Indo-European Programme (beginners)

Slot 1: Venetic (9.30-11.00)

Michael Weiss (Cornell University)

In this class we will examine the small corpus of inscription in the Venetic language in detail. Topics to be covered include: the history of the Venetic script; the role of Venetic in the transmission of writing from the Italian peninsula to Northern Europe; the evidence of Venetic orthography for syllable structure; the historical phonology and morphology of Venetic; the Venetic lexicon; the position of Venetic within Indo-European and Italic; the cultural context of Venetic inscriptions.

Slot 2: Historical grammar of Latin (11.30-13.00)

Michael Weiss (Cornell University)

This course offers an introduction to the historical and comparative grammar of Latin. Starting from Proto-Indo-European we will examine the phonological and morphological innovations of Italic and Latin. We will also discuss selected syntactic issues, the position of Latin in the PIE family, and the language ecology of Ancient Italy.

Course Outline
I. The Languages of Ancient Italy; Writing in Ancient Italy
II. Segmental Inventory of Latin; The Consonants from PIE to Latin
III. The Vowels from PIE to Proto-Latin; Prosody
IV. Further Changes to Vowels; Consonant Clusters
V. Nominal Morphology

VI. Derivational Morphology
VII. Verbal Morphology
VIII. Verbal Morphology; Syntax
IX. The Position of Latin in PIE; Latin and the Other Languages of Italy
X. Vulgar Latin and Proto-Romance

The student should be familiar with the methods of historical linguistics and have a working knowledge of the synchronic grammar of Latin.

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

Michael Weiss, Outline of the Historical and Comparative Grammar of Latin , Ann Arbor, Beech Stave Press, 2009. To be ordered at Beech Stave Press.

Slot 3: An introductory course on Sanskrit and its historical grammar (14.00-15.30)

Leonid Kulikov (Gent/Leiden)

Course description
The aim of this course is to introduce the students to the main linguistic features of Vedic Sanskrit – one of the most ancient Indo-European languages. The course will offer a general survey of the corpus of Vedic texts and a brief outline of the Vedic grammar, focusing, foremost, on the features of the language of the oldest Vedic text, the Rgveda. A synchronic description of the early Vedic linguistic system will be accompanied with elements of the Indo-Aryan historical grammar.

We will read small portions of the two most important early Vedic texts, Rgveda and Atharvaveda, in transliteration. We will mainly concentrate on the linguistic analysis of texts, but some extra-linguistic aspects of understanding Vedic text will be touched upon as well.

Familiarity with the basics of the reconstruction of the Proto-Indo-European language; basic knowledge of the principles of general and historical linguistics. A preliminary knowledge of Sanskrit is not required

Slot 4: Introduction to Proto-Indo-European Phonology and Morphology (16.00-17.30)

Lucien van Beek (Leiden)

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.