This book presents a new theory of grammatical categories - the Universal Spine Hypothesis - and reinforces generative notions of Universal Grammar while accommodating insights from linguistic typology.
Before the arrival of the Indo-European Greeks in the area around the Aegean Sea, a non-Indo-European language was spoken there which was eventually replaced by Greek. Although no written texts exist in this Pre-Greek language, Robert Beekes shows that we can reconstruct elements of its phonology and morphology on the basis of the substantial amount of Pre-Greek vocabulary which was absorbed by Greek. In addition to the general characteristics of Pre-Greek, Beekes provides a complete overview of the evidence, comprising over 1100 Greek etyma which are certainly of Pre-Greek origin. The book thus opens a window on the first Pre-Indo-European language of prehistoric Europe to have left a trace in history.