A well-known researcher of Kurdish linguistics, Zare Aliyevna Yusupova, Doctor of Sciences in Philology, IOM RAS Academic Councillor, has passed away on February 3, 2022, after a brief illness. All of her long and fruitful academic career took place at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts. Z.A. Yusupova began working in the Institute after graduating from the Leningrad State University (Department of Iranian Philology at the Faculty of Oriental Studies) in 1958 and completing her postgraduate studies at the Leningrad branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies in 1958–1961. In 1965 she successfully defended the Candidate of Sciences (PhD) dissertation titled “Prepositions and postpositions in the southern dialect (sorani)” [Предлоги и послелоги в южном диалекте (сорани)], and in 1992 defended her doctoral dissertation titled “The Kurdish dialect gorani in literary works of the 18th–19th centuries” [Курдский диалект горани по литературным памятникам XVIII–XIX вв.].
Z.A. Yusupova’s research focused on Kurdish studies, a subfield within Iranian studies, and especially on Kurdish philology. She was a unique scholar and a highly respected expert. She published 120 research works (including 8 monographs and 4 edited volumes) in Russian, English, and Kurdish languages. Her research focused on Kurdish dialects (based on written sources and folklore) and literary works. Z.A. Yusupova’s research harmoniously combines linguistics with a comprehensive study of written sources, which is characteristic of the St Petersburg-Leningrad school of classical Oriental studies. Her works, based on achievements of Russian and international research, have raised the status of Kurdish philology in the world.
Z.A. Yusupova has made significant contributions to linguistic identification of Kurdish dialects (such as gorani, avramani) and proved based on linguistic criteria that they indeed belong to Kurdish dialects. Studying Luri dialects she found that some of them (southwestern type) are close to Bakhtiari and Persian dialects while others are closer to Kurdish ones.
For many years Z.A. Yusupova taught Kurdish language at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, St Petersburg State University. For 10 years she worked as the academic secretary of the Kurdish studies group at the IOM RAS. She was also active as a consultant on topics related to Kurdish studies.
Z.A. Yusupova had many creative plans for the future. She will always be fondly remembered.