Proto-Indo-European language

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"PIE" and "Proto-Indo-European" redirect here; see PIE (disambiguation) for other uses and Proto-Indo-Europeans for the people. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_0

Proto-Indo-European language_table_infobox_0

Proto-Indo-EuropeanProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_0_0_0
Reconstruction ofProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_0_1_0 Indo-European languagesProto-Indo-European language_cell_0_1_1
RegionProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_0_2_0 See #RegionProto-Indo-European language_cell_0_2_1
EraProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_0_3_0 See #EraProto-Indo-European language_cell_0_3_1
Lower-order reconstructionsProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_0_4_0 Proto-Indo-European language_cell_0_4_1

Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_1

Its proposed features have been derived by linguistic reconstruction from documented Indo-European languages. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_2

No direct record of Proto-Indo-European exists. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_3

Far more work has gone into reconstructing PIE than any other proto-language, and it is the best understood of all proto-languages of its age. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_4

The majority of linguistic work during the 19th century was devoted to the reconstruction of PIE or its daughter proto-languages (such as Proto-Germanic and Proto-Indo-Iranian), and many of the modern techniques of linguistic reconstruction (such as the comparative method) were developed as a result. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_5

PIE is hypothesized to have been spoken as a single language from 4500 BC to 2500 BC during the Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age, though estimates vary by more than a thousand years. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_6

According to the prevailing Kurgan hypothesis, the original homeland of the Proto-Indo-Europeans may have been in the Pontic–Caspian steppe of eastern Europe. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_7

The linguistic reconstruction of PIE has provided insight into the pastoral culture and patriarchal religion of its speakers. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_8

As speakers of Proto-Indo-European became isolated from each other through the Indo-European migrations, the regional dialects of Proto-Indo-European spoken by the various groups diverged, as each dialect underwent shifts in pronunciation (the Indo-European sound laws), morphology, and vocabulary. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_9

Over many centuries, these dialects transformed into the known ancient Indo-European languages. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_10

From there, further linguistic divergence led to the evolution of their current descendants, the modern Indo-European languages. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_11

Today, the descendant languages of PIE with the most native speakers are Spanish, English, Portuguese, Hindustani (Hindi and Urdu), Bengali, Russian, Punjabi, German, Persian, French, Marathi, Italian, and Gujarati. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_12

PIE is believed to have had an elaborate system of morphology that included inflectional suffixes (analogous to English life, lives, life's, lives') as well as ablaut (vowel alterations, as preserved in English sing, sang, sung, song) and accent. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_13

PIE nominals and pronouns had a complex system of declension, and verbs similarly had a complex system of conjugation. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_14

The PIE phonology, particles, numerals, and copula are also well-reconstructed. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_15

Asterisks are used as a conventional mark of reconstructed words, such as *wódr̥, *ḱwṓ, or *tréyes; these forms are the reconstructed ancestors of the modern English words water, , and three, respectively. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_16

Development of the hypothesis Proto-Indo-European language_section_0

No direct evidence of PIE exists – scholars have reconstructed PIE from its present-day descendants using the comparative method. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_17

For example, compare the pairs of words in Italian and English: piede and foot, padre and father, pesce and fish. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_18

Since there is a consistent correspondence of the initial consonants that emerges far too frequently to be coincidental, one can assume that these languages stem from a common parent language. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_19

Detailed analysis suggests a system of sound laws to describe the phonetic and phonological changes from the hypothetical ancestral words to the modern ones. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_20

These laws have become so detailed and reliable as to support the Neogrammarian rule: the Indo-European sound laws apply without exception. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_21

William Jones, an Anglo-Welsh philologist and puisne judge in Bengal, caused an academic sensation when he postulated the common ancestry of Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek in 1786, but he was not the first to state such a hypothesis. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_22

In the 16th century, European visitors to the Indian subcontinent became aware of similarities between Indo-Iranian languages and European languages, and as early as 1653 Marcus Zuerius van Boxhorn had published a proposal for a proto-language ("Scythian") for the following language families: Germanic, Romance, Greek, Baltic, Slavic, Celtic, and Iranian. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_23

