Appendix:Proto-Indo-European declension

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This article is not a synchronic overview of Proto-Indo-European (PIE) nominal inflection, but a comparative overview of reflexes of the reconstructed PIE paradigms in attested daughter languages of major branches.


PIE nominal words had the morphological categories of gender, number and case. The category of number was shared with verbs, while gender and case were not.

There were three numbers: singular, dual and plural. There were three genders: masculine feminine and neuter. There were eight cases: nominative, accusative, vocative, genitive, ablative, dative, locative and instrumental case.

Nominal stems, as well as verbal stems, are divided into two formal classes, thematic and athematic, the former ending in the thematic vowel. Their inflection partially differed. The following is the table of the basic inflectional endings:

number case athematic thematic
singular nominative *-s ~ Ø (neuter Ø) *-o-s (neuter *-o-m)
vocative Ø (neuter Ø) *-e (neuter *-o-m)
accusative *-m (neuter Ø) *-o-m (neuter *-o-m)
instrumental *-éh₁ ~ *h₁ *-o-h₁
dative *-éy *-o-ey
ablative *és ~ *os ~ *-s *e-ad / *o-od / o-ot
genitive *-és ~ *-os ~ *s *-o-syo (?)
locative Ø (→ *-i) (**-e →) *-e-y
dual nominative / accusative / vocative *-h₁e (neuter *-ih₁) *-o-h₁ (neuter *-o-y(h₁))
instrumental / dative / ablative -bʰām ? ???
genitive / locative *-ows ? ???
plural nominative / vocative *-es (neuter *-h₂ ~ Ø) *-o-es > ōs (neuter *-e-h₂)
accusative *-ns (neuter *-h₂ ~ Ø) *-o-ns (neuter *-e-h₂)
instrumental *-bʰí *-ōys
dative/ablative *-mós *-o-mos (*-o-y-mos?)
genitive *-óHom *-o-oHom
locative *-sú *-o-y-su

Some properties of PIE nominal inflection had considerable impact on the development of declensional paradigms in the daughter languages. Syncretism was one of them:

  • no declension class had more than 3 different forms in dual
  • neuter gender always had identical nominative, accusative and vocative forms in all three numbers
  • ablative differed from genitive only in thematic stems
  • in plural, ablative and dative are always identical, as well as nominative and vocative

Zero-endings in the non-neuter nominative singular chiefly arose by Szemerényi's law. Stems in -h₂, regularly feminine gender, lacked an overt nom. sg. ending for unclear reason.

PIE had several declensional patterns, fundamentally divided into mutable and fixed stems: the former changed the root and/or suffix vocalism throughout the paradigm, while the latter exhibited no such alternation. Generally, immutable stems are those on *-o- (i.e. the thematic stems), and the stems on *-eh₂, *-uh₂ and *ih₂.



Thematic stems or o-stems are the most important and widespread types of nouns. Paradigm is given for the masculine noun *wĺ̥kʷos (wolf) which was preserved in most of the daughters.

