Indo-European Programme II

The second Indo-European Programme will consist of four courses: The Homeric Kunstsprache, Indo-European Syntax, The Glottalic Theory, and Indo-European Mythology.

Slot 1: The Homeric Kunstsprache: synchronic and diachronic aspects (9.30-11.00)

Lucien van Beek (Leiden)

Course description
This course provides an overview of linguistic phenomena in Homer that can be categorized as "artificial", i.e. as having originated within the meter-based (and meter-influenced) language of the epics, rather than in some vernacular dialect of Greek. Given the large extent of artificial phenomena in Homer and the role of Homeric Greek in the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European, the importance of this subject can hardly be overestimated. Throughout the course, emphasis will be on phonological, morphological, and lexical phenomena.

Course outline
At the beginning of the course, the essentials of Homeric metrics will be treated in a summary way on the basis of West's article (1997), which students are requested to study in advance. Then, starting out with an extensive discussion of the works of Witte and Meister on artificial word formation and formulae, we will move on to examine Milman Parry's analysis of formulaic diction and his proof for the existence of an oral tradition.

In the second week, we will focus on diachronic aspects. Subjects to be treated will include the theory of phases in its "classical" form as expounded by Ruijgh and West; objections to this theory as advanced by Miller, Horrocks, and others; the presence of Mycenaean forms in Homer; and theories on the prehistory of Homeric verse (and their problems).

Another important issue we'll discuss is metrical lengthening and other metrical licenses like muta cum liquida scansion. How should these licenses be described from a synchronic perspective, and how can we explain their origin and subsequent spread? In this context, I will discuss parts of my dissertation on the syllabic liquids in Greek, and explain the historical genesis of the muta cum liquida scansions.

Good knowledge of Classical Greek; preferably, some experience in reading Homeric Greek.

To be read in advance
Geoffrey Horrocks, "Homer's Language", in: I. Morris and B. Powell (eds.), A New Companion to Homer, 193-217. Leiden, 1997
Martin L. West, "Homer's Metre." In: I. Morris and B. Powell (eds.), A New Companion to Homer, 218-237. Leiden, 1997.
These articles will serve as a point of reference during the entire two weeks.

Select bibliography
Olav Hackstein, "The Greek of Epic." In: E. Bakker (ed.), A Companion to the Ancient Greek Language, 401-423. Chichester/Malden (MA), 2010.
Geoffrey Horrocks, "Homer's Language." In: I. Morris and B. Powell (eds.), A NewCompanion to Homer, 193-217. Leiden, 1997.
Karl Meister, Die homerische Kunstsprache . Leipzig, 1921.
Milman Parry, The Making of Homeric Verse . Oxford 1971.
Kurt Witte, Zur homerischen Sprache . Darmstadt 1972.
Martin L. West, "The Rise of the Greek Epic." Journal of Hellenic Studies 108 (1988), 151-172.
Martin L. West, "Homer's Metre." In: I. Morris and B. Powell (eds.), A New Companion to Homer, 218-237. Leiden, 1997.

Slot 2: Indo-European Syntax (11.30-13.00)

Leonid Kulikov and Silvia Luraghi

Course outline
First week (Kulikov)
1. The Proto-Indo-European case system and its reflexes: Substrate influence in a diachronic typological perspective
2. Ergativity in (Proto-)Indo-European
3. Labile verbs in Indo-European and two main types of their evolution
4. Passive and middle in Indo-European
5. Reciprocal constructions and scenarios of the grammaticalization of reciprocal pronouns

Second week (Luraghi)
1. Valency alternations in ancient Indo-European languages
2. Causatives and the middle voice: Proto-Indo-European reconstruction, and later developments
3. Verbal and lexical aspect: inflectional and derivational aspects
4. Tense, aspect, mood
5. Lexical aspect and voice

Slot 3: The Glottalic Theory (14.00-15.30)

Alwin Kloekhorst, Guus Kroonen, and Alexander Lubotsky

Course description
One of the major new insights in Indo-European phonology, since the discovery of the laryngeals, is the view that the consonants traditionally reconstructed as voiced stops were in fact glottalized stops. This interpretation was first proposed by André Martinet in 1953 and subsequently advocated by Thomas Gamkrelidze and Vjacheslav Ivanov in 1973 on typological grounds. In a number of articles, Frederik Kortlandt has since pointed out that the theory explains a number of features found in most Indo-European language families and is thus based on extensive comparative evidence.

Course outline
The course intends to give an overview of the typological arguments and methodological issues involved, but the emphasis will be on the comparative evidence, which is of a various nature: in Armenian and Germanic, the glottalization is reflected in the consonant system, in Baltic and Slavic it is reflected in the word accent, in Indo-Iranian, Italic and Greek, the glottalization is mainly reflected in the vocalism, and also in Anatolian traces of glottalization have recently been claimed to exist. All of these will receive due attention during the course. At the end of the summer school, the participants are expected to have obtained detailed knowledge of the theory and its history, as well as of the arguments pro and con.


The course is is intended for participants with at least basic knowledge of Indo-European.

Slot 4: Comparative Indo-European Poetics, Mythology and Religion (16.00-17.30)

Velizar Sadovski

Course description
In this class, we will analyze a series of the most archaic specimens of Indo-European poetry of relevance for the reconstruction of Indo-European ritual and mythology, throughout various language groups and stylistic genres.

The language groups and text sorts will include: 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 well as Balto-Slavic folklore as source of comparative mythology.

In this year we will mainly focus on the linguistic representation of fundamental Indo-European mythological and religious concepts to be reconstructed for the PIE lexicon on the basis of ancient texts of oral poetry and in the respective literary collections both of hieratic, esoteric text sorts and of genres of popular poetry and folklore (as different from last-year’s class, in which the stress was specifically laid on texts and rituals of PIE age groups such as Männerbünde, and from which this year’s class is completely independent). In these two weeks, we shall try to go beyond standard topoi and running gags in the history of research into “Indogermansiche Dichtersprache” and find what a fresh, 21st century viewpoint on traditional IE texts can contribute by actively employing achievements, results and methodological innovations IE linguistics arrived at, in the almost 50 years after Rüdiger Schmitt’s classical monograph and the 10 years after Calvert Watkins’ masterpiece of ‘dracontoctony’, in which crucial contributions such as Martin L. West’s, Gregory Nágy’s, and Michael Janda’s monographs strongly revivified the interest in the intersection between ritual, myth and religion as reflected in the language of IE poetry.

Course outline
We shall concentrate on a broad variety of topics of interaction between the sphere of Sacred and its experience in ritual poetry and pragmatics:
- creation myths and their reproduction in daily ritual acts like setting of the sacrificial fire, libations, and the corresponding hymnal poetry;
- theogony and “Götterdichtung”, esp. forms of linguistic presentation of the divine in lexicon and phraseology;
- teratology, incl. motifs concerning abstract forces, numina and non-personified powers with their nomenclature and characteristics;
- anthropogony and anthropology, viz. myths of the primordial couples, (incestuous) creation of human and parahuman spheres, aspects of the theme of the primordial twins;
- heroic poetry, incl. topics of peace and war, and issues on the possible reconstruction of common IE collocations, epithets, phraseology characterizing the person and deeds of a hero, beyond the banalities of “primitive parallels” and “elementary structures of kinship”;
- rites, incantations, and (poetical) phraseology concerning everyday’s life in all its “prosaic” and poetic aspects, as depicted in the most ancient texts of domestic ritual.

Presentations and discussion
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 (and evergreens, 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.