Bubrikh Dmitry Vladimirovich

    13.07.1890 – 30.11.1949

    This text was borrowed from the personal file in the ILS RAS archives:

    B. was an outstanding expert in Finno-Ugric languages.

    B. was born in 1890 in St. Petersburg into the family of a secondary-school teacher. Finishing his secondary education with a Gold Medal in Riga in 1909, he entered the History and Philology Faculty of the St. Petersburg University. His university studies were interrupted by his arrest for participation in “student disorders” with the subsequent deportation from the Saint-Petersburg Governorate. However, when later readmitted to the university, he could timely complete his university course in 1913 and was retained at the university to prepare for “scientific and professor activities” at the Russian Language Chair headed by Academician A. Shakhmatov. It was at this time that he made a dialectology field trip to the Vladimir Governorate that resulted in the publication in the same 1913 of a large article, Foneticheskiye osobennosti govora g. Pustoshey Vladimirskoy gub. [Phonetic features of the subdialect of the town of Pustoshi, the Vladimir Governorate] in “Izvestiya of the Academy of Sciences Department for Russian Language and Words”. In 1914, B. started a dissertation on stress in North Kashubian.  The war and revolutionary events somewhat slowed down his scientific work. However, already 1919 saw the publication of his second large article, Iz praslavianskoy fonetiki [From the Proto-Slavic phonetics]. In 1920, soon after he had begun teaching at higher education institutions, B. passed his Master’s exams and finished his dissertation. The book, Severo-Kashubskaya Sistema udareniya [The North Kashubian Stress System], however, was only published in 1924 by the Academy of Sciences Publishing House. Also published as supplements to the dissertation were two additional works: Praslavianskaya aktsentologicheskaya sistema [The Proto-Slavic Accentual System] and Praindoyevropeyskaya sistema intonatsiy sloga [the Proto-Indo-European System of Syllable Intonations].

    In the mid-1920s, B. focused his attention on Finno-Ugric languages. In his autobiography he wrote: “[My] impulse was as follows. Working on Slavic languages, I occupied myself with Germanic [languages] as well and immediately confronted the problem of the Germanic peoples’ origins. In [solving] this problem, I sided with the view of non-Arian origins of Germanic [tribes] and did some research towards the possibility of Finno-Ugric roots in the Germans’ origins. [This] resulted in a large paper O yazykovykh sledakh finskikh tevtonov “Chudi” [On the linguistic traces of the “Tchoods”, the Finnish Teutoni], written in 1924 and published in 1926. Approved in 1925 as an LGU [Leningrad State University] professor for Finno-Ugric language studies, I devoted all my efforts to Finno-Ugric linguistics.”