Indo-European Programme

The Indo-European Programme of the Leiden Summer School in Languages and Linguistics consists of courses for beginners and for advanced students. Those interested in Indo-Iranian may consider taking some of the courses taught within the Iranian Programme and the Indological Programme. Those interested in Germanic may take some of the courses of the Germanic programme.

Time Schedule 

Timeslot 1 (9.30 - 11.00)  
L. van Beek: Historical Grammar of Greek
T. Pronk: Balto-Slavic Accentuation

Timeslot 2 (11.30 - 13.00) 
M. Peyrot: Tocharian
T. Pronk: Introduction to PIE phonology and morphology

Timeslot 3 (14.00 - 15.30) 
V. Sadovski: Dichtersprache
H. Martirosyan: Classical Armenian 

Timeslot 4 (16.00 - 17.30)
A. Kloekhorst & A. Lubotsky: Minor Languages of Anatolia: Phrygian & Lydian


Historical Grammar of Greek (9.30-11.00)

Lucien van Beek (Leiden)

This course treats the most important topics in the historical phonology and morphology of Greek. The main aim is to cover the developments between Proto-Indo-European and Mycenaean and Homer, but special developments of the classical language will also receive due attention.

The course starts with a short introduction, in which prerequisites such as the Mycenaean writing system, peculiarities of Greek alphabetic writing, and the basic rules for writing Greek accents are treated. In the remainder of the first week, the following phonological developments receive most of our attention:
- the development of the Greek vowel system
- the vocalization of the PIE laryngeals
- the development of the PIE labiovelars
- palatalization
- compensatory lengthening
- loss of digamma and yod
- vocalization of syllabic liquids and nasals.

In the second week, we turn our attention to nominal and verbal morphology, with the following subjects:
- the prehistory of nominal and verbal endings
- the outcome of various PIE nominal accent/ablaut paradigms
- derivational morphology of the verb

Familiarity with classical Greek and its alphabet

1. Handouts
2. (optional) Helmut Rix, Historische Grammatik des Griechischen. Darmstadt 19922.

Balto-Slavic Accentuation (9.30-11.00)

Tijmen Pronk (Zagreb)

The course aims to provide a thorough introduction to the field of Balto-Slavic accentology. Balto-Slavic accentology describes the prosodic systems of the Baltic and Slavic languages and tries to explain them from a Proto-Indo-European perspective. The first week of the course will be dedicated to the synchronic description of the accentual systems of the Baltic and Slavic language, while the second week will be dedicated to the reconstruction of earlier stages of these systems and the use of Balto-Slavic accentology in the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European. Basic knowledge Proto-Indo-European is required and basic knowledge of either Baltic or Slavic is recommended.

Day 1: Introduction.
Day 2: Baltic accentology.
Day 3: Russian accentology.
Day 4: South Slavic accentology and terminology.
Day 5: Other Slavic languages and the accentual paradigms.
Day 6: Stang’s law and van Wijk’s law.
Day 7: Dybo’s law and the Moscow school.
Day 8: BSl. accentology and Indo-European: laryngeals and Hirt’s law.
Day 9: Winter’s law and glottalisation.
Day 10: Questions and remaining subjects.

Tocharian (11.30-13.00)

Michaël Peyrot (Vienna)

This introductory course focuses on the historical grammar of Tocharian. Although it is not feasible to treat the synchronic grammars of both languages (A and B) in full, some basic points are introduced. Further, small text samples are cited to give an impression of Tocharian syntax, stylistics and literature. The main, historical part of the course addresses important topics in the reconstruction of Proto-Tocharian on the basis of the comparison between Tocharian A and B, as well as the principal developments leading from the Indo-European protolanguage to Proto-Tocharian.

Course outline
• Tocharian: internal and external relationships
• phonology: vowels
• phonology: vowels and resonants
• phonology: stops
• nominal morphology
• pronouns
• verb: general lay-out
• verb: endings
• verb: present
• verb: preterite and subjunctive

Students are supposed to have a basic knowledge of Indo-European reconstruction and the methods of historical linguistics. Background knowledge of or competence in Tocharian is welcome, but not necessary.

There will be short daily homework assignments and a take-home final exam (for additional ECTS points).

Course documents will be provided; no textbook is required.

Introduction to PIE phonology and morphology (11.30-13.00)

Tijmen Pronk (Zagreb)

The aim of this course is to familiarize the student with the main phonological and morphological issues in the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European. We will review the most important elements of the linguistic system from which the different Indo-European languages have developed. The subject matter will be illustrated by means of small exercises in reconstruction. At the end of the course, the student should be able to start investigating problems of IE etymology.