In a memoir sent to the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres in 1767 Gaston-Laurent Coeurdoux, a French Jesuit who spent all his life in India, had specifically demonstrated the analogy between Sanskrit and European languages. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_24

In the perspective of current academic consensus, Jones's famous work of 1786 was less accurate than his predecessors', as he erroneously included Egyptian, Japanese and Chinese in the Indo-European languages, while omitting Hindi. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_25

In 1818 Rasmus Christian Rask elaborated the set of correspondences to include other Indo-European languages, such as Sanskrit and Greek, and the full range of consonants involved. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_26

In 1816 Franz Bopp published On the System of Conjugation in Sanskrit in which he investigated a common origin of Sanskrit, Persian, Greek, Latin, and German. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_27

In 1833 he began publishing the Comparative Grammar of Sanskrit, Zend, Greek, Latin, Lithuanian, Old Slavic, Gothic, and German. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_28

In 1822 Jacob Grimm formulated what became known as Grimm's law as a general rule in his Deutsche Grammatik. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_29

Grimm showed correlations between the Germanic and other Indo-European languages and demonstrated that sound change systematically transforms all words of a language. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_30

From the 1870s the Neogrammarians proposed that sound laws have no exceptions, as illustrated by Verner's law, published in 1876, which resolved apparent exceptions to Grimm's law by exploring the role of accent (stress) in language change. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_31

August Schleicher's A Compendium of the Comparative Grammar of the Indo-European, Sanskrit, Greek and Latin Languages (1874–77) represented an early attempt to reconstruct the proto-Indo-European language. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_32

By the early 1900s Indo-Europeanists had developed well-defined descriptions of PIE which scholars still accept today. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_33

Later, the discovery of the Anatolian and Tocharian languages added to the corpus of descendant languages. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_34

A subtle new principle won wide acceptance: the laryngeal theory which explained irregularities in the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European phonology as the effects of hypothetical sounds which had disappeared from all documented languages, but which were later observed in newly excavated cuneiform tablets in Anatolian. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_35

Julius Pokorny's Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch ('Indo-European Etymological Dictionary', 1959) gave a detailed, though conservative, overview of the lexical knowledge then accumulated. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_36

Jerzy Kuryłowicz's 1956 Apophonie gave a better understanding of Indo-European ablaut. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_37

From the 1960s, knowledge of Anatolian became robust enough to establish its relationship to PIE. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_38

Historical and geographical setting Proto-Indo-European language_section_1

Scholars have proposed multiple hypotheses about when, where, and by whom PIE was spoken. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_39

The Kurgan hypothesis, first put forward in 1956 by Marija Gimbutas, has become the most popular. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_40

It proposes that the original speakers of PIE were the Yamnaya culture associated with the kurgans (burial mounds) on the Pontic–Caspian steppe north of the Black Sea. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_41

According to the theory, they were nomadic pastoralists who domesticated the horse, which allowed them to migrate across Europe and Asia in wagons and chariots. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_42

By the early 3rd millennium BC, they had expanded throughout the Pontic–Caspian steppe and into eastern Europe. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_43

Other theories include the Anatolian hypothesis, the Armenian hypothesis, the Paleolithic Continuity Theory, and the indigenous Aryans theory. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_44

An overview map summarises the origin theories. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_45

Branches Proto-Indo-European language_section_2

Main article: Indo-European languages Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_46

The table lists the main Indo-European language families. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_47

