Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM6480 (AF:392829 AR:208934)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
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This course is part of the obligatory courses for students of LLEAP. The general objective of the course is to provide students with a metalinguistic knowledge of the structure of the modern Balkan languages by offering both a diachronic and synchronic analysis of some aspects of their grammar from a comparative and a contrastive point of view.
1. Knowledge and comprehension
Know and comprehend the relevant interlinguistic variation in the grammatical systems of the Balkan languages.
Know the properties that characterize the Balkan Sprachbund according to diachronic criteria of their formation as genetically unrelated languages developed in close relation to each other.

2. Ability to apply acquired knowledge and comprehension
Students are supposed to develop abilities to apply the principles of linguistic theory (also in a comparative perspective) to the study of the modern Balkan languages.
Students are supposed to learn what are the analytic instruments of linguistic analysis and how to apply them in argumentation, reflecting on the structure of the Balkan languages and making appropriate use of linguistic terminology.
There are no prerequisites for this course.
The course offers an in-depth comparative and contrastive analysis of some aspects of the morphology and syntax of the Balkan languages (Balkan Slavic and Balkan non-Slavic - Modern Greek, Albanian, Romanian). The course will be developed in two parts, one historical and one synchronic. The historical part includes discussions on some historical aspects that characterize the Balkan languages. The topics covered are mainly of a philological-linguistic nature and will concern the main phases of the formation of the Balkan Sprachbund, its composition and the major properties that distinguish it from any linguistic family within Indo-European.
In the synchronic part some topics of considerable importance for the metalinguistic description of the Balkan languages ​​will be treated: analytic constructions, subjunctive formation, tense formation, formation of the paradigm of determinacy. The course will also deal with the basic notions of modern linguistic theory relevant for the comparative and philological study of Balkan languages.
Banfi, E. Linguistica balcanica. Bologna: Zanichelli, 1985.
Friedman, V.A. “Grammatical Categories and a Comparative Balkan Grammar,” in Norbert Reiter, ed., Ziele und Wege der Balkanlinguistik (Balkanologische Veröffentlichungen, Vol. 8) (Berlin: Osteuropa-Institut an der Freien Universität Berlin, 1983), pp. 81–98.
Tomic, O. The Balkan Sprachbund properties. An introduction. In: Tomic, O. (ed.) Balkan Syntax and Semantics. John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 2004.
Tomic, O. Balkan Sprachbund Morpho-syntactic Features. Springer, 2006. Ch. 1 (pp. 1-34).
The course work will be evaluated through a written reseach paper and a final written exam. The research paper can be dedicated to a topic chosen by the student and agreed upon with the professor in the field of Balkan linguistics. The written exam will consist of answering questions in a liberal form. The questions will be chosen from the topics treated during the course. The duration of the written exam is 2 astronomic hours.
The course will be held in a blended modality whereby a portion of the traiditional face-to-face instruction will be replaced by web-based online learning. The latter will include brief videos and online presentations. A forum will be created for questions and the students will be supplied with supporting materials for self learning (slides, pdf, links, bibliography).
Students are requested to frequent the course regularly. The students wishing to take the course as non-frequentants are prompted to contact the professor in order to establish the modes of individual work.
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 08/09/2022