Sources to the Greek Lexicon

Oliver Simkin, formerly an assistant editor of the Greek Lexicon Project at the University of Cambridge, will use his training in Greek phonology, lexicology and Mycenaean and Minoan epigraphy to undertake a research project focusing on the sources of the Greek lexicon.

Classical Greek contains words from many different sources, and as with English, a stratigraphy of these elements reveals a great deal about the history of its contacts with other languages, which in turn provides new information about the history of Greek itself.

However, many aspects of this subject remain controversial, for example the question of the ‘pre-Greek' substratum which gives us words such as labyrinth, hyacinth and mint; recent attempts to reconstruct some of the linguistic details of this substratum are highly contentious.

He will also continue his research into the languages and scripts of ancient Spain and Portugal, which not only force us to confront the controversial question of how and when the Indo-Europeans first entered the peninsula, but also provide a unique window into pre-Indo-European Europe.

Scholar in charge

Oliver Simkin

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