This programme consists of four courses: Old High German, Old Frisian, Runology, Historical grammar of Germanic (with special emphasis on Elfdalian)
- Time slot 1: Old High German (9.30-11.00)
- Time slot 2: Old Frisian (11.30 - 13.00)
- Time slot 3: Runology (14.00 - 15.30)
- Time slot 4: Historical grammar of Germanic (with special emphasis on Elfdalian) (16.00 - 17.30)
Peter Alexander Kerkhof (Leiden)
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, Abriß der althochdeutschen Grammatik, 15th edn. Berlin: De Gruyter, 1989
W. Braune / E. Ebbinghaus, Althochdeutsches Lesebuch, 17th edn. Berlin: DeGruyter, 1994
Reader will be distributed during the course
Rolf Bremmer (Leiden)
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).
Arend Quak (Leiden)
After an introduction to the origin of runes and the form and meaning of the runes of the older futhark we will read runic inscriptions from the early period on the basis of pictures of the originals. The development of the Anglo-Frisian runes and the use of runes on the continent will be followed by the developments in Scandinavia, where the younger futhark came into existence in the course of the 8th century. We will read a number of Scandinavian inscriptions to see, what information can be drawn from them. The medieval runes from cities like Bergen and Trondheim will also be treated.
Guus Kroonen (Copenhagen)
Proto-Germanic, the predecessor of the Germanic languages, was spoken in Northern Germany and Southern Scandinavia some two thousand years ago. During the millennium to follow, Germanic became fragmented into several sub-dialects which formed the foundation for modern European languages such as Scandinavian, German, English, Frisian and Dutch.
Apart perhaps from some Runic inscriptions, Proto-Germanic has left no written record; linguists have therefore had to reconstruct the language by comparison of the oldest Germanic dialects, such as Gothic, Old Norse, Old English, Old Frisian, Old Saxon and Old High German. During the course, the student will receive an introduction to Germanic historical phonology and morphology. The main objective will be to learn to reconstruct Proto-Germanic, and to derive this language from the Proto-Indo-European parent.
In recent years, the relatively unknown North Germanic dialect of Älvdalen, known in English as Elfdalian or Övdalian, has attracted world-wide media attention. This Swedish vernacular, which is spoken by about 2000 people, preserves unique features of both Old Norse and Proto-Germanic, and will receive special emphasis during this year's course.
The course is aimed at students of Germanic languages who take an interest into the oldest historical period. It is also recommended to students of comparative Indo-European linguistics who wish to enhance their skills in Germanic reconstruction. Application is open to students who have obtained ECTS with the study of at least one old Germanic language, e.g. Gothic, Old Norse or Old High German. Students who fail to meet this requirement, and still wish to enroll, are required to attend one of the courses from the Germanic program at the Leiden Summer School.