Robert S. P. Beekes

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Robert Stephen Paul Beekes (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈbeːkəs]; born 1937, Haarlem) is Emeritus Professor of Comparative Indo-European Linguistics at the University of Leiden and the author of many books about Proto-Indo-European.


One of his most well-known books is Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An Introduction, a standard handbook on Proto-Indo-European that treats the area of linguistic reconstruction thoroughly but also features cultural reconstruction and comparative linguistic methods in general.

Beekes is also a co-author, with L. Bouke van der Meer, of De Etrusken Spreken (Muiderberg: Coutinho, 1991). He advocates the Asia Minor theory to explain the Etruscans' origin.[1] In 1993, he was elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.[2]

Currently, he is working on Pre-Greek, the (non-Indo-European) language that was spoken in Greece before Greek, possibly around 2000 BC. Since this language was not written, Beekes gets his information from some words in Classical Greek that clearly show a non-Greek structure and development.[3]

Publications (selection)

  • The Development of the Proto-Indo-European Laryngeals in Greek (Mouton, 1969)
  • The Origins of the Indo-European Nominal Inflection (IBS, 1985)
  • A Grammar of Gatha-Avestan (Brill, 1988)
  • Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An Introduction (Benjamins, 1995)
  • Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Brill, 2009)
  • Supervisor with Alexander Lubotsky of the Indo-European Etymological Dictionary


  1. The Origin of the Etruscans
  2. "R.S.P. Beekes". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 26 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Pre-Greek: The Pre-Greek loans in Greek