Jos Schaeken, born in Budel, the Netherlands, in 1962. Ph.D. from Leiden University. Associate Professor of Slavic Linguistics at the University of Groningen.
Fellow (1 September 2000 – 30 June 2001)
During my year at NIAS I investigated the language in medieval Russian documents from the north-western region on the basis of the recent insights gained from the study of birch-bark letters that have been brought to the surface in Novgorod and other medieval Russian towns. In particular, I focused on the language that is reflected in the Smolensk corpus of treaties from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The bulk of my time was spent working on a series of publications in which different aspects of the Smolensk corpus are investigated in detail. The articles deal with questions pertaining to etymology (published in Zeitschrift für slavische Philologie 2001), orthographic systems (Slavica occitania 2001), phonology (to be published in the proceedings of a conference to be held in Novgorod, September 2001), and dialectology (to be published in a festschrift in Germany). As I expected, the linguistic study of birch-bark letters can contribute, in many fundamental respects, to a better understanding of the language reflected in other medieval Russian documents. I have benefited enormously from the research facilities at NIAS, especially from the excellent library service that made it possible for me to access in a most efficient way the unique collection of books on Slavic philology at the Leiden University Library.