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Greek historical grammar I


Admission requirements

Basic knowledge of classical Greek grammar.


The course is aimed at acquiring the skill of using the sound laws that occurred between Proto-Indo-European and the various ancient Greek dialects, especially Ionic-Attic, in the reconstruction of Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-European from Greek data, and in predicting the Greek outcomes of reconstructed earlier stages. We will also deal with the origin, functioning and variation of the various Greek writing systems. The knowledge will be applied in reading and analyzing some of the oldest Greek inscriptions, including some Mycenaean, and in making exercizes in which Greek data either have to be used to reconstruct earlier stages, or have to be predicted on the basis of protoforms.

Course objectives

After this course, the student will be able to:

  • reconstruct Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-European forms on the basis of Greek forms.

  • name and describe the sound laws that took place between Proto-Indo-European and Greek, and recognize their results in Greek forms.

  • apply Greek sound laws to reconstructed Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Greek forms and so predict the Greek outcome.

  • define the most important Greek dialects and dialect groups in terms of sound laws and to locate them in space and time.

  • interpret epichoric and classical Greek spellings phonologically, and predict them on the basis of phonological considerations.


The timetable is available on the MA Linguistics website

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total course load: 140 hours.

  • Seminar: 26 hours

  • Assignment(s): 50 hours

  • Preparation exam and paper: 64 hours

Assessment method

  • Mid-term exam (written examination with short open questions)

  • Final paper

The final mark for the course is established by (i) determination of the weighted average combined with (ii) the additional requirement that both the mid-term exam and the final paper be sufficient.

Resit: students who fail the course may resit the exam and/or course paper.

Exam Review

Students are entitled to view their marked examination within a period of 30 days, following publication of the results of a written examination.


Will be used for extra documents, if applicable.

Course materials will be distributed using Blackboard

Reading list

  • Reader (will be distributed after the first class)

  • More information can be found in Rix, Helmut. Historische Grammatik des Griechischen: Laut- und Formenlehre. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt, but this book will not be used in class.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English.

Students other than MA Linguistics need permission from the coordinator of studies before enrolling.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof