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Topics in Linguistics C: Language and the Human Past


Admission requirements



Languages provide important evidence about the human past. In this course, several researchers from current projects at LUCL will present case studies covering several areas including East Africa, Amazonia, Europe and Central Asia. Different linguistic aspects and methods of the study of the human past will be highlighted, such as linguistic areas, language contact, substrates and linguistic palaeontology. Moreover, the possibilities and difficulties of linking insights from linguistics with other disciplines are discussed, notably genetics. Students will write a paper about a topic of their own choice concerning language and the human past.

Course objectives

After this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe different methods of the study of the human past

  • Analyse and discuss arguments on language and the human past

  • Critically present a topic concerning language and the human past


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Final paper 100%

Reading list

No books need to be purchased. Literature will be announced during the course.e.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on this website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

not applicable


  • For substantive questions, contact Michaël Peyrot (

Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats

E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

Coordinator of Studies


not applicable