Etymological Dictionary of Greek
LOANWORDS IN GREEK
The phonemic system of Pre‑Greek
Characteristic sounds or sound groups: 1. αυ; 2. β; 3. βδ; 4. γδ; 5. γν;
6. δν; 7. κτ; 8. κχ; 9 μν; 10. ου; 11. πφ; 12. ρδ; 13. ρκν; 14. ρν (ρδ,
νδ); 15. σ; 16. σβ; 17. σγ; 18. σκ, στ; 19. στλ; 20. τθ; 21. φθ; 22.
χμ, χν; 23. ψ-; 24. ω; 25. geminates
How to recognize words as Pre-Greek?
5.1. Voiceless / voiced /
aspirated stop; 5.2. Prenasalization; 5.3. Nasalization; 5.4.
Labial stops / m / u̯ (a. π, β, φ / μ; b. π,
β, φ / (ϝ); c. μ / (ϝ)); 5.5. Stops interchanging with σ(σ),
with stop + σ/τ or with σ + stop; 5.6. Velar / labial / dental stops:
labio-velars; 5.7. Dentals / liquids; 5.8. Simple / geminate; 5.9.
σ‑ / zero; 5.10. K‑, T‑ / zero; 5.11. ν‑, λ‑ / zero; 5.12.
Metathesis, shift of aspiration; 5.13. Secondary phonetic
developments; 5.14. Other variation.
6.1. Single vowels, timbre;
6.2. Long / short; 6.3. Single / diphthong; 6.4. Rising
diphthongs? 6.5. Secondary vowels (or syncope).
Introduction; 2.2. Survey of the suffixes; 2.3. The material: ‑αβ‑(ο‑),
‑αγ‑, ‑αγγ‑ο‑, ‑αδ‑, ‑αθ‑ο‑, ‑αι-/ε(ι)‑, ‑αι(ϝ)‑ο‑, ‑αιβ‑ο‑, ‑αιθ‑, ‑αιν‑, ‑αιρ‑(ο‑),
‑ακ‑, ‑αλ(λ)‑ο‑, ‑αμβ‑ο‑, ‑αμν‑ο‑, ‑αμ‑ο‑, ‑αν‑ο‑, ‑ᾱν‑, ‑ανδ‑, -ανδρ(‑ο)‑, ‑ανθ/τ‑,
‑ανν(‑ο)‑, ‑αξ‑, ‑απ‑ο‑, ‑αρ, ‑αρ‑, ‑ασ‑α/ο‑, ‑ασσ-ο‑, ‑ατ‑, ‑αυρ‑α/ο‑, ‑αχ‑, ‑αψ‑,
‑γδ‑, ‑γρ‑, ‑εδ‑, ‑εζ‑α, -ειρ‑ο‑, ‑ελ‑α/ο‑, ‑ελλ‑α/ο‑, ‑εμ‑ο‑, ‑εμν‑(ο‑), ‑ενν‑α,
‑ερ‑α/ο‑, ‑ετ‑ο‑, ‑ευρ‑, ‑ευτ‑, ‑ηβ‑α/ο‑, ‑ηθ-(ο‑), ‑ηκ/χ‑, ‑ηλ‑ο‑, ‑ην, ‑ην‑, ‑ηρ,
‑ηρ‑, ‑ησ(σ)-α/ο‑, ‑ητ‑(ο‑), ‑ηττ‑, ‑ηψ-ο‑, ‑θ‑ο‑, ‑θρ‑α/ο‑, ‑ῑβ‑, ‑ιγγ/κ/χ‑, ‑ῑδ‑,
‑ιδνα, ‑ιθ‑, ‑ῑθ‑, ‑ικ‑, ‑ῑκ‑, ‑ιλ‑, ‑ῑλ‑, ‑ιλλ‑α/ο‑, ‑ιμν‑α/ο‑, ‑ιν‑α/ο‑, ‑ῑν‑(ο‑),
‑ινδ‑, ‑ινθ‑(ο‑), -ιξ‑, ‑ῑπ‑ο‑, ‑ισ‑α/ο‑, ‑ισκ-ο‑, ‑ιτ‑α/ο‑, ‑ιχ‑, ‑κν‑, ‑μ-ο‑,
‑ν‑, ‑ξ‑, ‑οπ‑, ‑ορ‑, ‑οσσ-α, ‑οττ-α, ‑ουλ-ο‑, ‑ουρ‑, ‑ουσ(σ)‑α, ‑πν‑, ‑πτ‑, ‑ρ‑,
‑ργ‑, ‑ρδ‑, ‑ρν‑, ‑σκ‑, ‑σ‑ο, ‑σσ‑, ‑στ‑, ‑στρον, ‑τ‑ο‑, ‑ττ‑, ‑υβ‑, ‑υγγ‑, ‑υδ‑,
‑υδνα, ‑υθ‑, ‑υι‑α, ‑υκ‑, ‑ῡκ‑, ‑υλ‑, ‑υμ‑, ‑υμβ‑, ‑υμν‑, ‑ῡν‑, ‑υνδ‑, ‑υνθ/τ‑,
‑υνν‑, ‑υξ‑, ‑υπ‑, ‑υρ‑, ‑ῡρ‑, ‑υσ‑, ‑υτ‑, ‑υχ‑, ‑φθ‑, ‑φ‑ο‑, ‑ωκ‑, ‑ωλ‑, ‑ωμ‑,
‑ων‑, ‑ωπ‑, ‑ωρ‑, ‑ωσσ‑, ‑ωτ‑.
3. Word end
3.1. in vowel (a.
‑α; b. ‑ι, ‑ις; c. ‑υ, ‑υς; d. ‑ευς; e. ‑ω, ‑ως); 3.2.
in ‑ρ (a. ‑αρ; b. ‑ιρ; c. ‑ορ; d.
‑ωρ); 3.3. in ‑ξ, ‑ψ (a. ‑ξ; b. ‑ψ); 3.4.
in ‑ν; 3.5. in ‑ᾱς.
The unity of Pre-Greek
Pre-Greek is non-Indo-European
substrate language of Greek will be called ‘Pre-Greek’ in this dictionary; this
is a translation of the German term ‘das Vorgriechische’. No written texts
exist in this language, but it is known from a considerable number of loanwords
study of Pre-Greek has had an unfortunate history. In the past century, it was
called ‘Pelasgian’ and considered a dialect of Indo-European. This idea
fascinated scholars, and research concentrated on this proposal. But the whole
idea was clearly wrong, and by now, it is generally agreed that the substrate
was non-Indo-European. Therefore, the term ‘Pelasgian’ can no longer be used.
Frisk already had strong doubts about the Pelasgian theory, but nevertheless,
he often mentioned the proposals of its adherents. Since all work following
this line has turned out to be useless, I decided to make no mention of the
theory anymore in the dictionary.
Frisk completed his dictionary in 1972, Furnée’s book ‘Die wichtigsten
konsonantischen Erscheinungen des Vorgriechischen’, which was his dissertation
written under the supervision of F.B.J. Kuiper, had just appeared. It was an
elaboration of Kuiper’s 1956 study on Greek substrate words, which opened a new
chapter in the research of the field. Furnée rejected the Pelasgian theory, too
(see especially op. cit. pp. 40-55).
book met with fierce criticism and was largely neglected. In my view, this was
a major mistake in Greek scholarship. True, some of his identifications are
improbable, and his repeated claim that certain forms were expressive leads
nowhere. What remains, however, is that he studied a great number of relevant
forms and drew obvious conclusions from them. Pre‑Greek words often show a type
0f variation which is not found in inherited words. It is self-evident that
this variation must be studied, and this is what Furnée did. It has turned out
(as Kuiper had already shown) that this variation shows certain recurrent
patterns and can be used to recognize Pre-Greek elements.
book is not easy to use: every form is discussed at three or four places, each
time in a different context, so that it may be difficult to find out what his
point really is. On the other hand, his treatment is very careful, and there
hardly any obvious mistakes. I found a number of cases which he had not
recognized (e.g. πτωχός), but this does not change the fact that his book was
the best collection at the time. Furnée worked on it for twenty years, and even
now it is the only hand-book on the subject. The short overview which follows
below is based on Furnée’s material and on my own research of more than thirty
went astray in two respects. First, he considered almost all variation to be of
an expressive character, which is certainly wrong: it is evident that the
variation found is due to the adaptation of words (or phonemes) of a foreign
language to Greek. We shall see below that many variants can be understood in
this way. Secondly, Furnée was sometimes overzealous in his search for
inner-Greek correspondences. Many of Furnée’s discoveries are brilliant (see
s.v. δορύκνιον for an example), but sometimes he went too far: not every
alternation necessarily points to Pre-Greek origin. The author can hardly
be blamed for his enthusiasm. He was exploring new ground, and it can only be
expected that he sometimes overplayed his hand.
scholars were baffled by Furnée’s proposals and hence rejected the whole book
altogether. His method, however, was correct and I have only filtered out the
improbable suggestions. In many cases, of course, we cannot be absolutely
certain, but this cannot be an objection. Except for a very small number of
cases, Furnée’s material does consist of Pre‑Greek words. His index contains
4400 words, and taking into account that many of these words concern
derivatives and variants, as well as a few Indo‑European words, I estimate that
Furnée’s book discusses some 1000 Pre‑Greek etyma.
general, I have given only a few personal names and toponyms, and no material
of this kind from outside Greece and Asia Minor. The comparison with Basque or
Caucasian languages has not been considered in this dictionary, as this is not
my competence; it is likely that there are such connections, but this must be
left to other scholars.
suggested reconstructions are not essential. One may ignore them and just
consider the variation itself. These variants are often explained as incidental
phenomena (assimilation, influence of other words, etc.), and such explanations
may be sometimes correct, but if we know that some variants frequently occur,
we will have to consider Pre‑Greek origin. Existing etymological dictionaries
often seem to avoid the conclusion that a word is a substrate element. It is
remarkable that Chantraine was quite aware of the problem in his Formation,
but in his dictionary he often withdrew his earlier evaluation (which in my
view was correct). It looks as if substrate elements were not welcome there.
relationship with Anatolian languages is a separate problem. A Greek word is
often called a loan from an Anatolian language, while it may just as well be
borrowed from the Pre-Greek substrate. It is generally accepted, on the basis
of toponyms, that there was a language which was once spoken both in Greece and
in western Asia Minor.
In most cases, however, it is impossible to distinguish between substrate words
and loans from Asia Minor (the latter are from a later date). A word may have
been adopted through commerce, as often happens between two neighboring
countries, or starting from the time when Greeks settled in Asia Minor,
probably as early as the 15th century. From a methodological point of view, I
think it is better to consider such words as Pre‑Greek, and to define them as
loanwords from an Anatolian language only when there is reason to do so. Still,
it is clear that we may often make mistakes here. A case in point is τολύπη
‘clew, ball of wool ready for spinning’. The word is clearly related to Luwian
and Hitt. taluppa/i‑ ‘lump, clod’. The Greek word is typical of Pre‑Greek
words: the structure CaC‑up‑ (with a appearing as o before
u) and the absence of an Indo-European etymology (Melchert Orpheus
8 (1998): 47‑51 is not convincing) imply that the word is Pre‑Greek or
Pre-Anatolian. On the other hand, ‘clew’ is not a word that is easily brought
from overseas; it is an everyday word that the speakers of Greek and Anatolian
must have picked up not far from home. I completely agree with Furnée’s
interpretation (3533) that the word was brought to Greece by
settlers from Anatolia who spoke the language, which, from another perspective,
we call Pre‑Greek. In other words, τολύπη is a loan from an Anatolian
language, but this (probably non-Indo-European) language was also spoken in
large parts of Greece before the Greeks (speaking an Indo‑European language)
is essential to realize that substrate words are a frequent phenomenon. One may
regret this (for instance, from the Indo-Europeanist point of view), but this
is irrelevant; the existence of Pre-Greek words is simply a fact that has to be
accepted. To me, it is fascinating that in this way we can learn something
about the oldest language of Europe (including Anatolia), of which we otherwise
have no evidence.
‘Pelasgian’ theory has done much harm, and it is time to forget it. The latest
attempt was Heubeck’s ‘Minoisch-Mykenisch’ (discussed by Furnée 55-66), where
the material was reduced to some ten words; the theory has by now been tacitly
1. The phonemic system of Pre‑Greek
voiced and aspirated stops may interchange in Pre-Greek words, without any
apparent conditioning factors. This fact shows that voice and aspiration were
not distinctive features in Pre‑Greek.
On the other hand, the Linear B signs (graphemes) for rjo, rja
and tja show that palatalization probably was distinctive. This
is confirmed by the sign pte (e.g. in ra-pte-re /hrapteres/
with the agent suffix ‑ter‑), which must go back to an earlier pye.