Proto-Indo-European language_table_general_1

CladeProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_1_0_0 Proto-languageProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_1_0_1 DescriptionProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_1_0_2 Historical languagesProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_1_0_3 Modern descendantsProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_1_0_4
AnatolianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_1_0 Proto-AnatolianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_1_1 All now extinct, the best attested being the Hittite language.Proto-Indo-European language_cell_1_1_2 Hittite, Luwian, Palaic, Lycian, LydianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_1_3 NoneProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_1_4
TocharianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_2_0 Proto-TocharianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_2_1 An extinct branch known from manuscripts dating from the 6th to the 8th century AD and found in northwest China.Proto-Indo-European language_cell_1_2_2 Tocharian A, Tocharian BProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_2_3 NoneProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_2_4
ItalicProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_3_0 Proto-ItalicProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_3_1 This included many languages, but only descendants of Latin (the Romance languages) survive.Proto-Indo-European language_cell_1_3_2 Latin, Faliscan, Umbrian, Oscan, African Romance, DalmatianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_3_3 Portuguese, Galician, Spanish, Catalan, Occitan, French, Italian, Rhaeto-Romance, Romanian, Aromanian, Sardinian, Venetian, Latin (as a liturgical language of the Catholic Church and the official language of the Vatican City)Proto-Indo-European language_cell_1_3_4
CelticProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_4_0 Proto-CelticProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_4_1 Once spoken across Europe, but now mostly confined to its northwestern edge.Proto-Indo-European language_cell_1_4_2 Gaulish, Celtiberian, Pictish, Cumbric, Old Irish, Middle WelshProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_4_3 Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Breton, Cornish, ManxProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_4_4
GermanicProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_5_0 Proto-GermanicProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_5_1 Branched into three subfamilies: West Germanic, East Germanic (now extinct), and North Germanic.Proto-Indo-European language_cell_1_5_2 Old English, Old Norse, Gothic, Frankish, Vandalic, Burgundian, Crimean Gothic, NornProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_5_3 English, German, Afrikaans, Dutch, Yiddish, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Frisian, Icelandic, FaroeseProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_5_4
Balto-SlavicProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_6_0 Proto-Balto-SlavicProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_6_1 Branched into the Baltic languages and the Slavic languages.Proto-Indo-European language_cell_1_6_2 Old Prussian, Old Church Slavonic, Sudovian, Polabian, KnaaicProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_6_3 Baltic Latvian and Lithuanian; Slavic Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Sorbian, Serbo-Croatian, Bulgarian, Slovenian, MacedonianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_6_4
Indo-IranianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_7_0 Proto-Indo-IranianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_7_1 Branched into the Indo-Aryan, Iranian and Nuristani languages.Proto-Indo-European language_cell_1_7_2 Vedic Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit languages; Old Persian, Parthian, Old Azeri, Median, Elu, Sogdian, Saka, Avestan, BactrianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_7_3 Indo-Aryan Hindustani (Hindi and Urdu), Marathi, Bengali, Assamese, Odia, Konkani, Gujarati, Nepali, Dogri, Sindhi, Maithili, Sinhala, Dhivehi, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Sanskrit (revived); Iranic Persian, Pashto, Balochi, Kurdish, Zaza, Ossetian, Luri, Talyshi, Tati, Gilaki, Mazandarani, Semnani, Yaghnobi, NuristaniProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_7_4
ArmenianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_8_0 Proto-ArmenianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_8_1 Proto-Indo-European language_cell_1_8_2 Proto-Indo-European language_cell_1_8_3 Eastern Armenian, Western ArmenianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_8_4
HellenicProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_9_0 Proto-GreekProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_9_1 Proto-Indo-European language_cell_1_9_2 Ancient GreekProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_9_3 Modern Greek, Pontic Greek, TsakonianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_9_4
AlbanianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_10_0 Proto-AlbanianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_10_1 Albanian is the only modern representative of a distinct branch of the Indo-European language family.Proto-Indo-European language_cell_1_10_2 Proto-Indo-European language_cell_1_10_3 AlbanianProto-Indo-European language_cell_1_10_4

Commonly proposed subgroups of Indo-European languages include Italo-Celtic, Graeco-Aryan, Graeco-Armenian, Graeco-Phrygian, Daco-Thracian, and Thraco-Illyrian. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_48

