Germanic Programme

The Germanic Programme will consist of the following courses:

Historical Morphology of the Germanic Languages (9.30 - 11.00)

Guus Kroonen (Copenhagen)

Course ouline
Proto-Germanic is the predecessor of the Germanic languages. It was spoken in the area that nowadays encompasses Northern Germany and Southern Scandinavia in the first millennium B.C.E.  As a result of several waves of migration, Proto-Germanic started to spread to the South, and became fragmented into several medieval sub-dialects. These dialects formed the foundation for the modern Germanic languages, such as Scandinavian, German, English, Frisian and Dutch.
Proto-Germanic has left no written sources; linguists have had to reconstruct the language by comparison of the oldest Germanic dialects, such as Gothic, Old Norse, Old English, Old Frisian, Old Saxon and Old High German. During the course, the student will receive an introduction to Germanic morphology. The main objective is to learn how to reconstruct Proto-Germanic on the basis of its daughter languages.

The course is aimed at students of Germanic languages who take an interest into the oldest historical period. It is also recommended to students of comparative Indo-European linguistics who wish to enhance their skills in Germanic reconstruction.
Application is open to students who have obtained ECTS with the study of at least one old Germanic language, e.g. Gothic, Old Norse or Old High German. Students who fail to meet this requirement, and still wish to enroll, are required to attend one of the Old Norse, Old Saxon or Old English courses offered at the Leiden Summer School.


Old English (11.30 - 13.00)

Rolf Bremmer ( Leiden)

Course outline
The course offers an introduction to Old English, with some attention, too, for the various dialects. Grammar and structure will be discussed with the help of original texts. During the course, we will read both prose and poetry.

There will be short daily homework assignments, including a passage for translation.

Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson, A Guide to Old English, 7th ed. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007).


Old Norse (14.00 - 15.30)

Arend Quak (Leiden)

Course outline
The course offers an introduction to the Old Norse language and texts. Grammar and structure will be discussed with the help of original texts. The course is concentrated on reading Old Norse prose literature, as Edda and skaldic poetry require an advanced knowledge of the language.

There will be short daily homework assignments in prepairing the texts.

E. V. Gordon, An Introduction to Old Norse. – Clarendon Press, Oxford 1968 or later.


Old Saxon (16.00 - 17.30)

Kees Dekker (Groningen)

Course outline
In this course we will study Old Saxon, a Germanic language spoken in Northern Germany and the east of the Netherlands, in the Early Middle Ages. With the help of texts such as the Heliand, the Old Saxon Genesis and even two charms, we will investigate the Old Saxon language as a West Germanic dialect with close ties to Old English, Old Frisian and Old High German. In addition to studying aspects of the phonology, morphology and syntax of Old Saxon, we will also read texts and look at the lexicon of the Heliand, a Germanic epic with a Christian theme.

There will be short daily homework assignments in preparing the texts.

James E. Cathey, ed., Heliand: Text and Commentary. West Virginia University Press, 2002, as well as a series of handouts.