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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Comparative Indo-European Linguistics by Universiteit Leiden

42 ratings

About the Course

Build your knowledge of Indo-European languages, how they changed through time, and how to reconstruct ancient languages. Every language belongs to a language family; a group of languages that are genetically related to each other. Indo-European is the name of the language family to which English belongs, along with many sub-families such as Germanic languages and Romance languages. The Indo-European language family is now known to consist of thirteen major branches and a number of now extinct languages of which only fragments have been preserved that may once have formed branches of their own. You’ll delve into the structure and origins of these branches. Not only will you learn about the oldest languages belonging to the Indo-European language family, but you’ll also learn about linguistic reconstruction, how you can tell whether two languages are related to each other and how language changes. This course will guide you through the different groups of Indo-European languages. You’ll look at some of the oldest texts from these languages, including Ancient Greek and Sanskrit, and learn about the importance of oral traditions in the history of these texts. As you progress through each of the branches of the language tree, you’ll begin to piece together the Proto-Indo-European language bit by bit by comparing and contrasting each different language in the tree....

Top reviews


Oct 1, 2022

Wanted to know something about how Proto-Indo-European language was reconstructed for quite sometime already. And the course was just 100% hit! Thanks!


Feb 12, 2023

The course was well done and very engaging. There was a wealth of information, the presenters were great, and overall I found the topic fascinating.

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1 - 16 of 16 Reviews for Introduction to Comparative Indo-European Linguistics

By Maria K

Nov 13, 2022

An interesting course offering a wide knowledge of PIE and indo european languages. Dr Pronk's presentations in particular are very good. However, unless I am wrong, reporting an issue under the course material seems not to work perfectly. I reported a number of inaccuracies in presentations of Greek grammar and never received a reply, see for example in Week 3, the video on Greek cases. Furthermore some ancient Greek words indicated in the course seemed sometimes quite incomprehensible to me, I would have liked to discuss them with teaching staff, but unfortunately I didn't know how.

By Kevin M M

Sep 14, 2022

I found the course, and its content to be very stimulating, and a successful endeavor. I especially enjoyed learning about the sanskrit roots of indo-, and proto-indo european languages. Professor Tijmens Pronk has arranged the course in such a way, as to provide enough learning materials, along with the scope, and pace of the course, to make it an interesting, and rewarding experience. If you've already taken courses on, from Leiden University on linguistics, and phonology, then this course is something, which you would enjoy as well.

By Robert K

Sep 30, 2022

I thuroughly enjoyed this course. My only critique is that some of the exercises required a copy an paste from the answers given because the expected answer contained a character that is not on a standard keyboard. These are common issues known to people using systems like Excel when you copy from certain sources into Excel, for example. A curved single quote vs '. Other problems I found were things like the question asked for the first reconstructed sound but then the question continued to give an example of reconstructing the entire root in such detail that it was confusing what exactly was expected as the answer. But the contents of the interviews and the difficulty of the questions in the quizes really made this course a lot of fun. I had casually read on this topic in the past and I have watched a number of lectures on YouTube by some of the professors who were interviewed but I had never gone into this much detail on topics like the larengyls and their reflexes int he daughter languages. If you are interested in PIE and the IEs, this course is essential.

By Rama S C S

Sep 5, 2022

Such an amazing, quality and rigorous course. Learning a lot. Thanks to coursera, the univeristy and the instructors for creating such a technical yet engaging discourse. I learnt lot of practical linguistic skills. I am fluent in Latin and Sanskrit which I self learnt and am now learning Ancient Greek. This course is enabling me to appreciate all these languages at a deep linguistic level.

By jia q c f k (

Nov 16, 2022

As much as I didn't properly contribute to the discussion prompts after a certain week, i enjoyed learning things during this course, i learnt about how English and the various languages became like so, and also learnt alot about linguistic concepts in general, although my knowledge on it might not be super stable and I might need to work on it.

By Jose M R A

Sep 21, 2022

An exccellent course, very well designed to betterget a basic knowledge of the Indo-European linguistics and culture. Really engaging and fascinating course. Congratiulations!

By Andrey K

Oct 2, 2022

Wanted to know something about how Proto-Indo-European language was reconstructed for quite sometime already. And the course was just 100% hit! Thanks!

By Lynette B

Feb 12, 2023

The course was well done and very engaging. There was a wealth of information, the presenters were great, and overall I found the topic fascinating.

By Gabriel B E / E p l C E

Nov 6, 2022

Very interesting course, with important information for general culture of a language teacher.

By Alex R

Nov 2, 2022

Incredible. A first-class introduction to historical linguistics for Indo-European languages.

By Netjer N

Nov 6, 2022

Very insightful, detailed, and educational.

By Suzanne B

Nov 6, 2022

Interesting and enjoyable

By Simab R

Oct 31, 2022

Enjoyed doing the math!

By Ellie P

Sep 10, 2022

This was a very fun course! I loved being able to go through and reconstruct words in PIE based on what we learned in the videos and readings. I have a background in linguistics, though less on the comparative side of things, and think this course works well for beginners as well as those with a more formal background.

My one complaint is that in order to finish the course you need to take the graded exam, but you can't take the graded exam unless you pay for a there's no way to finish the course unless you pay to do so. Also, one of the exercises in Week 6 will be marked as complete on the desktop but not the phone so Week 6 always registers as 'incomplete' (this does not affect your ability to finish the course, though).

By Matthew H

Feb 6, 2023

This was really an extraordinary course. The course itself covered just about all that I thought they needed to cover, if not more, while the extra materials were very much appreciated. There were a few bugs in some of the tests, but otherwise I feel the course was exceptionally well done & that I have learned much from it.

By Elisabetta G

Oct 14, 2022

Very well-organized and taught course with super interesting material. Although learning all the sound laws that affected indo-european languages is essential to understand their evolution, quizzes were often hard.