In the Pre-Greek material, such a phoneme may underlie examples like θάπτα. One
may wonder whether κροσσόφθον points to py > pt,
which was realized with aspiration. Further, the signs two, twe,
dwo, dwe, nwa, swa, swi, point to labialization
as a distinctive feature, i.e. two, twe,
dwo, dwe, nwa, swa,
swi. Note that palatal and labial forms of graphemes are found
both with resonants and stops, which is a phenomenon alien to Indo-European
languages. The existence of labiovelars is confirmed by qa-si-re-u =
βασιλεύς, etc. (see further Beekes Glotta 73 (1995/6): 12f.). We may
thus posit the following system:
t ty tw
k ky kw
s sy sw
r ry rw
m my mw
n ny nw
course, it is possible that one or more of the posited phonemes did not occur
in Pre-Greek (e.g., my is a rare sound in the languages of
can now use this insight in explaining the surfacing Greek forms. Thus, δάφνη /
δαυχν(α)‑ can now be explained from a Pre-Greek form *dakwn‑. In the former form, the
labiovelar yields a labial stop φ. In the latter, it is rendered by ‑υχ‑, with
anticipation of the labial feature, while the labiovelar turns up as a velar,
possib-ly by dissimilation from ukw. Again, note that
aspiration is not phonemic in Pre-Greek. It is very important to note that we
cannot predict how a Pre-Greek form will surface in Greek: sometimes a stop
turns up as an aspirate, sometimes as a voiced stop (e.g. αἰπύς / ἄφαρ, see B 5.1.
below). As a consequence, it may happen that there is a large number of
variants, but it may also be that there are no variants at all.
a second example, we may also understand αὐχήν / Lesb. ἄμφην from a pre-form *ankwēn.
The latter form is directly understandable, with φ from the labiovelar. The
first form went through *anwkēn or *awnkēn,
giving αὐχήν with loss of the nasal (a development known from Armenian).
Perhaps, a scenario *akwēn > αὐχήν is also possible, with
a prenasalized form *ankwēn (> ἄμφην) beside *akwēn. Such interpretations may be
wrong in individual cases, but this is no reason not to try. On the other hand,
variation that is strange from an exclusively Indo-European point of view
becomes understandable in this way, starting as we do from a limited set of
existence of palatalized phonemes in Pre-Greek may explain a number
of other developments. Thus, I assume that a geminate λλ may continue Pre-Greek
*ly. We know that IE *ly gave λλ in Greek, but if a
variant with single λ coexists, we are warned. For example, the name Ἀχιλλεύς
has a variant Ἀχιλεύς with one λ. And although the latter only occurs in
Homer, this fact points to Pre-Greek origin. The variant was preserved
because it was metrically convenient, it was not created for metrical
purposes. Of course, the fact that there was more variation at an earlier date
is what we expect. As far as the other palatalized resonants are concerned, any
may have given αιν, ary may have given αιρ (or also ειρ with
coloring of the vowel, see section C2 below on the suffixes), etc. We have ‑αιρ‑,
‑αιν‑ but no *‑αιλ‑ in Pre-Greek words. This is confirmed by the fact that
geminate λλ is very frequent (Fur. 387), whereas geminate ρρ, νν and μμ are
much less frequent, or even rare.
a similar fashion, *asy may have yielded either ‑αισ- or ‑ασ‑,
cf. κάβαισος, which has a v.l. κάβασος. In rendering such a foreign word, the
palatalization may have been represented at one time, and may have been
neglected at another. This phenomenon was the main cause of variation in
Pre-Greek forms. The interpretation is further confirmed by the parallel
development of labialized consonants. Thus, I suppose that arw
resulted in ‑α(υ)ρ- (see the section on the suffixes). In this way, we may
understand καλαῦροψ beside κολόροβον from a pre-form kalarw‑op‑.
Another form which shows the remarkable interchange α/αυ is ἀρασχάδες /
αὐροσχάς. Here one might assume a pre-form *arwask‑at‑. Note
that the labial element would at the same time explain the o as a variant
of a in both cases. A similar mechanism must be at the basis of the
etymon ἄλοξ, αὖλαξ, ὦλαξ, εὐλάκᾱ, which is hopeless from an Indo-European point
of view. I assume that all forms go back on Pre-Greek *alw‑ak‑.
It gives αὐλακ‑ through anticipation, ἄλοκ‑ through coloring. In this way, the
first two forms, which are best attested, are directly clear. Further, αυ/ευ/ω
interchange frequently, which explains ὦλαξ and εὐλάκα; ὀλοκ‑ is not
problematic either, as both /a/’s were colored to [o] by the labialized
resonant. Only the Homeric accusative ὦλκα is hopeless: it is the only form
that has no vowel between λ and κ, and therefore may be due to some accident of
the tradition. This is a problem that has not been solved yet.
do not know whether a diphthong is allowed in suffixes of the structure VC, cf.
the forms in ‑αιϝος. Structurally, one could think of ‑ayw‑,
or even ‑awy‑, but such sounds are rather rare in the
languages of the world. An instance of ‑αι‑ due to a palatalized consonant is
ἐξαίφνης / ἐξαπίνης / ἄφνω (a brilliant combination by Fur. 158, etc.), which
must contain ‑apy‑ (the palatalization was ignored in the
last form). Comparable to the development in ἐξαπίνης is κνώψ / κινώπετον, from
kyn‑ with ι representing palatalization, cf. Beekes 2008.
Likewise, I assume that πινυτός beside πνυτός points to *pynut‑.
Perhaps, we must interpret σιωπάω as *syōp- because of
εὐσωπία. An interesting case is λίμινθες· ἕλμινθες, for which I assume *lym-
beside *alym- with prothetic a (see B3 below on the
palatalized consonant could color a to e. A good example is
κύπαρος, κύπαιρος, but also κύπερος, κύπειρος, where we have all possible
variants due to the palatalized consonant. Compare further Κάβαρνοι next to
Κάβειροι. Likewise, we have ζακελτίς next to ζεκελτίς ‘κολόκυνται’, where the
interchange occurs after ζ from earlier palatalized ty.
διφθέρα beside διψάρα may have had ‑pty-; ἔλ(λ)οψ next to
ἀλ(λ)άβης goes back to *alyap‑, with the common variation
a / o before a labial. A clear example is λασιτός with, next to it, λεσιτός
and λάσται, λάσταυρος. It may be interpreted as representing PG *lasyt‑.
Lingua 21 (1968): 269-277 pointed out that the substrate language had
labiovelars. He especially pointed to θαλυκρός next to ἐθάλυψα, θάλπω. I added
a few remarks in Beekes Glotta 73 (1995/6): 12f. From Mycenaean, we have
a-to-ro-qo (ἄνθρωπος) and qe-to (πίθος), Mo-qo-so (Μόψος),
qi-si-pe-e (the dual of ξίφος). Further there is A-i-ti-jo-qo
(gen. Αἰθίοπος), ὀφθαλμός with the variants ὄκταλλος and ὀπτίλ(λ)ος, which
cannot be explained from Indo-European. Instead of ξίφος, we would perhaps
expect **ψίφος. So the developments are largely as those of Greek, but not
probably had a /y/ and a /w/. Initial ya‑ presumably often lost its y‑,
but it may sometimes be represented by ἰα‑ as in ἴαμβος, Ἰᾱ́σων. The ending ‑υια
may have been ‑uy‑a (a Pre‑Greek y may have had a different
development from y in inherited words). In the same way, ‑αια may derive
from PG *‑ay‑a with a variant ‑εια, cf. Πηνελόπεια. Perhaps, the y
disappeared in some cases, giving γαῖα beside γᾶ (see below on the suffix ‑αι-
w- was often lost (ἄναξ), but wa‑ may also have been rendered by
οα‑, as in Ὀαξός beside Cret. ϝαξός. The same holds for Ὀῑλεύς, which has been
considered to be identical with the root of Ἶλος). We find υα‑ (which became
ὑα‑) in ὑάκινθος, Cret. ϝάκινθος. Fur. 377 assumes a prothetic υ‑ in the latter
word, but this seems improbable to me. Another example may be ὕα/ελος. The
differences are probably due to the date at which the word was borrowed and
depend on whether the Greek dialect concerned still had a ϝ at that time.
Another treatment can be found in the word for ‘truffle’, for which we find
οὔιτον, οἶδνον (also ‑τν‑), ὕδνον (also ‑τν‑), or ἴτον. These are probably all
renderings of *wit‑. (Fur. 184 again assumes a prothetic vowel, ϝιτ‑ /
ὀϝιτ‑, which does not seem to be the right solution. He further assumes a
variation *wit‑ / wut‑, which also seems improbable to me, though
the variation ι / υ is attested.) Rather, υ‑ is a form of οι‑, with the ‑o‑
changed under influence of the ‑ι‑ (cf. Lejeune 1972: 174, and note that Greek
did not allow ‑υι‑ before consonants; of course, οι became υ in Boeotian in the
3rd c. BC; variation οι / υ is found in more Pre‑Greek words). This
case nicely shows that variation in Pre‑Greek words is due to different
rendering of the sounds of a foreign language, and therefore has to be taken
seriously. βράκαλον· ῥόπαλον (H.) probably attests a development *wrak-
> βρακ- (as Fur. 147 remarks on καλαῦροψ: “Die landläufige Etymologie
<connecting> ῥέπω ... ist wohl ohne weiteres aufzugeben.”). σορόα·
παλιούρου εἶδος ‘sorb-apple’ (H.) continues *sorw- (cf. Lat. sorbus,
Fr. sorbier, Fur. 230).
seems that there was no initial aspiration in Pre-Greek. Furnée has a few words
with ἁ‑, ἑ‑ (one or two with ἱ‑; none with ὁ‑, ἡ‑, ὡ‑). Several of these are
doubtful; best is αἱμασιά (αἱμοί). One might conclude that the language had no h.
This would agree with the fact that aspiration is not a distinctive feature in
the stops. However, this conclusion is remarkable for ἥρως, Ἕλληνες and
Ἥφαιστος, which we expect to be Pre-Greek words (but note that Myc. a-pa-i-ti-jo
does not have a2‑). Of course, aspiration may have been added
secondarily in Greek in individual cases, cf. the variation in ἄφθα / ἅφθα and
ἐλεδώνη / ἑλεδώνη, which is a variant of δελεδώνη. However, Prof. Ruijgh
pointed out to me that Mycenaean had toponyms (a2-ra-tu-wa)
and personal names (a2-ku-mi-jo) with initial h‑; it
also occurs in inlaut (pi-a2-la, ko-ri-a2-da-na);
cf. further e-ma-a2 (/Hermāhās/ ‘Hermes’).
I thought that Pre-Greek only had three vowels: a, i, u.
The Greek words concerned often have ε and ο, but this would not be surprising,
as the three vowels have a wide phonetic range, and the phoneme /a/ may have
sounded like [e] or [o] in many environments. The main reason for me to assume
this simple three-vowel system was the fact that the system of suffixes has a,
i, u, but not e, o. We have ‑αγ‑, ‑ιγ‑, ‑υγ-;
prenasalized ‑αγγ‑, ‑ιγγ‑, ‑υγγ-; likewise ‑αθ‑, ‑ιθ‑, ‑υθ-; and prenasalized ‑ανθ‑,
‑ινθ‑, ‑υνθ‑, but no forms with ‑εγ(γ)‑, ‑ογ(γ)‑, etc. The only cases I noticed
are Ῥήσκονθος and ὄλονθος (but as a variant of ὄλυνθος), and μηλολόνθη with a
I have become more inclined to assume a system with the usual five vowels,
because there seems to be a distinction between the two variations α / ε and α
/ ο, on the one hand, and a stable, not interchanging α, on the other. This
would point to a system with a, e and o. On the other
hand, it is difficult to explain why the suffixes do not show the same
variation that we find in the root vowels.
is essential that the palatalized and labialized consonants colored an adjacent
α to ε and ο, respectively. On the effects of palatalized consonants see Beekes
2008: 46-55. Fur. 340 has a rule α > ο before ο, ω, υ (e.g. καλυβός / κολυβός);
this can now be understood as the o‑like realization of /a/ before high
rounded vowels in the following syllable (see 15.3.2).
e and o originally were variants of the phoneme /a/. It is
difficult to establish whether they had already become full phonemes in
Pre-Greek. A good illustration of the case is the name of Apollo. In Hittite, Appaliunas
renders Apollon- (see Beekes JANER 3, 2003). We know that Greek
originally had Ἀπελλ‑, with ‑ε- arising from ‑a- before the palatalized ly.
The ‑o- developed only later in Greek, but I assume that the Hittite
form still shows the ‑a‑. The Pre-Greek form was Apalyun‑.
have long doubted (and still doubt) whether there was phonemic vowel length in
Pre-Greek. Greek substrate words quite often only have a form with a long
vowel. Vacillation is sometimes found, as in θρινάκη beside θρῖναξ (see Β 6.2),
and note ὄβριμος beside βρῑμός, βρῑ́μη. Quite a different argument is the
following: ἄχυρον and πίτῡρον both mean ‘chaff’; it is therefore probable that
they contain the same suffix ‑υρ‑; but in the first word the u is short,
while it is long in the second.
that η often represents ᾱ (γᾱθυλλίς / γηθ‑), and as our knowledge of the
relevant dialects is rather limited, we often simply do not know whether η represents
an older a or e. If we had not had Dor. σίδᾱρος, we would
not have known that it contains an old ā. Also, Λῆμνος represents
Λᾶμνος. There are well-known Pre-Greek words with η < *ē, like
assume two diphthongs, ai and au. If there were no e and o,
we do not expect other diphthongs. A diphthong ευ is rare (Fur. 353 Anm. 5; I
found some 12 instances in the whole of Furnée’s material); it interchanges
with αυ. Fur.
