Robert S. P. Beekes

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Robert Stephen Paul Beekes (Dutch: [ˈbeɪkəs]; born in Haarlem in 1937) 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 more well-known books is Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An Introduction, a standard handbook on the Proto-Indo-European language. It treats the area of linguistic reconstruction thoroughly, but also features cultural reconstruction and comparative linguistic methods in general.

Beekes is also author with L. B. Van der Meer of De Etrusken Spreken (Muiderberg: Coutinho, 1991). He advocates the oriental origin theory for the Etruscans.[1] In 1993 he was elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.[2]

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


Some of his notable books are:

  • 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)


  1. ^ The Origin of the Etruscans
  2. ^ "R.S.P. Beekes". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  3. ^ Pre-Greek: The Pre-Greek loans in Greek