Slavic 210: Old Church Slavic

TuTh 9:30-11, 6115 Dwinelle. Instructor: David Frick.

Units: 4

The focus of the course is straight forward, the goals are simple.  We will spend much of our time on inflexional morphology (learning to produce and especially to identify the forms of the OCS nominal, verbal, participial, and adjectival forms).  The goal will be to learn to read OCS texts, with the aid of dictionaries and grammars, by the end of the semester.  We will discuss what the “canon” of OCS texts is and its relationship to “Church Slavonic” texts produced throughout the Orthodox Slavic world (and on the Dalmatian Coast) well into the eighteenth century.  In this sense, the course is preparatory for any further work in premodern East and South Slavic cultures and languages.

The main text for the course will be Francis J. Whitfield’s Old Church Slavic Reader (Berkeley, 1962, Berkeley 2004).  The instructor will order the books and provide supplementary materials.

Course requirements:  reading, attendance, active class participation, two in-class midterms, and a final.  During each class session we will read and parse (identify the forms and the syntax of) selected words and phrases from the readings assigned for that day.  I will explain what “parsing” means and why it is a key to reading texts in a somewhat unfamiliar language with the help of grammars and dictionaries.  There will be occasional spot quizzes as needed, in which you will be expected to actively produce correct forms.  (These quizzes will count little toward the final grade.)  At the midterms and the final, you will be presented with texts we have covered during the course from the Whitfield reader and asked to parse a certain number of underlined forms.
Prerequisites: Reading knowledge of a Slavic language.