Zoya Vasilievna Maksunova is the director of the primary school in the village of Baklanikha in the Turukhansk District of the Krasnoyarsk Krai. For many years she has worked for the preservation and development of the Ket language. A trained linguist, she has published a book on Ket morphology. In January 2003 a language laboratory was established in the Turukhansk District. Since that time Zoya has been head of education at that facility.
Zoya Maksunova was born in the Ket village of Pakulikha. After consolidation of villages and the elimination of this village, the family moved to the village of Baklanikha. In 1967, Zoya entered Verkhneimbatsk high school and returned to Baklanikha after graduation.In 1972 she began full-time studies at the Foreign Languages Department of the Tomsk Pedagogical Institute. After two years she received certification and returned to the Yenisei. In Baklanikha she began work as head of a club and then as head of the kindergarten. At the same time she began correspondence study at the Irkutsk Institute of Foreign Languages and graduated in 1982.
At one of the seminars for teachers of the Ket language, Heinrich Werner proposed that she undertake scholarly work. They began what has been a long and fruitful collaboration. One of the challenges in collecting material was that already at that time the number of fluent speakers was declining. Zoya did not miss any opportunity to obtain information even in random encounters with elders traveling or in the hospital.
Unfortunately her scholarly collaborator returned to Germany. But he did not forget the talented Ket researcher. In 1998, Heinrich Werner officially invited Zoya to Germany to discuss the results. Within six months, the teacher and student analyzed the collected material. As a result, two books were written and published. One of the books was the basis of the dissertation. The thesis examiners, Dr. A. Volodin from St. Petersburg and N. Grishina from Novosibirsk, gave the research work a high commendation.
Словосложение в кетском языке в сравнительно-историческом освещении. Томск: 2002. (Morphology of the Ket Language in a Comparative-Historical Perspective