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Admission requirements

First year’ students BA Linguistics will be enrolled in the tutorials of this course by the Education Administration Office. Other students should first contact the coordinator of studies, Else van Dijk. Self-enrollment is not possible for this course.


The Gothic language is the oldest substantially documented Germanic language and was spoken by the barbarian confederations of the Goths and the Vandals in the final days of the Roman Empire. The Gothic language is primarily known to us from sixth-century Italian manuscripts which contain a fourth-century bible translation. However, additional witnesses to the Gothic language can be found in Gothic runic inscriptions, Gothic epigraphic inscriptions and Gothic religious tractates. Because of its antiquity, the Gothic language can serve as a starting point for the linguistic comparison of the Germanic languages, offering a similar archaic language stage as Latin does for the Romance language family. A dual category like Greek, a synthetic passive like Latin; Gothic has it all! This course offers an introduction to the Gothic language by exploring its philology and historical context, its grammar and its historical phonology and morphology. This way, the student will be provided with a window on the language and culture of one of the most iconic peoples of Late Antiquity.

Course objectives

In this course, the student will get acquainted with Gothic philology and acquire a reading proficiency in biblical Gothic. Additionally, the student will learn how the phonology and morphology of the Gothic language relates to the other Germanic languages and to the PIE ancestral language. At the end of the course, the student will be able to read the Gothic bible independently with help of a dictionary and relate the phonemes of the Gothic language to the corresponding sounds in the Germanic sister branches.


Linguistics bachelor

Mode of instruction


Course Load

5 ec = 140 hours, 28 hours of tutorials, 67 hours of preperation, 42 hours of preperation for the exam, 2 hours for the exam. No midterm.

Assessment method

Written exam. Students who failed the exam, can take the resit.


The slides that are used during the course will be made available on Blackboard

Reading list

Syllabus, made available through Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website

Students - not registered as students BA Linguistics – who would like to enroll in this course should first contact the coordinator of studies, Else van Dijk

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs


For questions about the content of the course, please contact the lecturer.

Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats

E-mailaddress Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats:

Coordinator of Studies: Else van Dijk