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Greek is among the most intensely and widely studied languages known. Since the publication of the last etymological dictionary of Greek, both the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European, and our knowledge of the Greek substrate have led to numerous, often surprising new insights into the history and formation of the Greek vocabulary.
This dictionary is a treasure trove covering years of Ancient Greek: It consists of entries with thoroughly revised etymologies. Each entry gives clear information about the origin of the Greek word and its first date of attestation.
It further provides all etymologically relevant variants, dialectal forms, derivatives, compounds, and bibliographical references. This dictionary is a truly indispensable tool for those in search of a deeper knowledge of the Greek vocabulary, its history and, therewith, a better understanding of the language.
Characteristic sounds or sound groups: Secondary vowels or syncope. Survey of the suffixes; 2. No written texts exist in this language, but it is known from a considerable number of loanwords in Greek.
The study of Pre-Greek has had an unfortunate history. This idea fascinated scholars, and research concentrated on this proposal. But the whole idea etymologica, clearly wrong, and by now, it is generally agreed that the substrate was non-Indo-European. Frisk already had strong doubts about the Pelasgian theory, but nevertheless, he often mentioned the proposals of its adherents. Since all work following this line erymological turned out to be useless, I decided to make no mention of the theory anymore in the dictionary.
Kuiper, had just appeared. In my view, this was a major mistake in Greek scholarship. True, some of his identifications are improbable, and his repeated claim that certain forms were expressive leads nowhere.
What remains, however, is that he studied a great beekrs of relevant forms and drew obvious conclusions from them. It has turned out as Kuiper had already shown that this variation shows certain recurrent patterns and can be used to recognize Pre-Greek elements.
On the other hand, his treatment is very careful, and there hardly any obvious mistakes. I found a number of cases which he had not recognized e.
Beekes’ Etymological Dictionary of Greek – Textkit Greek and Latin Forums
First, he considered almost all variation to be of an expressive character, which is certainly wrong: We shall see below that many variants can be understood in this way.
The author can hardly be blamed for his enthusiasm. He was exploring new ground, and it can only be expected that he sometimes overplayed his hand. His method, however, was correct and I have only filtered out the improbable suggestions.
In many cases, of course, we cannot be absolutely certain, but this cannot be an objection. In general, I have given only a few personal names and toponyms, and no material of this kind from outside Greece and Asia Minor. The comparison with Basque or Caucasian languages has not been considered in this dictionary, as this is not my competence; it is likely that there are such connections, but this must be left to other scholars.
My suggested reconstructions are not essential.
Beekes R.S.P. Etymological Dictionary of Greek
One may ignore them and just consider the variation itself. These variants are often explained as incidental phenomena assimilation, influence of other words, etc. Existing etymological dictionaries often seem to avoid the conclusion that a word is a substrate element.
It is remarkable that Chantraine was quite aware of the problem in his Formationbut in his dictionary he often withdrew his earlier evaluation which in my view was correct. It looks as if substrate elements were not welcome there. The relationship with Anatolian languages is a separate problem. A Greek word is often called a loan from an Anatolian language, while it may dictiknary as well be borrowed from the Pre-Greek substrate.
It is generally accepted, on the basis of toponyms, that there was a language which was once spoken both in Greece and in western Asia Minor. A word may have been adopted through commerce, as often happens between two neighboring countries, or starting from the time when Greeks settled in Asia Minor, probably as early as the 15th century.
Beekes R.S.P. Etymological Dictionary of Greek [PDF] – Все для студента
Still, it is clear that we may often make mistakes here. The word is clearly related to Luwian and Hitt.
It is essential to realize that substrate words are a frequent phenomenon. One may regret this for instance, from the Indo-Europeanist point of viewbut this is irrelevant; the existence of Pre-Greek words is simply a fact that has to be accepted. To me, it is fascinating dictionaru in this way we can learn something about the oldest language of Europe including Anatoliaof which we otherwise have no evidence. Voiceless, voiced and aspirated stops may interchange in Pre-Greek words, without any apparent conditioning factors.
This is confirmed by the sign pte e. Further, the signs twotwedwodwenwaswaswipoint to labialization as a distinctive feature, i. Note that palatal and labial forms of graphemes are found both with resonants and stops, which is a phenomenon alien to Indo-European languages. We may thus posit the following system : Of course, it is possible that one or more of the posited phonemes did not occur in Pre-Greek e.
We can now use this insight in explaining the surfacing Greek forms. Again, note that aspiration is not phonemic in Pre-Greek. It is very important to note that we cannot predict how a Pre-Greek form will surface in Greek: As a consequence, it may happen that there is a large number of variants, but it may also be that there are no variants at all. On the other hand, variation that is strange from an exclusively Indo-European point of view beekex understandable in this way, starting as we do from a limited set of assumptions.
The existence of palatalized phonemes in Geeek may explain a number of other developments. And although the latter only occurs in Homer, this fact points to Pre-Greek origin. The variant was preserved because it was metrically convenient, it was not greeek for metrical purposes.
Of course, the fact that there was more variation at an earlier date is what we expect. In rendering such a foreign word, the palatalization may have been represented at one time, and may have been neglected at another. This phenomenon was the main cause of variation in Pre-Greek forms. The interpretation is further confirmed by the parallel development of labialized consonants. Note that the labial element would at the same time explain the o as a variant of a in both cases.
In this way, the first two forms, which are best attested, are directly clear. This is a problem that has not been solved yet.
I dictionsry not know whether a diphthong is allowed in suffixes of the structure VC, cf. A palatalized consonant could color a to e. Kuiper Lingua 21 Further there is A-i-ti-jo-qo gen. So the developments are largely as those of Greek, but not completely. It seems that there was no initial aspiration in Pre-Greek. One might conclude that the language had no h. This would agree with the fact that aspiration is not a distinctive feature in the stops.
Of course, aspiration may have been added secondarily in Greek in individual cases, cf. Originally, I thought that Pre-Greek only had three vowels: The main reason for me to assume etymoloical simple three-vowel system was the fact that the system of suffixes has aiubut not eo. This would point to a etymologiacl with ae and o. On the other hand, it is difficult to explain why the suffixes do not show the same variation that we find in the beekse vowels.
On the effects of palatalized consonants see Beekes It is difficult to establish whether they had already become full phonemes in Pre-Greek. A good illustration of the case is the name of Apollo.
I have long doubted and still doubt whether there was phonemic vowel length in Pre-Greek. Greek substrate words quite often only have a form with a long vowel. Quite a different argument is the following: If we had not had Dor. I assume two diphthongs, ai and au. If there were no e and owe do not expect other diphthongs. See further section B6. Regarding the accentuation, I noted vacillation in: This does not imply that the language had grfek clear stress: The phenomenon may, however, be important heuristically: In brackets, I give the variants.
It is frequently found word-initially. The sequence is rare in IE words. The group can hardly be of IE origin, but it is not frequent. On a morpheme boundary, the group is possible in PIE. A rare group, perhaps there is even no reason to speak of a group.