Indo-European Linguistics (p) (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Paola Cotticelli
Paola Cotticelli
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem 1B dal Nov 11, 2019 al Jan 11, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The Historical Linguistics is dealing with a diachronic perspective of the study of the human language, i.e. with the language change through the time. This course consists in an introduction to the study of the Ancient Indo-European languages, their cultures, the history of their discovery, and the methodological approaches, the language change discussed on the different levels of analysis. The comparative method to reconstruct the mother tongue of this family, further the comparison and reconstruction of the phonological and morphological structure of the different Indo-European languages together with the illustration of the most important phonetic and laws, furthermore, of the of the word formation and derivation, finally a brief introduction to the Indo-European culture and realia are the main topics of the course.


1. Illustration of the concept of a linguistic family, in particular the Indo-European one
2. Historical, comparative and reconstructive method in ‘800 and in '900
3. History of the discipline
4. Concepts and principles of linguistic change
5. Exemplification of the language changes and characteristics through the analysis on the different levels:
5a. phonetic
5b. morphological and syntactical
5c. of the lexicon of the individual Indo-European languages, with specific reference to Latin and Greek.
6. Illustration of Indo-European culture based on hereditary vocabulary, realia and the history of the discipline.


Campanile, E. “Antichità indoeuropee”, in: Le lingue indoeuropee, Giacalone Ramat, A.-Ramat, P. (a cura di), Bologna 1994, pp. 19-43.
Lehmann W.P., La linguistica indoeuropea, Mulino
Villar, F., Gli indoeuropei e le origini dell’Europa, Mulino.
Watkins, C. “Il proto-indoeuropeo”, in: Le lingue indoeuropee, Giacalone Ramat, A.-Ramat, P. (a cura di), Bologna 1994, pp. 45-93.

In addition to the mandatory texts for the exam, the student can take advantage of the following in-depth texts that also apply to any oral exam to be requested after the written exam:
- scripts by the teacher,
- materials available on the platform
- exercises

Assessment methods and criteria


Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and in accordance with the University of Verona guidelines, during ​the 2020 summer session the assessment modality will be modified as follows: online oral exam.

Oral examination, preceded by the presentation of a paper about a word etymology from a chosen language.
The objective of the exam is
- to verify the acquired knowledge of the topics of the course;
- to verify the ability to re-elaborate and deepen the material of the course.

The objective of the examination is to verify the level of achievement of the previously indicated educational objectives.
The exam consists in the preparation and presentation of a brief etymological research of a word chosen by the student.
The questions of the oral exam allow to apply the acquired knowledge on the historical and comparative method, on the reconstruction of the proto-language, on the phonetic laws that mark the phonetic change of the different languages, on the analysis of morphological nominal and verbal categories.
During the exercises some examples of research are presented etymological and exercise the phenomena of change, especially phonological.

The class is a preparation course for a better understanding to the Master class Comparative Grammar of the Indo-European languages.