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Languages in Europe and their diachronies

Explore the past and present of European languages and advance your knowledge on modern theoretical approaches to the study of ancient and medieval languages

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CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • PhD
Field of studies
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Short-term
Course dates
March - July 2022

This CIVIS course will introduce participating students to an interdisciplinary way of studying the past and present of languages, focusing on ancient and medieval European languages.

Moreover, students will also be involved in small linguistic and computational historical linguistic projects that aim to build advanced knowledge of the methodology of describing, analysing and explaining the grammar and the development of ancient languages.

Students will acquire advanced knowledge of the modern theoretical approaches to the study of ancient languages, both in relation to the analysis of their grammar and to the examination of the correlations between society (for instance, in the cases of language contact), culture and linguistic development.

This CIVIS course also includes an introduction to the methodology of computational and statistical analysis of ancient Indo-European languages and the challenges of linking digital heritage data with historical linguistic studies.

Main topics addressed

  • Computational historical linguistic analyses: “From texts to grammar”.
  • New methodologies of describing, analyzing and explaining the grammar and the development of ancient languages.
  • Modern theoretical approaches to the study of ancient languages.

Learning outcomes

This CIVIS course is devoted to the dissemination of the new approaches to ancient and medieval languages: modern linguistic theories in collaboration with technology and modern statistical analyses (historical computational linguistics) with the aim to acquire a good knowledge of the grammar of ancient and medieval languages and modern ways of their analysis (modern linguistic approaches as well as the perspective of digital heritage).

Location: Athens (or Naxos), Greece Dates: March - July 2022
N° of CIVIS scholarships: 14 ECTS: Up to 10*
Host University: National and Kapodistrian University of Athens  Language: English (C1)
Contact: Nikolaos Lavidas - Format: Blended

This CIVIS course is a blended-learning programme that consists of an intensive online Spring School (30 hours of online classes), a workshop and an intensive Summer School (40 hours of face-to-face classes) that will be held in  Athens (or Naxos), Greece in July 2022.

Selected students will be supported by a grant for physical mobility to Greece.

*The recognition of ECTS depends on your home university. 


This blended mobility course is open to Bachelor's, Master and PhD students at the nine CIVIS member universities enrolled or interested in Linguistics and Ancient-Medieval Languages.

A C1 level of English is required.

Application process

Students should apply by 15 January 2022 by filling in the following form:

Selected students will be notified on 15 February 2022.


Undergraduate students will have to complete small assignments and prepare a small research essay (or take a final written exam).

Postgraduate students (MA and PhD) will have to present research findings in class, complete small assignments and prepare a research essay (or take a final written exam).

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Nikolaos Lavidas 

Nikolaos Lavidas is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Department of Language-Linguistics, Faculty of  English, School of Philosophy). His research covers a range of topics associated with  Indo-European historical linguistics and the directions of language change (in particular the development of transitivity and voice in Indo-European languages),  syntax-semantics interface, (historical) language contact and historical corpora.

Antonio R. Revuelta Puigdollers 

Antonio R. Revuelta Puigdollers is Associate Professor of Ancient and Modern Greek at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and a sworn translator of Modern Greek.  His main research areas are the semantics, syntax and pragmatics of Greek; his work also includes incursions into other languages such as Latin. He is the co-author of a  new syntax of Ancient Greek and has authored several entries in Brill’s  Encyclopaedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics.

Katrin Axel-Tober

Katrin Axel-Tober is Professor of German Linguistics at the University of Tübingen, Germany. Her research focuses on the synchronic and diachronic syntax of German. She has published the books Studies on Old High German Syntax: Left Sentence Periphery, Verb Placement and Verb-Second (Benjamins, 2007) and (Nicht-)kanonische Nebensätze im Deutschen: Synchrone und diachrone Aspekte (Walter de Gruyter, 2012) as well as several articles on sentence structure, complementizers, null subjects, and modal verbs.

Artemij Keidan

Artemij Keidan is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the Italian Institute of Oriental  Studies, Sapienza University, Rome. His main areas of expertise include the history of grammatical thought, Indo-European morphology, philosophy of language, and issues in syntax and phonology, both general and applied to ancient (such as  Sanskrit, Latin, Gothic, Slavic languages) and modern languages.

Joanna Kopaczyk

Joanna Kopaczyk is Senior Lecturer in Scots and English (English Language & Linguistics) at the University of Glasgow. She is a historical linguist with a special interest in the medieval and early modern history of the Scots language. She uses corpus-driven methods to uncover textual standardisation and she is also interested in formulaicity in language, as revealed through all kinds of repetitive patterns. She has recently co-edited books on Applications of Pattern-Driven Methods in Corpus Linguistics (John Benjamins, 2018) and on Binomials in the History of English (Cambridge University Press, 2017).