Valeriia Gorbunova, a third-year student in the Chinese Philology programme, has become the first winner of the Academician Bogoliubov Scholarship, established in 2020.  

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The scholarship was set up to perpetuate the memory of the outstanding orientalist Mikhail Bogoliubov (1918–2010). He permanently held the position of the Dean of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies at Leningrad State University (St Petersburg University) from 1960 to 1995. The scholarship is designed to motivate students to carry out fundamental research into Asian and African languages.

The scholarship is paid from the Endowment Fund of St Petersburg University. The first donation to the endowment was made by Mikhail Piotrovsky, Dean of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Valeriia Gorbunova's research topic is ‘Actant derivation in modern Chinese’. The research supervisor is Elena Kolpachkova, Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor at the Department of Chinese Philology at St Petersburg University.

In her work, Valeriia Gorbunova examines the verbal systems of modern Chinese and the features of the sentence structure depending on the actant structure of the predicate lexeme. Grammatical transformations occur when the composition of the participants in the described situation changes or there are changes in its pragmatic interpretation. They have been quite well studied in the case of Western languages. However, no one has dealt with these issues in Russian Sinology. Valeriia Gorbunova can therefore be considered a pioneer in this area.

In 2019–2020, Valeriia did a language internship at Beijing Language and Culture University, China. She is an active participant in scientific conferences and publishes her research outcomes in the collections of student conference proceedings.