Linguistic evidence for the Indo-European and Albanian origin of Aphrodite


  • Lindon Dedvukaj The Ohio State University



Aphrodite, Indo-European comparative mythology, Albanian, Proto-Albanian, Illyrian, Ancient Greek, Phoenicians, Aštarte, Venus, lenition


I consider the question of the source of the divine name Aphrodite, arguing that the etymology of the name indicates an Albanian and Illyrian origin. I first survey different etymological hypotheses and give reasons for rejecting them and then turn to motivating the Albanian sound changes necessary for taking the name to derive from Albanian sources. The historical and linguistic evidence will show that the Albanian phrase afro dita ‘come forth the day/dawn’ can be posited back to a Proto-Albanian *apro dītā a reflex of Proto-Indo-European *h2epero déh2itis. Modern Albanian afro dita refers to Aphrodite’s celestial origin. Aphrodite was first and foremost known as the planet Venus, which can only be seen during the dawn. Only Modern Albanian afro dita ‘come forth the day/dawn’ indicates this exact time when the planet Venus is visible in the sky. The celestial concept of Aphrodite was adapted by a Pre-Proto-Albanian group (Illyrians) from the Phoenicians, who first brought knowledge of the goddess to Europe.

Author Biography

  • Lindon Dedvukaj, The Ohio State University
    Graduate Student of Linguistics




How to Cite

Dedvukaj, Lindon. 2023. “Linguistic Evidence for the Indo-European and Albanian Origin of Aphrodite”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 8 (1): 5500.