339 Anm. 2) calls ει "(in mehreren Fällen) nur eine Nebenform von αι". Also, οι is
rather rare, and we may find ου more often, but mostly interchanging with other
vowels (see the remark on the suffix ‑ουρ‑). See further section B6.1 on vowel
the accentuation, I noted vacillation in: ἄβραμις / ‑μίς; αἰγώλιος / ‑ιός;
ἄχυρος / ‑ός; ἄχωρ / ἀχώρ; κόρυδος / κορυδός; κορύδαλος / κορυδαλλός; μέδιμνος
/ μεδιμνός; σίκυος / σικυός; ὕρισχος / ὑρισσός. Note also the almost identical
forms such as λυκαψός / λύκοψος. This does not imply that the language had no
clear stress: the Greeks who adopted a word could simply have been uncertain
about it. The phenomenon may, however, be important heuristically: such
variation is very rare in inherited words.
2a. Characteristic sounds and sound groups
Pre‑Greek words, we find some sounds or clusters that are rare in PIE words. In
brackets, I give the variants.
Of course, αυ does occur in PIE words, but only when it derives from *h2eu
(mostly in initial position) or eh2u. Examples: βλαῦδες,
βραύκας, γραύκαλας, κάναυστρον, κασαύρα, τραυξάνα; Λαβραυνδός.
As is well known, *b was rare in PIE. In Pre‑Greek words, it seems to
occur relatively often. Examples: ἄβλαροι, ἀβύρβηλος, ἀρβύλη, ἀτάρβακτος,
βάρβιλος, θόρυβος, κίβαλος. It is frequently found word-initially. Of course, β
may also go back to a Pre‑Greek labiovelar (i.e. labialized velar): e.g.
βασιλεύς, Myc. qa-si-re-u.
The cluster is possible in PIE words, but it is rare (see on β sub 2. above).
Examples: ἄβδελλον, ἄβδηρα, ἄβδης, ἴβδης, αὐτο‑κάβδαλος, κίβδηλος, κυβάβδα;
Cf. Fur. 3185. There is nothing against PIE *gd, but it is
infrequent. Of course, the group is reminiscent of βδ. Examples: ἄγδυς,
ἀμυγδάλη, γδουπέω (cf. κτυπέω), ἴγδη, κρίγδανον, λύγδη.
Example: ἰγνύς (ἰκνύς). On χν, φν, see the section on the suffixes.
The sequence is rare in IE words. Examples: ἀκιδνός, ἀλαπαδνός, ἀράχιδνα,
λεπαδνός (λα‑), σίπυδνος; ’Αριάδνη.
The group is regular in PIE, but in Pre‑Greek it is found with variants; see
B5.5. Examples: ἀβίυκτον, βάκται, δίκτυ.
The group can hardly be of IE origin, but it is not frequent. I noted βάκχαρ,
λάκχα, σάκχαρ, συκχάς; Βάκχος, Βρίακχος, Βύκχις. The group ‑κχ‑ is the geminate
of χ. Cf. on πφ, τθ.
The group is certainly possible in PIE words, but it is also frequent in Pre‑Greek.
Examples: ἀμφι‑κέλεμνον, ϝεδιμνος, ἴαμνος, βασυμνιάτης, κρημνός, λάμνα,
λωρυμνόν, μέριμνα, ῥόδαμνος, σίγυμνον, σίδριμνον; Ἀτύμνιος.
The diphthong is perfectly IE, but it is found several times in Pre‑Greek. I do
not think that Pre-Greek had a diphthong ‑ou‑, but it may have arisen
from e.g. ‑arw‑, which often surfaces as ‑ουρ‑. Examples:
σενδούκη, σκίουρος, στρουθός, τάγχουρος, τοῦφος, φάνδουρος, φοῦσκος, χλούνης.
The group can hardly be of PIE origin, but it is rare in Pre‑Greek words, too.
Like in the case of κχ, it is the geminate of φ. Examples: ἀρχιζάπφης (?);
On a morpheme boundary, the group is possible in PIE. Examples from Pre-Greek:
ἀγέρδα, καπαρδεῦσαι, καρδαμάλη.
A rare group, perhaps there is even no reason to speak of a group. Examples:
(variants ρδ, νδ): Examples: κίσιρνις (‑νδ‑), ἀχέρδα (‑να), σκαπέρδα. See the
section on the suffixes.
15. A σ occurs
both word‑initially and between vowels, where it has disappeared in most
inherited words. Initial: σάρυττα, σαγύριον, σάναπτιν, σάνδαλον, σαρρυφθεῖν,
σεκούα, σιβύνη, σίγυμνον. Intervocalic: ἀγασυλλίς, ἄγχουσα (ἔγχ‑), αἴθουσ(σ)α,
αἱμασιά, αἴσακος, ἄλεισον, δρόσος. After resonant: ἄλσος, βάλσαμον, γελσόν,
γένσιμος, μάρσιππος (-υππος).
The group is hardly known from inherited words (σβέννυμι is problematic).
Examples: ἄσβολος, θίσβη, Ἄσβετος. ‑σβ‑ may continue Pre‑Greek ‑sgw‑:
Myc. ti-qa-jo may stand for /thisgwaios/ Θισβαῖος.
Again, this group is hardly known from IE words. It may sometimes continue ‑tyg‑,
as in ἀμυσγέλᾱ, Ἀσγελάτας (see 5.5). Examples: ἀλισγέω, ὑσγίνη, φάσγανον,
These groups are well known from IE, but mostly in word initial position. See
section B5.5. Examples: βέσκεροι, βύσταξ, κύστεροι, λασταγεῖ.
Though the cluster contains nothing that could not be IE, it occurs more often
in substrate words. Examples: ἄστλιγγες, στλεγγίς.
The group can hardly be of PIE origin. In Pre‑Greek, it is a variant of ττ and
σσ (see 5.5). Sometimes, it is clearly the geminate of θ: Ἀτθίς beside Ἀθήνη.
Further examples: ἰτθέλα, κότθυβος, Πετθαλοί.
The cluster is possible in inherited words. Example: νάσκαφθον.
Rather rare in IE; Fur. 110 assumes that the nasal caused the aspiration.
Examples: δαυχμός, δαυχνα‑, σαυχμόν.
23. Frisk gives
some seventy lemmas with ψ‑. Many words are clearly Pre-Greek, and there
are no convincing Indo-European etymologies. That many of these words are of
substrate origin is also clear from the fact that there are variants with σ‑.
Apparently, Pre-Greek did not have any difficulty with ps‑, as Greek has
so many words with ψ‑. Originally, I thought that all words with ψ- were
Pre-Greek, but this thesis cannot be maintained. Among the non-substrate words,
ψύλλα originally did not have *ps‑, and ψ- for φθ- is secondary (see
Lejeune 1972: 39); the verb ψήω may well be non-IE.
Of course, ω is perfectly IE, but it also occurs in Pre-Greek words. Examples:
ἀμακρῶτις, ἄνθρωπος, ἀνωνίς, ἀποφώλιος, ἀρρωδέω, ἀσκαλώπας, ϝασκώνδας,
ἀσμωλεῖν, βαλλωτή, κασσωρίς, λωρυμνόν.
(see also B5.8 on single / geminated consonants): Indo‑European had no
geminates. Of course, geminates arose in Greek, but they are not very frequent.
I doubt whether Pre‑Greek had geminates, but several occur in Pre‑Greek words
(Brixhe 1976: 95 states that there were no geminates in this language). As Pre‑Greek
had palatalized phonemes, I wonder whether ly was (often)
represented by λλ in Greek. In a similar vein, perhaps ny
might be represented as νν, and ry as ρρ, but this needs
further investigation. For σσ and ττ see B5.5. Unclear are δδ, κκ, ππ, and μμ
(a palatalized my is a rare sound). Some further examples:
Stops: δδ: ἄδδαι, ἄδδιξ
ἀκκαλος, βέλεκκος, λάκκος(?)
βίττακος, λάττα, κάττος, μάτταβος, μέττες, μίττος; Πιττακός.
Liquids: λλ: ἀλλάβης, ἀλλοπίης, ἀμίλλακαν, βαλλωτή, βδέλλα, βίλλιν,
ἀγάννα, βλέννος, γίννος, λαχάννα; Δίκτυννα
ἀρράβακα, βίρρη, βίρροξ, καρρόν
αἴθουσ(σ)α, ἄφρισσα, γίσσα.
2b. How to recognize words as Pre-Greek?
appears to be relatively easy. A first indication is that a given word has no
IE etymology. Often, there is variation which is impossible to explain in
Indo-European terms. Therefore, the discussion of these variants is essential.
Then, there are numerous suffixes that are typical for Pre-Greek (see the list
below). The meaning may also provide an indication. The words concerned are
often names of plants or animals, or part of viticulture. Frequently, the words
are sexual terms.
we have some of the above features, it is quite clear that we are dealing with
a Pre-Greek word. The origin of the word is then indicated pg➢ in the dictionary. In many cases,
we do not have enough data and can only suspect that the word might be
Pre-Greek (the origin is then indicated as pg?➢).
3. Prothetic vowel
had a prothetic vowel, e.g. ἁσκάλαφος beside κάλαφος. In most cases, the vowel
is ἀ‑. The numbers (Fur. 368ff.) are as follows: α ± 90, ο 10, ε 5, ι 3, υ ø, η 6, αι 2. Note that, generally
speaking, α may interchange with ο, ε, and αι. Indeed, we have cases where
prothetic ο interchanges with α, and the same holds for ε (e.g. εἰκλ‑ / αἰκλ‑,
ἑψία / ἀψία). Although not all other cases can be explained away, it seems that
the phenomenon originally only concerned α. Examples: ἀγασυλλίς / γηθυλλίς;
ἀκιρίς / κίρρις; ἀκορνοί / κόρνοψ; ἀχραδαμύλα / χραμαδοῖλαι; ἀναρίτης /
νηρίτης; ἀσκάλαβος / (σ)καλαβώτης; ἀχύνωψ / κύνωψ.
large number of words shows an initial σ‑ before a consonant, which is absent
in practically identical variants. It occurs before a stop or m (so not
before r, l, n); the stop is mostly voiceless, sometimes
aspirated; see Fur. 390f. Examples: γέλενος / σχέλινος, (σ)κιδάφη, κίκερος /
σκίγκος, (σ)κορδῡ́λη, βάταλος / σπ‑, πέλεθος / σπ‑, φαττάγης / σπ‑, θριγκός
(τριγχός) / στρίγχός, τοπεῖον / στυππεῖον, (σ)μήρινθος, (σ)μύραινα. A prothetic
vowel may appear before an s‑mobile (Fur. 3908): ἀσκάλαβος /
σκαλαβώτης / καλαβάς, ἀσφάραγος / σφάραγος / φάραγξ, ἀσκάλαφος / κάλαφος.
5.1 Voiceless / voiced / aspirated stop
conclusion was that ‘Pre-Greek’ was a non-Indo-European language, with no
recognizable cognates. This implies that the phonemic system may have been
different from that of Indo-European. Thus, he found that the stops show
variation between voiced, voiceless and aspirated, so that there presumably was
no phonemic distinction between voice and aspiration in the language. As there
is no reason to assume that this is a recent phenomenon, it strongly suggests
that the language was non-Indo-European. For example, πτωχός belongs to a root ptāk-
/ ptōk- also seen in πτώξ, ‑κός. Since such a variation is hardly
understandable in Indo-European terms, the word must be Pre-Greek. Furnée’s
discussion of this variation runs from p. 115 till p. 200. Even if we allow for
some mistakes, it is clear that there is abundant evidence for this phenomenon.
a stop, a nasal may be present or not in Pre-Greek words. E.g. κάχρυς /
καγχρυς, κορυφή / κόρυμβος, σαλάβη / σαλάμβη, etc. The phenomenon is extremely
frequent, but its precise origin is not known (prenasalized consonants?).
consonant is replaced by a homorganic nasal: κιδαφεύειν / κιναφεύειν, φληδῶντα
5.4. Labial stops / m / u̯
are three interchanges: labial stop / μ, labial stop / ϝ and μ / ϝ.
stop / μ
(Fur. 203‑227). Examples: ἀρβύλη / ἄρμυλα n.pl.; βάρβιτος / βάρμιτος; κύμινδις
/ κύβινδις; λυκάβας / λυκάμας; μύσταξ / βύσταξ; σκόλυμος / σκόλυβος; φάρμακον /
φόρβαντα; σφάραγος / σμάραγος.
stop / ϝ (Fur. 228‑242). Examples: τέθηπα, θάπος / θαῦμα; κόβαλος /
καυαλός; κασσαβάς / κασαύρα; κράμβος / κραῦρος.
/ ϝ (Fur. 242‑247). A difficulty here is that Greek did not preserve a ϝ in
most cases, so that we often just find zero, and the ϝ can only be
reconstructed. This gives rise to a certain degree of uncertainty. Perhaps, we
have to reckon with the possibility of a development u > b.
Examples: βασυμνι‑άτης / βασυν‑ίας; κρίμνον / κρίνον; μέδιμνος / ϝεδιμνος;
σίγυμνος / σίγῡνος (also σίγυννος). The evidence comprises 8 or 9 words in ‑μνος.
