerns and the eventual creation of a koiné. The first Congress of the Rusyn language (1992) called upon future congresses to meet periodically to discuss issues related to a koiné. Only one other Rusyn language congress was held, in 1999, and while it did discuss a common problem (the need to produce a volume on the Rusyn language for the international Slavic Commission based in Opole, Poland),21 it did not address any specific linguistic issues pertaining to codification.

 

As a result, Rusyns do not use a common grammatical terminology, with some regions referring to часослово (Lemko variant, Prešov variant), others to глагол (Subcarpathia), or дієслово (Vojvodina) for the same part of speech—the verb. There is not even a common Rusyn alphabet with some letters not appearing in all variants (ы and i do not exist in Vojvodinian, ї does not exist in Lemko variant), other letters only in one region (ё in the Prešov variant; ō in one Subcarpathian dictionary; ± in one Subcarpathian grammar); and one letter in a different alphabetical order (ы follows и in the Lemko and Prešov variant, but after  щ in one Subcarpathian dictionary). Most problematic is the grapheme used to depict various vowels that replaced the phoneme o in newly-closed syllables. A classic example of this phenomenon exists in Subcarpathian dialects for the word that originally existed as конь, but has come to be pronounced as  кунь, кüнь, кінь, кынь. None of these variants predominates throughout the Subcarpathian dialectal areal. Actually, the problem of how to depict these various phonemes was addressed by Subcarpathian grammarians in the first half of the twentieth century and resolved by using only one grapheme, either ô (Avhustyn Voloshyn and Ivan Pan’kevych) or o (Ivan Haraida).22 Unfortunately, present-day Rusyn language planners in Subcarpathian Rus’ have tried “to re-invent the wheel”, so that virtually every grammar and dictionary has introduced one or more letters with symbols added—î, ō, á, ÿ, ü, ô—in an attempt to indicate different dialectal variants of pronunciation. The result for the reader is graphic chaos and semantic confusion. Just as linguists in Ukraine have called upon their countrymen to honor the letter ґ, which they have recently reintroduced into official Ukrainian orthography,23 so, too, might Rusyn language planners be well advised to render appropriate honor to the letter ô  and to re-introduce it into Rusyn orthography.

 

Another kind of semantic confusion concerns the ethnonym Rusyn itself. Traditionally, Carpatho-Rusyns described themselves with the formulation: Я руськый, or Я бісідую/говорю по-руськы. Moreover, every grammar of the Rusyn language that appeared before 1945 referred to the rus’kyi iazŷk. At present, two of the four variants of the Rusyn literary language preserve the historically correct adjectival form of the ethnonym: руски  (Vojvodinian) and руській (Lemko variant) to describe their own people. The two other variants (Prešov Region and Subcarpathian) use руськый as an adjective not to describe their own people  but rather to describe Great Russians. By contrast the Vojvodinian and Lemko Region variants correctly prefer differentiation, as in російскій язык; Росиян (Lemko Region) and русийски язык (Vojvodina).[xxiv] Perhaps a language is really in trouble when it cannot even decide on the appropriate ethnonym for the people it allegedly represents.

 

Let us not, however, overestimate the problems related to codifying the Rusyn language. In fact, Rusyn language planners, belletrists, and journalists have made enormous strides in the standardization process which, should not be forgotten, began only fifteen years ago. The codifiers are well aware that their work is not done. In fact, language codification is never done. Perhaps some of the concerns raised here may help Rusyn-language codifiers address these and other linguistic challenges that will continue to face them in the years to come.

 

NOTES


1 Paul Robert Magocsi, Carpatho-Rusyns, 3rd rev. ed. (Ocala, Flo., 2004), p.3.

2 For the extensive literature on the language question see section of the bibliography in Paul Robert Magocsi, ed., Rusyn’skŷi jazŷk (Opole, 2004), pp.449-460.

3 For a useful introduction to the language question, see Pavel Robert Magochii, “Jazykovŷi vopros,” in ibid., pp. 85-112; and Aleksanndr D. Dulichenko and Paul Robert Magocsi, “Language Question,” in Paul Robert Magocsi and Ivan Pop, eds., Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture, 2nd rev. ed. (Toronto, 2005), pp. 276-281.

