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 Konstantin Babitsky

Born:   May 15, 1929
Deceased:   1993

Russian linguist, human rights activist and singer poet


Konstantin Babitsky was among the eight people who took part in a protest demonstration in the Red Square in solidarity with the rebellious Prague and against the invasion of Soviet military forces into Czechoslovakia in 1968.

Konstantin Iosifovich Babitsky was born in Moscow on May, 15th 1929. In 1953 he graduated from the Institute of Communications, and then for several years lived in the Urals.

Having returned to Moscow he entered the Philology Faculty of the Moscow State University and graduated in 1960. Konstantin worked as a junior researcher at the department of theoretical and applied linguistics of the Russian Language Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. He is the author and coauthor of a number of studies in the field of structural and mathematical linguistics.

Konstantin is also known as one of the pioneers in transformational grammar in the USSR: he is the author of studies on transformational syntax of the German and Russian languages and on formal modeling of the transposition of parts of speech. He developed a transformational and generative approach to the modeling of Russian word-formation. The researcher described transformation of coordinating reduction of homogeneous parts of the sentence and conversion transformation in the Russian language. K.I.Babitsky’s works influenced syntactic concepts of S.K.Shaumyan, Ju.D.Apresyan, A. V.Gladky, I.A.Melchuk, and E. V.Paducheva.

In the mid 1960s he drew closer to participants of the human rights movement that arose in those years, and signed several petitions, in particular those in defense of A.D.Sinyavsky and Ju. M.Daniel, A.I.Ginzburg and Ju.T.Galanskov. He was also known in Moscow as a singer poet; the most famous are his songs set on Ju.Daniel’s lyrics.

On the 25th August 1968 he took part in the famous "demonstration of the seven” in the Red Square - an action of protest against intrusion of the Soviet armies into Czechoslovakia. Konstantin was arrested together with other participants of the demonstration; in October 1968 he was returned guilty of “slander on the Soviet system” and “group actions disturbing the peace” and sentenced to 3 years of exile.

In 1968-1971 Babitsky served his term in the Komi Autonomous Soviet Social Republic. After the release he was totally deprived of a chance to work in his field. For some time he worked as a carpenter and a handyman in the Shchelykovo Settlement of the Kostroma Region; besides, he was engaged in translations of Romanian poetry.

In 1990 Konstantin Babitsky was titled the honorary citizen of Prague. He died in Moscow in 1993 and was laid to rest at the Golovinsky Cemetery.

Tags: Russian music Russian human rights movement Russian literature   

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