It is found six times word-initially: e.g. μῆλον / ἦλον; μονθυλεύω / ὀνθυλεύω;
note μέροψ / ἀέροψ (εἴροψ), where the latter forms could continue *ἀ‑ϝεροψ / *ἐ‑ϝεροψ
with a prothetic vowel. Note further κύαμος / κύμηχα, which perhaps continues
5.5 Stops interchanging with σ(σ), with
stop + σ/τ or with σ + stop
kind of variation is quite complicated. I distinguished no less than 10 (or
even 15) different types.
They may be represented as follows (C = consonant):
a. labials b. velars
C / Ct π / πτ κ / κτ
C / Cs π / ψ
C / sC (π / σπ) κ / σκ
Ct / Cs πτ / ψ κτ / ξ
Ct / sC κτ / σκ
Cs / sC (ψ / σπ) (ξ / σκ)
Cs / ss ξ / σσ
sC / ss σκ / σσ
C / ss κ / σσ
t / ss τ / σσ
t / st τ / στ
of these variants is not easy, and I mainly present the data here. A question
that needs to be explained is why exactly s or t are involved in
the given variation.
most complicated instance is 5b, where we find κτ/σκ. In fact, the most complicated
phenomenon contains most information, and can be solved best. In this case, one
expects a cluster with k, i.e. a consonant before or after the k.
One of the two expected clusters must have undergone metathesis. As Greek did
undergo a metathesis τκ > κτ (and no metathesis of σκ or ξ), we may assume
that precisely this phenomenon was operative here. Thus, for an earlier stage
we may reconstruct an interchange σκ/τκ. This interchange can be easily
explained by assuming a consonant, probably unknown to Greek, which resulted
either in σ or in τ. In my interpretation, this must have been a palatalized
dental, i.e. /ty/. For instance, ἀμυσγέλα / ἀμυγδάλη was probably *amutygala,
represented first as *amusgala or *amudgala, the latter yielding
*amugdala. A less clear example is Asklepios, who was called
Ἀ(ι)σκλαπιός or Ἀ(ι)γλαπιός. It could be that the name was *Atyklap‑,
giving *A(i)sklap‑ or *A(i)dglap‑. In the latter form, metathesis
did not operate because **Agdlap‑ was not tolerated in Greek; the dental
was then simply lost. Needless to say, it often happens that only one variant
is found. The strange feature or phoneme may also be dismissed altogether, as
in δικεῖν next to δίσκος and δίκτυον.
might suppose that all variants in this group are due to a palatalized dental,
but this is not evident, as consonant clusters are rather rare, and as there
are no suffixes beginning with a consonant (except n, r, etc.).
We may be unable to determine what exactly happened in each case.
4 is treated by Fur. 2633. Since Pre-Greek did not distinguish voice
and aspiration in stops, these often vary; so if we speak of kt or κτ,
this also includes realization as χθ, such as in μόροχθος below. If we consider
the variation with labials, as in pt/ps, it is clear that we are
dealing with a labial followed by a dental. The dental could also appear as s,
so it is clear that the phoneme concerned was a palatalized dental, which I
note /ty/. This means that we are dealing with a group pty.
In the same way, with a velar we have kty.
example διφθέρα next to διψάρα is well-known and clear. Furnée further gives
γναμπτούς· χαλινούς (H.) beside γλαμψοί· χαλινοὶ στόματος (H.) and compares
πτίλον with Dor. ψίλον. His example ὀπτός ‘cooked’ next to ὄψον is less
the forms with a velar, there is no problem with μόροχθος / μόροξος. The best
known example is Ἐρεχθεύς (also Ἐριχθεύς) next to Ερεχσες on Attic vases. I
have no opinion on Ἐριχθόνιος; it may be a Graecisized form, and in this case
it is unimportant for Pre-Greek. See further the ethnonyms Δατύλε-πτοι,
Δηλό-πτης, Γαλη-ψοί, Λαδέ-ψοί and Τρανι-ψοί. Other forms are less clear.
may have been series with three forms, with kt / ks, pt / ps
and also k or p. I can only mention Ἄραχθος / Ἀράξης next to
Ἄραγος, and perhaps, next to διφθέρα / διψάρα, the verb δέφω (together with δεψ‑),
for both cf. Fur. 263.
we assumed that a labial or a velar could be followed by a palatalized dental
/ty/. If this is right, we can also postulate that this consonant
(labial or velar) was followed by a normal dental. Of course, this yielded pt
and kt. I assume that the second consonant of this group (the dental)
could have been dropped, which yielded single p or k. This
explains the type π(τ)ολεμος (Fur. §50) and βρόγχος (with prenasalization)
beside βρόχθος (Fur. §51).
will shortly review the 10 (15) types (I call the labials 1a, etc., the velars
πτ may represent a single phoneme py, as we saw in B1.
Examples: (Fur. 315ff.): γνυπ- / γνυπτ- (γνυπετ‑); κολύμβαινα / κολύβδαινα;
κίβαλος / κίβδης; λύπη / λύπτα; without variants note κρόσσοφθον, σαρρυφθεῖν.
κτ is most probably explained like 5b, discussed above (so 1b is a part of
5b). Examples (Fur. 319ff.): ἄρακις / ἀράκτην; μογέω / μοχθέω; πελεκάν /
σπέλεκτος; ἀκακία / κάκτος.
ψ may result from *pty. It is remarkable that there is no
2b. κ / ξ, as ξ is unproblematic in Greek.
π / σπ, b. κ / σκ: Both may represent *typ, tyk.
Examples: θίσβη / θίβις (Fur. 2922), βέκος / βέσκεροι; ἴχλα /
ἴσκλαι; μάκελλα / μάσκη (βάσκη); μῦκος / μύσκος; φάκελον / φάσκωλος (Fur.
πτ / ψ, b. κτ / ξ were discussed above and may continue *pty,
kty; they may belong together with 2a. Examples: διφθέρα /
διψάρα (Fur. 263 Anm. 3); χαλυβδικός / Χάλυψος (Fur. 318, 324); μόροχθος /
μόροξος (Fur. 263 Anm. 3).
κτ / σκ
was discussed above. Examples: ἀμυσγέλα / ἀμυγδάλη (Fur. 301 Anm. 2); δίσκος /
δίκτυ(ον) (Fur. 279, 319).
ψ / σπ, b. ξ / σκ. Fur. 393 simply considered the interchange as
due to metathesis, which, of course, is possible. *sp, *sk may
represent *typ, tyk. Examples (Fur. 393):
ἀσπίνθιον / ἀψίνθιον; ὀσφῦς / ψύαι; ἴσχίον / ἰξῦς; φοῦσκος / φοξός.
ξ / σσ.
If ξ represents *kty, the k may have disappeared in
other cases (which did not give ξ) after which *ty became σσ.
Examples: κριξός / κρισσός (Fur. 13059); σίβδα / ξίμβα (Fur. 317);
τραύξανα, τρώξανον / τραύσανον (Fur. 28672); ἰξάλη / ἰσάλη (ἰσσέλα,
ἰτθέλα); Οὐλίξης / Ὀδυσσεύς.
σκ / σσ
can be explained parallel to 7b: *tyk > σκ or, with loss
of the k, *ty > σσ. Example (Fur. 300): ὔρισχος /
τ / σσ.
This is the well‑known element that yielded σσ / ττ. Furnée does not discuss it
under this heading, because he gives only one phoneme (‘letter’) and its
variants; for instance, he discusses σκ / κτ under κ / κτ. The situation is
also different here, as we are able to discern a distribution among the Greek
dialects, and attribute the different renderings of these loanwords to
dialectal developments. Still, the fact remains that a foreign element was
rendered in different ways, as with all other phenomena discussed here. Fur.
253 has the heading τ, δ, θ / σ(σ), ζ. I think this should be reformulated as τ
(δ, θ), ττ (τθ) / σ (ζ), σσ, i.e. τ with its usual variants δ, θ; or the
geminated ττ (with its expected variant τθ, which is the Greek form of
geminated θθ), interchanging with σ or σσ. If the ζ was [sd], it does not fit
in well. As to its interpretation, it could represent single *ty,
which was rendered ττ or σσ, or single σ, τ (the variant ζ would then fit in,
but one would also expect a variant στ). Examples (Fur. 253ff.): κιττός /
κισσός, κρότιον / κρόσσοφθον, μύρτίνη / μυρσίνη, τεῦτλον / σεῦτλον, τίλφη /
σίλφη, γάδος / γάζας, ἀσμωλεῖν / ἀδμωλή.
think that the phoneme rendered by σσ, Att. ττ (called the foreign phoneme or Fremdphonem)
was a palatalized velar, which I write as ky, cf. Beekes JIES
37 (2009): 191-197. This would be parallel to the development of inherited
velar + yod, which gave σσ, Att. ττ, as in φυλάσσω, φυλάττω. This
interpretation is confirmed by θάλασσα, θάλαττα, where we have a variant
δαλάγχαν· θάλασσαν (H.). Here we see that after the nasal (prenasalization is
well known in Pre-Greek), the palatal feature of the consonant was dropped.
This resulted in a velar (here realized as an aspirate). The variant shows that
we may be dealing with a velar in cases of σσ / ττ. We can also compare
κολύμβαινα beside κολύβδαινα, which had py; again we see that
the palatal feature was lost after the inserted nasal.
is a third representation. We know that the name of Odysseus was Ὀλυσσευ‑,
Ὀλυττευ‑. This means that it probably had a palatalized velar, *ky.
But we also find Οὐλιξεύς (Ibyc. apud Diom. Gr. p. 321 K, Hdn. Gr.,
Plut.), a form which was at the basis of Latin Ulixes. This form was
taken from a Western Greek dialect, probably Doric. Therefore, a third
representation of the foreign phoneme is ‑ξ‑.
τ / στ
may be from *tyt giving στ or, with loss of the t, *ty
> σσ. Examples (Fur. 301ff.): βαλλωτή / βαλλαύστιον; μάτρυλλος /
μάστρυλλος; μύτις / μύσταξ; πατίλη / παστίλη.
we saw, it is very difficult to determine what exactly happened in each case;
on the other hand, it is clear that almost all variation can be understood if
we start from just a few assumptions.
5.6 Velar / labial / dental stops:
is limited evidence for variation between velar and labial, between velar and
dental, and between labial and dental, and between all the three classes (Fur.
388ff.). We find:
/ π, β κ / τ, δ π / τ
/ β γ / δ β / δ γ / β / δ
/ φ φ / θ χ / φ / θ
is remarkable that the variants mostly agree in voice / aspiration. Since
examples of this phenomenon are not particularly numerous, this may be an
indication that the words concerned are not of Pre-Greek origin, but due to
borrowing from a different substrate, for instance. Examples:
/ π: κλάνιον / πλανίς
/ β: βράκαλον / ῥόπαλον; γλέπω / βλέπω; χάλις / φαλικρόν
/ τ: ἀσκάνδης / ἀστάνδης
/ δ: γάλατμον / ἀδαλτόμον
/ τ: βαπαίνει / βαταίνει
/ δ: σάμβαλον / σάνδαλον
/ θ: γνυφαί / γνύθος
/ β / δ: γέφυρα / βέφυρα / δέφυρα.
is tempting to assume labiovelars to explain these cases, but some cases may
have a different origin (thus, βράκαλον / ῥόπαλον could be due to dissimilation
in the first variant). On the existence of labiovelars in Pre-Greek, see above
on the phonemic system.
5.7. Dentals / liquids
are some instances of variation between dentals (including n) and
liquids (l, r). This variation is incidental. Examples (Fur.
a. δ / λ:
ἄβλαρος / βδαροί (Fur. 33027), δάφνη / λάφνη, Ὀδυσσεύς / Ὀλυσσεύς.
Cf. Myc. gen. da-pu2-ri-to-jo /daphurinthoio/
/ λαβύρινθος, καλάμινθα / Myc. ka-da-mi-ta. The interchange δ / λ and
the fact that Linear B has signs for da, de, di,
etc. (which Lejeune explained by assuming a specific, unusual sound đ)
might point to a dental fricative ƛ.
/ λ: θάπτα / λάττα
/ λ: νίτρον / λίτρον
b. δ / ρ:
σίβδα / ξίμβραι
/ ρ: βλῆχνον / βλῆχρον
c. λ / ρ:
ἀζηρίς / ἀζηλίς, κρίβανος / κλίβανος, κρῶμαξ / κλῶμαξ.
5.8. Simple / geminate
for a few isolated cases, we find this interchange in ν / νν, but more notably
in λ / λλ. On τ / ττ and σ / σσ see above sub 5.5. Cf. Fur. 386f. Examples:
/ νν: ἄνηθον (also τ) / ἄννηθον (also τ); τημενίς / τήβεννα. In this context,
note the suffix ‑υνν‑.
/ λλ: βαλ(λ)ήν; θυλίς / θυλλίς; σπέλεθος / σπέλληξι dat.pl.; μακέλη / μάκελλα
(this probably derives from PG *‑alya‑). Note γεῖσ(σ)ον,
σάρῑσα / σάρισσα, and the case of Ἀθήνη / Ἀτθίς / Ἀττικός.
5.9. σ‑ / zero
discussed σ / zero before consonant under s-mobile above, section B4.