number case PIE Ancient Greek Latin Sanskrit Hittite OCS Lithuanian Gothic
singular nominative *wĺ̥kʷos λύκος (lúkos) lupus वृकस् (vṛkas) 𒀜𒋫𒀸 (attaš) влькъ (vlĭkŭ) vil̃kas 𐍅𐌿𐌻𐍆𐍃 (wulfs)
vocative *wĺ̥kʷe λύκε lupe vṛka atta, atti vlьče vil̃ke wulf
accusative *wĺ̥kʷom λύκον lupum vṛkam attan vlьkъ vil̃ką wulf
instrumental *wĺ̥kʷoh₁ - - vṛkā, vṛkeṇa attit vlьkomь vilkù -
dative *wĺ̥kʷoey > *wĺ̥kʷōy λύκωι > λύκῳ lupō vṛkāya atti vlьku vil̃kui wulfa
ablative *wĺ̥kʷe-a[d/t], wĺ̥kʷo-o[d/t] > *wĺ̥kʷō[d/t] - lupōd > lupō vṛkāt attaz(a) - - -
genitive *wĺ̥kʷosyo λύκοιο > λύκου lupī vṛkasya attaš vlьka vil̃ko wulfis
locative *wĺ̥kʷey - lupī* vṛke vlьcě vilkè -
dual nominative / accusative / vocative *wĺ̥kʷoh₁ λύκω - vṛkā, vṛkau vlьka vilku -
genitive / locative *wĺ̥kʷows ??? λύκοιιν, λύκοιν - vṛkayos vlьku - -
dative / ablative / instrumental *wĺ̥kʷobʰām ??? λύκοιν - vṛkābhyām vlьkoma vilkam -
plural nominative / vocative *wĺ̥kʷoes > *wĺ̥kʷōs λύκοι lupī vṛkās attiēš vlьci vilkaĩ wulfōs
accusative *wĺ̥kʷons λύκους lupōs vṛkān attuš vlьky vilkùs wulfans
instrumental *wĺ̥kʷōys - - vṛkais attit vlьky vilkaĩs -
dative / ablative *wĺ̥kʷo(y)mos, *wĺ̥kʷobʰos, *wĺ̥kʷōys λύκοις lupīs vṛkebhyas attaš, attaz(a) vlьkomъ vilkáms wulfam
genitive *wĺ̥kʷooHom > *wĺ̥kʷōm λύκων lupōrum vṛkāṇām attaš, attan vlьkъ vilkų̃ wulfē
locative *wĺ̥kʷoysu - lupīs* vṛkeṣu attaš vlьcěxъ vilkuosè -
  1. nominative singular: The ending *-os arose from the thematic vowel *-o- and the nominative singular ending *-s. It was preserved in Ancient Greek, and Old Latin (changing to Classical Latin -us). In Sanskrit, PIE */o/ changed regularly to Proto-Indo-Iranian */a/. In OCS -ъ is a regular reflex of word-final PIE *-os: *-os > -us > Proto-Slavic -u > Common Slavic *-ъ. Gothic -s is a reflex of PIE *-os -> -oz -> Proto-Germanic --az, with devoicing of /z/ and regular loss of unstressed word-final short vowels, not including diphthongs.
  2. vocative singular: PIE *-e is not a real ending per se, but an e-grade of the thematic stem with zero-ending *-Ø. In Sanskrit, PIE */e/ changed regularly to Proto-Indo-Iranian */a/. Word final unstressed /e/, /a/ and /o/ was regularly lost in the development stages of Proto-Germanic and thus it is not preserved in Gothic.
  3. accusative singular: The ending *-o-m arose from the thematic vowel *-o- and the accusative singular ending *-m. It was preserved as Old Latin -om yielding later Classical Latin -um. In Greek word-final PIE *-m regularly changed to -ν. OCS reflex of -ъ is regular: PIE *-om > *-um > *-un > Proto-Slavic *-u > Common Slavic -ъ. In Sanskrit, PIE */o/ changed regularly to Proto-Indo-Iranian */a/.
  4. instrumental singular: The ending *-oh₁ has been preserved in Lithuanian and Vedic Sanskrit (Classical Sanskrit ending -eṇa is taken from pronominal paradigm; cf. téna, instrumental singular of तद् (tád, it; that)). In Latin, instrumental has undergone syntactic merger with the ablative. In Slavic the original ending has been preserved in some fossilized expressions such as Russian вчера (včerá, yesterday), while the OCS ending -mь has been taken from the athematic paradigm (on which see below).
    Sometimes this ending is alternatively reconstructed as -eh₁ due to the ambiguity of Indo-Iranian evidence (where Proto-Indo-Iranian */a/ could've resulted from both PIE */e/ and */o/, who merged to PII */a/), but numerous auxiliary evidence points to *-oh₁.
  5. dative singular: PIE ending *-ōy resulted from the contraction of the thematic vowel *-o- and the dative singular ending *-ey. In Greek it has been preserved as -ωι, with final -ι eventually lost in the historical period yielding ῳ with iota subscript (all long dipthongs lost the final glide in the same way). Similarly in Latin: Proto-Italic *ōy was preserved in Osco-Umbrian (in Oscan as -úí), yielding eventually Latin -ō. Old Latin has some instances of the older ending: DVENOI in Duenos Inscription and NVMASIOI in Praeneste fibula (if it's not fake). In Sanskrit the expected ending -āy has some kind of a particle (or postposition) *-a appended. Standard Aukštaitian Lithuanian -ui is by analogy to ā-stems (see below), while the Žemaitian dialects have the endings , , which regularly correspond to OCS & Common Slavic ending -u, and can be derived from Proto-Balto-Slavic *-ōw, which could have regularly reflected PIE *-ōy.
  6. ablative singular: PIE ending *-ōd or *-ōt resulting from the contraction of the thematic vowel (*-e- or *-o-) and the ablative singular ending *-od or *-ot. It has been preserved in Old Latin as -ōd (yielding Classical Latin ) and Sanskrit -āt. In Balto-Slavic PIE ablative has taken over the function of genitive, and OCS and Lithuanian genitive singular endings -o and -a respectively can be traced as regular reflexes of PIE -*ōd (> Balto-Slavic *-a). In Greek the ending survived in Doric adverbs of place-from-which such as ὄπω (ópō, whence), with the similar adverbial use as in Latin prīmō (at first) or tūtō (safely; lit 'in one piece').
  7. genitive singular: The oldest ending of PIE genitive singular is the same as nominative singular -os, and that state of affairs has been preserved in Anatolian, e.g. Hittite 𒀜𒋫𒀸 (attas, father), both nominative and genitive singular. On the other hand, the genitival adjective suffixes of Hittite -ašša-, Luwian -ašša/i- and Lycian -ahe/i- are all regularly derivable from PIE *-osyo, which itself, taken from originally adjectival paradigm, became the predominant genitive singular suffix of thematic nouns in the post-Anatolian period of PIE. The suffix *-osyo is usually explained as the basic form of *os with suffixed relative pronoun *-yo (cf. Sanskrit यद् (yás, who, which)), and is attested as expected in Sanskrit -asya and Homeric Greek -οιο (later by loss of -ι- yielding first -οο and then -ου or -ω, depending on the dialect). It has been also preserved in some Old Latin inscriptions such as Lapis Satricanus (POPLIOSIO VALESIOSIO SVODALES "the accustomed associates of Publius Valerius"), while the Classical Latin ending is by origin most probably a possessive adjective. Balto-Slavic genitive case ending is by origin PIE ablative (see above).
  8. locative singular The ending is reconstructed as either *-ey or -*oy. In Greek both have been preserved in adverbs such as οἴκοι (oíkoi, at home) and ἐκεῖ (ekeî, in that place, there). Similary to Greek, Latin has preserved traces of locative case only in adverbs such as domī (at home) and humī (on the ground), but the Italic branch is ambiguous on which of the two PIE endings is the exact source. Sanskrit ending -e could reflect both PIE *-ey and *-oy (merging to Proto-Indo-Iranian diphthong *-ai), while OCS could reflect only PIE *-oy (> Proto-Balto-Slavic diphthong *-aj, regularly reflected as Common Slavic jat *-ě). It appears that the original ending was *-ey later being ousted by *-oy, itself resulting by suffixation of the locative singular suffix *-i onto the thematic vowel *-o-.
  9. dual - Dual cases are very difficult to reconstruct formally. The reconstructable ending *-oh₁ in NAV might have been originally identical the ending of instrumental singular; the meaning of dual could've evolved from instrumental (i.e. comitative) sense, i.e. in the syntagm such as "wolf with wolf" the first element could've been dropped, and the second element ("with wolf") reanalyzed as dual ("two wolves"). At any case, PIE *-oh₁ > post-PIE *ō which regularly yielded Greek -ω, Vedic Sanskrit (Classical Sanskrit -au was later Indic innovation in the historical period) and OCS -a. In Latin dual is preserved in some isolated forms such as ambō (both). Other dual cases are difficult to reconstruct.
  10. nominative plural: PIE ending *-ōs is result of the contraction of the thematic vowel *-o- end the nominative plural ending *-es. It has been preserved only in Sanskrit as -ās. Balto-Slavic, Greek and Latin have taken then ending *-i from the pronominal paradigm (cf. Sanskrit te < PIE *to-y, nominative plural of sás "who, he"). Classical Latin suffix reflects Old Latin -oe and more common -ei.
  11. accusative plural: PIE ending *-ons has been regularly reflected in all the languages.
  12. instrumental plural: PIE ending *-ōys results from the contraction of the thematic vowel -o- and the instrumental case ending *-oys. It has been regularly reflected in all the languages
  13. dative / ablative plural: the reconstruction is not certain. Latin -īs derives from Old Latin -eis, which derives from instrumental plural ending -ōys, just as Greek -οις, though via a different route. Balto-Slavic and Germanic have endings with the -m- element: In Balto-Slavic the ending was *-mus which was preserved in Old Lithuanian (modern Lithuanian -ms is by syncope). Alternative reconstructions of the ending as *-obʰos is primarily based on Sanskrit and Latin. According to Beekes 1995, the ending *-mos was originally ablative plural marker, while the ending -bʰos was dative plural marker, and these two cases were eventually syncretized but with different outputs in the daughters.
  14. genitive plural: The ending *ōm resulting from the thematic vowel -o- onto which the genitive plural marker *-om was suffixed. Greek reflex -ων is regular, with the word-final change of -m to -n. Old Latin has -om, and Classical Latin -um, but which remained productive only in two obscure classes of nouns: words construing with mass nouns (e.g. passum "of paces", sēstrium, archaic gen. pl. of sēstrius, later reinterpreted as neuter singular) and certain stereotyped expressions (duumvirum "[committee] of two men", praefectus fabrum "commander of the workers"), as well as some isolated words (socium "of allies", deum "of the gods" etc.). The ending -ōrum was modeled after genitive plural of feminines -ārum, itself imported from the pronominal inflection.
  15. locative plural: The ending *-oysu resulted from the base thematic vowel '-o-', onto which the locative case ending *-isu was suffixed, itself formed by agglutination of the plural ending *-su onto the locative singular ending -i. All the surviving reflexes in the daughter languages are regular.

