Indo-European Programme (advanced)

Slot 1: Slavic Historical Phonology (9.30-11.00)

Tijmen Pronk (Zagreb)

The course aims to provide a thorough introduction to the historical phonology of the Slavic languages. It will cover the phonological developments from Proto-Indo-European to the latest stages of Proto-Slavic, in some cases even to the present day Slavic languages and dialects.

The course will mainly focus on sound laws involving the vowel and consonant systems, while the accentual system will only be discussed when it provides crucial information about changes in segmental phonology. The overview of sound changes from Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Slavic will include several more in-depth case studies dealing with 1) phonetic changes in Common Slavic loanwords from Latin, Greek and Germanic, 2) the Common Slavic tendency towards creating open syllables, 3) the development of the consonant system after the loss of interconsonantal reduced vowels, 4) the development of the vowel system during the expansion of the Slavs in the second half of the first millennium AD, 5) the reflexes of the Indo-European syllabic resonants, 6) non-palatal reflexes of Indo-European palatovelars, 7) vowel lengthening before Indo-European mediae (Winter's law).

Familiarity with the principles of historical linguistics is required and basic knowledge of Proto-Indo-European and of at least one Slavic language are strongly recommended.

Slot 2: Lycian (11.30-13.00)

Karl Praust (Vienna)

Lycian is one of the “smaller” Anatolian languages. More specifically, it belongs to the Luwic branch of these languages and falls into two different dialects, Lycian A and Lycian B (or Milyan), respectively.  The major differences between these  two variants will be briefly dealt with, as will the affiliations of Lycian within the Anatolian branch of Indo-European languages.  Our reading exercises, however,  will be concerned with Lycian A,  as attested in some 200 stone inscriptions (dating roughly from 500 – 300 BCE) and on a number of  coins.  Lycian grammar (as far as we know it at all) will be presented  both from a historical and synchronic viewpoint. Another main focus, however, will  be on the inscriptions themselves, on thoroughly  interpreting them and on getting as much historical information out of them as possible (this goes, e.g.,  for the situation of Lycia between the Greeks and the Persians, or  for the actual linguistic situation in later times when the inscriptions are already written in Greek). You will be taught basic epigraphical skills, and wherever necessary, the archaeological sites will also be taken into account (and some of them are simply breathtakingly beautiful; if interested, have a look at ). You will see how much our understanding of the inscriptions – and thereby also of the language, of course – can benefit from that approach.

Knowing some Hittite (and some Greek) would be helpful, but isn’t strictly necessary. You will be introduced to the relevant literature during the course.

Slot 3: Indo-European Poetry, Ritual and Myth (14.00-15.30)

Velizar Sadovski (Vienna)

During this Leiden Summer school class, we are going to jointly discuss the relations between Indo-European sacral texts and their ritual and mythical contexts.

We will analyze a series of the most archaic specimens of Indo-European poetry throughout various language groups and stylistic genres – Vedic mantras and Avestan hymns, chapters of Homer and Hesiod, Greek incantations in metrical inscriptions and their literary pendants like Attic tragedy, Old Latin ritual carmina, calendar-related formulae and 'uerba concepta' for legal purposes, Hittite prayers, oaths and purification hymns, inherited topoi of Balto-Slavic "Heldendichtung", Germanic spells for cursing and blessing, healing charms in Celtic.

As soon as we can reconstruct syntax, we can reconstruct texts. And if we can reconstruct texts, it is legitimate to try reconstructing con-texts. This means those surrounding realities to which our texts constantly refer – objective realities, but also realities of spiritual life. From the point of view both of linguistics and of religious history, in-depth research into the various language system levels of the poetic texts used in solemn or in private ritual – in their stylistics, syntax, inherited (and modified) phraseology and intertextual relationships – is able to make us aware of a number of parallels of well-known classical Greek and Latin texts with (well or less-known) representatives of ritual and hymnal poetry of other ancient Indo-European traditions such as Gâthic and Young Avestan, (Yajur-)Vedic, or Cuneiform Luwian, which have often escaped the attention of the high-specialized (Classical) philologists of present day. The cross-cultural analysis of the individual pieces of ritual poetry shows us, moreover, common features of their ritual pragmatics, especially for what concerns the central question of "how to do things with words" in the context of Old Indo-European mythological thinking and religious practice.

Therefore, when establishing text-internal and intertextual connections on different language levels (poetical phonology, syntax, phraseology, figures of speech), we shall ultimately try to find examples and discover heuristic possibilities of reconstructing language levels beyond the somewhat atomistic or algebraic level of pure sound correspondences (as presented by some linguists with no interest in old Indo-European "Realienkinde") or the banality of vaguely associative structural parallels (not rare to find among religious studies traditionalists of lacking interest in a thorough linguistic analysis of their sources). One of the aims of our discussions will logically be to ask ourselves how to find efficient methods to establish common denominators in language of ritual poetry, in a unity between formal match and common semantic background. Closely looking at the rich text material at our disposal from comparative and historical perspective, we can demonstrate a number of exemplary cases of such common structures and even word-by-word (and rite-by-rite) correspondences between various elements of Language of Poetry and Ritual which have good chance to go back to common Indo-European mytho-poetic heritage.

In order to keep the creative atmosphere, typical of these two Leiden weeks of joint work, in the dialectic focus between the systematicity of a lecture cycle prepared in advance and the spontaneity of the participants' personal interests, a few of the students (this year: max. three or four) will be encouraged to give short presentations (ca. 20 min. + 10 min. for discussion) on topics of their special interest and/or on more general themes (like, e.g., "Indo-European Phraseology in the Carmen Arvale", "Style and Language of the Second Merseburg Incantation", "How to Talk to God in Homeric Greek? Language of Prayers in the Iliad" or "Hittite Lustration Rituals and Indo-European Poetic Heritage", or similar issues of relevance for the wide thematic range of the class). Beyond the rich teaching programme, as the experience shows, such additional presentations of their own ideas or projects (although of voluntary and by no way mandatory character) encourage individual contacts and exchange between the students. Our discussions often continue long after the classes - in the relaxed evening atmosphere of the Dutch cafés and beer gardens at the Rhine! - thus stimulating future professionals and present colleagues from different countries become acquainted with one another's work and personalities. This is a further aspect of the politics of the Summer School, which combines teaching and social activities in the spirit of the classical Akademeia.

Slot 4: The lengthened grade in Indo-European (16.00-17.30)

Alexander Lubotsky (Leiden) & Tijmen Pronk (Zagreb)

Issues connected to the Proto-Indo-European lengthened grade play a role in many discussions in the field of Indo-European linguistics. This course aims to provide an overview of the distribution, productivity and origin of the Proto-Indo-European lengthened grade. It will review the relevant data from the individual branches of Indo-European and it will address the question in which morphological categories and lexical items lengthened grades can be reconstructed for the proto-language. The course will also cover various views regarding the origin of the lengthened grade, such as Szemerényi's law, Stang's law and Wackernagel's lengthening. Other issues that will be discussed are Eichner's law and acrostatic formations in the verbal and nominal systems.

Participants are expected to have basic knowledge of Proto-Indo-European. The course can be seen as an introduction to the conference "The Lengthened Grade in Indo-European" which will be held at Leiden University immediately after the Summer School.