‑s- from Pre-Greek is normally maintained. The only instances that I
know of, where it may have disappeared, are (cf. Fur. 241): σύριχος, σύρισσος /
ὑριχός (also ‑ίσκος, ‑ίσχος, ‑ίσσος); συβάλλας / ὑβάλλης; σαγήνη / Cypr. ἀγάνα;
σιπύη / ἰπύα. Perhaps Ἑλλάς beside Σελλοί belongs here, too. Another instance
could be ἄπιον, which is cognate with Lat. pirum which points to ‑pis‑.
5.10. K‑, T‑ / zero
are instances where a velar or a dental may be absent in initial position (Fur.
391, and 13159). Dentals may also be absent in inlaut. Examples:
/ zero: κάνδαρος / ἄνθραξ, καλινδέομαι / ἀλίνδω, κόγχναι / ὄγχναι, κανθήλιον /
/ zero: γίννος / ἰννός, but this form may be a late development. As an
explana-tion, one could think of a uvular q.
/ zero: τάγχουρος / ἄγχουρος, τήγανον / ἤγανον, τίφυον / ἴφυον (with ῑ in LSJ);
/ zero: δελεδώνη / ἑλεδώνη (also ἐ‑).
of a dental in inlaut: νέτωπον / νίωπον, ἰθουλίς / ἴουλίς, ἀσίδαρος / ἀσίαρος.
5.11. ν‑, λ‑ / zero
and λ‑ can also be absent (Fur. 391f): νάφθα / ἄφθα (also ἅ‑). λαιψηρός /
αἰψηρός, λαμπήνη / ἀπήνη, λατμενεία / ἀτμήν. Perhaps, it concerns palatalized ny,
ly, which are pronounced very ‘light’.
5.12. Metathesis, shift of aspiration
are instances of metathesis. It mostly concerns ρ, sometimes λ. The consonant
jumps to the other side of the vowel or the consonant: κιρσός / κρισσός,
κριξός; τέρμινθος / τρέμιθος. Cf. Τερμίλαι / Τρεμίλαι; ἄρπιξ / ἀπρίξ; κέδροπα /
κέρδοπα; νάθραξ / νάρθηξ. In most cases, it cannot be determined what the
original configur-ation was. In a case like ἔρβως / εὔρως, where β may stand
for (or continue) ϝ, I would think that the ϝ was anticipated. It may concern
an original rw.
cases of σπ / ψ and σκ / ξ are discussed in 5.5 above.
of aspiration is found in some cases: θριγκός / τριγχός, ἀθραγένη / ἀνδράχνη.
In the case of φάτνη / πάθνη the metathesis seems to have occurred in the later
history of Greek (Beekes 2003).
5.13 Secondary phonetic developments
1. We may
assume secondary phonetic developments, either in Greek or perhaps already in
the original language. One might consider:
> βλ-: βδαροί / ἄβλαροι. For this case, cf. 5.7b δ / λ.
> βρ: βδέλλιον / βρέλλιον (Fur. 308)
> δ‑: γδοῦπος / δοῦπος
> γν-: δνόφος / γνόφος
> μ‑: κμέλεθρον / μέλαθρον
> σπ‑: ψενδυλ‑ / σπονδύλη? See 5.5.6 above.
> σ‑: ψέφας / σεῖφα; ψίττακος / σίττακος; cf. Ψαπφώ, Σαπφώ.
2. α > ο
before υ in the following syllable. The a was probably pronounced a
little higher before the u, and was realized as [å], which resulted in
ο. Examples: ἀξουγγία > ὀξύγγιον, καλύβη > κόλυβος, *σκαραβ- (κάραβος)
> σκορόβυλος, δορύκνιον for *δ(α)ρυκν‑.
5.14 Other variation
are a few instances of isolated and puzzling variation. I mention just one, the
word for ‘night’, where we have ψέφας, κνέφας, δνόφος, ζόφος. I think that in
some of these cases, the solution may be found in a cluster. Carian, for
example, allows an initial cluster kbd‑. Such clusters would have been
simplified in Greek. In an inherited word, we have the parallel of Lat. pecten,
Gr. κτείς, which is supposed to continue *pkt‑. If we assume a cluster *kdn‑
in our example, it may have been reduced to kn‑ or, with loss of the
first consonant, to dn‑. Thus, the process is the same as the reduction
γδ‑ > δ‑, see 5.13 above. Such variant simplifications are typical for
loanwords. In this way, we could connect two of the words; but I see no way to
connect the other two.
6. Vowel variation
6.1 Single vowels (timbre)
vowels show many variants. I will discuss them in the following order: first a,
then e and o; and within each of these groups first the short
vowel, then the diphthongs, then the long vowel (and the long diphthongs, but
these hardly occur). Note that a variation x / y is not repeated under y.
1. the vowel
1a. α / ε has
80 occurrences in Furnée’s material (347). Examples: ἄγχουσα / ἔγχουσα, ἄρυσος
/ ἔρυσος, γάλινθοι / γέλινθοι, ζακελτίς / ζεκελτίς, καίατα / καιέτας, κάμπος /
κέμπορ, κάχρυς / κέγχρος, σάνδυξ / σενδούκη.
1b. α / ο. This
interchange also occurs frequently. Fur. 339 mentions that he found 80
instances. Examples: ἀξουγγία / ὀξύγγιον, ἀρρωδέω / ὀρρωδέω, γράβιον / γοβρίαι,
ἠπίαλος / ἠπίολος, κάβαξ / κόβακτρα, καλύβη / κόλυβος, λυκαψός / λύκοψος.
1c. α / αι
(Fur. 336ff.). Examples: ἀκραιφνής / ἀκραπνής, ἀσύφηλος / αἰσύφιος, λάγματα /
λαίγματα. The ι here is due to the following palatalized consonant.
1d. α / αυ
(Fur. 30237). Examples: καναύστρον / κάναστρον, μνάσιον / μναύσιον;
ἄλοξ / αὖλαξ. In the last example, the υ is probably due to the following
labialized phoneme lw.
1e. α / ω: κλάδος
1f. αι / ει (Fur. 352 Anm.
4, 339 Anm. 2). Examples: καιρία / κειρία, κύπαιρος / κύπειρος, λαιαί / λεῖαι. Both αι and
ει are due to the following palatalized consonant.
1g. αυ / ευ (Fur. 353 Anm.
5). Examples: λαυκανίη / λευκανίη, πέταυρον / πέτευρον; αὖλαξ / εὐλάκα.
1h. αυ / ω, ο (Fur. 30132).
Examples: κασαύρα(ς) / κασωρίς, θαῦμα / θῶμα, σαῦσαξ / σώσικες, βαύκαλον / βῶκος, καλαῦροψ / κολλώροβον / κολλόροβον.
1i. ᾱ / αι (Fur. 338).
Examples: λήθαργος / λαίθαργος, ληκάω / λαικάζω, πήγανον / φαίκανον.
1j. ᾳ / ᾱ. Examples: λᾳδος (λῄδιον) / λᾶδος (λήδιον).
2. the vowel
2a. ε / α: see
2b. ε / ι (Fur.
355ff.). Examples: βλίτυξ / βλέτυες, ἐβίσκος / ἰβίσκος, δέπας / Myc. dipa,
ἔντυβον / ἴντυβος, κελλόν / κίλλιξ, κιλλίβας / κελλίβας, κύτεσος / κύτισος,
λέσφος / λίσπος (φ). The e was not phonologically distinguished from i,
and they were phonetically close.
2c. ε / ι / υ
(Fur. 35455). Example: κεχράμος / κίχραμος (κιγκράμας) / κύχραμος.
2d. ε / ευ
(Fur. 115). Example: ἄργετος / ἄρκευθος.
2e. ει / αι:
2f. ει / η (Fur. 339 Anm.
2). Examples: κείθιον (χείτιον) / κήθιον, χειραμός / χηραμός.
2g. ευ / ε: see ε / ευ.
2h. ευ / αυ: see αυ.
2i. ε / η (Fur. 35842).
Examples: ἔνυστρον / ἤνυστρον, μέρμερος / μέρμηρα, ψάκελον / βάκηλον, μήδεα / μέδεα (μέζεα); Πηλαγόνες / Πελαγόνες.
2j. η / ι (Fur. 171114).
Examples: βλῆτον / βλίτον, σκῆνος / σκίναρ, ψημύθιον / ψιμύθιον.
3. the vowel ο.
3a. ο / α: see α.
3b. ο / ι (Fur. 19137).
Examples: ἄκονος / ἄκινος, ἰβρίκαλοι / ὀβρίκαλα, Ὄνογλιν / ὄνιγλιν.
3c. ο / υ (Fur. 358ff.).
Examples: ὄλονθος / ὄλυνθος, σκολοβρέω / σκολυβρός, σκύτη / ‑κόττα, κυδώνιον / κοδώνεα, κυρσέας / κορσίς, πρύτανις / πρότανις, τοπεῖον / στυππεῖον. ο and υ were
phonetically very close, and not distinguished phonologic-ally (cf. on ε / ι).
3d. ο / ου (Fur. 359).
Examples: βρόκος / βροῦκος, κολοτέα / κολούτεα (also ‑λυ‑, ‑λω‑).
3e. ο / ω (Fur. 279).
Examples: γνοτέρα / γνωτέρα, κολλώροβον / κολλόροβον, φασίωλος / φασίολος (also ‑ουλος), ὤρυγγες / ὄρυξ, ‑γος; ὠσχοί / ὄσχη.
3f. οι / υ (Fur. 127).
Example: χραμαδοῖλαι / ἀχραδαμύλα (ἀκραμύλα).
3g. οι / ου (Fur. 358).
Examples: κολουτία / κολοιτία (κολοτέα), ψούδιον / ψοίθης?
3h. ου / υ (Fur. 12029).
Examples: κτύπος / γδουπέω, κροῦναι / γρῡνός.
3i. ου / ω (Fur. 133).
Examples: μωκάομαι / μουκήζει; λούπης / λώβηξ (Fur. 148).
3j. ω / η. Example: θρῶναξ / ἀνθρήνη.
3k. ω / υ (Fur. 30235).
Examples: ζώγιος / ζύγγιος, ὕσσωπος / ἱσσύπος, λωβεύω / λυβάζειν.
3l. ο / ε. Example: γοργυρα / γεργυρα
4. ι / υ.
There is some variation between ι and υ, but I do not know how to interpret it.
Examples (Fur. 364ff.): αἰσυμνάω / αἰσιμνάω; ἀνθρίσκος / ἄνθρυσκον; βίδην /
βυδοί; βρικός / βρυκός; ζύγαστρον / σίγιστρον; κινώπετον / κυνοῦπες; κύβεσις /
κίβισις; μάρσιππος / μάρυππος.
5. υ / ε.
Example: γυργαθός / γεργαθος.
behavior of the diphthongs may be summarized as follows:
αι / ει and (vice versa) ει / αι
αυ / ευ, ω ευ / αυ
/ υ, ου
/ υ, οι, ω
this variation is understandable in terms of adaptation of a three‑vowel
6.2. Long / short:
may doubt whether Pre‑Greek had a distinction of long and short vowels (see
Β1). We do find η and ω, however, but not very often, and the latter has
several variants. On the other hand, the variations ω / ο and η / ε are not
very frequent (although in this case also the difference in timbre may have
been important, depending on the Greek dialect). Variation between long en
short ι and υ is frequent, especially in suffixes: γήθυον / γάθια, κύβεσις /
κίβησις, θῖβις / θίβις, κρίμνον / κρῖμνον, θρῖναξ / θρινάκη; ψημύθιον /
ψιμῡ́θιον, σπονδῡ́λη / σπονδύλιον. Cf. κᾱ́ραβος / καράμβιος (cf. κηραφίς),
φενᾱκίζω / πηνηκίζω ‘deceive’; Ὠγην(‑) / Ὠγεν(‑); γνοτέρα / γνωτέρα.
is some evidence for short vowel + CC alternating with long vowel + C: e.g.
μῦκος / μύσκος; Λάρῑσα / Λάρισσα; see B 1 on ‑ιξ, ‑υξ.
6.3. Single vowel / diphthong:
are several instances where a diphthong varies with a single vowel. They can be
found above (6.1). Most frequent is α / αι, but this is due to the effect of a
following palatalized consonant. We further find α / αυ, ε / ευ, and ου / υ and
οι / υ. In two cases we find diphthong alternating with a long vowel: αι / ᾱ,
ει / η. Examples were given above.
6.4. Rising diphthongs?
frequent in Pre-Greek words are sequences of a more closed vowel followed by a
more open one, sequences that are not found in IE. They would be rising
diphthongs if they formed one syllable, but in fact we may have to do with two
syllables. Examples are:
σεᾱγών (σι‑, συ‑)
βατιάκη, θίασος, θρίαμβος, σίαλον, φιάλη, φιαρός. Note σιᾱγών (σε‑, συ‑)
βρυαλίζων, γύαλον (γυε‑), κύαμος, πύαλος, πύανον, συαγρίς
γυέλιον (γύαλον), πύελος (πυα‑)
too, is the sequence ‑ωυ‑ in πῶυ(γ)ξ, μωύς.
6.5. Secondary vowels (or elision)
words show a vowel that is absent in nearly identical forms. It mostly concerns
vowels between a stop and a resonant. It is often not clear whether the
presence or the absence of a vowel is secondary. See Fur. 378‑385. Examples:
βράγχια / βαράγχια; δορύκνιον for *δρυκν- in στρυχν-; σκέρβολος / σκέραφος;
κνύζα / (σ)κόνυζα; σκόροδον / σκόρδον; τονθορύζω / τονθρύζω; Ἀρεπυία / Ἅρπυια;
κνώψ / κινώπετον / κυνοῦπες; Κορύβαντες / Κύρβαντες.
forms seem to have reduplication, though we often cannot demonstrate this. Most
frequent is partial reduplication, where only the first consonant and a vowel
are repeated. The vowel is mostly ε or ι.
βέβραξ; βέ(μ)βρος; γάγγαμον; γαγγλίον; γαγγραίνα; γίγαρτον; γίγγλυμος; κίκυβος;
σέσυφος / Σίσυφος (cf. σόφος); μεμαίκυλον (also μι‑); νενίηλος; σέσελι(ς);
σίσυρα (also ‑υρνα); μεμβράς(?); perhaps κίκυμος; κίχραμος (also κε‑, κυ‑, κιγκ‑);
δενδρύω. Also the names Κέκροψ; Πεπάρηθος; Τιταρήσιος; Λέλεγες. With
prenasalization we find τενθρηδών, τενθρήνη (cf. ἀνθρηδών, θρῶναξ). In these
examples, I neglect the fact that there may (or may not) be prenasalization.
reduplication vowels are found in: λάλαμις (cf. λαῖλαψ), κοκρύς, perhaps also
reduplication in: μόρμορος (μορμυραία), μαρμαρυγη.
difficult to judge are γέλγις next to ἀγλῖς (perhaps from *γε‑γλ‑, ἀ‑γλ‑),
κέρκα next to ἄκρις (if from *κε‑κρ‑, ἀ‑κρ‑). Also Μεμβλίαρος beside Βλίαρος
(cf. μεμβράς), Μεμβλίς = Μέλος, also Μιμαλλίς.
completely different type is perhaps found in ἀμάμαξυς (cf. ἀμαξίς), and
perhaps also ἀμαμιθάδες.
appears that most suffixes have the same structure. They contain a consonant;
if this is a stop, it can be prenasalized, i.e. ‑β- or ‑μβ‑, ‑θ- or ‑νθ‑, etc.
The stop has its usual variants, like β / π / φ, etc., although mostly one of
these is predominant. The suffix usually starts with one of the vowels of the
language, mostly α, ι, υ (we find ε or ο only rarely, e.g. ὄλονθος beside
ὄλυνθος). Thus, we may find e.g. αγγ – ιγγ – υγγ; ανθ – ινθ – υνθ, etc.
different structure is present in suffixes containing ‑ν- (mostly followed by a
vowel) directly after the root-final consonant: e.g. κύδνος, πισάκνα, μόλυχνον,
φενακνίς, σαταρνίς. In this way, the groups ‑ρν‑, ‑δν‑, ‑κν‑, ‑μν- in Pre-Greek
words probably originated. In the case of ‑μν‑, we often find a vowel again: ‑αμν‑,
‑ιμν‑, ‑υμν‑. The groups ‑μν‑ and ‑ρν‑ are especially frequent. They are very
important, as they are found in Etruscan, which for the rest shows little
agreement with Pre-Greek; ‑μν- is found as far as in Cappadocian (see Beekes BiOr
59 (2002): 441f.). Perhaps, the groups ‑ανν‑, ‑ινν‑, ‑υνν- arose in this way,
consonants are found in suffix-initial position, too: e.g., ‑ρ‑, ‑δ‑, ‑γ‑,
rarely ‑λ‑. Examples: ψυδρός, κύριθρα, παναγρίς, φάλακρος; σκαπέρδα; λάθαργος;
is often possible to determine to which series the Pre-Greek consonant
belonged. Thus, ‑αιν‑ could render ‑any‑, while ‑aly-
seems to have resulted in ‑αλλ- (or ‑ελλ- with coloring of the vowel).
Likewise, ‑ειρ- could represent ‑ary‑. This thesis would be
nicely supported by the segment ‑αυρ‑, if this represents ‑arw-
(e.g. αὐροσχάδες beside ἀρασχάδες, if this form had *-arw‑).
Cf. B1 above.
type of suffix has σ followed by a dental: κάνασθον (‑στρον), λαιστρόν or
another stop ἔνθρυσκον, αὐροσχάς, κανναβίσκα; these forms may have been partly
adapted to Greek suffixes (‑τρον). See below on the suffix ‑στ‑.
form such as ‑ευτ‑ is deviating; we do not often find a diphthong before the
consonant. Does it stand for *‑aut‑ from ‑atʷ? Cf. ‑aiu‑ in ἔλαιον,
where we may suspect ayʷ or awy (but it may be
part of the root). See further section B1.
seldom do we find a long and a short vowel with a suffix (= consonant), e.g. ιθ
– ῑθ, υκ – ῡκ. In the case of ῡρ, one might again think of ury >
uir, although ry is a rare phoneme (like my).
2.2 Survey of the suffixes
principle, we find one of the three vowels of the language followed by a
(prenasalized) consonant: a, i, u + (m)P, (n)T, (n)K.
The groups actually found are, in Greek letters (forms in brackets are rare or
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
αμβ (αντ) ανδ ανθ
(υντ) υνδ (υνθ) υγγ
we do not find: 1. VNπ and 3. VNφ, 7. VNκ, 9. VNχ (except for δαλαγχαν).
the same way, we find vowel + C. The consonant may have the normal variation:
plain, voiced, aspirated. A palatalized consonant could color a preceding
and/or a following /a/ to [ε], which may also appear as ει. This phenomenon is
often seen in languages with palatalized consonants, such as Russian and Irish.
Thus, we find ‑ary- represented as ‑αιρ- (-ειρ- is also
possible). A palatalized ‑ly- may be rendered as a geminate ‑λλ‑.
a labialized consonant followed or preceded an α, this vowel may have been
perceived as (an allophone of) /o/. For example, ‑arw- may be
represented as ‑αυρ‑, with anticipation of the labial element, but also as ‑ουρ‑,
in which case the α was colored.
suffixal consonant may be geminated; as there is frequent variation between
single and geminated consonants in the language, there possibly was no
could be either short or long; in suffixes, a long vowel was quite frequent. A
long ū was sometimes represented as ω.
2.3 The material
examples are mostly taken from Furnée, to whom I refer for details. Words can
also be checked in the present dictionary. Variants are given in brackets. I added
geographical names (TN) from Fick 1905, and some more material, with
1. ‑αβ‑(ο‑) (Fur. 107):
ἀγράκαβος, ἀλ(λ)άβης, ἀσκάλαβος, ἀττέλε/αβος, κάνναβος, κόλλαβος, μέσ(σ)αβον,
λατραβός, μάτταβος. TN Καττάβιος (Rhodes, Fick 47), Κάσταβος (Caria).
2. ‑αγ‑: ἁρπαγ‑ (cf.
Chantraine 1933: 397ff.), λάταξ, οὖραξ.
3. ‑αγγ‑ο-: σφάραγγος.
4. ‑αδ‑: ἀρασχάδες,
5. ‑αθ‑ο-: ἀσπάλαθος,
γυργαθός, σπύραθοι. TN Ὑρνάθιον (Epidauros).
6. ‑αι-/-ε(ι)- before a vowel: There are words in ‑αια / ‑ε(ι)α,
such as γρυμέα /
γρυμεία (also γρυμεῖα) /
γρυμαία (note the hesitation in the accentuation). I suggest
that the suffix was ‑ay-(a), which was pronounced as [-æya] or [-eya]
(we saw that ει often varies with αι). The speakers of Greek identified the
suffix with Gr. ‑αι- or ‑ει‑, but the ‑y- could also be lost. In this
way the three variant forms can be explained. Further examples are κολοιτέα /
κολ(ο)υτέα, κορχυρέα (κορκόδρυα in H. is probably an error); κώδεια / κώδεα
(note the short α), beside κώδυια / κωδία (these are not entirely clear to me,
but cf. Ἀμάθυια / Ἀμάθεια).
is likely to be the same suffix as ‑ειᾰ which makes feminine names, e.g.
Ἀμάλθεια, Πηνελόπεια, Ἰφιμέδεια (note that in Myc. Ipemedeja, the ‑j-
is preserved, cf. Ruijgh 1957: 1553). Of course, many place names
end in ‑εια: Καδμεία, Καλαύρεια, Κερύνεια, Μίδεια, Σκελερδεία, Λεβάδεια, etc.
The final was
often adapted to ‑αίᾱ after the dominant type, which is derived from the
adjectives in ‑αῖος (see Chantraine, Form. 91): type ἀναγκαίη; cf.
βρυκταία, διρκαία, σιβαία.
We also find ‑εία
used in nouns: δαυρεία, ζαλεία, κουλυβάτεια.
Nouns with ‑εο-
are very rare; we find: γωλεός, εἰλεός, κολεόν, νικύλεον, συφεός(?), φωλεός. It
may further be found in Ὠκέανος < *-kay-an‑, note the by-forms Ὠγην,
Beside ‑αια, ‑εια,
we may expect thematic ‑αι-ο-; we find it e.g. in δίρκαιον, σπήλαιον, ψιφαῖον;
γραψαῖος, *σκαραβαιος (reconstructed by Fur. 169).
7. ‑αι(ϝ)‑ο‑ (see Fur.
23322, 25532): Partly from ‑αιϝο‑; it is often impossible
to establish whether a form had a ‑ϝ- or not. See also 6. above. Examples:
ἀκυλαῖον, ἀραιός, βαγαῖος, βαλαιόν, δίρκαιον, ἔλαιον (Myc. era3 /
rawo), μάταιος, μεσσαῖον, σίραιον; Ἀχαιϝός. TN Ἀστυπάλαια (Fick: 58).
8. ‑αιβ-ο-: TN
9. ‑αιθ-: TN Σύμαιθα
(Thess.), Περαιθεῖς (Arc. deme), Κελαιθεῖς (Thess. deme), Κυναιθεῖς (Arc.
10. ‑αιν‑ (Fur. 171117):
ἄκαινα, ‑ον, βολίταινα, γάγγραινα, κολύβδαινα (also ‑υμβ‑), κορύφαινα, μύραινα,
represents ‑ary-: κύπαιρος (also ‑ειρον, ‑ηρις, ‑ερος),
12. ‑ακ‑ (Fur. 15864):
ἀβυρτάκη, αὖλαξ, βατιάκη, δόναξ / δῶναξ / δοῦναξ, θρινάκη (θρῖναξ), θώραξ (also
‑ηξ, ‑ᾱκος), καυνάκη, θῡλάκη, πιστάκη, φάρμακον. TN Ζάρᾱξ, ‑ηξ (Lac.).
13. ‑αλ(λ)‑ο- (Fur. 25428,
Beekes 2008): ἀρύβαλλος, αἰγίθαλ(λ)ος, κορύδαλ(λ)ος (also ‑ός), πάρδαλος. TN
Κασταλία (Phoc. source), Φάρσᾱλος, Στύμφᾱλος (Arc.).
14. ‑αμβ‑ο- (Fur. 184):
δῑθύραμβος, θρίαμβος, ἴαμβος, καράμβας, σήραμβος.
15. ‑αμν‑ο-: δίκταμνον,
ῥάδαμνος, σφένδαμνος. TN Σέδαμνος (Crete).
15. ‑αμ‑ο-: ἄρταμος. TN
Κίσ(σ)αμος (Cos), Πέργαμον, Κώγαμος (Lydia), Κύαμον (Kydon.), Ὑδραμος (Kydon.).
16. ‑αν-ο-: TN Ἰάρδανος
(HN Crete, Elis), Ἀπιδανός (HN Thess.), Ἠριδανός (HN), Ἀνδανος (Fick: 18).
17. ‑ᾱν-: γεντιανή.
18. ‑ανδ‑: ἀσγάνδης.
19. ‑ανδρ-: γελανδρόν.
TN Τήλανδρος (Fick 51), Τύμανδ(ρ)ος (Pamph.), Μυίαν-δ(ρ)ος (Fick: 53),
20. ‑ανθ/τ‑ (Fur. 19135;
21671, ‑αντ‑ unless otherwise stated): ἀλίβας, ἀσκάνθης (σκάνθας),
κιλλίβας (but κελλίβατ‑), ὀκρίβας, φάλανθ/τος, Ἄβαντες (Fick: 69, etc.),
Μέλανθ/τ‑, Πείρανθ/τ‑, Γίγαντες, Κορύβαντες. TN Βαβράντιον (Chios).
21. ‑ανν‑: τύραννος.
22. ‑αξ- (cf. ‑ιξ‑, ‑οξ‑):
ἅμαξα, ἀτράφαξυς, σαβάξας (also ‑κτ‑), TN Κυρτάρπαξον (Crete).
23. ‑απ‑ο- (Fur. 23531):
ἄρναπος, γαυσαπός, μόναπος. TN Μεσσαπιος (Crete, Fick: 24).
24. ‑αρ (Fur. 13475),
mostly neuters: ἴκταρ, κύδαρ,
νέκταρ, σκίναρ, σῦφαρ; adj. μάκαρ; anim. ὄαρ, δάμαρ (gen. ‑ρτος), cf. Myc. dama beside duma.