O-stem neuters differ from the o-stem masculines only in NAV. Lithuanian has lost neuter gender so it is omitted from the table. The paradigm is given for the neuter noun *yugóm (yoke).

number PIE (nominative / accusative / vocative) Ancient Greek Latin Sanskrit OCS
singular *yugóm ζυγόν iugum yugam иго
dual *yugóy(h₁) ζυγώ - yuge idzě
plural *yugéh₂ ζυγά iuga yugāni iga
  • Most of the reflexes are by regular sound changes. In OCS the nominative ending -o cannot be directly from PIE -om (which would regularly yield OCS -ъ, cf. accusative singular ending above), so it's generally held to originate from pronominal ending in NAV neuter gender *-od (cf. Sanskrit तद् (tád, that)) which has been analogically transferred to nouns.
  • In Ancient Greek the nominative ending -ω is of uncertain origin, probably taken from the masculine nominative dual ending.
  • In Sanskrit plural form, on the original pre-form *yugā the element -n- has been added analogically to n-stems (see below), and the ending -i < *h₂ (the regular reflex of syllabic laryngeal in Sanskrit) for NAV of neuter-gender athematic nouns (see below).
  • The plural ending of neuter gender formed with the suffix *-eh₂ was in PIE a collective noun which agreed with the verb in singular. That state of affairs has been preserved in Hittite and Ancient Greek, e.g. πάντα ῥεῖ "all things flow", where πᾶς (pâs, every, each) is in nominative plural, and ῥέω (rhéō, I flow) is in third-person singular.


PIE eh₂-stems or ā-stems (the traditional name) were mostly of feminine gender. Some daughter languages have masculine-gender exceptions (e.g. OCS слоуга (sluga, servant), Lithuanian el̃geta (beggar, poor man), Latin verna (homeborn slave)). Sometimes this inflectional type is called senā-type, after Sanskrit सेना (sénā), which also belongs to this type.

This type encompasses Greek and Latin "first declension". Of five subtypes of Greek first declension, the subtype with nominative in -ᾰ (e.g. θάλασσα (thálassa, sea)) is historically unrelated. The other four types all evolved from this inflectional type in PIE.

Example paradigm is given for *h₁éḱweh₂ "mare", eh₂-stem derivation of *h₁éḱwos (horse, stallion). For Greek, which has no such eh₂-stem derivation of the inherited word ἵππος (híppos), the inflection is provided for the word ἰδέᾱ (idéā, look, appearance), and in OCS for the word жєна (žena, woman).

number case PIE Ancient Greek Latin Sanskrit OCS Lithuanian
singular nominative *h₁éḱweh₂ ἰδέᾱ (idéā) equa अश्वा (aśvā) жєна (žena) ašva
vocative *h₁éḱwe(h₂) ἰδέᾱ equa aśve ženo ašva
accusative *h₁éḱweh₂m ἰδέᾱν equam aśvām ženǫ ašvą
instrumental *h₁éḱweh₂(e)h₁ - - aśvayā ženojǫ ašva
dative *h₁éḱweh₂ey ἰδέαι > ἰδέᾳ equae aśvāyai ženě ašvai
ablative *h₁éḱweh₂es - equā(d) aśvāyās - -
genitive *h₁éḱweh₂es ἰδέᾱς equae aśvāyās ženy ašvos
locative *h₁éḱweh₂i - equae* aśvāyām ženě ašvoje
dual nominative / accusative / vocative ?? *h₁éḱweh₂ih₁ ?? *h₁éḱweh₂h₁e ἰδέᾱ - aśve ženě ašvi
genitive / locative ?? ἰδέαιν - aśvayos ženu -
dative / ablative / instrumental *h₁éḱweh₂bʰām ??? ἰδέαιν - aśvābhyām ženama ašvom
plural nominative / vocative *h₁éḱweh₂es ἰδέαι equae aśvās ženy ašvos
accusative *h₁éḱweh₂n̥s ἰδέᾱς equās aśvās ženy ašvas
instrumental *h₁éḱweh₂bʰis - - aśvābhis ženami ašvomis
dative / ablative *h₁éḱweh₂bʰos, *h₁éḱweh₂mos ἰδέαις equīs aśvābhyas ženamъ ašvoms
genitive *h₁éḱweh₂om ἰδεῶν equārum aśvānām ženъ ašvų
locative *h₁éḱweh₂su - equīs* aśvāsu ženaxъ ašvose
  1. nominative singular: There is no ending, the bare eh₂-stem is used. In Greek it regularly yields -ᾱ or -η, depending on the dialect and the preceding vowel (in Attic, ᾱ changing to η except after ε, ι and ρ). The ending -ς in Greek masculine ā-stems (e.g. νεᾱνίᾱς (neāníās, young man) is of secondary origin. In Latin pre-form *-ā has yielded -a due to iambic shortening in disyllabic nouns, and then analogically spreading to all the other nouns of this type.
  2. vocative singular: The ending is the same as nominative singular, except that the laryngeal drops without lengthening the preceding vowel, usually explained as regular loss of a laryngeal in pause, i.e. at the absolute end of words and sentences. PIE vocatives were phonologically and syntactically separate from the clauses they appeared in, with the result of laryngeal being dropped, leaving only the short vowel. This explains the short vowel in Ancient Greek vocatives such as νύμφᾰ (númpha, Oh maid!) and OCS -o (regularly from post-PIE *a, PIE *ā would've yielded OCS a). The rest of Greek feminines, as well as all the Latin, use the nominative singular form as vocative.
  3. accusative singular: PIE *-eh₂m (with non-syllabic *-m) > post-PIE *ām, regularly yielding Greek -ᾱν, -ην (with regular Greek change of word-final -μ to -ν). In Latin the vowel is shortened due to the general shortening of all long vowels in final syllables before all consonants except -s. In OCS the ending is a regular reflex of a sequence of a back vowel followed by a nasal, following the loss of closed syllables in Common Slavic period.
  4. instrumental singular: The oldest ending has been preserved in Vedic (senā "by an army"); the same ending is used in Classical Sanskrit, but on a stem extended with -y- by analogy to i-stems. In Balto-Slavic the reconstruction is uncertain: Lithuanian has acuted which could be formally matched with the Vedic ending, but dialects also show the ending -u (e.g. runku "by hand"), and certain adjectives have nasal (e.g. mažą́ją "with the little"), which point to the ending *-ā́m. OCS has the ending -ojǫ taken from pronominal inflection (cf. тѫѭ (tǫjǫ, with that)). Nasal vowel also shows a pre-form *-ām, independently reconstructible also for Baltic. In Greek and Italic the instrumental case has not been preserved, but can be traced fossilized to certain adverbs, such as κρυφᾷ (kruphâi) / κρυφῆ (kruphê) "secretly", originally *"by means of secrecy" and Latin quā (in what manner) (possibly ablative though).
  5. dative singular: PIE *-eh₂ey > post-PIE *-āy, yielding regularly Greek -ᾱι/-ηι and the rest of attested endings, except for Sanskrit which has it suffixed onto the -y- element taken from i-stems.
  6. ablative singular: In PIE ablative singular of this inflection was the same as genitive, as can be seen in Sanskrit. Classical Latin ending derives from Old Latin -ād, which was formed analogically to the ending -ōd of o-stems (see above).
  7. genitive singular: PIE ending *-es has been regularly reflected in most of the branches. Latin -ae has final -i < *-ī by analogy to o-stems; the inherited ending has been preserved in fossilized phrases such as pater familiās (head of household) and adverbs such as aliās (at another place/time). In Sanskrit, the interfix element -y- is taken by analogy to i-stems.
  8. locative singular: PIE ending *-eh₂i > post-PIE *-ay. In Lithuanian to the inherited form postoposition *en > e has been suffixed yielding attested -oje, while Sanskrit -yām has been taken from pronominal paradigm (cf. Sanskrit instrumental singular feminine तस्याम् (tasyām, on that)).
  9. dual: As usual, reconstruction of dual case endings is very hard; in NAV dual characteristic is the ending -ih₁, shared by eh₂-stems with the nouns of neuter gender. PIE *eh₂ih₁ > post-PIE *ai, which regularly yields all forms except for Greek -ᾱ, which is by Mycenaean evidence shown to derive from earlier *-ᾰε. The rest of Greek inflectional endings (-αιν, αιιν) arose by analogy to o-stem forms. OCS final -u in GL agrees with final -os in Sanskrit, most probably pointing to PIE *-ows.
  10. nominative/vocative plural PIE *-eh₂es > post-PIE *ās, regularly reflected in most of the languages. In Latin the ending -ae was taken by analogy from o-stems, while the inherited ending was preserved in Old Latin inscriptions (e.g. QVAS > quae, HASCAE > hae, RELIQVIAS > reliquiae). Greek also independently replaced the original ending by analogy to o-stems with -ᾰι. OCS -y continues the original ending for accusative plural (see below).
  11. accusative plural: PIE *-eh₂n̥s > post-PIE *ān̥s, which has been preserved in dialectal Greek forms as -ανς, whence Attic -ᾱς is derivable. In most language the word-final cluster -ns has assimilated to -s. In OCS word-final *-āns regularly yields *-ūns > -y.



