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Historical Grammar of Latin


Admission requirements

Linguistics students: basic knowledge of synchronic Latin grammar (A-level or equivalent)
Classics students: Griekse Taalkunde (BA 2) or equivalent knowledge of the basic principles of Historical Linguistics
Others: both the above requirements


This course gives an overview of the linguistic developments (sound changes and morphological changes) taking place between Proto-Indo-European and Latin. We will also read texts and inscriptions in archaic Latin as well as in other ancient Italic languages, and explain the linguistic differences between these varieties and the Classical language. Sets of exercises will be used to test the students’ knowledge and skills.

Course objectives

The student:

  • knows the basic facts about the phonetics and phonology of Classical Latin;

  • knows the historical sound changes and morphological developments leading from PIE to Latin, is able to give a linguistic description of these developments, and to date them;

  • is able to identify these developments in Latin words, and to apply them to PIE reconstructions

  • is able to compare word forms from archaic Latin and other Italic languages to corresponding Classical Latin forms, and to explain the differences between them;

  • has insight in the sociolinguistic situation of Latin (Classical vs. Vulgar Latin, urban vs. rural dialects, etc.)


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load 5 EC x 28 hours= 140 hours

  • Lectures: 2 x 13 weeks = 26 hours

  • Preparation tutorials: 4 x 13 = 52 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 17 hours

  • Preparation exam: 40 hours

  • Exams: 5 hours

Assessment method

Assessment: Mid-term and Final exam. Both are written examinations consisting of short open questions
Weighing: Mid-term 25 %, Final exam 75 %.
Resit: The resit examination holds for both parts at once. This resit will cover the entire material of the course and the mark will replace both previously earned marks.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

We will use a syllabus (to be distributed via Brightspace) and exercise sets. Literature for further reading will also be made available through Brightspace.
Optional: M. Weiss, Outline of the Historical and Comparative Grammar of Latin, Beech Stave 2009 (can be ordered online at the publishers’ website)


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs



For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.

For questions regarding enrollment please contact the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats
E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

For questions regarding your studyprogress contact the Coordinator of Studies


Also offered as an MA course.