Germanic Programme

This programme consists of three courses: Historical development of Dutch (slot 1), Gothic (slot 2), and Old Frisian (slot 3).

Slot 1: Historical Development of Dutch

Michiel de Vaan (Lausanne)

Course description
This course will trace the main phonological and morphological developments which lie between West Germanic and Modern Dutch. Questions of geographic and temporal variation will play a prominent role, and we will make ample use of maps. After a restricted survey of the available sources for Old and Middle Dutch, a limited number of topics will be presented and, in some cases, investigated in greater detail in class. The course requires no previous knowledge of Proto-Germanic, but some familiarity with linguistic reconstruction in general will be presupposed.

The reader Historical Development of Dutch will be provided by the teacher.

Daily preparation (exercises) and participation.

Slot 2: Gothic (11.30 - 13.00)

Peter Alexander Kerkhof (Leiden)

Course outline
The course offers an introduction to the Gothic language from a historical linguistic perspective. In the first week the historical grammar of Gothic will be discussed from Proto-Indo-European downwards. Special attention will come to the sound laws which connect Gothic to the other Germanic languages. In the second week we will have more time to focus on acquiring an ability to read the Gothic bible. The original texts will be studied by use of the standard editions. Recent finds of Gothic texts such as the Hács-Béndekpuszta lead tablet (1978) and the Bologna palimpsest (2013) will be discussed and read in the Gothic alphabet. In this second part also an introduction to Gothic philology will be provided: we will explore topics as diverse as the Gothic loanwords in Spanish and the treatment of Gothic kings in Germanic legend.

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, Gotische Grammatik, 17th edn. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1973

The reader will be distributed during the course

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 the teacher).