Reading proficiency in German is required. Basic knowledge of linguistics is advisable.
The oldest stage of the German language is called Old High German, which starts around 600 AD and changes into Middle High German around 1050. It is one of the cornerstones for the reconstruction of Proto-Germanic. Old High German exists in several different dialects, which have sometimes quite deviating features. Most of the longer Old High German texts belong to the Christian literature (e.g. Otfrid’s Book of Gospels), but there are also some shorter texts of non-clerical nature. Other than that, our main source of knowledge about the vocabulary are High German marginal glosses in Latin manuscripts, as well as Latin-German word lists.
At the end of the course the students will have a good working knowledge of the grammar of Old High German, of its main internal divisions, and of some of the main linguistic changes which led from Proto-Germanic to Old High German. They will also be able to read Old High German texts with the help of a dictionary.
Time and date on which the course is offered or a link to the website.
Mode of instruction
2-hour weekly seminar
Written exam with open questions. MA students will in addition have to write a research paper (ca. 5-10 pages) on a topic in Old High German language or literature.
Braune, W. & I. Reiffenstein: Althochdeutsche Grammatik I. Laut- und Formenlehre. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2004.
The reading excerpts and supplementary literature will be distributed during the course.
This has to be filled out by the key-user of the department.