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Introduction to Old Khotanese


Admission requirements



Khotanese is an Eastern Middle Iranian language once spoken in the ancient Saka kingdom of Khotan, located in the Southwest of today’s Xīnjiāng Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. It is attested in manuscripts dating from the 5th to the 10th c. AD, mostly of Buddhist content. Its oldest stages are characterized by complex morphology, which makes it one of the most conservative Middle Iranian languages. In this course, the focus is on the synchronic grammar of Old Khotanese and the diachronic developments leading from Proto-Iranian to Old Khotanese.

Course objectives

After this course, students will be able to:

  • describe the linguistic position of Khotanese among Middle Iranian languages;

  • give an account of the main sound changes occurring from Proto-Iranian to Old Khotanese;

  • generally define the historical context in which Khotanese was spoken and Khotanese manuscripts were copied;

  • independently read Old Khotanese texts in transcription with the help of a dictionary;


The timetable is available on the website of the Linguistics bachelor

Mode of instruction

Lecture, Seminar (2 hours per week)

Course Load

Total course load 5 EC x 28 hours= 140 hours

  • Lectures: 26 hours

  • Practical work: 52 hours

  • Preparation exam: 60 hours

  • Final exam: 2 hours

Assessment method


Written examination with short open questions


100 %


Written examination with short open questions

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.


Not applicable

Reading list

A syllabus will be digitally distributed before the beginning of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on this website

Prospective students, please check the Study Abroad/Exchange website for information on how to apply.


Contact information:

Federico Dragoni, MA

Coordinator of Studies: E.A. van Dijk, MSc

Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats

E-mailaddress Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats: