Belgrade Winter School

Belgrade Winter School offers courses in Indo-European linguistics and will be held in February 2020. This winter, the courses on offer include Indo-European, Greek, Phrygian, Umbrian, Messapic and Gothic.

Find more info about the courses below!

If you’re interested and are considering taking part, please fill out the Application Form by January 10 2020: we’d be very happy to have you this winter ❄️

Or, if you know of someone who could be interested in taking part, feel free to share the announcement and let them know!


First time slot: 10:30-12:00. Courses: Advanced Class in Greek Historical Phonology (O. Ligorio) or Gothic: An Introduction (A. Milenković).

Coffee & snacks: 12:00-12:30.

Second time slot: 12:30-14:00. Courses: Selected Topics in Indo-European Phonology (A. Milenković) or Introduction to Messapic (D. Savić).

Coffee & snacks: 14:00-15:00.

Third time slot: 15:00-16:30. Courses: Introduction to Old Phrygian (O. Ligorio) or Umbrian Rituals: How to Purify a City. (D. Savić).

You can take any three courses (or less, if so you choose) as long as they are in different time slots. All courses will be given in English and course materials will be provided as necessary.

Also, there will be an evening program including stand-alone lectures and a workshop on various Indo-European scripts.

Course Info

Advanced Class in Greek Historical Phonology (O. Ligorio). Course description: In this class we’ll cover advanced topics in Greek Historical Phonology such as the relative chronology of changes between Indo-European and Greek, Graeco-Armenian hypothesis, and the reconstruction of Proto-Greek and Proto-Graeco-Phrygian. Requirements: Basic knowledge of Proto-Indo-European and Greek historical phonology.

Gothic: An Introduction (A. Milenković). Course description: The course offers an introduction to the Gothic language, with special focus on the following topics: Gothic script and phonology. Historical phonology: Proto-Indo-European (PIE) and Proto-Germanic (PGm). From PIE to PGm. From PGm. to Gothic. Nominal inflection: the substantive (a-, o-, i-, u-, n-, r-, nd– stems and root nouns). Strong vs. weak adjective declension. Numerals and pronouns. The verb. Verb inflection: tense (present, past), mood (indicative, optative, imperative), voice (active vs. passive). Infinite verb forms (participles, the infinitive). Strong vs. weak verbs. Brief historical morphology of Gothic. Adverbs, conjunctions and prepositions. Frequent models of word formation. Syntax: strong vs. weak adjective, the usage of participles, the optative mood, the most frequent types of dependent clauses, sequence of tenses. Reading: John 5:45-47, 6; Skeireins (leaves 1-2), Gothic signatures (Naples Deed, Arezzo Deed). Course materials: A reader will be provided by the teacher before the Winter School starts. Requirements: No previous knowledge of Indo-European or Germanic historical linguistics is necessary. However, the familiarity with the Comparative Method would be of much help.

Introduction to Messapic (D. Savić). Course description: Starting with an introduction to Messapic phonology and morphology, we will discuss various approaches to interpreting Messapic inscriptions in an attempt to classify the language within Indo-European. Some of the topics we will cover are: Messapic ritual vocabulary and personal names, language contacts with Greek and Italic, Balkan origins of Messapic and its relationship with Albanian. The course will enable the student to understand the basics of Messapic grammar, and to analyse fragmentarily attested languages in view of etymological comparisons and language contact. Course materials: A short grammar with annotated inscriptions will be provided before the first class. Requirements: No requirements.

Selected Topics in Indo-European Phonology (A. Milenković). Course description: The course aims at familiarizing the student with different approaches to some of the crucial problems in Indo-European historical phonology: 1. The status of PIE *b; 2. Tenues aspiratae and the Laryngeal Theory; 3. Velar series — Gutturalwechsel; 4. Pros and cons for the Glottalic Theory; 5. Laryngeal vs. non-laryngeal length; 6. PIE ablaut, Szemerényi’s Law, Stang’s Law; 7. The question of PIE *a. Requirements: Students are required to have a basic knowledge of PIE phonology.

Introduction to Old Phrygian (O. Ligorio). Course description: This course will provide the student with basic knowledge of Phrygian phonology and morphology and will enable him to read Old Phrygian inscriptions on his own. The focus will be on inscriptions from Midas’ City and West Phrygia but we will read a selection of texts from other Phrygian sites as well. Requirements: No requirements.

Umbrian Rituals: How to Purify a City. (D. Savić). Course description: In this class we will conduct guided reading sessions of the Iguvine Tablets. We will focus on the purification of Iguvium, with a grammatical, etymological and stylistic analysis of the text. At the end of the course, the student will be able to read Umbrian on his own and to compare it with other Italic languages. The course will also give a basic grasp of ritual practices in ancient Italy. Course materials: The reading material will be provided before the first class. Requirements: Basics of Latin morphology.

Who are we?

We are a group of historical linguists who regularly give courses in Indo-European languages and linguistics and enjoy discussing on the topic. 

Orsat Ligorio (PhD) is an Assistant Professor of Greek at the University of Belgrade where he regularly teaches Historical Grammar of Greek and Reading Homer. He has also taught Sanskrit, Avestan, Old Persian, Phrygian, Mycenaean, Latin, etc. His work deals with Proto-Indo-European reconstruction and etymology.

Danilo Savić (MA, PhD candidate) is a research trainee at the Institute for Balkan Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and a PhD candidate at the University of Belgrade and the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris. He has previously taught an introductory course in Sabellic languages and currently focuses on Venetic, Messapic, and Balkan onomastics.

Aljoša Milenković (BA) studies South Slavic Philology and Linguistics at the University of Belgrade. He is interested in Indo-European historical linguistics (particularly Balto-Slavic and Germanic), generative grammar, lexical and autosegmental phonology and is currently focusing on Balto-Slavic accentology and “minor” West Slavic languages (Polabian and Kashubian).


Belgrade, Serbia


Department of Classics at Captain Miša’s Mansion on Studentski trg 1, Belgrade, and Central Building of the Faculty of Philosophy on Čika Ljubina 18-20, Belgrade.

(The two buildings, the Central Building of the Faculty of Philosophy and the Mansion of Captain Miša, are adjacent one another.)

Start date

Monday, Feb 10


1 week (Mon, Feb 10 2020 — Fri, Feb 14 2020)

Registration Fee

15 eur (in total, for 3 courses) — for resident applicants (from Belgrade University)

30 eur (in total, for 3 courses) — for applicants from other universities

The fee is to be paid upon registration, on Feb 10 2020 at 9:30.


In order to apply please fill in the Application Form. The applications are due by January 10 2020.


Winter School does not provide accommodation for the participants coming from abroad but we will happily assist you in finding the right lodging for your price range. The accommodation in Belgrade is rather inexpensive and in the past we’ve had a good experience with the Spirit Hostel, which is within walking distance from the University. But we encourage you to check out other hostels as well; you can use services like or


If you have any questions (about the courses, about the lodging, about the school in general, etc.), please contact the organizers at before applying.

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