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Admission requirements

Knowledge of the Cyrillic alphabet will be required as well as basic knowledge of historical linguistics.


Ossetic is the living descendant of the Scytho-Sarmatian group of Iranian languages, spoken in the Caucasus. Since Ossetians have long existed in isolation from the rest of the Iranian world, their language has a unique status among Iranian languages. On the one hand, it has preserved a number of very archaic morphological, phonological, and syntactic features. On the other hand, due to centuries of close contact of Ossetians with speakers of indigenous languages of the Caucasus, Ossetic has developed some innovative traits, for example, a rich agglutinative case system with several spatial forms.
Also of importance is the cultural heritage of the Ossetians, in particular the Nart epics, which are, like the rest of Ossetic, a peculiar mixture of Indo-European and Caucasian elements.

Course objectives

During the course, you will gain knowledge of the central grammatical traits of Ossetic and its two main dialects: Iron and Digor. The course will include both synchronic and historical analysis: we shall discuss the historical grammar of Iranian languages and the possibility of external influence on Ossetic grammatical features. We will read several texts, in particular fragments of the Nart epics.


Visit MyTimetable.


26 contact hours
52 hours for preparation of the classes
10 hours for the study of the reading list
50 hours for preparation of the exam
2 hours for the exam

Mode of instruction

lecture / seminar

Assessment method

Written examination with short open questions.
For the MA students, there will be additional questions and a bigger pensum.


The final exam can be retaken if a student did not pass the first time.

Inspection and feedback

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

Abaev, Vasilij I. 1964. A grammatical sketch of Ossetic, ed. by Herbert H. Paper, translated from Russian by
Steven P. Hill. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University [Available online].(
Further materials will be made available through Brightspace

For the MA students, there will be additional reading portions and secondary literature.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.


[Prof. dr. A. Lubotsky] (

Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats

E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

Coordinator of Studies