Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Guus Kroonen

Associate professor

Dr. G.J. Kroonen
+31 71 527 1768

Guus Kroonen is a teacher and researcher in the fields of Scandinavian, Germanic and Indo-European comparative linguistics. Etymology, reconstruction and phylogenetics as well as the study of prehistoric language contact and language dispersals are among his professional focuses. He has led multiple externally funded research projects, including an ERC Starting Grant project and a NWO PhDs in the Humanities project. He has been the supervisor of several dissertations on different Indo-European branches, including Italic, Balto-Slavic, Armenian and Indo-Iranian. As a frequent collaborator on interdisciplinary publications with prehistoric archaeologists and palaeogeneticists, he is working on developing new interfaces across the study of human prehistory.

More information about Guus Kroonen

Fields of interest

  • Comparative Indo-European linguistics
  • Germanic historical linguistics
  • Scandinavian languages and cultures
  • Etymology
  • Linguistic phylogenetics
  • Linguistic palaeontology
  • Archaeolinguistics



My field is the study of Europe's linguistic past through the history of the Indo-European languages. Since the dawn of history Europe has been covered by mainly Indo-European languages such as Greek, Latin, Baltic, Slavic and Germanic. These linguistic groups all split off from a hypothetical parent language spoken roughly five thousand years ago. My research focuses on the reconstruction of this language, the question where it was originally spoken, how and why its speakers spread across the continent, and in what way it evolved into the modern language of Europe.

I finished my dissertation in 2009 and am otherwise known for being the author of the Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic (Brill, 2013), which appeared in the Leiden Etymological Dictionary Series edited by Prof. Alexander Lubotsky. Between 2017 and 2022 I will be leading the ERC Starting Grant project "The Linguistic Roots of Europe's Agricultural Transition", which aims at mapping the evidence for perhistoric language contact between Indo-European dialects and local European languages that later went extinct. In the same period I will be studying the linguistic impact of the Bell Beaker culture (2900 – 1800 BCE) at the project "Towards a New European Prehistory" led by archaeologist Kristian Kristiansen at Gothenburg University.

Grants and awards

  • 2023–2026 "Maritime Encounters: A Counterpoint to the Dominant Terrestrial Narrative of European Prehistory", Riksbankens Jubileumfond (co-applicant with PI Johan Ling, Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg)
  • 2019–2023 "The prehistoric origin and spread of the Indo-Iranian languages: A linguistic test of hypotheses rooted in genetics and archaeology", PhDs in the Humanities, Dutch Organization for Scientific Research
  • 2017 "Pieter Jacob Cosijn’s Correspondence and Scholarly Collaboration at the End of the Nineteenth Century", Research Traineeship Programme, Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University (co-applicant with Thijs Porck, Leiden University Institute for Area Studies)
  • 2017–2022 "The Linguistic Roots of Europe’s Agricultural Transition", Starting Grant, European Research Council
  • 2017–2022 "Towards a New European Prehistory", Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (co-applicant with Kristian Kristiansen, Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg)
  • 2013 "Sapere Aude Research Talent Award", The Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science
  • 2013–2016 "Talking Neolithic", Postdoc grant, The Danish Council for Independent Research
  • 2011–2013 "The Birth of Germanic", Rubicon postdoc Grant, Dutch Organization for Scientific Research

Curriculum vitae

2024-present Associate professor, Leiden University Center for Linguistics
2016-2023 Assistant professor, Leiden University Center for Linguistics
2018 - present Professor with Special Responsibilities, Department for Nordic Studies and Linguistics, Copenhagen University
2017-2018 Associate professor, Department for Nordic Studies and Linguistics, Copenhagen University
2011-2017 Postdoc, Department for Nordic Studies and Linguistics, Copenhagen University
2009-2010 Assistant professor, Leiden University Center for Linguistics
2003-2008 PhD candidate, Leiden University Center for Linguistics
1998-2002 MA in Comparative Indo-European Linguistics, Leiden University
1997-2002 MA in Scandinavian Languages and Literatures, University of Amsterdam

Key publications

  • K. Kristiansen, G. Kroonen & E. Willerslev. The Indo-European Puzzle Revisited: Integrating Archaeology, Genetics, and Linguistics. 2023. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • G. Kroonen, A. Jakob, A. I. Palmér, P. van Sluis & A. Wigman. 2022. Indo-European Cereal Terminology Suggests a Northwest Pontic Homeland for the Core Indo-European Languages. PLoS ONE 17(10):e0275744.
  • Kroonen, G. 2013. Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic. Brill: New York.

PhD Supervision

Associate professor

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Univ Centre for Linguistics

Work address

Reuvensplaats 3-4
2311 BE Leiden
Room number 2.33



  • No relevant ancillary activities
This website uses cookies.  More information.