25. ‑αρ‑ (Fur. 25736):
ἄσκαρος, βασσάρα, γάδαρος, γίγγλαρος, κίσθαρος, κύσσαρος, λεσχάρα, φάλαρα. Also σίδᾱρος? TN Ἄπταρα (Crete, Lycia), Πάταρα (Lycia), Μέγαρα (Fick: 75), Ἀλλαρία
26. ‑ασ‑α/ο- (Fur. 15757):
κάρπασος, καμασός (κάβαισος), πάγασα. TN Κύρβασα (Crete), Πήδασα (Mess.), Παγασαί (Thess.).
27. ‑ασσ-ο-: TN Ῥυτιασσός (Crete), Κρυασσός (Crete), Μυκάλησσός,
Ταφιασσός (Fick: 32).
28. ‑ατ-: ἀπάτη,
ἠλακάτη. TN Καίρατος (Crete), Μίλατος (Crete, Fick: 27).
29. ‑αυρ‑α/ο- (this may continue ‑arw‑): (ἀ)φαῦρος,
φλαῦρος, (ἀ)μαυρός, ἄγλαυρος, θησαυρός, κασαύρα (‑ας), λάσταυρος, πέταυρον
(ευ). TN Ἐπίδαυρος.
30. ‑αχ‑: βότραχος,
31. ‑γδ-: perhaps ἄπριγδα [adv.].
32. ‑γρ‑ (cf. on ‑ρ‑):
33. ‑εδ-: TN Τένεδος,
Λέβεδος, perhaps in Λακεδαίμων.
34. ‑εζ‑α: see below
sub 73. on ‑ισ‑.
35. ‑ειρ‑ο- (may
continue ‑ery‑, ‑ary‑): αἴγειρος, κύπειρον,
σάβειρος (σαπέρδης); Κάβειροι.
36. ‑ελ‑α/ο- (cf. the
next): ἀμυσγέλα, ἀσφόδελος, βρίκελος, δρύψελα, (ἐπι)ζάφελος, ἰτθέλα, κύβελα,
37. ‑ελλ‑α/ο- (cf.
36.): ἀκρόσπελλος, βάτελλα, βδέλλα, πάτελλα, πέλλα.
38. ‑εμ‑ο- (Fur. 15142):
ἰάλεμος, κοά̄λεμος, π(τ)όλεμος (if not IE), θελεμόν.
39. ‑εμν‑(ο‑) (Fur. 15144):
ἁμφι‑κέλεμνον, Καρτεμνίδες. TN Σέλεμνος (Fick: 95).
40. ‑ενν‑α (I wonder
whether ny could give νν): τήβεννα. Cf. βλέννος.
Cf. Lat. (from Etruscan) (doss‑)ennus, Porsenna.
41. ‑ερ‑α/ο-: διφθέρα,
ἀσκέρα (also ‑ηρα), κασσίτερος. TN Ὠλερος (Crete).
42. ‑ετ‑ο- (Fur. 1154):
καιετός, καίπετος, μάσπετον, νέπετος, τηλύγετος? TN Ξυπέτη (Att.), Ταΰγετος.
42a. ‑ευ- as in nom. ‑εύς:
βασιλεύς; several PNs like Ἀχιλ(λ)εύς, Ὀδυσσεύς.
43. ‑ευρ‑: see ‑αυρ‑.
44. ‑ευτ‑ (Fur. 173,
1817): βασκευταί, κρατευταί.
45. ‑ηβ‑α/ο-: κύρηβος.
TN Κάνδηβα, Τένδηβα, Τορρηβός (all in Lydia).
46. ‑ηθ-(ο‑): TN
Πεπάρηθος, Σεσάρηθος (Fick 67), Κικύνηθος (Pagas.), Πάρνης, ‑ηθ- (Att.). Cf. ‑αθ‑.
47. ‑ηκ‑, ‑ηχ‑ (Fur.
199, 24570): βήρηξ, δάνδηξ, λώβηξ, πήληξ, τράφηξ, φήληξ; κύμηξ /
48. ‑ηλ‑ο- (Fur. 1155):
ἀβρόκηλος, ἀβύρβηλος, ἀσύφηλος, βάκηλος, κάβηλος, κίβδηλος, νενίηλος, τράχηλος,
49. ‑ήν (Fur. 172118):
ἀτμήν, ἀτταγήν, αὐχήν (ἄμφην), βαλ(λ)ήν, δοθιήν, ἐσσήν, καμασήν (‑ασός), κυφήν,
σειρήν, σωλήν, ταγήν, τιβήν, perhaps ἀδήν. TN Θηρήν (Crete, Fick: 25), Τροιζήν,
50. ‑ην-: γλαβρήνη.
51. ‑ηρ: σπίνθηρ;
Αἰγλάηρ? TN Ποθηρεύς (Crete), Κύθηρα.
52. ‑ηρ‑ (Fur. 20410):
ἄβδηρα, ἄνδηρα, αἰψηρός, ἀσκάληρον, ἀσκηρά (‑έρα); ἰμβηρις, κύπηρις, λεβηρίς.
53. ‑ησ(σ)-α/ο- (cf. ‑ασσ‑):
TN Μάρπησσα (M Paros), Μυκαλησσός (Boeotian, Fick 80); Ἀρδηττός (Att.), Ὑμηττός
54. ‑ητ‑(ο‑) (Fur. 172118):
ἀλ(λ)άβης, κάνης, λέβης, μάσθλης, τάπης (Myc. tepa). Perhaps also
ἄν(ν)ητον (also ‑θον, ‑σον)? TN Mᾱ́σητα (Fick 71).
55. ‑ηττ-: see ‑ησσ‑.
56. ‑ηψ-ο-: TN Αἴδηψός
(Euboea), Γαληψός (Thracia).
57. ‑θ-ο- (see
Chantraine 1933: 368, and cf. ‑νθος): βρένθος, κανθός, σπέλεθος, μίνθος.
58. ‑θρ‑α/ο-: κύριθρα,
μάραθρον; HN Λίβηθρα. On ‑αθρον see Fur. 30339:
κάν(ν)αθρον, σπάλαθρον. Cf. on ‑στρ‑ον.
59. ‑ῑβ‑: ἐρυθῑβη.
60. ‑ῑγ-: μαστῑγ‑,
ἄστλιγγας, βρυτιγγοί, ἔλμιγγος, θρίγγος (also ‑ιγκ‑, ‑ιγχ‑),
θῶμιγξ, ‑γγος, ὄλιγγος.
62. ‑ῑδ‑ (cf. ‑ινδ‑, Fur. 3247):
βαλβίς, γελγίς, κηλίς, κρηπίς, σφρᾱγίς.
63. ‑ιδ‑να (probably a
combination of two suffixes, cf. on ‑ν‑): ἀράχιδνα (cf. ἄρακος, ‑χ‑).
64. ‑ῑθ‑, ‑ιθ‑ (cf. ‑ινδ‑):
ἄγλις, ‑ῑθ‑, αἰγιθαλος, αἰγιθος, γάλιθοι, ἠλίθιος, κάλιθος.
65. ‑ικ‑ (cf. ‑ιχ‑,
Fur. 226102): κάλικον, κύρνικα, λέ(ί)κρικα, μυρίκη (later ῑ),
65a ‑ῑκ-: Φοίνικες.
66. ‑ιλ‑, ‑ῑλ‑:
αἰγίλωψ, κονί̄λη, μέσπιλον, μαρίλη, μυστί̄λη, (σ)πατίλη (‑ῑλ‑) = παστίλη,
στρόβῑλος. TN Σκανδίλη (Cos).
ἄργιλλος, ἅμιλλα, ἄριλλα, ἄσιλλα, ῥόβιλλος.
68. ‑ιμν‑α/ο- (Fur. 24671):
μέδιμνος (also ‑ί‑), μέριμνα, σίδριμνον.
69. ‑ιν‑α/ο-: ἄκινος,
ἀπόλινον, (βα)βάκινον, γοσσύπινον, κότινος, ὀξίνα. TN Μύρινα (Lemnos), Σίκινος
70. ‑ῑν‑(ο‑): κύμινον,
πυτίνη, ῥητίνη, σέλινον, φοξῖνος, φορίνη. TN Σαλαμῑ́ν‑.
71. ‑ινδ‑ (cf. ‑ινθ‑
and ‑ιδ‑, ‑ιτ‑): κύβινδις, ἄλινδον. TN Κραυσίνδων (R), Πύρινδος (Caria).
72. ‑ινθ‑(ο‑) (cf. ‑ινδ‑):
αἴγινθος, ἀσπίνθιον, λαβύρινθος, λίμινθες. TN Κήρινθος (Euboea), Κόρινθος (Fick
72a. ‑ιξ-: κοτίξις, κυνίξεις,
72b. ‑ῑπ-ο-: TN Εὔρῑπος.
73. ‑ισ‑α/ο-: ἄρπισα (‑εζα),
κύτισος. TN Λάρισα,
Κεδρισός, Κηφισός (-ῑσος = ‑ισσος, Fick 25, 61).
ἀλθίσκον, ἴβισκος, μαρίσκος, ὑρίσκος (and variants).
74. ‑ιτ‑α/ο- (cf. ‑ιδ‑, ‑ιθ‑, Fur. 163):
βάρβιτος, βόλ(β)ιτον, πόρφιτον. TN Σύβριτα (Crete).
75. ‑ιχ‑ (cf. ‑ικ‑):
76. ‑κν‑ (probably a combination of ‑ν‑ with a preceding consonant; see sub 78 on ‑ν‑): ἄβαρκνα,
δορύκνιον, πισάκνα, φιδάκνη.
77. ‑μ-: TN Λάτμος (Caria), Πάτμος.
78. ‑ν‑ (Fur. 13265),
where a preceding velar may become aspirated: ἀράχνη,
δαυχνα‑, κέρκνος, κύδνος, κυλίχνιον, πελίχνη, σαταρνίς, ὕτνον / ὕδνον, ψύδνος;
Κάβαρνος. TN Κύθνος (Cyclades).
79 ‑οξ- (cf. ‑ιξ‑):
μοροξός (also ‑χθ‑).
80. ‑οπ‑ (Fur. 107), often there is a variant with ‑αβ‑: ἔλ(λ)οψ,
καλαῦροψ, ‑πος (‑όφις), κόλλοψ, σκάλοψ. TN Κορόπη (Thess.),
81. ‑ορ‑ (see also the
section on word end): ἄχορα (‑υρα), λέπορις.
82. ‑οσσ-α, ‑οττ-α: TN
‘Ερμώνοσσα (Chios), Ἀζιοττηνος (Lydia).
83. ‑ουλ-: φασίουλος
84. ‑ουρ‑ (may contine ‑arw‑):
ἴνδουρος, κάβουρος, λιγγούριον (also λο‑, λυ‑), παλίουρος, πάνδουρα, σάγουρον,
τάγχουρος. TN Λυκόσουρα (Arc., the oldest town of all; Fick: 93).
85. ‑ουσ(σ)- (Fur. 19755):
ἄγχουσα (also ἔ‑), αἴθουσ(σ)α (also αἴδωσσα), κάδουσα. TN Ἀκίδουσα, Κηλοῦσα (M
86. ‑πν‑ (this may
rather be a suffix ‑ν‑ after a root): θεράπνη, ὄμπνη.
87. ‑πτ‑ (this suffix
probably consisted of one phoneme py): μαρυπτόν,
88. ‑ρ‑ (Fur. 12437;
21562): βάλαγρος, γήλιγρος, σίγραι; Ἰδαγρος (= Lyc. idãkre?).
See also the suffixes ‑ρν‑, ‑ργ‑ and ‑γρ‑.
89. ‑ργ‑: λάθαργος
(also ‑αι‑, ‑η‑).
90. ‑ρδ-: TN Κύαρδα
91. ‑ρν‑ (Fur. 48126,
21562): ἀκαρνάν (ἀκάρναξ), κυβερνάω, λιπερνέω (also λιφ‑), σκέπαρνος.
We also find variants without ‑ν‑: σίσυρνα / σίσυρα, κυβερνάω / κυμερῆναι,
σαταρνίδες / σαταρίδες, κίσιρνις / κίσσιρις. Therefore, the cluster probably
arose by addition of the suffix ‑ν‑. Νote that ‑rn‑ is found in Etruscan
and already in Cappadocian (Fur. 48126). See also the suffix ‑ρ‑. TN
Φαλάσαρνα (Crete), Λέρνα, Ἁλίκυρνα (Aet.).
92. ‑σα: There are
several words in ‑σα: δέψα, δίψα, κόψα (κοψία), κάψα (κάμψα), perhaps λάψα.
93. ‑σκ‑: ὑρίσκος (-χ‑,
94. ‑σ‑ (Fur. 25427,
in several cases this does not seem to be a suffix, but rather the end of a
root; cf. on ‑ασ‑, ‑ισ‑, ‑υσ‑): ἄλσος, κάβαισος (also ‑ασ‑), μύσος, πῖσος,
φάρσος. TN Πρίανσος (Crete).
