Languages

Proto-Indo-European

Introduction

The Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) is the unattested, reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans. The existence of such a language has been accepted by linguists for over a century, and there have been many attempts at reconstruction. Nevertheless, many disagreements and uncertainties remain.

The Verb

The Indo-European verb system is complex and, as the noun, exhibits a system of ablaut. Verbs have:

  • at least four moods: indicative, imperative, subjunctive, optative, and the injunctive
  • two voices (active and mediopassive)
  • three persons (first, second and third)
  • three numbers (singular, dual and plural).

Sample verb

PRESENT ACTIVE
Indicative Injunctive Subjunctive Optative Imperative
Present Imperfect I II
Sg.1 kʷi-néu-mi h₁é-kʷi-neu-m kʷi-néu-m kʷi-néu-oH kʷi-nu-iéh₁-m - -
Sg.2 kʷi-néu-si h₁é-kʷi-neu-s kʷi-néu-s kʷi-néu-eh₁i kʷi-nu-iéh₁-s kʷi-nú(-dʰí) kʷi-nú-tṓd
Sg.3 kʷi-néu-ti h₁é-kʷi-neu-t kʷi-néu-t kʷi-néu-e kʷi-nu-iéh₁-t kʷi-néu-tu kʷi-néu-tṓd
Pl.1 kʷi-nu-més h₁é-kʷi-nu-mé kʷi-nu-mé kʷi-néu-omom kʷi-nu-ih₁-mé - -
Pl.2 kʷi-nu-th₁é h₁é-kʷi-nu-té kʷi-nu-té kʷi-néu-eth₁e kʷi-nu-ih₁-té kʷi-nu-té kʷi-nu-tṓd
Pl.3 kʷi-nu-énti h₁é-kʷi-nu-(e)nt kʷi-nu-ént kʷi-néu-o kʷi-néu-ih₁-nt kʷi-nu-éntu kʷi-nu-tṓd
PRESENT MIDDLE
Indicative Injunctive Subjunctive Optative Imperative
Present Imperfect I II
Sg.1 kʷi-nu-mh₂ h₁é-kʷi-nu-mh₂ kʷi-nu-mh₂ kʷi-néu-omh₂ kʷi-nu-ih₂-h₂ - -
Sg.2 kʷi-nu-sth₂ó h₁é-kʷi-nu-sth₂ó kʷi-nu-sth₂ó kʷi-néu-esth₂ó kʷi-nu-ih₂-th₂ó kʷi-nu-sué kʷi-nu-tṓd
Sg.3 kʷi-nu-tó h₁é-kʷi-nu-to kʷi-nu-tó kʷi-néu-eto kʷi-nu-ih₂-ó kʷi-nu-tó? kʷi-nu-tṓd
Pl.1 kʷi-nu-me(s)dʰh₂ h₁é-kʷi-nu-me(s)dʰh₂ kʷi-nu-me(s)dʰh₂ kʷi-néu-ome(s)dʰh₂ kʷi-nu-ih₂-mé(s)dʰh₂ - -
Pl.2 kʷi-nu-dʰue h₁é-kʷi-nu-dʰue kʷi-nu-dʰue kʷi-néu-etdʰue kʷi-nu-ih₂-dʰué kʷi-nu-tdʰue kʷi-nu-tṓd
Pl.3 kʷi-nu-ntro h₁é-kʷi-nu-ntro kʷi-nu-ntro kʷi-néu-ontro kʷi-nu-ih₂-ro kʷi-nu-ntó? kʷi-nu-tṓd

References

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