Due to early language contact, there are some lexical similarities between the Proto-Kartvelian and Proto-Indo-European languages. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_49

Marginally attested languages Proto-Indo-European language_section_3

The Lusitanian language was a marginally attested language spoken in areas near the border between present-day Portugal and Spain. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_50

The Venetic and Liburnian languages known from the North Adriatic region are sometimes classified as Italic. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_51

The Paleo-Balkan languages, which occur in or near the Balkan peninsula, do not appear to be members of any of the subfamilies of PIE, but are so poorly attested that proper classification of them is not possible. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_52

Albanian and Greek are the only surviving Indo-European descendants of the Paleo-Balkan group. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_53

Other major languages of this areal grouping included Phrygian, Illyrian, Thracian, and Dacian. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_54

Phonology Proto-Indo-European language_section_4

Main article: Proto-Indo-European phonology Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_55

Proto-Indo-European phonology has been reconstructed in some detail. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_56

Notable features of the most widely accepted (but not uncontroversial) reconstruction include: Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_57

Proto-Indo-European language_unordered_list_0

  • three series of stop consonants reconstructed as voiceless, voiced, and breathy voiced;Proto-Indo-European language_item_0_0
  • sonorant consonants that could be used syllabically;Proto-Indo-European language_item_0_1
  • three so-called laryngeal consonants, whose exact pronunciation is not well-established but which are believed to have existed in part based on their visible effects on adjacent sounds;Proto-Indo-European language_item_0_2
  • the fricative /s/Proto-Indo-European language_item_0_3
  • a vowel system in which /e/ and /o/ were the most frequently occurring vowels.Proto-Indo-European language_item_0_4

The Proto-Indo-European accent is reconstructed today as having had variable lexical stress, which could appear on any syllable and whose position often varied among different members of a paradigm (e.g. between singular and plural of a verbal paradigm). Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_58

Stressed syllables received a higher pitch; therefore it is often said that PIE had a pitch accent. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_59

The location of the stress is associated with ablaut variations, especially between normal-grade vowels (/e/ and /o/) and zero-grade (i.e. lack of a vowel), but not entirely predictable from it. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_60

The accent is best preserved in Vedic Sanskrit and (in the case of nouns) Ancient Greek, and indirectly attested in a number of phenomena in other IE languages. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_61

To account for mismatches between the accent of Vedic Sanskrit and Ancient Greek, as well as a few other phenomena, a few historical linguists prefer to reconstruct PIE as a tone language where each morpheme had an inherent tone; the sequence of tones in a word then evolved, according to that hypothesis, into the placement of lexical stress in different ways in different IE branches. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_62

Morphology Proto-Indo-European language_section_5

Root Proto-Indo-European language_section_6

Proto-Indo-European roots were affix-lacking morphemes which carried the core lexical meaning of a word and were used to derive related words (cf. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_63

the English root "-friend-", from which are derived related words such as friendship, friendly, befriend, and even newly-coined words like unfriend). Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_64

Proto-Indo-European was a fusional language, in which inflectional morphemes signalled the grammatical relationships between words. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_65

This dependence on inflectional morphemes means that roots in PIE, unlike those in English, were rarely used without affixes. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_66

A root plus a suffix formed a word stem, and a word stem plus a desinence (usually an ending) formed a word. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_67

Ablaut Proto-Indo-European language_section_7

Many morphemes in Proto-Indo-European had short e as their inherent vowel; the Indo-European ablaut is the change of this short e to short o, long e (ē), long o (ō), or no vowel. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_68

This variation in vowels occurred both within inflectional morphology (e.g., different grammatical forms of a noun or verb may have different vowels) and derivational morphology (e.g., a verb and an associated abstract verbal noun may have different vowels). Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_69

Categories that PIE distinguished through ablaut were often also identifiable by contrasting endings, but the loss of these endings in some later Indo-European languages has led them to use ablaut alone to identify grammatical categories, as in the Modern English words sing, sang, sung. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_70

