Indo-European beginners programme

This programme will consist of four courses: Language Ecology of Ancient Italy, Historical Grammar of Tocharian, Introduction to Proto-Indo-European Phonology and Morphology, Hieroglyphic Luwian

Time slot 1: Language Ecology of Ancient Italy (9.30 - 11.00)

Michael Weiss (Ithaca)

Course description
In this class we will examine the linguistic situation of Ancient Italy before and during the Roman expansion. There are five primary goals.

(1) To understand how historical linguistics works and how it can contribute to the interpretation of texts from poorly documented stages of known languages (e.g. Very Old Latin) and from languages with limited corpora (e.g. Umbrian).
(2) To examine the place of Latin and the Italic languages within the Proto-Indo-European family.
(3) To examine the language map of Ancient Italy before the Roman expansion and to study some key remains from most of the non-Latin languages of Italy.
(4) To examine language contact phenomena between Latin and other languages.
(5) To practice and refine the use of historical-linguistic methodology on the linguistic data of Ancient Italy. These data are varied (fragmentary to massively recorded, literary to graffiti; 8th cent. BCE to 5th CE; IE and non-IE), well studied (almost 200 years of serious scholarship), and in some ways paradigmatic in historical-linguistic and linguistic discourse (Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Romance, the Latin grammatical tradition).

Time slot 2: Historical Grammar of Tocharian (11.30-13.00)

Michael Peyrot (Berlin) 

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.

Time slot 3: Introduction to Proto-Indo-European Phonology and Morphology (14.00 - 15.30)

Michael Peyrot (Berlin)

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.

Course outline (per day)
1. Survey of main IE languages, their orthography and linguistic systems  
2. Phonemes of PIE, morpheme structure, phonotactics 
3. PIE stops 
4. PIE sibilant and resonants, laryngeals (I) 
5. PIE vowels and diphthongs, laryngeals (II) 
6. PIE noun inflexion 
7. Noun suffixes, internal derivation 
8. PIE verbal system: conjugation 
9. PIE verbal system: stem formation 
10. Exercises in PIE etymology

Course materials
Course materials will be made available to the students before the start of the course.

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.

Time slot 4: Hieroglyphic Luwian (16.00 - 17.30)

Alwin Kloekhorst (Leiden)

Course outline
Hieroglyphic Luwian is the language in which the monumental inscriptions of the Hittite Empire (1650-1180 BC, central-Anatolia) as well as the Neo-Hittite city states ( (1100-700 BC, south-east-Anatolia) are written. It is written in an indigenous hieroglyphic script (which has nothing to do with the Egyptian hieroglyphs).
Linguistically, Hieroglyphic Luwian belongs to the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family, and thus is closely cognate with Hittite, and, more remotely, languages like Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, but also English and Dutch.
In this course the writing system as well as the entire grammar of Hieroglyphic Luwian will be treated, with the aim to be able to independently read and understand the Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions in the hieroglyphic script. Moreover, the students will be acquainted with the scholarly literature on Hieroglyphic Luwian and be introduced into the newest insights on the phonological and morphological interpretation of the language as well as its affiliation to the other Anatolian and Indo-European languages.

Knowledge of an ancient IE language and preferably Hittite.