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Indo-European Phonology


Admission requirements

Some knowledge of historical linguistics, preferably the 1st year course Language and culture of the Indo-Europeans.


Which phonemes do we reconstruct for Proto-Indo-European and why? Why does Latin actus have a long a, but aptus a short one? How were the laryngeals 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.

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-rule, Sievers, Osthoff.

  • Understanding the arguments for possible phonetic interpretations of reconstructed Proto-Indo-European phonemes.

  • Developing reconstruction skills.

  • Applying sound laws to reconstructed forms.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

Lecture / Seminar

Assessment method

Written examination with open questions 100%.

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.

Reading list

R. Beekes, Comparative Indo-European linguistics: an introduction. Second edition, revised and corrected by M. de Vaan. Benjamins, 2011. (to be purchased before the start of the course)


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on this website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs


For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.

For questions regarding enrollment please contact the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats
E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

For questions regarding your studyprogress contact the Coordinator of Studies


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