number case PIE Hittite Latin Sanskrit Greek (attic) Gothic O.C.S.
singular nominative *mn̥tís 𒄯𒆠𒅖 (ḫarkiš) turris अग्निस् (agnís) πόλῐς (pólis) 𐌵𐌴𐌽𐍃 (qēns) kostĭ
vocative *mn̥téy[1] turris अग्ने (agne) πόλῐ qēn kosti
accusative *mn̥tím ḫarkin turrim अग्निम् (agnim) πόλῐν qēn kostĭ
instrumental *mn̥ti(y)éh₁ ḫarkit, /χarkitː/ páti(y)ā kostĭjǫ
dative *mn̥téyey ḫarkai < turrī अग्नये (agnaye) πόλει qēnai kosti
ablative *mn̥tóys ḫarkaz(a) < *´-eyoti turrē अग्नेस् (agnes)
genitive *mn̥tóys ḫarkaš < *´-eyos turris अग्नेस् (agnes) πόλεως qēnais kosti
locative *mn̥téyi ḫarkai turrī अग्ना (agnā), अग्नौ (agnau) kosti
dual nominative / accusative / vocative *mn̥tíh₁ अग्नी (agnī) πόλει kosti
plural nominative / vocative *mn̥téyes[2] ḫarkaiš, ḫarkaeš turrēs अग्नयस् (agnayas) πόλεις qēneis kosti
accusative *mn̥tíms ḫarkauš, /χarkaɔs/ < *´-eym̥s turrīs अग्नीन् (agnīn) πόλεις qēnins kosti
instrumental *mn̥tímis, *mn̥tíbʰis ḫarkit अग्निभिस् (agnibhis) kostemi
dative / ablative *mn̥tímos, *mn̥tíbʰos ḫarkaš turribus अग्निभ्यस् (agnibhyas) πόλεσῐ(ν) < loc. qēnim kostemŭ
genitive *mn̥tyoHom, *mn̥téyoHom[2] *ḫarkan?, ḫarkaš turrium अग्नीनाम् (agnīnām) πόλεων qēnē kostĭjĭ
locative *mn̥tísu[2] ḫarkaš अग्निषु (agniṣu) kostexŭ
  1. nominative singular: The ending *-is comes from the zero grade of the morpheme and the nominative singular desinence *-s. It was preserved in Ancient Greek (e.g. πόλις (pólis)), in Latin turris, in Sanskrit अग्निस् (agnís), in PGmc *mundiz and Hittite ḫarkiš.
  2. vocative singular: Sanskrit requires a diphthong, it could reflect either *-ey or *-oy.
  3. accusative singular: The ending *-i-m comes from the zero grade and the accusative singular desinence *-m. It was preserved as Latin "-im", Sanskrit "-im". In both Greek and Hittite word-final PIE "*-m" was regularly replaced by /n/, yielding "-ῐν" and -𒅔 respectively.
  4. instrumental singular: The ending *-i(y)eh₁ comes from the zero grade and the instrumental singular desinence *-éh₁.
  5. dative singular: The ending "*-éyey" is securely reconstructible for PNIE. It was preserved intact in Sanskrit "-aye".
  6. genitive/ablative singular: The o-grade in the ending *-oys is securely reconstructible on the basis of gothic "-ais".[3] Anatolian however, points to "*-oyos"/ "*-eyos", which is probably a remodeling from "*-oys".[4]
  7. locative singular: PIE has the ending "*-ḗy", while Hittite has "-ai" that cannot come from a long "*ḗ", therefore the PIE ending must be "*-eyi". This would be composed from the full grade plus the locative desinence "*-i".[4][1]
  8. nominative/vocative plural: The ending "*-eyes" is attested in Latin "-ēs", Vedic "-ayas", and Hittite "-ēš".
  9. accusative plural: "*-ims", composed by a zero grade in the root and the ending "*-ms". Hittite in the other hand attests a full grade, but it's most likely analogical.


