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Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center (IAUNRC) Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies (SRIFIAS) Center for Languages of the Central Asian Region (CeLCAR) Summer Language Workshop (SWSEEL)
Central Eurasian Studies >> Courses >> Course List
Indo-European & Indo-Europeans
CEUS-R 399/599
Christopher Beckwith

Course objectives

This course introduces the field of Indo-European philology, which includes both comparative-historical linguistics and the cultural reconstruction based on it.The Proto-Indo-Europeans, the earliest identified Central Eurasian people, developed a distinctive culture, the Central Eurasian Culture Complex, in the area between the central Volga and the Ural and Caucasus Mountains. The people began migrating from their homeland around 4,000 years ago and mixed with the local peoples wherever they settled, so the Indo-European parent language or languages changed via creolization into Anatolian (in Turkey; the most well known language is Hittite), Tokharian (in East Turkistan, now Xinjiang), Indic (in Mesopotamia and India), Greek, Italic, Germanic, Armenian, Iranian, Slavic, Celtic, Baltic, and Albanian, among others. The people who spoke each daughter-language preserved some aspects of the Central Eurasian Culture Complex in their language and culture, but developed in their own direction. The course will focus on reconstruction of the Proto-Indo-European language and the culture of its speakers as revealed by their language.

Required Textbooks

Introduction to Indo-European linguistics. Oxford: Clarendon / New York: Oxford University Press.

Mallory, J.P. 1989. In search of the Indo-Europeans: language, archaeology, and myth. New York: Thames and Hudson.

Additional readings will be assigned in class.

Course Requirements: Regular attendance, participation in class discussion, doing the readings, and completion of a term paper.