Germanic Programme

The Germanic programme will consist of three courses: Old High German, Old English, and Old Frisian.

Slot 1: Old High German (9.30-11.00)

Peter Alexander Kerkhof (Leiden)

Course outline
The course offers an introduction to Old High German from a historical linguistic perspective. The course has two focus points. In the first week the focus lies on the historical grammar. The historical grammar of Old High German will be discussed from Proto-Indo-European downwards. Special attention will come to the sound laws which distinguish Old High German from the other West-Germanic languages. In the second week we will focus on acquiring an ability to read Old High German texts. The original texts will be studied by use of the standard editions and sometimes we will take a look at digitalized versions of the manuscripts. In this second part also a historical framework to the production of Old High German texts and Carolingian literary culture will be provided.

Level and requirements
The course is aimed at students of the Old Germanic languages who take an interest into historical grammar and philology. The course requires a basic knowledge of Proto-Germanic and familiarity with linguistic reconstruction in general will be presupposed. There will be short daily homework assignments training historical reconstruction and reading proficiency.

W. Braune / E. Ebbinghaus, AbriƟder althochdeutschen Grammatik, 15th edn. Berlin: DeGruyter, 1989
W. Braune / E. Ebbinghaus, Althochdeutsches Lesebuch, 17th edn. Berlin: DeGruyter, 1994

Reader will be distributed during the course

Slot 2: Old English (11.30-13.00)

Marcelle Cole (Leiden)

Course description
The course offers an introduction to Old English. We will focus on the more extensively recorded West Saxon dialect of Old English, but attention will also be paid to other Old English dialects, such as Old Northumbrian. Grammar and structure will be discussed with the help of original texts, including both prose and poetry.

There will be short daily translation assignments for homework.

Required text
Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson, A Guide to Old English, 8th ed. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2012).

Slot 3: Old Frisian (14.00-15.30)

Rolf Bremmer (Leiden)

Course description
The course offers an introduction to the Old Frisian language. We focus on reading and appreciating Old Frisian texts, especially the law texts which make up the bulk of the corpus of Old Frisian and which can be very vivid. Old Frisian grammar and structure will be discussed, including such problems as dialectology, periodization and its place within Germanic, including the Anglo-Frisian complex. We also pay attention to how Old Frisian literature functioned within the feuding society that Frisia was until the close of the Middle Ages.

The daily homework consists of small portions of text to be translated, some grammatical and other assignments on the text, and reading a number of background articles.

Rolf H. Bremmer Jr, An Introduction to Old Frisian. History, Grammar, Reader, Glossary (Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2009; revised reprint 2011). (This book can be ordered with a rebate through me)