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Introduction to Old Church Slavic


Admission requirements

This course requires basic familiarity with historical linguistics. Prior knowledge of one or more Slavic languages is an advantage but is not required.


Old Church Slavic is the oldest Slavic that is known to us and is in many respects close to Proto-Slavic, the reconstructed ancestor of all Slavic languages. The course will provide an introduction into the structure of Old Church Slavic and it will explore its Balto-Slavic and Indo-European origins. During the course, the student will become familiar with the historical background of the Old Church Slavic tradition and the characteristics of the Old Church Slavic textual corpus. Old Church Slavic phonology and the way in which it is reflected in the Old Church Slavic alphabets will be discussed in detail. Old Church Slavic grammar will be studied in enough detail for the participant to understand the historical developments that will be discussed and to read a number of texts. The focus of the second part of the course will be on historical phonology and morphology and the relation between Old Church Slavic and other Slavic languages.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, participants are expected to have basic structural knowledge of Old Church Slavic. He/she should be able to handle Old Church Slavic texts and to interpret Old Church Slavic data from an Indo-European perspective.



Mode of instruction

Lecture and seminar (reading texts and analyzing scholarly literature).

Course Load

Amount of lectures: 26 hours
Assessment: 2 hours
Preparation lectures and assignments: 52 hours
Preparation assessment: 60 hours

Assessment method

A written examination with open questions and a short text to be translated. The resit will have the same structure.


Blackboard will be used for providing literature to the students and communicating with them.


Reading list

A reading list will be distributed through Blackboard.


Enrollment through uSis for the course and the examination or paper is mandatory.