General lay-out
I: Survey of main IE languages, their orthography and linguistic systems
II: Phonemes of PIE, morpheme structure, phonotactics
III: PIE stops
IV: PIE sibilant and resonants, laryngeals (I)
V: PIE vowels and diphthongs, laryngeals (II)

VI: PIE noun inflexion
VII: noun suffixes, internal derivation
VIII: PIE verbal system: conjugation
IX: PIE verbal system: stem formation
X: Exercises in PIE etymology

Familiarity with languages with a case system; general knowledge of the principles of historical linguistics. All examples from non-Latin alphabets will be given in a Latin transcription.

Dichtersprache (14.00-15.30)

Velizar Sadovski (Vienna)

Ever since the dawn of modern Indo-European Studies, research into Language of Poetry has been representing an object of continuous interest of historical and comparative linguistics: Already in 1853, Adalbert Kuhn, the founder of one of the most prominent journals of our discipline, "Kuhn’s Zeitschrift" (today: "Historische Sprachwissenschaft"), discovered a phraseological parallel between Homeric Greek and Vedic -- the classical heroic notion of ‘imperishable glory’, a syntagma whose interpretation has been subject to a series of modifications and specifications in the subsequent decades but whose thematization enlarged the horizons of Comparative Linguistics by expanding its research objects to higher language levels. This was the so-called ‘year of birth’ of studies of "Dichtersprache"; from this point on, the domain of linguistic comparison extended itself not only over phonological correspondences or morphological parallels but also over syntagmatics, poetical formulae, figures of speech and stylistics, over epithets and proper names. The main requirement was and still is to collect such formulae, epithets or names that show consequent correspondences both on the level of semantics and (especially) in their phonologic shape as well as on the level of precise patterns of word-formation (derivation or compounding, respectively) and (underlying) syntactic structures. Such parallels exist indeed, much more frequently till we could imagine; but the compendia presenting the various aspects in a comprehensive way have been appearing "with the periodicity of Halley’s comet":
After the comparative interest in rebus poeticis have reached its temporary peak in the decade after the World War I, it needed half a century until main topics of the research tradition between 1850es and 1950es have been presented in a systematized and lucid way, in Rüdiger Schmitt’s dissertation "Dichtung and Dichtersprache in indogermanischer Zeit" that turned out to become the classical manual of this particular discipline of Indo-European Studies for other thirty years. And in spite of the continuous efforts of generations of Indo-Europeanists form the 1960es onwards, reflected in numerous articles and monographs on individual subjects, more comprehensive presentations of aspects of Language of Poetry remained rare, with the noteworthy exception of the well-known books by Calvert Watkins, Gregory Nágy and Martin L. West that appeared between 1995 and 2007, as a material expression of intensification of scholarly debate in the last 15 years. A new comprehensive presentation of the topics of this debate after 1967 in a special volume of the "Indogermanische Grammatik" (published in Heidelberg) on Stylistics and Language of Poetry is in planning but will appear not earlier than in 2017 (i.e., another half a century after the last major monograph on the question!). 

The present class aims at presenting a part of the material to be included in this compendium, in form of a conspectus of themes and questions illustrated by some "praeclara rara" that intend to focus the attention of participants on the current development of studies and methods -- but also on new themes problematized for Indo-European only in the last few decades. Objectives of the course will therefore include:
● a short survey of classical studies on the subject in form of a concise "history of ideas"
● a survey of present-day scholarly debate in form of highlights concerning various language levels (poetical phonology, morphology, syntax) but
● primarily focussing on higher levels of text (constitutive elements, cohesion, stylistic figures, composition) in various Indo-European traditions of poetry, between orality and scriptuality.