95. ‑σσ‑: κύπασσις,
96. ‑στ‑: ἀλάβαστος,
θεμιστ‑ (cf. Myc. temitija / timitija), λεπαστή, πλατάνιστος. TN
97. ‑στρ- (cf. ‑θρ‑):
ἀλάβαστρον, δέπαστρον (also λ‑), ἔνυστρον (also ἤ‑), ζύγαστρον, λαι(σ)τρόν,
98. ‑τ‑: ἄσφαλτος,
99. ‑ττ‑ (see 5.5 on ττ
/ σσ): κυριττοί, προκόττα; Φέρεφαττα.
100. ‑υβ‑: ἔντυβον,
θόρυβος, ἴντυβος (also ‑ουβ‑), σίλλυβος, σκόλυβος (also ‑μ‑), σκολύβρα (‑οβ‑);
101. ‑υγγ‑: λάρυγξ,
πί̄συγγος, σπῆλυγγ‑, φάρυγξ.
102. ‑υδ‑: ἀμύς, ‑δος,
ἐμύς, κορυδός, πηλαμύς, χλαμύς.
103. ‑υδνα: TN Καλυδνά
104. ‑υθ‑, ‑ῡθ‑:
105. ‑υι‑α: ἄγυια,
κώδυια; Ἅρπυια. TN Κινδυία (Crete, also Κινδύη, Fick 18, 24).
106. ‑υκ‑: ἄμπυξ, ἴδυξ,
σκαρδάμυκτος. TN Νᾶρυξ (Locris).
107. ‑ῡκ‑: δοῖδυξ,
κῆρυξ, ‑υκος, καρύκ(κ)η, σάνδυξ.
108. ‑υλ‑ (Fur. 20514):
ἀρβύλη, δάκτυλος, κανθύλη, κρωβύλη, μιμαίκυλον (also με‑), σφόνδυλος (also σπ‑).
109. ‑ῡλ-: (σ)κορδύλη,
σφονδύλη (also σπ‑). TN Καρδαμύλη (Mess.).
110. ‑υλλ-: Σίβυλλα.
111. ‑υμ‑: γέρσυμον,
γίγγλυμος, ‑θέλυμνος. TN Κάρυμαι (Crete).
112. ‑υμβ‑: ἴθυμβος,
113. ‑υμν‑ (cf. Fur.
24366 on ‑umn‑ in Etruscan and Cappadocian): αἰσυμνάω,
σίγυμνος. TN Ῥίτ/θυμνα (Crete), Λάρυμνα (Locr.).
114. ‑ῡν‑ (see also the
suffix ‑υνν‑): βόθυνος, σιγύνη (cf. ‑υνν‑), λάγυνος. TN Γόρτυν (Crete).
115. ‑υνν‑: σίγυννος,
Δίκτυννα. Cf. on ‑ῡν‑.
116. ‑υνδ‑ (cf. ‑υνθ /
τ‑): Βερεκύνδαι. TN Καμύνδιος (Rhodes).
117. ‑υνθ/τ‑: βόλυνθον,
ὄλυνθος; Βερεκύνθ/ται. TN Ζάκυνθος (+88), Τίρυνς.
118. ‑υξ-: TN Ὀλόφυξος
119. ‑υπ‑: ἵσσυπος
(older ὕσσωπος), μάρσυππος, οἰσύπη, τολύπη.
120. ‑υρ‑: ἀήσυρος,
ἄχυρα (also ‑ορα), ζέφυρος, μαυκυρόν, λάθυρος, ὀνυρίζεται, σατύρος. TN Ἔλυρος
(Crete), Τέγυρα (Boeotia), Nίσυρος (Cos).
121. ‑ῡρ‑: ἄγκυρα,
ἀνάγυρος (also ὀνό‑), γέφῡρα, λάφυρον, πλημυρίς, πίτυρον.
122. ‑υσ‑ (on ‑υστρον
see ‑στρον): ἄρυσος.
123. ‑υτ-: πινυτός,
νηπύτιος. TN Λαγινάπυτον (Crete), Κολλυτός (Crete).
124. ‑υφ-: κέλῡφος.
125. ‑υχ‑: βό(σ)τρυχος.
TN Μόσυχλον (Lemnos).
126. ‑φθ‑: κροσσόφθον,
λάκαφθον, μόλοφθος, νά(σ)καφθον, σαρρυφθεῖν.
127. ‑φ‑ (on ‑αφ‑ο‑ see
Chantraine Form. 263): ἀργέλοφοι (also ‑ιλ‑), μαστροφός (also ‑πός),
128. ‑ωκ-: TN Κοθωκίδαι
(Att., Fick 70).
129. ‑ωλ‑: ἀποφώλιος
(?), φάσκωλος. TN Κίμωλος (Cyclades).
130. ‑ωμ‑: βάρωμος.
131. ‑ων‑ (Fur. 30339):
ἀλκυών, ἠιών, σανδών,
132. ‑ωπ‑ (a variant is
‑ουπ‑): θυμαλωψ, αἰγίλωπ‑, κινώπετον (κυνοῦπες). TN Εὐρωπός / α (Crete),
133. ‑ωρ‑ (Fur. 21150):
ἀχώρ, ἀμάνωρ, βιάτωρ, ῑ̓χώρ, λείτωρ. TN Πίλωρος (Chalc., Fick 22).
134. ‑ωσσ (see ‑ουσ(σ)‑):
TN Διρφωσσός (Euboea), Πιδωσσός (Caria, Fick 26).
135. ‑ωτ‑ (Fur. 28383;
384132): ἀσκαλαβώτης, ‑καυδωτόν, κῑβωτός, κράμβωτον, οἰσπώτη. TN
3. Word end
end provides an interesting situation, as some original finals of the Pre‑Greek
language may have been preserved. Of course, Greek endings must be removed,
notably ‑ος, ‑ον. Thus, ‑ιον, ‑υον may often continue original ‑ι, ‑υ: cf. Myc.
dunijo next to duni. The words in ‑νθος have replaced almost all
of those in ‑νθ- (as in Τίρυνθ‑).
3.1. words ending in a vowel
A short ‑α can only come from *‑ya < *-ih2 in
inherited Greek words. In all other cases, we may be dealing with a Pre‑Greek
ending ‑a that was originally short. It is often difficult to see
whether ‑α is short or long; the material requires further study. Examples:
ἄβαρκνα, ἀγάννα, ἀγέρδα, ἄδαλτα (?), αἴκουδα, ἄβδηρα, ἄκαρα, ἄκορ-να, ἀκόστιλα,
ἀκτάρα, ἄλαρα, ἀμουχρά, ἄρδα, ἀσταγάνα, ἄφθα, βρούκα, γόδα, γόλα, δάξα, δάρδα,
δαλάγχα, θάπτα, μόδα, ῥόμιξα, σάττα, σόρνιξα, σοῦα, κέδροπα (also χ‑), etc.
Note forms in ‑υα, like ἄρυα, and in ‑εννα. Note, further, σαλαμάνδρα,
words ending in ‑σα, see the list of suffixes.
IE words (neuters) in ‑ι are very rare in Greek. Examples of Pre-Greek words in
‑ι: ζάκτι, κόρι, σίναπι, τάγυρι (ταγύριον), ἀκαρί. We may assume that many
words ending in ‑ιον, ‑υον originally ended in ‑ι, ‑υ. Final ‑ις is frequent, too.
ἀβαρύ, κόνδυ, μῶλυ. For ‑υον, see the foregoing. Final ‑υς is also found
several times: ἄγδυς, ἄρπυς, ἀτράφαξυς, βίθυν, βλέτυς, ‑μένδυς, μίμαρκυς, μωύς,
Though the ending may also be inherited from IE, in many words it is clearly of
Pre‑Greek origin, e.g. βασιλεύς (Myc. qa-si-re-u), Ἀχιλ(λ)εύς. I
withdraw my considerations in FS Kortlandt on this point.
κοθώ, κόρθω, μοτώ, τῑτώ, Γελλώ. The suffix also makes feminine names in ‑ώ:
Λητώ, Σαπφώ. It is usually assumed that the original inflection of all words in
‑ώ derives from stems in *-oi-; I assume that Pre-Greek words
secondarily joined this inflection. Words in ‑ως are masculine: ἀχαρνώ(ς),
ἥρως; Μίνως, Τάλως.
3.2. words ending in ‑ρ
ἄσαρ(ον)?, ἀκχάνταρ, βάκαρ, ἐλίμαρ, κύδαρ, νέκταρ, νῶκαρ, σελίαρ.
Examples: ἀδιγόρ, ἀκκόρ, κακκόρ, κέμμορ (also ‑μπ‑), πίσορ.
Examples: ψίθυρ, (Dor.) μάρτυρ.
Examples: ἄχωρ, ἰχώρ, κέλωρ, ψόθωρ.
3.3. words with a nom. in ‑ξ or ‑ψ.
(stem in ‑κ‑) is found quite often:
ἄβαξ, ἀκάρναξ, ἄμβαξ, ἀνδράφαξ, ἄνθραξ, βύσταξ, μάλβαξ, σαῦσαξ. ἄναξ has a
stem in ‑κτ‑.
φέναξ, ῥάξ, σφήξ
ἄδδιξ, ἀνθέριξ, ἀπρίξ, κόλιξ, ἄρπιξ
βλίτυξ, γόρτυξ; Πνύξ, Στύξ.
acc. βάλλεκα; acc. βρίγκα.
λάτραψ, λαῖλαψ, ἄλιψ, κόριψ, αἰγίποψ, κόλλοψ, μέροψ, γύψ, μόνωψ.
words in ‑ν: βαλλήν, καρβάν; Ωγήν. κίνδυν, μόσσυν, ῥώθυνες.
words ending in ‑ας (ᾱ‑stems): ἀβάς, ἄβλας, ἄθρας(?), ἀμφίας,
ἀσκαλώπας, ἀσκωνδας, ἀτταγᾶς, βαδάς (βατᾶς), βασκᾶς, βύας, καλαβάς, κασᾶς;
a stem in ‑αντ‑: ἀλίβας (-ντ‑), λυκάβας (‑ντ‑) etc.; see the suffix section.
stem in αδ‑: ἀχράς, βουνιάς, πρημνάς; see the suffix section.
D. The unity of Pre-Greek
material itself shows that we are largely dealing with one language, or a group
of closely related dialects or languages. Of course, we cannot demonstrate in
each and every case that the words that are non‑Greek belong to this same
language. The bulk of the known non‑Greek words, however, seem to fit the
general picture of the Pre-Greek substrate. For example, κότθυβος / κόσυμβος
does not only show the element σσ / τθ, well‑known from geographical names, but
also the suffix ‑υβ‑ with prenasalization. The pair κρόσσιον / κρότιον also
shows the element σσ / τ, but κρόσσοφθον has a suffix added that is also
typical for this language. The word δαλάγχαν next to θάλασσα (‑ττα) again has
the suffix σσ / ττ, but also prenasalization. ἄστλιγξ / ὄστλιγξ has both the
typical (prenasalized) suffix ‑ιγγ‑ and variation α / ο. In μήρινθος /
σμήρινθος we have the ‘s‑mobile’ and the well known suffix, while
μέρμις, ‑ιθος has the variant without prenasalization, and σμήριγγες has a
different Pre‑Greek suffix. In ἄ(μ)βρυττοι / βρύττος (βρύσσος) we have a
combination of a prothetic vowel and prenasalization.
languages may well have existed in the area. Thus, it is not certain that
Hieroglyphic Minoan reproduces the same language as Linear A. Further,
Eteocretan has not yet been connected with other elements and seems isolated.
matter is that (non‑Indo‑European) loanwords from old Europe may have entered
Greece, cf. Beekes 2000: 21‑31. Moreover, these may have already been adopted
in Pre‑Greek, as is suggested by ἐρέβινθος, which has a Pre-Greek suffix, but a
root which is attested (with some variation) in other European languages.
Sometimes, elements from other IE languages may also have been adopted at a
very early date, such as πέλεκυς.
I think that it is methodologically more sound to start from the assumption
that non‑Greek words are Pre‑Greek. Only when there is reason to assume that
they have a different origin, should we consider this option.
E. Pre-Greek is non-Indo-European
knowledge of Indo-European has expanded so much, especially in the last thirty
years (notably because of the laryngeal theory) that in some cases we can say
almost with certainty that an Indo-European reconstruction is impossible. A
good example is the word γνάθος. In order to explain the ‑a- of this
word, we need to introduce a h2. However, a preform *gnh2dh-
would have given Gr. *γνᾱθ‑. One might think that assuming *h2e
would remedy the problem, but *gnh2edh- would
yield *γαναθ‑. The conclusion is that no Indo-European proto-form can be
reconstructed, and that the word cannot be of Indo-European origin. Another
example is the word κρημνός ‘overhanging bank’, for which a connection with
κρέμαμαι ‘to hang (up)’ used to be evident. However, we now know that most long
vowels go back to a short vowel plus a laryngeal, and that long vowels cannot
be postulated at random. In this particular case, there are simply no
conceivable formations that would contain a long root vowel. This morphological
objection is strengthened by the fact that there is no trace of the expected
root-final ‑α- < *-h2- (as in κρεμαμαι < *kremh2‑).
Positively, one can say that landscape terms are frequently borrowed from a
substrate language. The inevitable conclusion is that the word is Pre-Greek.