4 During the 1880s, the office of Hungary’s prime minister hired a young university graduate of Rusyn background, Laslov Chopei, to prepare several textbooks using the Rusyn vernacular that were to be used in elementary schools. In conjunction with this work Chopei prepared a Rusyn-Hungarian dictionary (20,000 words) that was given a prestigious award from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and was published at government expense: Rus’ko madiarskyi slovar’ (Budapest, 1883).

5 Initially, Hungarian policy was unclear. Local authorities rejected an elementary school Russian-language grammar published in 1939 by Georgii Gerovskii; then, in 1940, the administration issued a Russian-language grammar (with local Rusyn elements) that was prepared by a language commission headed by Vasylii Sulynchak and approved by the ministerial advisor for education, Iulii Maryna. Finally, in 1941 the government gave its full support to the Subcarpathian Academy of Sciences, which published a grammar based on the vernacular by Ivan Haraida, which set the standard for  what became a Rusyn literary language.

6 The Soviet conviction was based on a declaration made in 1924 at the Fifth Congress of the Comintern in Moscow and confirmed by the Communist party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine in December 1925, according to which the indigenous East Slavic population living in what at the time was Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia was considered ethnically and linguistically Ukrainian.

7 Yvan Haraida, Hrammatyka rus'koho iazíka (Uzhhorod, 1941); Ivan Pan’kevych, Hramatyka rus’koho iazŷka dlia shkôl serednykh y horozhans’kykh (Mukachevo, 1922), 3rd rev.ed. (Prague, 1936); Ágoston Volosin, Gyakorlati kisorosz (rutén) nyelvtan (Uzhhorod, 1907), 2nd rev. ed. (1920) and AvhustynVoloshyn, Praktychna hramatyka rus'koho iazŷka dlia narodnŷkh, horozhans’kykh y serednykh shkol (Uzhhorod, 1927).

8 A representative from the Chair of Romansch Language at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland  was present at the First Congress of Rusyn Language to share the experience of Romansch language planners.

9 For details on the First Congress of Rusyn Language together with the text of its resolutions, see Joshua A. Fishman and Paul Robert Magocsi, “Scholarly Seminar on the Codification of the Rusyn Language,” International Journal of the Sociology of Language, No. 104 (Berlin and New York, 1993), pp. 119-123.

10 The Vojvodinian variant of Rusyn was first codified in a 1923 grammar by Havriïl Kostel’nik. After World War II, the standard was based on several grammars and a rule-book (Pravopis ruskoho iazika,1971) by Mikola M. Kochish, and most recently on an authoritative grammar for gymnasium-level students (Grammatika ruskoho iazika, 2002) by Iuliian Ramach.

11 The proclamation of a literary standard took place at a formal event in Bratislava that included a scholarly conference. The  entire proceedings were  later published in English and Slovak in Paul Robert Magocsi, ed., A New Slavonic Language Is Born: The Rusyn Literary Language of Slovakia/Zrodil sa nový slovanský jazyk: rusínský spisovný jazyk na Slovensku (New York, 1996).

12 Vasyl’ Jabur and Iurii Pan’ko,  Pravyla rusyns’koho pravopysu (Prešov, 1994); Iurii Pan’ko ed., Orfografichnŷi slovnyk rusyns’koho iazŷka (Prešov, 1994); Iurii Pan’ko, Rusyn’sko-rus’ko-ukraïns’ko-pol’skŷi slovnyk lingvistychnykh terminiv (Prešov, 1994).

13 Vasyl’ Jabur and Anna Plïshkova, Rusyn’skŷi iazŷk u zerkalï novŷkh pravyl pro osnovnŷ i serednï shkolŷ z navchanёm rusyn’skoho iazŷka (Prešov, 2005).

14 Henryk Fontan'skii and Miros?awa Chomiak,  Gramatŷka lemkivskoho iazŷka (Katowice, 2000); second revised ed. (Warsaw, 2004).

15 Jaros?aw Horoszczak, Slovnyk lemkivsko-pol’skii, pol’ko-lemkivskii/S?ownik  ?emkowsko-polski, polsko-?emkowski (Warsaw, 2004). Among the other textbooks are Petro Murianka, A ia znam azbuku: lemkivskii bukvar (Warsaw and Legnica, 2003); Miros?awa Chomiak, Lemkivskii iazŷk: osnovnyi kurs (Warsaw and Legnica, 2003); Miros?awa Chomiak and Bogdan Mata?a, Je;zyk ?emkowski z komputerem/Lemkivskii iazŷk z komputerom (Warsaw and Legnica, 2003).

