Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Indo-European etymological dictionary

This project aims to identify and describe the common lexical heritage of the Indo-European languages.

1991  -   2015
Sasha Lubotsky
Koninklijke Brill NV Koninklijke Brill NV

The Department of Comparative Indo-European Linguistics has been working on the project since 1991. In 1997, the project received a substantial grant from the NWO (three postdocs for three years). The Research School CNWS supported the project with three PhD positions (and later with two more). Due to Visitors Travel Grants of the NWO, Dr. J. Hilmarsson (Reykjavík), Prof. Dr. S. Starostin (Moscow),  Prof. Dr. R. Matasović (Zagreb) and Dr. V. Sadovski (Vienna) have made important contributions to the project. Since 2005, the project is financially supported by the publishing house “Koninklijke Brill NV”, by the Faculty of Humanities of Leiden University and by the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics. 

The results

The results of the project are since 2005 being published in “ The Leiden Indo- European Etymological Dictionary series” (Brill, Leiden). Ten volumes have appeared up till now:

  1. “Old Frisian Etymological Dictionary” by Dirk Boutkan & Sjoerd Michiel Siebinga (2005)
  2. “Etymological Dictionary of the Iranian verb” by Johnny Cheung (2007)
  3. “The Origin of the Indo-Iranians” by Elena E. Kuz’mina & J.P. Mallory (2007)
  4. “Etymological Dictionary of the Slavic Inherited Lexicon” by Rick Derksen (2008)
  5. “Etymological Dictionary of the Hittite Inherited Lexicon” by Alwin Kloekhorst (2008)
  6. “Reconstructing Proto-Nostratic: Comparative Phonology, Morphology, and Vocabulary” by Allan R. Bomhard (2008)
  7. “Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages” by Michiel de Vaan (2008)
  8. “Etymological  Dictionary of Proto-Celtic” by Ranko Matasović (2009)
  9. “Etymological Dictionary of Greek” by Robert Beekes with the assistance of Lucien van Beek (2010);
  10. “Etymological Dictionary of the Armenian Inherited Lexicon” by Hrach Martirosyan (2010).

Most of these books are also available in the form of searchable databases at the website of Brill.

Projects in progress and some other interlinked databases can be further found on the website of the project.    

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