Indo-European and Indo-Iranian Studies

Indo-European and Indo-Iranian Studies (B.A.)

Vedic, Old Persian and Avestic? Pre-Hellenistic Greek, Old Latin and Old Germanic? Anatolian, Celtic and Tocharian? Can you actually still learn these languages today? Of course, even if the Indo-Germanic and Indo-Iranian Studies program is probably not as familiar to one as, say, German Studies or History. The aim of the course is to describe these and other Indo-European and Indo-Iranian languages in detail, to explain their similarities and differences, and to reconstruct the prehistoric Indo-European basic language and discover new things in the process.

Therefore, the initial focus of the bachelor’s program is on learning the languages. Here there are introductory courses for e.g. Sanskrit, Runic Norse or Hittite. But what good are languages if we don’t use them? They are put into practice in seminars, for example, on the ancient Persian inscriptions of the Great Kings Darius or Xerxes, the epics of Homer or the Gothic Wulfila Bible. In addition to the linguistic seminars, there are also events on mythology and culture in the regions of origin.

What is the degree program about?

  • Comparative Indo-European Linguistics (Indo-Germanic Studies): historical comparative linguistics of the genetically related Indo-European languages.
  • Indo-European language family with the Indo-European individual languages or subgroups (e.g. Indo-European, Ancient Greek, Latin, Ancient Germanic, Anatolian, Celtic, Tocharian, Baltic, Slavic)
  • Subgroup Indo-European (Vedic, Classical Sanskrit, Avestic, Old Persian)
  • Acquisition of basic subject knowledge of Indo-Germanic and Indo-Iranian Studies (especially the most important methods of linguistic comparison).
  • Ability to receive specialized literature and to conduct independent scientific work
  • Sound scientific training in dealing with text documents of ancient Indo-European languages spanning four millennia
  • Acquisition of thorough knowledge of phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics of the Old Indo-European languages most important for the language comparison
  • Ability to explain the similarities and differences of the related Indo-European languages
  • Ability to provide a historical-genetic explanation of the individual Indo-European languages
  • Ability to reconstruct the prehistoric Indo-European basic language with the methods of comparative linguistics

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