Zbigniew Golab, Slavic Languages & Literatures
Zbigniew Golab, Professor Emeritus in Slavic Languages & Literatures, died March 24 in his Hyde Park home. He was 71.
"He was one of the world's greatest experts on the Macedonian language and was the leading expert on Macedonian-Arumanian contact," said Victor Friedman, Professor in Slavic Languages & Literatures. Arumanian is a Balkan Romance language, closely related to Romanian, that is spoken in the southern Balkans.
"His work was groundbreaking and formed the foundation for much subsequent Slavic linguistic research," Friedman said, "especially his work on the use of conditional forms of the Balkan verb."
Golab's major linguistic works include a study of the Macedonian dialects of Suho and Visoka -- villages today located in northern Greece -- and a monograph on the Arumanian dialect of Krushevo, located in the Republic of Macedonia. He was also a linguistic historian, and his most recent book, "The Origins of the Slavs: A Linguist's View" (1992), is a linguistic history of the Slavs. He co-edited a dictionary of linguistic terminology and was the author of more than 70 articles and reviews.
In recognition of his scholarly achievements in the field of Macedonian and Balkan linguistics, Golab was elected to the Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1972. He had served as chairman of the Midwest branch of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences.
A native of Poland, Golab was active in the underground movement there during World War II and joined the guerrilla war against the Germans in 1944. That year, he was imprisoned by the Germans, but he escaped shortly before Krakow's liberation by the Red Army.
Golab received his M.A. in 1947 from the Polish University in Wroclaw and his Ph.D. in 1958 from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. He was on the faculty at the Catholic University of Lublin and at the Slavic Institute of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences before joining the Chicago faculty as Professor in 1962. He retired in 1993.
Golab is survived by his wife, Janina, Lecturer in Slavic Languages & Literatures, and a son, Julius.
Plans for a University memorial service are pending.