Dmitrii Ushakov

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ushakov, Dmitrii Nikolaevich


Born Jan. 12 (24), 1873, in Moscow; died Apr. 17, 1942, in Tashkent. Soviet Russian linguist. Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1939).

In 1895, Ushakov graduated from Moscow University, where he had studied with F. F. Fortunatov and F. E. Korsh. He was a professor at the Advanced Courses for Women, the Institute of the Word, the M. Gorky Institute of Literature, the Moscow Institute of Philosophy, Literature, and History, and Moscow State University. Ushakov’s works, which provided a basis for the development of Russian dialectology, include An Essay on Russian Dialectology, With the First Map of Russian Dialects in Europe (1915; with N. N. Durnovo and N. N. Sokolov) and A Brief Introduction to the Science of Language (1913; 9th ed., 1929). He helped found the Moscow Dialectology Commission in 1903 and became its chairman in 1915; from 1904 to 1931 he edited the commission’s publications. In 1901 he became involved in efforts to improve and reform the Russian orthography, and in the 1930’s he headed the Orthographic Commission of the People’s Commissariat for Education.

Ushakov initiated the study of Russian orthoepy with Russian Orthoepy and Its Tasks (1928) and On the Question of Correct Pronunciation (1936; published 1964). The four-volume Defining Dictionary of the Russian Language, for which Ushakov served as editor and as a contributor, was published between 1935 and 1940. The educator of an entire generation of experts in Russian studies, Ushakov possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of Russian philology and Slavic studies and was a master of the living Russian word. A group of Ushakov’s students formed the nucleus of the Moscow phonological school.


Russkoe pravopisanie, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1917.
Zvuk “g” frikativnyi v russkom literaturnom iazyke v nastoiashchee vremia. [Moscow, 1926.]
Russkii iazyk: Kratkoe sistematicheskoe shkol’noe rukovodstvo po grammatike, pravopisaniiu i proiznosheniiu, 2nd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1927.
Russkii literaturnyi iazyk. Moscow, 1929.
Orfograficheskii slovar’, 30th ed. Moscow, 1975.


[Shcherba, L. V.] “Posleslovie.” In the collection Russkaia rech’, fasc. 3. Leningrad, 1928.
Avanesov, R. I. “D. N. Ushakov.” Izv. AN SSSR: Seriia literatury i iazyka, 1973, vol. 32, issue 2.
Iordanskii, A. M. “D. N. Ushakov.” Russkii iazyk za rubezhom, 1973, no. 3.
Bernshtein, S. B. “D. N. Ushakov.” Vestnik MGU, series 10: Filologiia, 1973, no. 1.
Reformatskii, A. A. “D. N. Ushakov.” Russkii iazyk v shkole, 1973, no. 1.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.