number PIE (nominative / accusative / vocative) Latin Sanskrit
singular *móri[5] mare vā́ri
dual *móryih₁ - vā́riṇī
plural *mórih₂ maria vā́rī



number case PIE Latin Sanskrit Greek (attic) Gothic O.C.S.
singular nominative *ǵéwstus[6] gustus धेनुः (dhenús) ἰχθύς (ikhthús) 𐌺𐌿𐍃𐍄𐌿𐍃 (kustus) domъ
vocative *ǵéwstu gustus dhéno ἰχθύ kustu domu
accusative *ǵéwstum gustum dhenúm ἰχθύν kustu domъ
instrumental *ǵustúh1 dhenvā́ *kustū (c.f. Old High German sitiu) domъmь
dative *ǵustéwey gustuī dhenáve, dhenvāí ἰχθύϊ kustau domovi
ablative *ǵustéws gustū dhenós, dhenvā́s
genitive *ǵustéws gustūs dhenós, dhenvā́s ἰχθύος kustaus domu
locative *ǵustéw(i) senāti (Old Latin) dhenāú, dhenvā́m domu
dual nominative / accusative / vocative *ǵéwstuh1 dhenū́ ἰχθῠ́ε domy
plural nominative / vocative *ǵéwstewes gustūs dhenávaḥ ἰχθύες kustjus domove
accusative *ǵéwstuns gustūs dhenū́s ἰχθῦς kustuns domy
instrumental *ǵustúbʰi dhenúbhiḥ domъmi
dative / ablative *ǵustúmos gustibus dhenúbhyaḥ ἰχθύσι kustum domъmъ
genitive *ǵustéwoHom gustuum dhenūnā́m ἰχθύων kustiwē < kustiwō (c.f. Old High German sito) domovъ
locative *ǵustúsu dhenúṣu domъxъ


number PIE (nominative / accusative / vocative) Hittite Latin Sanskrit Gothic

(Defective, singular only)

singular *dóru[7] tāru pecū páśu faihu
dual *dórwih₁ - - páśunī -
plural *dóruh₂ tāruḪI.A /taːrɔ/ pecua páśū -


number case PIE Latin Sanskrit Greek (attic) Gothic O.C.S.
singular nominative *ph₂tḗr[8] pater पितृ (pitā) πατήρ (patḗr) 𐍆𐌰𐌳𐌰𐍂 (fadar) mati
vocative *ph2tér pater pítar πάτερ fadar mati
accusative *ph2térm̥ patrem pitaram πατέρα fadar materь
instrumental *ph2tr̥éh1 pitrā materьjǫ
dative *ph2tr̥éy patrī pitre πατρί fadr materi
ablative *ph2tr̥és patre pitur, pitras
genitive *ph2tr̥és patris pitur, pitras πατρός fadrs matere
locative *ph2tér(i) patri* pitari materi
dual nominative / accusative / vocative *ph2térh1e pitarau < piterā πᾰτέρε materi
plural nominative / vocative *ph2téres patrēs pitaras πατέρες fadrjus materi
accusative *ph2térn̥s patrēs pitṝn πατέρας fadruns materi
instrumental *ph2tr̥bʰí pitṛbhis materьmi
dative / ablative *ph2tr̥mós patribus pitṛbhyas πατράσι fadrum materьmъ
genitive *ph2tr̥óHom patrum pitṝṇām πατέρων fadrē < fadrō (c.f. Old High German fatero) materъ
locative *ph2tr̥sú pitṛṣu materьxъ


number case PIE Hittite Latin Sanskrit Greek (attic) Old High German O.C.S.
singular nominative *nébʰos[9] 𒉈𒂊𒁉𒅖 (nepiš) genus नभः (nábhaḥ) γένος (génos) lamb nebo
vocative *nébʰos genus nábhaḥ γένος nebo
accusative *nébʰos nepiš genus nábhaḥ γένος lamb nebo
instrumental *nébʰes(e)h1 nepišit nábhasā lambu nebesьmь
dative *nébʰesey nepiši generī < *genesī nábhase γένει lambe nebesi
ablative *nébʰesos nepišaz(a) genere < *genese nábhasaḥ
genitive *nébʰesos nepišaš generis < *genesis nábhasaḥ γένους < γένεος (Epic) lambes nebese
locative *nébʰes(i) nepiši generi* < *genesi nábhasi nebese
dual nominative / accusative / vocative *nébʰesih1 nábhasī γένει nebesě
plural nominative / vocative *nébʰōs nepiša genera < *genesa nábhāṃsi γένη < γένεᾰ (Epic) lembir < *lambiz nebesa
accusative *nébʰōs nepiša genera < *genesa nábhāṃsi γένη < γένεᾰ (Epic) lembir < *lambiz nebesa
instrumental *nébʰesbʰi nepišit nábhobhiḥ nebesy
dative / ablative *nébʰesmos nepišaš, nepišaz(a) generibus < *genesibos nábhobhyaḥ γένεσῐ(ν) lembirum < *lambizum nebesьmъ
genitive *nébʰesoHom nepišaš generum < *genesom nábhasām γενῶν < γενέων (Epic) lembiro < *lambizo nebesъ
locative *nébʰesu nepišaš nábhaḥsu nebesьxъ



