Thursday 6 August 2015


            He was a Soviet Jewish linguist.  He was a colleague at the Leningrad Scientific Institute, bearing the title Candidate in Philology.  The Afn shprakhfront (On the language front) anthology 1 (Kiev, 1934) published a work of his on homonyms.  In Shtern (Star) 4 (Minsk, 1937), his “Tsu der frage vegn di antviklungs-vegn fun yidish” (On the question of how Yiddish evolves) appeared; and in Fragn fun yidisher shprakh (Issues in the Yiddish language), vol. 1 (Moscow, 1938), he published “Tsvey tendentsn in der vortbildung fun yidish” (Two tendencies in Yiddish morphology).  Similar works by him appeared in the aforecited publications.  During WWII, he was evacuated to Kazakhstan, where he read lectures before Yiddish writers on the subject of “Oyfkum fun der yidisher shprakh” (Origins of the Yiddish language).  According to a chronicle in Eynikeyt (Unity), dated April 22, 1945, he should have completed a longer work on the history of Yiddish.  Among his books: Prozaish-gesheftlekhe shprakh (Prosaic community language) (Moscow, 1932), 166 pp.; Literatur-fargebungen, loytn laboratorishn meotd far shuln fun hekhern tip un far zelbstbildung (Literature remissions, following the laboratory method for higher school and for self-study) (Moscow: Central Publ., 1931), 133 pp.; Sintaksisher ufgaber far shuln fun hekhern tip (Syntax issues for higher schools) (Moscow: Central Publ., 1931), 165 pp.  He also published in Shmuel Niger’s Di naye vewlt (The new world) (Vilna, 1919).  Gitlits’s approach to linguistics was a Marxist monistic one.  He came out forcefully against a “nationalist conception” in language research, which he labeled “the theory of isolated elements.”  Biographical details remain unknown.

Sources: Eynikeyt (Moscow) (April 15, 1943; April 22, 1945).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 156.]

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