Noun Proto-Indo-European language_section_8

Proto-Indo-European nouns are declined for eight or nine cases: Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_71

Proto-Indo-European language_unordered_list_1

  • nominative: marks the subject of a verb, such as They in They ate. Words that follow a linking verb and rename the subject of that verb also use the nominative case. Thus, both They and linguists are in the nominative case in They are linguists. The nominative is the dictionary form of the noun.Proto-Indo-European language_item_1_5
  • accusative: used for the direct object of a transitive verb.Proto-Indo-European language_item_1_6
  • genitive: marks a noun as modifying another noun.Proto-Indo-European language_item_1_7
  • dative: used to indicate the indirect object of a transitive verb, such as Jacob in Maria gave Jacob a drink.Proto-Indo-European language_item_1_8
  • instrumental: marks the instrument or means by, or with, which the subject achieves or accomplishes an action. It may be either a physical object or an abstract concept.Proto-Indo-European language_item_1_9
  • ablative: used to express motion away from something.Proto-Indo-European language_item_1_10
  • locative: corresponds vaguely to the English prepositions in, on, at, and by.Proto-Indo-European language_item_1_11
  • vocative: used for a word that identifies an addressee. A vocative expression is one of direct address where the identity of the party spoken to is set forth expressly within a sentence. For example, in the sentence, "I don't know, John", John is a vocative expression that indicates the party being addressed.Proto-Indo-European language_item_1_12
  • allative: used as a type of locative case that expresses movement towards something. Only the Anatolian languages use this case, and it may not have existed in Proto-Indo-European at all.Proto-Indo-European language_item_1_13

Late Proto-Indo-European had three grammatical genders: Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_72

Proto-Indo-European language_unordered_list_2

  • masculine,Proto-Indo-European language_item_2_14
  • feminine,Proto-Indo-European language_item_2_15
  • neuter.Proto-Indo-European language_item_2_16

This system is probably derived from a simpler two-gender system, attested in Anatolian languages: common (or animate) and neuter (inanimate) gender. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_73

All nominals distinguished three numbers: Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_74

Proto-Indo-European language_unordered_list_3

  • singular,Proto-Indo-European language_item_3_17
  • dual, andProto-Indo-European language_item_3_18
  • plural.Proto-Indo-European language_item_3_19

Pronoun Proto-Indo-European language_section_9

Proto-Indo-European pronouns are difficult to reconstruct, owing to their variety in later languages. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_75

PIE had personal pronouns in the first and second grammatical person, but not the third person, where demonstrative pronouns were used instead. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_76

The personal pronouns had their own unique forms and endings, and some had two distinct stems; this is most obvious in the first person singular where the two stems are still preserved in English I and me. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_77

There were also two varieties for the accusative, genitive and dative cases, a stressed and an enclitic form. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_78

Proto-Indo-European language_table_general_2

Personal pronounsProto-Indo-European language_table_caption_2
Proto-Indo-European language_header_cell_2_0_0 First personProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_2_0_1 Second personProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_2_0_3
SingularProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_2_1_0 PluralProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_2_1_1 SingularProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_2_1_2 PluralProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_2_1_3
NominativeProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_2_2_0 *h₁eǵ(oH/Hom)Proto-Indo-European language_cell_2_2_1 *weiProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_2_2 *tuHProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_2_3 *yuHProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_2_4
AccusativeProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_2_3_0 *h₁mé, *h₁meProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_3_1 *nsmé, *nōsProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_3_2 *twéProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_3_3 *usmé, *wōsProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_3_4
GenitiveProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_2_4_0 *h₁méne, *h₁moiProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_4_1 *ns(er)o-, *nosProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_4_2 *tewe, *toiProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_4_3 *yus(er)o-, *wosProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_4_4
DativeProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_2_5_0 *h₁méǵʰio, *h₁moiProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_5_1 *nsmei, *nsProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_5_2 *tébʰio, *toiProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_5_3 *usmeiProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_5_4
InstrumentalProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_2_6_0 *h₁moíProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_6_1 *nsmoíProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_6_2 *toíProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_6_3 *usmoíProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_6_4
AblativeProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_2_7_0 *h₁medProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_7_1 *nsmedProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_7_2 *tuedProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_7_3 *usmedProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_7_4
LocativeProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_2_8_0 *h₁moíProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_8_1 *nsmiProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_8_2 *toíProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_8_3 *usmiProto-Indo-European language_cell_2_8_4

