Knowledge of the Cyrillic alphabet will be required as well as basic knowledge of historical linguistics.
Ossetic is the living descendant of the Scytho-Sarmatian group of Iranian languages, spoken in the Caucasus. Since Ossetians have long existed in isolation from the rest of the Iranian world, their language has a unique status among Iranian languages. On the one hand, it has preserved a number of very archaic morphological, phonological, and syntactic features. On the other hand, due to centuries of close contact of Ossetians with speakers of indigenous languages of the Caucasus, Ossetic has developed some innovative traits, for example, a rich agglutinative case system with several spatial forms.
Also of importance is the cultural heritage of the Ossetians, in particular the Nart epics, which are, like the rest of Ossetic, a peculiar mixture of Indo-European and Caucasian elements.
During the course, you will gain knowledge of the central grammatical traits of Ossetic and its two main dialects: Iron and Digor. The course will include both synchronic and historical analysis: we shall discuss the historical grammar of Iranian languages and the possibility of external influence on Ossetic grammatical features. We will read several texts, in particular fragments of the Nart epics.
Mode of instruction
lecture / seminar
Written examination with short open questions.
For the MA students, there will be additional questions and a bigger pensum.
The final exam can be retaken if a student did not pass the first time.
Inspection and feedback
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.
Abaev, Vasilij I. 1964. A grammatical sketch of Ossetic, ed. by Herbert H. Paper, translated from Russian by Steven P. Hill. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University. Available online
Further materials will be made available through Brightspace.
For the MA students, there will be additional reading portions and secondary literature.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
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