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Pre-Hellenic Loanwords in Greek: Lexicon of the Substrate Analysed


PHILOGLOSSA aims to provide a critical reassessment and analysis of the loanwords borrowed into the Ancient Greek language of from the prehistoric languages early Greek speakers encountered in the Bronze Age Aegean. These 'Pre-Hellenic' (or 'Pre-Greek') loanwords have long been recognised to constitute a significant layer in the Greek lexicon, the earliest of which are already present in Mycenaean Greek attested by Linear B documents. Despite the phenomenon being well known, the historical origins and linguistic interpretation of these loanwords have remained controversial, and attempts to explain them as from a single source (as per the interpretational framework of the latest, controversial Etymological Dictionary of Greek [2010, Leiden] by Robert Beekes) has been fraught with methodological problems. PHILOGLOSSA will build an open-access linguistic database to facilitate a fresh analysis of the material that will be conducted as the main research activities of the project. As new archaeogenetic studies have provided new evidence strongly suggesting intensive and sustained social and cultural interaction between the incoming early Greek speakers and the earlier inhabitants of the Aegean, it is of crucial importance to re-evaluate the linguistic evidence for these exchanges preserved in the Ancient Greek language. As such the results of PHILOGLOSSA will be of interest not only to those interested in the history of the Greek language, but also to Indo-European comparative linguists, Aegean prehistorians, archaeologists, and geneticists more broadly.


Net EU contribution
€ 214 934,40
Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn

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Danmark Hovedstaden Byen København
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
No data