Verb Proto-Indo-European language_section_10

Proto-Indo-European verbs, like the nouns, exhibited a system of ablaut. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_79

The most basic categorisation for the Indo-European verb was grammatical aspect. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_80

Verbs were classed as: Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_81

Proto-Indo-European language_unordered_list_4

  • stative: verbs that depict a state of beingProto-Indo-European language_item_4_20
  • imperfective: verbs depicting ongoing, habitual or repeated actionProto-Indo-European language_item_4_21
  • perfective: verbs depicting a completed action or actions viewed as an entire process.Proto-Indo-European language_item_4_22

Verbs have at least four grammatical moods: Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_82

Proto-Indo-European language_unordered_list_5

  • indicative: indicates that something is a statement of fact; in other words, to express what the speaker considers to be a known state of affairs, as in declarative sentences.Proto-Indo-European language_item_5_23
  • imperative: forms commands or requests, including the giving of prohibition or permission, or any other kind of advice or exhortation.Proto-Indo-European language_item_5_24
  • subjunctive: used to express various states of unreality such as wish, emotion, possibility, judgment, opinion, obligation, or action that has not yet occurredProto-Indo-European language_item_5_25
  • optative: indicates a wish or hope. It is similar to the cohortative mood and is closely related to the subjunctive mood.Proto-Indo-European language_item_5_26

Verbs had two grammatical voices: Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_83

Proto-Indo-European language_unordered_list_6

Verbs had three grammatical persons: first, second and third. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_84

Verbs had three grammatical numbers: Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_85

Proto-Indo-European language_unordered_list_7

  • singularProto-Indo-European language_item_7_29
  • dual: referring to precisely two of the entities (objects or persons) identified by the noun or pronoun.Proto-Indo-European language_item_7_30
  • plural: a number other than singular or dual.Proto-Indo-European language_item_7_31

Verbs were also marked by a highly developed system of participles, one for each combination of tense and voice, and an assorted array of verbal nouns and adjectival formations. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_86

The following table shows a possible reconstruction of the PIE verb endings from Sihler, which largely represents the current consensus among Indo-Europeanists. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_87

Numbers Proto-Indo-European language_section_11

Proto-Indo-European numerals are generally reconstructed as follows: Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_88

Proto-Indo-European language_table_general_3

Proto-Indo-European language_header_cell_3_0_0 SihlerProto-Indo-European language_header_cell_3_0_1
oneProto-Indo-European language_cell_3_1_0 *(H)óynos/*(H)óywos/*(H)óyk(ʷ)os; *sḗm (full grade), *sm̥- (zero grade)Proto-Indo-European language_cell_3_1_1
twoProto-Indo-European language_cell_3_2_0 *d(u)wóh₁ (full grade), *dwi- (zero grade)Proto-Indo-European language_cell_3_2_1
threeProto-Indo-European language_cell_3_3_0 *tréyes (full grade), *tri- (zero grade)Proto-Indo-European language_cell_3_3_1
fourProto-Indo-European language_cell_3_4_0 *kʷetwóres (o-grade), *kʷ(e)twr̥- (zero grade)

