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Indo-European Linguistics I


Admission requirements

Some knowledge of an ancien Indo-European language, e.g., Latin or Greek, is strongly recommended.


Which phonemes do we reconstruct for Proto-Indo-European and why? Why does Latin actus have a long a, but aptus a short one? When was the RUKI-rule phonemicized? How were the laryngeal pronounced and what type of evidence helps us to answer that question? These are all questions about the historical phonology of Proto-Indo-European that will come up during this course. Combined with the course Indo-European linguistics II: Morphology, which is taught in the second semester, the course will enable the student to reconstruct Proto-Indo-European words on the basis of words from various Indo-European languages.

Course objectives

Obtaining knowledge about phonological change between Proto-Indo-European and its daughter languages.
Obtaining knowledge about the following sound laws: Brugmann, Bartholomae, Lachmann, Winter, Grimm, Verner, Kluge, Grassmann, ruki-regel, Sievers, Osthoff.
Understanding the arguments for possible phonetic interpretations of reconstructed Proto-Indo-European phonemes.
Developing reconstruction skills.
Applying sound laws to reconstructed forms.


The timetable is available on the MA Linguistics website

Mode of instruction

Reading scholarly literature

Course Load

26 hours of instruction, 2 hours examination, 112 hours preparation and reading literature.

Assessment method

Written examination with open questions. There is a resit with the same format.


Blackboard will be used for distribution of course materials.

Reading list

R. Beekes, Comparative Indo-European linguistics: an introduction. Second edition, revised and corrected by M. de Vaan. Benjamins, 2011.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in [English]) and Dutch

Students other than MA Linguistics need permission from the coordinator of studies before enrolling.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof for questions.