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Vedic Sanskrit: Linguistic Structure and Prehistory


Admission requirements

Some knowledge of Indo-European linguistics.


This course provides an introduction into Vedic Sanskrit, the language of the Vedas, especially that of the Rigveda, which is the oldest of them. Next to a survey of the synchronic phonology and morphology, we will be dealing with the major facets of Sanskrit historical grammar.

Course objectives

  • Insight into the linguistic structure of Vedic Sanskrit

  • Knowledge of major historical developments of Sanskrit


The timetable is available on the MA Linguistics website

Mode of instruction

Students are expected to attend the weekly seminars of the BA course “Vedic Sanskrit” (5512V2038), where we’ll treat the synchronic grammar of Vedic Sanskrit.
Students will be given a reading list for self-study in order to deepen their knowledge of the historical development of this language. There will be several sessions where this literature will be discussed.

Course Load

26 contact hours
52 hours for preparation of the classes
10 hours for the study of the reading list
50 hours for preparation of the exam
2 hours for the exam

Assessment method


A written exam at the end of the course (synchronic grammar of Vedic Sanskrit), including a number of questions covering the reading list.



Students who fail the course may resit the exam.

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.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Communication with the students

  • uploading homework and various course materials

Reading list

Macdonell, Arthur Anthony, A Vedic grammar for students. (Reprinted many times; any edition may be used.)
Syllabi will be provided during the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof for questions.

The coordinator of studies is Else van Dijk