Indo-European Programme I

The first Indo-European programme (which presupposes no previous knowledge of Indo-European linguistics) will consist of four courses: Historical Grammar of Tocharian, The Hittite Language, Reading Tocharian texts, and an Introduction to Proto-Indo-European Phonology and Morphology. The students may of course also choose a course from other programs (Germanic, Iranian or Caucasian).

Slot 1: Historical Grammar of Tocharian (9.30-11.00)

Michael Peyrot (Vienna)

Course description
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.

Slot 2: The Hittite Language (11.30-13.00)

Alwin Kloekhorst (Leiden)

Course description
Hittite is the language of the Hittite Empire that ruled over large parts of Anatolia and Syria from 1650-1200 BC. It is attested in some 30,000 pieces of clay tablets excavated in the Hittite capital Hattusa. It is not only the oldest attested Indo-European language, but nowadays also regarded as the language that split off first from Proto-Indo-European and therefore of tremendous importance for any student of Indo-European linguistics.

In this course, students are offered a structural and analytical approach to Hittite grammar and texts. At the end of the course the student will be able to independently read basic Hittite texts in transcription, and will be able to perform a linguistic analysis of the language.

A background knowledge in the basics of Indo-European grammar or of some Indo-European languages like Greek or Sanskrit is helpful.

Slot 3: Reading Tocharian texts (14.00-15.30)

Michael Peyrot (Vienna)

Course description
In this course, a selection of Tocharian texts in both languages (A and B) will be read. In part, these texts will be taken from the Elementarbuch, but also some less well-known texts will be introduced. The aim is to give an overview of the different text genres and to outline the pitfalls of the interpretation. Also examples of text parallels in Old Uyghur and Sanskrit as well as bilingual texts will be included. In text reading, the focus will be on the (synchronic) grammatical interpretation of the forms. On request, certain texts can be studied also in the original script. Suggestions for reading may be made until one month in advance.

No previous knowledge of Tocharian is required, though it will be helpful. Through the inclusion of less well-known texts, the course is at the same time suited for students who have already some reading experience.

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

Course document will be provided; no textbook is required.

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

Guus Kroonen (Copenhagen) 

Course description
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.