Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Lucien van Beek

Assistant professor

Dr. L.C. van Beek
+31 71 527 2224

Lucien van Beek is a University Lecturer at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics. His research focuses on Ancient Greek and Indo-European linguistics (morphology, lexicography, etymology), with a focus on the oldest sources of Greek (Homer, Mycenaean). He conducted the VENI project Unraveling Homer's Language (2016-2019) on the artificial nature of the language of Greek epic, and assisted in Beekes’ Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Brill, 2010). He is also project manager and a main editor of the Greek/Dutch dictionary (directed by I. Sluiter). He currently investigates the prehistory of conceptual metaphors for communication with a LUF Praesidium Libertatis grant for the project 'Winged Words' (2023-2025).

More information about Lucien van Beek

Fields of interest

Comparative Indo-European linguistics
Ancient Greek Philology and Linguistics (especially Homer)
Ancient Greek Lexicography


I am currently investigating the role of conceptual metaphors in the lexicon of early Indo-European languages in the project 'Gevleugelde Woorden' (Winged Words) funded by a LUF Praesidium Libertatis grant (2023-2025). Besides, I am the project manager and one of the main editors of the Greek/Dutch dictionary project directed by Prof. I. Sluiter. 

Generally speaking, I am interested in Greek, Latin and Indo-European historical linguistics, in particular in morphology, semantics and etymology. In my NWO-funded VENI project ‘Unraveling Homer’s Language’, I have studied the mechanisms of language change in the early Greek epic tradition. 

Teaching Activities

I regularly teach the following courses, mainly in the Linguistics program, but also in Classics:
Ancient Greek for Linguists 1 and 2 
Historical Grammar of Greek 
Indo-European Morphology: Noun 
Morphology / Morfologie 
Grieks Taalkunde
The Mycenaean World: Language 
Historical Grammar of Latin 

Curriculum vitae

2018-pres. University Lecturer, LUCL
2015-pres. Project Manager, Ancient Greek-Dutch Dictionary Project (Leiden University)
2016-2019 Post-Doctoral Researcher (NWO-funded VENI project 'Unraveling Homer’s Language', Leiden University)
2015 Lecturer and Post-Doctoral researcher (Radboud University)
2014-2015 Guest Professor (Ghent University)
2012-2015 Lecturer and Post-Doctoral researcher (Leiden University)
2007-2013 PhD (with distinction) in Comparative Indo-European Linguistics (Leiden University), funded by NWO Toptalent
2004-2007 MA (with distinction) in Comparative Indo-European Linguistics (Leiden University)
1996-2004 MSc in Mathematics; Propaedeutic exam in Slavic Languages and Cultures; Propaedeutic exam in Philosophy (Leiden University)

Key publications

  • L. van Beek, The development of the Proto-Indo-European syllabic liquids in Greek. PhD dissertation. Leiden, 2013.
  • R.S.P. Beekes, with the assistance of Lucien van Beek, Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series). Leiden: Brill, 2010.
  • L. van Beek, Homeric κρείων ‘lord’ and the Indo-European word for ‘head’. Indogermanische Forschungen 119 (2014), 96-121.
  • L. van Beek, Struck with blood: The meaning and etymology of παλάσσω and its middle perfect πεπάλακτο. Mnemosyne 66 (2013), 541-565.
  • L. van Beek, The “Saussure Effect” in Greek: a reinterpretation of the evidence. Journal of Indo-European Studies 39 (2011), 129-175.
  • L. van Beek, Vowel assimilation in Greek: the evidence reconsidered. In: T. Krisch and Th. Lindner (eds.), Indogermanistik und Linguistik in Dialog. Akten der XIII. Fachtagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft vom 21. bis 27. September 2008 in Salzburg, pp. 49-58. Wiesbaden: Reichert, 2011. 

Assistant professor

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Univ Centre for Linguistics

Work address

Reuvensplaats 3-4
2311 BE Leiden
Room number 2.31



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