7.2.2. Verb-Endings

1. Every form of the finite verb is made up of two parts:

I. The Stem. This is either the root or a modification or development of it.

II. The Ending or desinence, consisting of:

a. the signs of Mood and Tense

b. the personal ending

Thus in the verb bher-se-ti, he will carry, the root is bher-, modified into the future verb-stem bherse/o-, which by the addition of the personal (primary) ending -ti becomes bherseti; and this ending consists of the (probably) tense-sign i and the personal ending (-t) of the third person singular.

2. Verbal endings can thus define the verb Stem, Tense and Mood.

The primary series indicates present and future: -mi, -si, -ti, and plural -nti are the most obvious. The secondary indicates Past: -m, -s, -t and -nt. The subjunctive and optative are usually marked with the secondary endings, but in the subjunctive the primary desinences appear sometimes. The imperative has or special endings.

They can also mark the person: those above mark the first, second and third person singular and third plural. And also, with theme vowels, the voice: -ti active prim./ -toi middle prim./ -tor passive, and so on.

3. The Addition was used in the Southern dialects to mark the Past (or Preterite) Tense. It was placed before the Stem, and consisted generally of a stressed e-, although some variants exist, as e-. This is a southern dialectal feature (i.e., given mostly in i.-i., gr. and arm.)

NOTE. It is therefore not used in this (mainly northern-based) Europaio.

4. The Verb-endings, as they are formed by the signs for mood and tense combined with personal endings, are organized in five series.

 

 

ACTIVE

MIDDLE - PASSIVE

 

 

Primary

Secondary

Primary

Secondary

PASSIVE

SING.

1.

-mi

-m

-(m)ai

-ma

-(m)ar

 

2.

-si

-s

-soi

-so

-sor

 

3.

-ti

-t

-toi

-to

-tor

PLUR.

1.

-mes/os

-me/o

-mesdha

-medha

-mosr/mor

 

2.

-the

-te

-dhe

-dhue

-dhuer

 

3.

-(e/o)nti

-(e/o)nt

-(e/o)ntoi

-(e/o)nto

-(e/o)ntor

NOTE. The Middle is easily reconstructed for the singular and the third person plural of the secondary endings. For the primary endings there is no consensus in how they looked like. We know 1) that the Southern dialects and the Anatolian had Middle primary endings in -i, and second plural forms in medha [medh], mesdha [mesdh]; 2) that the Latin, Italic, Celtic and Tocharian (as well as in Indo-Iranian and Anatolian, coexisting with the other, general endings) had Middle primary endings in -r; 3) that therefore both endings coexisted already in the IE II; and 4) that the middle endings were used in the middle voice in Southern dialects, while in the Northern ones they were sometimes used for the Passive. We therefore reserve the forms in -r for the (dynamic) passive forms, and those in -i for the middle primary forms.

5. The Perfect endings are as follows:

 

 

PERFECT

SING.

1.

-a

 

2.

-tha

 

3.

-e

PLUR.

1.

-me

 

2.

-te

 

3.

-(e)r

6. The Thematic and Athematic endings of Active, Middle and Passive are:

ACTIVE

 

 

Athematic

Thematic

 

 

Primary

Secondary

Primary

Secondary

SING.

1.

-mi

-m

-o, -omi

-om

 

2.

-si

-s

-esi

-es

 

3.

-ti

-t

-eti

-et

PLUR.

1.

-mes

-me

-omos

-omo

 

2.

-the

-te

-ethe

-ete

 

3.

-(e)nti

-(e)nt

-onti

-ont

MIDDLE

 

 

Athematic

Thematic

 

 

Primary

Secondary

Primary

Secondary

SING.

1.

-mai

-ma

-ai, -omai

-oma

 

2.

-soi

-so

-esoi

-eso

 

3.

-toi

-to

-etoi

-eto

PLUR.

1.

-mesdha

-medha

-omesdha

-omedha

 

2.

-dhe

-dhue

-edhe

-edhue

 

3.

-(e)ntoi

-(e)nto

-ontoi

-onto

PASSIVE

 

 

Athematic

Thematic

SING.

1.

-mar

-ar, -omar

 

2.

-sor

-esor

 

3.

-tor

-etor

PLUR.

1.

-mosr/-mor

-omosr/-omor

 

2.

-dhuer

-edhuer

 

3.

-(e)ntor

-ontor

a. The secondary endings are actually a negative term opposed to the primaries. They can be opposed to the present or future of indicative. They can indicate indifference to Tense and be used even in Present.

NOTE 1. It is generally accepted that the Secondary appeared first, and then an -i (or -r) was added to them. By way of opposition, the older endings received a Preterite (or Past) value, and became then secondary.

NOTE 2. Forms with secondary endings (or without distinction of time), but used without the Past value, mainly with mood values, are called traditionally Injunctive, although this was never an independent mood, but only a possibility in the use of the endings.

b. The Middle/Active Opposition is not always straightforward, as there are only-active or only-middle verbs, or verbs with both voices in which there are no differences.