number case PIE Latin Sanskrit Greek (attic) Gothic OCS
singular nominative *léymō[10] sermō अश्मा (áśmā) δαίμων (daímōn) 𐌲𐌿𐌼𐌰 (guma) kamy
vocative *léymon sermō áśman δαῖμον guma kamy
accusative *léymonm̥ sermōnem áśmānam δαίμονᾰ guman kamenь
instrumental *limnéh₁ áśmanā kamenьmь
dative *limnéy sermōnī áśmane δαίμονῐ gumin kameni
ablative *limnés sermōne áśmanaḥ
genitive *limnés sermōnis áśmanaḥ δαίμονος gumins kamene
locative *limén(i) sermōni* áśmani kamene
dual nominative / accusative / vocative *léymonh₁e áśmānau < áśmānā δαίμονε kameni
plural nominative / vocative *léymones sermōnēs áśmānaḥ δαίμονες gumans kamene
accusative *léymonn̥s sermōnēs áśmanaḥ δαίμονᾰς gumans kameni
instrumental *limn̥bʰí áśmabhiḥ kamenьmi
dative / ablative *limn̥mós sermōnibus áśmabhyaḥ δαίμοσῐ(ν) gumam kamenьmъ
genitive *limn̥óHom sermōnum áśmanām δαιμόνων gumanē < *gumanō (c.f. Old High German gomōno) kamenъ
locative *limn̥sú áśmasu kamenьxъ


number case PIE Latin Sanskrit Greek (attic) Gothic OCS
singular nominative / vocative / accusative *h₁nḗh₃mn̥[11] nōmen नाम (nā́ma) ὄνομᾰ (ónoma) 𐌽𐌰𐌼𐍉 (namō) imę
instrumental *h₁nḗh₃mn̥(e)h₁ nā́mnā imenьmь
dative *h₁néh₃mn̥ey nōminī nā́mne ὀνόμᾰτῐ namin imeni
ablative / genitive *h₁néh₃mn̥(o)s nōminis nā́mnaḥ ὀνόμᾰτος namins imene
locative *h₁néh₃mn̥(i) nomini* nā́mni imene
dual nominative / accusative / vocative *h₁nḗh₃mn̥ih₁? nā́mnī ὀνόμᾰτε imeni

Note: Plurals for neuter n-stems, unlike descendant paradigms, were formed using the collective form *h₁néh₃mō, which is declined akin to the masculine n-stems (except that the nominative, accusative, and vocative forms were merged).

Heteroclitic Stems[edit]

number case PIE Latin Sanskrit Greek (attic) Gothic Hittite
singular nominative / vocative / accusative *wódr̥[12] femur यकृत् (yakṛt) ἧπᾰρ (hêpar) 𐍅𐌰𐍄𐍉 (watō) < *watōr (c.f. OSX/ODT watar) 𒉿𒀀𒋻 (wātar)
instrumental *udénh₁ yaknā witenit
dative *udéney feminī yakne ἥπᾰτῐ watin witeni
ablative / genitive *udéns feminis yaknaḥ ἥπᾰτος watins witenaš
locative *udén(i) femini* yakni witeni

Note: Plurals were formed using the collective form *wédōr, which is also a heteroclitic stem. Furthermore, there is evidence that this declension paradigm was originally acrostatic, but descendants point to a proterokinetic paradigm by late PIE.

Root Consonant Declension[edit]

number case PIE Latin Sanskrit Greek (attic) Gothic
singular nominative *pṓds[13] pes पात् (pā́t) πούς (poús) 𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐍃 (reiks)
vocative *pṓd pes pā́t πούς reik*
accusative *pódm̥ pedem pā́dam πόδᾰ reik*
instrumental *pedéh₁ pā́dā
dative *pedéy pedī páde ποδῐ́ reik
ablative *pedés pede pádaḥ
genitive *pedés pedis pádaḥ ποδός reikis
locative *péd(i) pedi* pádi
dual nominative / accusative / vocative *pódh₁e pā́dau < pā́dā πόδε
plural nominative / vocative *pódes pedēs pā́daḥ πόδες reiks
accusative *pódn̥s pedēs pádaḥ πόδᾰς reiks*
instrumental *pedbʰí pádbhiḥ
dative / ablative *pedmós pedibus pádbhyaḥ ποσῐ́ (ν) reikam
genitive *pedóHom pedum pádām ποδῶν reikē < *reikō (c.f. Old High German nahto)
locative *pedsú patsú




number case PIE Ancient Greek Latin Sanskrit Hittite Gothic Lithuanian
singular nominative *ténh₂us(m)[14] ἡδῠ́ς (hēdús) suāvis स्वादु (svādúḥ) 𒉺𒀭𒆪𒍑 (pankuš) 𐌺𐌰𐌿𐍂𐌿𐍃 (kaurus) platùs
vocative *ténh₂u ἡδῠ́ suāvis svā́do
accusative *ténh₂um ἡδῠ́ν suāvem svādúm pankun kaurjana platų
instrumental *tn̥h₂úh₁ - - svādvā̀ pankawit - platiu
dative *tn̥h₂éwey ἡδεῖ suāvī svādáve pankawi *kaurjamma platiam
ablative *tn̥h₂éws - suāvī svādóḥ pankawaz - -
genitive *tn̥h₂éws ἡδέως suāvis svādóḥ pankawaš *kauraus plataus
locative *tn̥h₂éw(i) - suavī* svādaú pankawi platiame
dual nominative / accusative / vocative *ténh₂uh₁(e) ἡδέε - svādū́
plural nominative / vocative *ténh₂ewes ἡδεῖς suāvēs svādávaḥ pankweš kaurjai platūs
accusative *ténh₂ums ἡδέων suāvīs svādū́n pankamuš kaurjans platius
instrumental *tn̥h₂úbʰi - - svādúbhiḥ pankawit - platiais
dative / ablative *tn̥h₂úmos ἡδέσῐ(ν) suāvibus svādúbhyaḥ pankawaš kaurjaim platiems
genitive *tn̥h₂éwoHom ἡδέων suāvium svādūnā́m pankawaš kaurjaizē platių
locative *tn̥h₂úsu - - svādúṣu pankawaš - platiuose


