Background knowledge of Indo-European linguistics.
Exchange students are allowed to follow this class if they have sufficient knowledge of Indo-European linguistics.
This course provides an introduction into Vedic Sanskrit, the language of the Vedas, especially that of the Rigveda. We will focus on synchronic phonology and morphology. Besides being a key language for any scholar of South and Central Asian literature, Vedic Sanskrit has always been a cornerstone of Indo-European linguistics. It also serves as a gateway to further study of other Indo-Iranian languages. In class, we will combine lecture-style introductions to the phonology and morphology of Vedic Sanskrit (with an Indo-European perspective) with interactive discussions of weekly assignments where students will apply their acquired knowledge to analyse Sanskrit words and sentences.
At the end of the course, students are expected to:
Have insight into the cultural significance of Vedic Sanskrit literature and the prehistory of Indo-Iranian languages and peoples
Memorize the most important (pro)nominal and verbal paradigms of Vedic Sanskrit
Be able to use linguistic terminology to analyse Vedic phonology as well as nominal and verbal morphology
Be able to use standard dictionaries and grammars to analyse Sanskrit words and forms
The timetables are available through My Timetable.
Mode of instruction
Students are expected to attend the weekly seminars of the BA course “Vedic Sanskrit”, where we’ll treat the synchronic grammar of Vedic Sanskrit.
In addition, there will be MA seminars where we treat more advances aspects of Vedic grammar.
A final written examination with short open questions (graded 1-10)
To pass the course, students must pass the final examination. The course grade (1-10) is determined 100 % by the final examination.
Students who fail may resit the examinations.
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.
- Introduction to Vedic Sanskrit. This is the course syllabus which will be provided at the start of the course and will be studied throughout the course and as preparation for the examinations.
Macdonell, Arthur A. 1916. A Vedic grammar for students (reprinted many times; any edition may be used).
Monier-Williams, Monier. 1899. A Sanskrit-English Dictionary.
Mayrhofer, Manfred. 1992-2001. Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen, I-III.
Grassmann, Hermann. 1873. Wörterbuch zum Rig-veda.
Jamison, Stephanie W. & Brereton, Joel P. 2014. The Rigveda. The earliest religious poetry of India.
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