The Indo-European Programme of the Leiden Summer School in Languages and Linguistics consists of courses for beginners and for advanced students. Those interested in Indo-Iranian may consider taking some of the courses taught within the Iranian Programme and the Indological Programme. Those interested in Germanic may take some of the courses of the Germanic programme.

Time Schedule

      Timeslot 1 (9.30 - 11.00)
M. Weiss: Historical grammar of Latin 

      Timeslot 2 (11.30 - 13.00)
M. Weiss: Oscan and Umbrian

A. Kloekhorst: Anatolian historical grammar [advanced]

      Timeslot 3 (14.00 - 15.30)
M. de Vaan: Introduction to PIE phonology and morphology

A. Lubotsky: Historical grammar of Sanskrit

     Timeslot 4 (16.00 - 17.30)
A. Lubotsky & T. Pronk: The Glottalic theory [advanced]

Historical grammar of Latin (9.30 - 11.00)

Michael Weiss (Cornell University)

This course offers an introduction to the historical and comparative grammar of Latin.  Starting from Proto-Indo-European we will examine the phonological and morphological innovations of Italic and Latin.  We will also discuss selected syntactic issues, the position of Latin in the PIE family, and the language ecology of Ancient Italy.

Course Outline
I.    The Languages of Ancient Italy; Writing in Ancient Italy
II.   Segmental Inventory of Latin; The Consonants from PIE to Latin
III.  The Vowels from PIE to Proto-Latin; Prosody
IV.   Further Changes to Vowels; Consonant Clusters
V.    Nominal Morphology  

VI.   Derivational Morphology
VII.   Verbal Morphology
VIII.  Verbal Morphology; Syntax
IX.    The Position of Latin in PIE; Latin and the Other Languages of Italy
X.     Vulgar Latin and Proto-Romance

The student should be familiar with the methods of historical linguistics and have a working knowledge of the synchronic grammar of Latin.

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

Michael Weiss, Outline of the Historical and Comparative Grammar of Latin, Ann Arbor, Beech Stave Press, 2009. 

Time schedule

Oscan and Umbrian (11.30 - 13.00)

Michael Weiss (Cornell University)

This course offers an introduction to the reading and interpretation of the textual remains of the Sabellic languages (chiefly Oscan and Umbrian, but also South Picene and Pre-Samnite).  In addition, we will survey the historical phonology and morphology of these languages with particular regard to the reconstruction of Proto-Italic.

Course Outline

I.       The Languages of Ancient Italy
II.    Historical Phonology and Morphology of Proto-Sabellic
III.  Phonology and Morphology of Oscan
IV.  Phonology and Morphology of Umbrian and South Picene
V.     Proto-Sabellic and Proto-Italic

VI.    Readings in Oscan
VII.     Readings in Oscan
VIII.   Readings in Umbrian
IX.   Readings in Umbrian
X.      Readings in South Picene


This course requires basic familiarity with historical linguistics and Latin synchronic grammar.  Some knowledge of PIE and Latin historical grammar will be useful.


Daily preparation and participation.  Final paper (for additional ECTS points).


Helmut Rix, Sabellische Texte, Wiesbaden: C. Winter, 2002.
Rex Wallace, The Sabellic Languages of Ancient Italy, München: Lincom, 2007. 

Time schedule

Anatolian historical grammar (11.30 - 13.00)

Alwin Kloekhorst (Leiden)

In this course, we will look at the historical phonology and morphology of the Anatolian language branch and discuss how this branch fits in into the Indo-European family. It is inevitable that most attention will be given to Hittite, since this is by far the best known Anatolian language, but we will also incorporate data from Luwian (Cuneiform as well as Hieroglyphic), Lycian, Palaic and, to a lesser extent, Lydian. We will discuss how all these languages can be used for reconstructing Proto-Anatolian, and how Proto-Anatolian must have derived from Proto-Indo-European. Of course, we will also go into specific questions like: was Anatolian really the first branch to split off from Proto-Indo-European? How does the mi-/hi-conjugation distinction fit into our knowledge of the PIE verbal system? What is the outcome of *h3 in Anatolian?

This course requires an introductory course Hittite and basic knowledge of PIE. 

Time schedule

Introduction to PIE phonology and morphology (14.00 - 15.30)

Michiel de Vaan (Leiden)
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. 

Time schedule

Historical grammar of Sanskrit (14.00 - 15.30)

Alexander Lubotsky (Leiden)

This course offers an introduction to the historical grammar of Sanskrit. We will be concerned with the origins of the Sanskrit grammar, that is, with the historical development of Sanskrit phonology, morphophonology (sandhi) and morphology. We will also pay attention to especially close relationship of Sanskrit with Old Iranian languages (Avestan, Old Persian). 

Course Outline

  • Sanskrit texts and their chronology; Sanskrit phoneme inventory
  • Vowels and resonants
  • Stops
  • Development of PIE  *s and laryngeals in Sanskrit
  • Morphophonology / Sandhi 
  • Nominal morphology, compounds
  • Pronoun
  • Verb: endings and categories
  • Verb: present stems
  • Verb: aorist and perfect stems


The student should be familiar with the methods of historical linguistics and preferably have some knowledge of the synchronic grammar of Sanskrit or some knowledge of Proto-Indo-European, although this is not compulsory. 

Time schedule

The Glottalic theory (16.00 - 17.30)

Alexander Lubotsky and Tijmen Pronk (Leiden)

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.

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 and in Indo-Iranian, Italic and Greek, the glottalization is mainly reflected in the vocalism. 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 intended for participants with at least basic knowledge of Indo-European.

Time schedule