(see also the kʷetwóres rule)Proto-Indo-European language_cell_3_4_1

fiveProto-Indo-European language_cell_3_5_0 *pénkʷeProto-Indo-European language_cell_3_5_1
sixProto-Indo-European language_cell_3_6_0 *s(w)éḱs; originally perhaps *wéḱs, with *s- under the influence of *septḿ̥Proto-Indo-European language_cell_3_6_1
sevenProto-Indo-European language_cell_3_7_0 *septḿ̥Proto-Indo-European language_cell_3_7_1
eightProto-Indo-European language_cell_3_8_0 *oḱtṓ(w) or *h₃eḱtṓ(w)Proto-Indo-European language_cell_3_8_1
nineProto-Indo-European language_cell_3_9_0 *h₁néwn̥Proto-Indo-European language_cell_3_9_1
tenProto-Indo-European language_cell_3_10_0 *déḱm̥(t)Proto-Indo-European language_cell_3_10_1

Rather than specifically 100, *ḱm̥tóm may originally have meant "a large number". Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_89

Particle Proto-Indo-European language_section_12

Proto-Indo-European particles could be used both as adverbs and postpositions, like *upo "under, below". Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_90

The postpositions became prepositions in most daughter languages. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_91

Other reconstructible particles include negators (*ne, *mē), conjunctions (*kʷe "and", *wē "or" and others) and an interjection (*wai!, an expression of woe or agony). Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_92

Derivational morphology Proto-Indo-European language_section_13

Proto-Indo-European employed various means of deriving words from other words, or directly from verb roots. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_93

Internal derivation Proto-Indo-European language_section_14

Internal derivation was a process that derived new words through changes in accent and ablaut alone. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_94

It was not as productive as external (affixing) derivation, but is firmly established by the evidence of various later languages. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_95

Possessive adjectives Proto-Indo-European language_section_15

Possessive or associated adjectives could be created from nouns through internal derivation. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_96

Such words could be used directly as adjectives, or they could be turned back into a noun without any change in morphology, indicating someone or something characterised by the adjective. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_97

They could also be used as the second element of a compound. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_98

If the first element was a noun, this created an adjective that resembled a present participle in meaning, e.g. "having much rice" or "cutting trees". Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_99

When turned back into nouns, such compounds were Bahuvrihis or semantically resembled agent nouns. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_100

In thematic stems, creating a possessive adjective involved shifting the accent one syllable to the right, for example: Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_101

Proto-Indo-European language_unordered_list_8

  • *tómh₁-o-s "slice" (Greek tómos) > *tomh₁-ó-s "cutting" (i.e. "making slices"; Greek tomós) > *dr-u-tomh₁-ó-s "cutting trees" (Greek drutómos "woodcutter" with irregular accent).Proto-Indo-European language_item_8_32
  • *wólh₁-o-s "wish" (Sanskrit vára-) > *wolh₁-ó-s "having wishes" (Sanskrit vará- "suitor").Proto-Indo-European language_item_8_33

In athematic stems, there was a change in the accent/ablaut class. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_102

The known four classes followed an ordering, in which a derivation would shift the class one to the right: Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_103

Proto-Indo-European language_description_list_9

  • acrostatic → proterokinetic → hysterokinetic → amphikineticProto-Indo-European language_item_9_34

The reason for this particular ordering of the classes in derivation is not known. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_104

Some examples: Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_105

Proto-Indo-European language_unordered_list_10

  • Acrostatic *krót-u-s ~ *krét-u-s "strength" (Sanskrit krátu-) > proterokinetic *krét-u-s ~ *kr̥t-éw-s "having strength, strong" (Greek kratús).Proto-Indo-European language_item_10_35
  • Hysterokinetic *ph₂-tḗr ~ *ph₂-tr-és "father" (Greek patḗr) > amphikinetic *h₁su-péh₂-tōr ~ *h₁su-ph₂-tr-és "having a good father" (Greek εὑπάτωρ, eupátōr).Proto-Indo-European language_item_10_36
Vrddhi Proto-Indo-European language_section_16

A vrddhi derivation, named after the Sanskrit grammatical term, signified "of, belonging to, descended from". Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_106

It was characterised by "upgrading" the root grade, from zero to full (e) or from full to lengthened (ē). Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_107

When upgrading from zero to full grade, the vowel could sometimes be inserted in the "wrong" place, creating a different stem from the original full grade. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_108