Specific course topics will include:
(0.) Introduction and state-of-affairs. Some terminological explanations. "Language of poetry" vs. "Dichtersprache"
(1.) Linguistic and stylistic forms and genres of ancient Indo-European poetry. Hymn, mantra, prayer, ritual complaint, ritual conjuration, oath, cursing and blessing etc.
(2.) Formal-stylistic figures on various language levels, especially:
    (a.) techniques of formulation, e.g. various forms of stylistic repetition;
    (b.) syntax and stylistics of complex sentence structures; formation and structures of periods; formulaic structures.
(3.) Methods of composition and their linguistic representation in specific forms. Cyclic compositions. Catalogues and lists. Dialogic hymns etc.
(4.) Relations between "rhythmic" and "non-rhythmic" forms, or what does "poetry of prose" consist in? Questions of "metrics of proze", e.g. in Italic, Greek, Germanic and Celtic traditions -- but also in less known cases like ritual Vedic Saṃhit ā s (Atharvaveda, Yajurveda) and Avesta.
(5.) Relation between external syntax and word formation, incl. problem of hypostasizing, "frozen syntax" etc.
(6.) From the unusual, accidental, extravagant to the habitual, conventional, formulaic: 
    ● Thematizations of rhemas.
    ● Nominalization of (poetical) predications in form of attributives, esp. epithets, epicleses, ‘names’: possible individuation of intermediate stages in this process, like e.g. transitions from
        (a.) nomina praedicati to
        (b.) attributives of accidental character, to
        (c.) attributives of habitual character, via
        (d.) epithets, up to their stabilization as "standing epithets" and
        (e.) attributives substantivized and substituting former definienda, i.e.
        (f.) substantivated adjectives, kenningar etc., as well as
        (g.) ‘names’: again, from occasional designations via habitualized denominations, autonomized epithets, to proper/personal names.
(7.) Personal names in the mirror of religion, ritual, culture, society. Names and language of poetry.
(8.) Tradition and innovation in poetical expressions and formulae. Coming into existence of "nonce-formations", conditions of establishing them from poetical into quotidian speech. Proliferation of concepts and formulae according to associative chains of analogy, etc. etc. 

Beside such themes, whose treatment in the framework of a 10-days course will necessarily vary from presentation of relevant issues in short surveys or selected highlights (e.g., §§ 0, 1, 4) to highly detailed accounts of the phenomena concerned (§§ 2a-b, 3, 5, 6a-g, 7, 8), supported with extracts from rich material collections, esp. with regard to Old Indic, Old Iranian, Greek, Italic, and Slavic), we shall aim at reaching a certain level of interactivity in class, including place for questions of special interests of participants as well as excursive surveys of special problems in form of short papers in the second week, giving students the possibility of active, ‘demiurgic’ participation in designing the class matters and creative engagement in the topics of study.

Classical Armenian (14.00-15.30)

Hrach Martirosyan (Leiden)

Armenian is an Indo-European language. At present, Armenian is spoken in the Republic of Armenia (ca. 3 million people) and by the diaspora community (ca. 7 million people). Classical Armenian or Grabar is known since the fifth century AD. The fifth century is regarded as the golden age of Armenian literature. The Armenian alphabet was invented by Mesrop Maštocʻ and consists of 36 original letters. Armenian plays an important role for the reconstruction of the Indo-European proto-language, although it underwent a number of significant changes, particularly in the verbal system. The aim of this course is to provide participants with the knowledge of the essentials of Classical Armenian grammar from an Indo-European perspective, with a particular reference to Greek. The reading excerpts from the Bible translation, and from a few original texts will allow participants to gain a better understanding of the structure of the language. At the end of the course the participants will be able to read Classical Armenian texts with the help of a dictionary.

This course requires basic familiarity with historical linguistics.

Minor languages of Anatolia: Phrygian & Lydian (16.00-17.30)

Alwin Kloekhorst & Alexander Lubotsky (Leiden)

Week 1. Introduction into Phrygian (Alexander Lubotsky)
There are two kinds of Phrygian inscriptions: Old Phrygian, written in the Phrygian alphabet, dating from the 8th–4th c. BC, and New Phrygian, written in the Greek alphabet, dating from the 2nd–3rd c. AD. In spite of the fact that every year new inscriptions are being published, our knowledge of Phrygian is very limited.

During the course we shall read the inscriptions, study the malediction formulae of the funerary inscriptions and try to draw a sketch of the Phrygian phonology and morphology. The relationship with Greek will have our particular attention.

Week 2. Introduction into Lydian (Alwin Kloekhorst)
Lydian is the language of classical Lydia, situated in central western Anatolia, in the modern-day provinces of İzmir and Manisa. It is attested on ca. one hundred stone inscriptions in a native alphabet related to Greek, dating from the 8th–rd c. BC, with a peak around the 5th and 4th century. Most inscriptions stem from Sardis, the capital of Lydia. Although some inscriptions are fairly lengthy, the absence of a large bilingual text makes Lydian difficult to understand. The little knowledge we do have shows that it stands quite apart from the other Anatolian languages.

In this course the student will be introduced into the study of the Lydian texts, in which both philology (reading the Lydian script, translating texts) and linguistics (phonology, morphology, comparison with other Anatolian languages) will play a role.

There are no requirements, although familiarity with Greek or Hittite would be helpful.