16 Materyns’kŷi iazŷk: pysemnytsia rusyns’koho iazŷka, published simultaneously in (Mukachevo, 1999) and (Moscow, 1999). Aside  from  the main authors, Kercha and Popovych, the other members of the commission included Mykhailo Almashii and Vasyl’ Molnar.

17 Among these publications are the 7,000 word tri-lingual dictionary compiled by Mykhailo Almashii, Dymytrii Pop, and Dymytrii Sydor, Rusyns’ko-ukraiins’ko-rus’kŷi slovar’ (Uzhhorod, 2002); a primer by Slavko Slobodan [Igor’ Kercha], Betiars’kŷi bukvar (Uzhhorod, 2004); readers compiled by Igor’ Kercha, Uttsiuznyna: chytanka pro nedil’ni shkolŷ (Budapest, 2001), 2nd rev. ed. (Uzhhorod, 2002) and by Mykhayl Almashii, Zhyvoie slovo: chytanka dlia rusyns’koï nedil’noï shkolŷ (Uzhhorod, 2004); a grammar by Mykhayl Almashii and Mykhayl Molnar, Slovo za slovom: praktychna hramatyka rusyns’koho iazŷka dlia nedil’noï narodnoï shkolŷ (Uzhhorod, 2004); and a history by Pavel Robert Magochii, Nasha ottsiuznyna: istoryia karpats’kŷkh rusynüv (Uzhhorod, 2005).

18 Dymytrii Sydor, Hramatyka rusyns’koho iazŷka dlia rusynôv Ukraiynŷ, tsentral’noï Ievropy y Amerykŷ/Grammar of the Rusyn Language for the Rusyns of Ukraine, Central Europe and America (Uzhhorod, 1996-2005).

19 Of particular importance is the work of the Greek Catholic priest in Slovakia, Frantishek Krainiak, who prepared a Rusyn-language catechism in the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets, Malŷi grekokatolyts’kŷi katekhizm pro rusyns’kŷ dity (Prešov, 1992); a book of gospel readings, Ievanheliia na nedili i svata tsiloho roku (Medzilaborce, 1999); and a translation of the Gospel of St. John, Ievanheliia od sviatoho Ioana (Medzilaborce, 2003), all of which are authorized for use  in the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Prešov.

20 These were among several placenames which were suggested by Igor’ Kercha for use on maps in the history textbook, Nasha ottsiuznyna (see above note 17); the forms were rejected, however, by the publisher, Valerii Padiak.

21 At the Second Congrees of the Rusyn Language, held in May 1999 in conjunction with the opening of the Division (oddilennia) of Rusyn Language and Culture at the Prešov University,  a session took place to discuss the table of contents and methodological approach for what turned to be volume 14 in the series, Modern History of Slavonic Languages, sponsored by the University of Opole in Poland: Rusyn’skyi iazyk, ed. Paul Robert Magocsi (Opole, 2004). 

22 For references, see above, note 7. It is generally thought that the letter ô was  introduced into the Carpatho-Rusyn alphabet by the Galician-Ukrainian linguist and pedagogue, Ivan Pan’kevych, in his 1922 grammar. This is incorrect, since the ô was used already by Avhustyn Voloshyn in his Rusyn grammar from as early as 1907.

23 See the chapter entitled “Shanuimo literu ґ” (Let us  give honor to the letter g) in Vasyl’ V. Nimchuk, Problemy ukraïns’koho pravopysu XX-pocahtku XXI st. st. (Kiev, 2002), pp. 38-47.

24 A spirited, but ultimately inconclusive, debate on this  issue was conducted on the pagers of the Prešov Region’s Ruysn-language newspaper: Pavel Robert Magochii, “Ne treba balamutyty chytatelia,” Narodnŷ novynkŷ, October 30, 2002, p. 3; Mykhal Zarichniak, “Khto balamutyt’ chytatelia?,” ibid., January 22, 2003, p. 4;  Mykhail Dronov,  “ ‘Rosiiskŷi’ abo ‘rus’kŷi’?,” ibid., March 19, 2003, p. 4; Vasyl’ Iabur, “Ad: P. R. Magochi: Ne treba balamutyty chytatelia,”  ibid., April 2, 2003, p. 4; P. R. Magochii, “Mŷ Rusynŷ, a ne Rusŷ,” ibid., November 17, 2003, p. 2.

Prof. Paul Robert Magocsi, PhD.


Original text (in English) appears here and in Rusyn here.

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