Zigmas Zinkevičius

Professor Zigmas Zinkevičius

Zigmas Zinkevičius (January 4, 1925 in Juodausiai, Ukmergė district – February 20, 2018 in Vilnius) was a leading[1] Lithuanian linguist-historian, professor at Vilnius University, and a full member of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences.[2] He has contributed to studies in the history of languages, onomastics[3] and other areas.[2] Zinkevičius was a recipient of the Herder Prize, which was presented to him in 1994. Zinkevičius is the author of 30 academic books and several hundred scientific publications in various languages.[2]


After graduating from the gymnasium at Ukmergė in 1945, he enrolled in Vilnius University.[2] He studied linguistics until 1950. In 1955 Zinkevičius defended his thesis Lietuvių kalbos įvardžiuotinių būdvardžių istorijos bruožai (Historical traits of adjective pronouns in Lithuanian language) and received a Doctoral degree. From 1956 to 1962, Zinkevičius was Dean of the Faculty of History and Philology of Vilnius University. Together with his colleagues, he established a new classification of Lithuanian language dialects. For his work Lietuvių dialektologija (Lithuanian dialectology) (1966) Zigmas Zinkevičius received a Habilitated Doctor degree, and became a professor two years later. In 1973 Zinkevičius took a new position at Vilnius University as chairman of the Lithuanian language department, and beginning in 1988 served as chairman of the Baltic Philology department.

In 1982 Zinkevičius became a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities; in 1991, of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and in 1995, of the Latvian Academy of Sciences and the Lithuanian Catholic Academy of Sciences. He was fluent in a number of languages, including English, German, Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, and French.[4] Zinkevičius is considered as the most cited Lithuanian linguist.[5]

Political activities

Zinkevičius worked as Minister of Education and Science under Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius.[4] He was a member of the Lithuanian Christian Democratic Party and was elected its chairman in 1999.[4] Zinkevičius was a member of the Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament) in 2000–2004. He was also a member of the National Language Committee. He published a book discussing his experience as a Minister of Education Kaip Aš Buvau Ministru (How I was a Minister).

Awards and prizes

Zinkevičius received these awards and prizes:


  1. ^ Bojtár, Endre (1999). Foreword to the Past: a Cultural History of the Baltic People. Central European University Press. p. 54. ISBN 963-9116-42-4.
  2. ^ a b c d "Zigmas Zinkevičius". A Virtual Exhibition of a Millennium of Lithuanian Cultural Heritage. Institute of Mathematics and Informatics. Retrieved 2008-08-07.
  3. ^ Švietimo informacijų technologijų centras. Zigmas Zinkevičius. Retrieved on 2008-08-18
  4. ^ a b c Zigmas Zinkevičius Archived 2008-10-25 at the Wayback Machine. Central Election Committee. Retrieved on 2008-08-18
  5. ^ Stundžia, Bonifacas (2005). "Akademikui Zigmui Zinkevičiui – 80". Universitas Vilensis (in Lithuanian) (45). Retrieved 2007-09-06.[dead link]

External links

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