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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Lecture by Professor Michael Moser: Revisiting the History of the Ukrainian Language

Poster for Revisiting the History of the Ukrainian Language; Lecture by Michael Moser

The lecture is a part of the Slavonic Section Series 'Rethinking Slavonic Studies.' Prof Moser will examine the history of the Ukrainian language, looking deep into its medieval roots. Although the Ukrainian language received its name comparatively late it is as deeply rooted in the past as any other Slavonic language. Prof Moser argues that medieval Slavic varieties that were spoken on the territories of modern Ukraine were not “Old Russian.” According to the lecturer, this traditional term is not only misleading; it is also as anachronistic as “Old Ukrainian.”    Prof Michael Moser is a professor of Slavic linguistics at the Institute for Slavic Studies of the University of Vienna, the Ukrainian Free University in Munich, and the Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Budapest. He is the author of the ‘New Contributions to the History of the Ukrainian Language,’ which is a collection of essays in which he examines the history of the Ukrainian language and takes issue with the verdict of the infamous Russian Valuev Directive of 1863 that Ukrainian is "a language that did not, does not, and cannot exist." Prof Moser shows that Ukrainian is as deeply rooted in the past as any other Slavic language, has developed on an autochthonous basis, and has been in contact with other languages. He demonstrates that the elaboration of Modern Standard Ukrainian was the result of complex efforts of codification carried out under specific historical circumstances.