Oleksandra Palka. Modern Ukrainian Grammar in Tables (Morphology). L’viv: Polly Co. Ltd., 1997. 104 pp. List of abbreviations. $ 24.95, paper.
The teaching of Ukrainian as a foreign language does not have a long tradition in Ukraine. This manual of tables resulted from the ever-increasing pressure to address the needs of English-speaking students coming to Ukraine. In 1994 Oleksandra Palka taught an optional course of Ukrainian at Leeds University, where she experimented with the presentation of Ukrainian morphology in contrast with English. Her materials proved to be very effective and led to the preparation of this publication, “a short, but detailed, graphic exposition of Ukrainian morphology covering almost all its aspects” (Preface, p. 4).
This “album”, as the author herself calls it, compresses Ukrainian grammar into 45 tables (a very difficult task) that are accompanied with a description and examples. It is organized into eight chapters (Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, Numerals, Verbs, Adverbs, Prepositions, and Conjunctions) and a Ukrainian-English Vocabulary. The manual’s organization is clear and straightforward, its presentation of material is fairly thorough, albeit synoptic. Exceptions from the rule are classified and also thoroughly presented.
Throughout the manual, all words appear with stress marks, a useful feature that most Ukrainian Language textbooks have avoided thus far. The presentation of cases is linked with that of the prepositions governing them. See, for example, the section “Genitive Case of Nouns (Singular)” (p. 11) and the special table “Prepositions Governing the Genitive Case of a Noun” (pp. 14-15). Palka’s spiral approach, when combining material is very helpful. Equally worthy of note is her vivid presentation of the suffixes denoting endearment in Ukrainian. This important aspect of Ukrainian morphology is often neglected in contemporary grammars.
I strongly recommend this manual as a valuable complementary tool in the North American classroom setting.
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