Zhirmunskii, Viktor Maksimovich
Born July 21 (Aug. 2), 1891, in St. Petersburg; died Jan. 31, 1971, in Leningrad. Soviet philologist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1966; corresponding member, 1939). Professor at Leningrad State University (from 1919). Honorary doctor of Oxford University, the University of Kraków, Humboldt University of Berlin, and Charles University (Prague).
Zhirmunskii was the founder of Soviet Germanic philology. His principal works are on questions of Germanic, general, and Turkic linguistics and dialectology; the history of Western and Russian literature; the theory of literature, poetics, and prosody; folklore; and oriental studies. Among his works are German Romanticism and Contemporary Mysticism (1914), The Poetry of A. Blok (1921), V. Briusov and the Heritage of Pushkin (1922), Rhyme, Its History and Theory (1923), Byron and Pushkin (1924), An Introduction to Metrics: The Theory of Verse (1925), Problems of the Theory of Literature (1928), National Language and Social Dialects (1936), Goethe in Russian Literature (1937), and The Heroic Folk Epic (1962). The basic work German Dialectology (1956) has a special place among Zhirmunskii’s works. Zhirmunskii was the editor and one of the authors of A Comparative Grammar of the Germanic Languages (vols. 1–4, Moscow, 1962–66) and the acting editor in chief of the journal Voprosy iazykoznaniia (Problems in Linguistics) from 1969 to 1971. He became a corresponding member of the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin in 1956, the British Academy of Sciences in 1962, the Danish Academy of Sciences in 1967, and the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in 1970. Zhirmunskii was awarded the Order of Lenin and two other orders.
WORKSIstoriia nemetskogo iazyka, 5th ed. Moscow, 1965.
Vvedenie v sravnitel’no-istoricheskoe izuchenie germanskikh iazykov. Leningrad, 1964.
REFERENCEV. M. Zhirmunskii. Moscow, 1965.
G. S. SHCHUR