Modern linguistic approaches to languages from the past


Targeted audience (e.g. disciplinary backgrounds, beginners or advanced level, expected foreknowledge):
- disciplines: diachronic linguistics, general linguistics, languages
- level: initial phase of the PhD / research master (Nl.)
- expected foreknowledge: general notions of the mentioned linguistic frameworks, e.g. from introductory or intermediate courses on General Linguistics; no specific language proficiency other than English is necessary, since all language material will be provided with translations.

Organising Committee

  • Contact person: Prof. dr. Klaas Bentein, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy - Department: Department of Linguistics, E-mail:
  • prof. dr. Koen Bostoen – Department of Languages and Cultures (UGent)
  • prof. dr. Saartje Verbeke – Department of Linguistics / Department of Languages and Cultures (UGent)
  • prof. dr. Pedro Gras – Department of Linguistics (UAntwerpen)
  • prof. dr. An Vande Casteele – Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies (VUB)

Topic - Objectives

This course aims at familiarizing PhD students of ‘Ancient’ languages or previous stages of modern languages  with modern linguistic frameworks, trying to stimulate them to go beyond traditional philological methods. At the same time, it aims to deepen the knowledge of those students who already work within a specific linguistic framework, by bringing them in contact with leading specialists.

During one week of intensive classes, students will be introduced to Corpus Linguistics, Functional & Cognitive Linguistics, Generative Linguistics, Construction Grammar and (Historical) Sociolinguistics. These frameworks will be applied to a broad range of non-spoken languages, including Latin and Ancient Greek, Bantu languages (from a diachronic point of view), Old and Middle English, and early modern Dutch. During each class, students will be encouraged to critically reflect about the applicability of each theoretical framework to the study of languages from the past, and to try to compare and relate the different frameworks, thus developing an inter-disciplinary approach.

Before the start of the course, the PhD students will be expected to describe their research, scientific interests and motivations for participating in the course, as well as their expectations concerning the contents and the knowledge they hope to acquire. During the course, students will have the opportunity to schedule a short session with the lecturer of the day for specific questions concerning their own research or interests.

Dates and tentative programme

  • Day 1 (May 13, 2019):

- 13.00 – 14.30 + 14.45 – 16.15: Gilles-Maurice de Schryver (UGent) on corpus linguistics and Bantu languages
- afternoon: time-slots of 30 minutes for appointments with Gilles-Maurice de Schryver

  • Day 2 (May 14, 2019) :

- 10.00 – 11.30 + 11.45 – 13.15: Rutger Allan (VU/UvA) on functional-cognitive linguistics and Ancient Greek
- afternoon: time-slots of 30 minutes for appointments with Rutger Allan

  • Day 3 (May 15, 2019) :

- 10.00 – 11.30 + 11.45 – 13.15: Lieven Danckaert (Université de Lille - CNRS) on generative linguistics and Latin
- afternoon: time-slots of 30 minutes for appointments with dr. Lieven Danckaert

  • Day 4 (May 16, 2019):

- 10.00 – 11.30 + 11.45 – 13.15: Peter Petré (UAntwerp) on construction grammar and Old/Middle English
- afternoon: time-slots of 30 minutes for appointments with Peter Petré

  • Day 5 (May 17, 2019):

- 10.00 – 11.30 + 11.45 – 13.15: Wim Vandenbussche (VUB) on historical sociolinguistics and early modern Dutch
- afternoon: time-slots of 30 minutes for appointments with Wim Vandenbussche


Ghent University, campus Blandijn, Blandijnberg 2, Faculty room.


Prof. Dr. Gilles-Maurice de Schryver
Affiliation: UGent – Department of Languages and Cultures – research group BantUGent
Contact details:

dr. Rutger Allan
Affiliation: Amsterdam Free University (VU) / University of Amsterdam (UvA)
Contact details: ;

dr. Lieven Danckaert
Affiliation: Université de Lille 3 – CNRS
Contact details:

Prof. dr. Peter Petré
Affiliation: University of Antwerp
Contact details:

Prof. dr. Wim Vandenbussche
Affiliation: Free University Brussels (VUB)
Contact details:

Registration fee

Free of charge for members of the doctoral schools of UGent and VUB, and research master & phd students of the OIKOS research school


Please follow this link:

Number of participants

Maximum 40

Evaluation criteria (doctoral training programme)

100% attendance and active participation during every day of the course