ON THE HISTORY OF THE STUDY OF RUSSIAN SENTENCE INTONATION: A DESCRIPTION BY S. K. BOYANUS
This article is devoted to a description of Russian Sentence Intonation, created and presented at the Congress of Phonetic Science, 1935 by S.K. Boyanus. It is by way of promoting this remarkable phonetic achievement to its due appreciation by Russian linguists that this article came about. The life of Semjon Karlovič Boyanus (1871–1952) was extremely varied and so fruitful that one is tempted to think of Boyanus as several authors’ nom-de-plume. A graduate of St. Petersburg University (the Department of History and Philology), moving on to a Drama Course, Boyanus was an actor and a theatre director; he wrote articles on the history of theatre, taught students at the Arts History Institute; studied phonetics under Lev Vladimirovič Ščerba to continue as Ščerba’s co-organizer of the Institute of Phonetics and the Phonetic School. In 1920s he studied phonetics in London, under Daniel Jones and Lilias Eveline Armstrong. Later on, working for Leningrad State University where he was a Reader of the Germanic cycle, Boyanus published his first manual of English phonetics for speakers of Russian (1926). In 1928–1930 he co-authored famous English-Russian and Russian-English dictionaries with V. K. Mueller. In 1934 Boyanus emigrated to the UK where he published a manual of Russian phonetics for British learners, bringing together the achievements of Russian and British phonetic science. Nearly a third part of this book deals with sentence intonation. Boyanus was the first to suggest a description of Russian intonation in terms of a limited set of abstract intonation models with the nature and number of sentence stresses as its basic distinctive feature. Proceeding from the system of intonation transcription for English Boyanus succeeds in transcribing not just individual phrases but stylistically diverse Russian texts. Towards the end of his life Boyanus established his own “School of Russian”, acknowledged throughout the UK.