Examples: Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_109

Proto-Indo-European language_unordered_list_11

  • full grade *swéḱuro-s "father-in-law" (Vedic Sanskrit śváśura-) > lengthened grade *swēḱuró-s "relating to one's father-in-law" (Vedic śvāśura-, Old High German swāgur "brother-in-law").Proto-Indo-European language_item_11_37
  • (*dyḗw-s ~) zero grade *diw-és "sky" > full grade *deyw-o-s "god, sky god" (Vedic devás, Latin deus, etc.). Note the difference in vowel placement, *dyew- in the full-grade stem of the original noun but *deyw- in the vrddhi derivative.Proto-Indo-European language_item_11_38
Nominalization Proto-Indo-European language_section_17

Adjectives with accent on the thematic vowel could be turned into nouns by moving the accent back onto the root. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_110

A zero grade root could remain so, or be "upgraded" to full grade like in a vrddhi derivative. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_111

Some examples: Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_112

Proto-Indo-European language_unordered_list_12

  • PIE *ǵn̥h₁-tó-s "born" (Vedic jātá-) > *ǵénh₁-to- "thing that is born" (German Kind).Proto-Indo-European language_item_12_39
  • Greek leukós "white" > leũkos "a kind of fish", literally "white one".Proto-Indo-European language_item_12_40
  • Vedic kṛṣṇá- "dark" > kṛ́ṣṇa- "dark one", also "antelope".Proto-Indo-European language_item_12_41

This kind of derivation is likely related to the possessive adjectives, and can be seen as essentially the reverse of it. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_113

Affixal derivation Proto-Indo-European language_section_18

Syntax Proto-Indo-European language_section_19

The syntax of the older Indo-European languages has been studied in earnest since at least the late nineteenth century, by such scholars as Hermann Hirt and Berthold Delbrück. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_114

In the second half of the twentieth century, interest in the topic increased and led to reconstructions of Proto-Indo-European syntax. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_115

Since all the early attested IE languages were inflectional, PIE is thought to have relied primarily on morphological markers, rather than word order, to signal syntactic relationships within sentences. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_116

Still, a default (unmarked) word order is thought to have existed in PIE. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_117

This was reconstructed by Jacob Wackernagel as being subject–verb–object (SVO), based on evidence in Vedic Sanskrit, and the SVO hypothesis still has some adherents, but as of 2015 the "broad consensus" among PIE scholars is that PIE would have been a subject–object–verb (SOV) language. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_118

The SOV default word order with other orders used to express emphasis (e.g., verb–subject–object to emphasise the verb) is attested in Old Indo-Aryan, Old Iranian, Old Latin and Hittite, while traces of it can be found in the enclitic personal pronouns of the Tocharian languages. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_119

A shift from OV to VO order is posited to have occurred in late PIE since many of the descendant languages have this order: modern Greek, Romance and Albanian prefer SVO, Insular Celtic has VSO as the default order, and even the Anatolian languages show some signs of this word order shift. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_120

The context-dependent order preferences in Baltic, Slavic and Germanic are a complex topic, with some attributing them to outside influences and others to internal developments. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_121

In popular culture Proto-Indo-European language_section_20

The Ridley Scott film Prometheus features an android named David (played by Michael Fassbender) who learns Proto-Indo-European to communicate with the Engineer, an extraterrestrial whose race may have created humans. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_122

David practices PIE by reciting Schleicher's fable. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_123

Linguist Dr Anil Biltoo created the film's reconstructed dialogue and had an onscreen role teaching David Schleicher's fable. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_124

The 2016 video game Far Cry Primal, set in around 10,000 BC, features dialects of an invented language based partly on PIE, intended to be its fictional predecessor. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_125

Linguists constructed three dialects—Wenja, Udam and Izila—one for each of the three featured tribes. Proto-Indo-European language_sentence_126

See also Proto-Indo-European language_section_21

Proto-Indo-European language_unordered_list_13


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-European language.