8 July 2010

Guus Kroonen new postdoctoral scholar

As of 1 December 2010, Guus Kroonen is a postdoctoral scholar at Roots of Europe. The title of his project is The Birth of Germanic: Linguistic and Cultural Fusion in Prehistoric North-West Europe.

The Germanic languages, including English, Dutch, German and Scandinavian, are Indo-European languages. They evolved from an Indo-European dialect that was probably taken to North-West Europe by invading Pontic-Caspian pastoralists some five millennia ago. The already present indigenous language(s) did not survive this invasion, and disappeared in prehistoric times - though not without a trace. Recent scholarship reveals that up to one third of the Germanic vocabulary originates from "Old European". A full study of this word layer aims at reconstructing the linguistic and cultural setting from which emerged the Germanic languages.

Guus Kroonen's fellowship has been made possible by a grant awarded by the Rubicon programme of the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics.

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