number (nominative / accusative / vocative) PIE Ancient Greek Latin Sanskrit Hittite Gothic Lithuanian
singular *ténh₂u ἡδῠ́ suāve svādú panku kauru platù
dual *ténh₂uh₁(e) ἡδέε - svādū́
plural *ténh₂uh₂ ἡδέᾰ suāvia svādū́ panku *kaurja

Note: The Masculine and Neuter paradigms are identical except in the Nominative/Accusative/Vocative forms. In addition, Lithuanian's neuter adjective is defective and uses the ancestral Nominative/Vocative/Accusative singular form for all of its cases.


number case PIE Ancient Greek Latin Sanskrit Hittite Gothic Lithuanian
singular nominative *tn̥h₂éwih₂ ἡδεῖᾰ suāvis svādvī́ pankuš kaurus platì
vocative *tn̥h₂éwih₂ ἡδεῖᾰ suāvis svā́dvi
accusative *tn̥h₂éwih₂m̥ ἡδεῖᾰν suāvem svādvī́m pankun kaurja platią
instrumental *tn̥h₂uyéh₂h₁ - - svādvyā̀ pankawit - platia
dative *tn̥h₂uyéh₂ey ἡδείᾳ suāvī svādvyaì pankawi *kaurjai platiai
ablative *tn̥h₂uyéh₂s - suāvī svādvyā̀ḥ pankawaz - -
genitive *tn̥h₂uyéh₂s ἡδείᾱς suāvis svādvyā̀ḥ pankawaš *kaurjaizōs platios
locative *tn̥h₂uyéh₂(i) - suavī* svādvyā̀m pankawi platioje
dual nominative / accusative / vocative *tn̥h₂éwih₂h₁(e) ἡδείᾱ - svādvī́
plural nominative / vocative *tn̥h₂éwih₂es ἡδεῖαι suāvēs svādvī́ḥ pankweš kaurjōs platios
accusative *tn̥h₂éwih₂m̥s ἡδειῶν suāvīs svādvī́ḥ pankamuš kaurjōs platias
instrumental *tn̥h₂uyéh₂bʰi - - svādvī́bhiḥ pankawit - platiomis
dative / ablative *tn̥h₂uyéh₂mos ἡδείαις suāvibus svādúbhyaḥ pankawaš kaurjaim platioms
genitive *tn̥h₂uyéh₂oHom ἡδειῶν suāvium svādvī́nām pankawaš kaurjaizō platių
locative *tn̥h₂uyéh₂su - - svādvī́ṣu pankawaš - platiose

Note: Technically, Hittite has no feminine gender, as Feminine and Masculine nouns in other PIE languages are grouped together as "common" nouns.


number case PIE Hittite Latin Sanskrit Greek Gothic
singular nominative *h₁sónts 𒀀𒊭𒀀𒀭𒍝 (asānza) sōns सत् (sát) ἐών (eṓn) 𐍆𐍂𐌹𐌾𐍉𐌽𐌳𐍃 (frijōnds)
accusative *h₁sóntm̥ 𒀀𒊭𒀀𒀭𒋫𒀭 (asāntan) sontem santam ἐόντᾰ frijōnd
instrumental *h₁sn̥téh₁ 𒀀𒊭𒀀𒀭𒋾𒀉 (asāntit) sátā
dative *h₁sn̥téy 𒀀𒊭𒀀𒀭𒋾 (asānti) < sontī sate ἐόντῐ frijōnd < *frijōndi (c.f. Old High German friunte)
ablative *h₁sn̥tós 𒀀𒊭𒀀𒀭𒋫𒊍 (asāntaz(a)) sontī satas
genitive *h₁sn̥tós 𒀀𒊭𒀀𒀭𒋫𒀸 (asāntaš) sontis satas ἐόντος frijōndis
locative *h₁sénti 𒀀𒊭𒀀𒀭𒋾 (asānti) monte satí
dual nominative / accusative / vocative *h₁sónth₁(e) sántāu < sántā
plural nominative / vocative *h₁sóntes 𒀀𒊭𒀀𒀭𒋾𒅖 (asāntis) sontēs sántas ἐόντες frijōnds
accusative *h₁sn̥tḿ̥s 𒀀𒊭𒀀𒀭𒌅𒍑 (asāntus /ʔsaːntːɔs/) sontēs satás ἐόντᾰς frijōnds
instrumental *h₁sn̥tmís, *h₁sn̥tbʰís 𒀀𒊭𒀀𒀭𒋾𒀉 (asāntit) sádbhis *frijōndam
dative / ablative *h₁sn̥tmós, *h₁sn̥tbʰós asāntaš sontibus sádbhyas ἐοῦσῐ(ν) < frijōndam
genitive *h₁sn̥tóHom 𒀀𒊭𒀀𒀭𒋫𒀭 (asāntan), 𒀀𒊭𒀀𒀭𒋫𒀸 (asāntaš) sontium satā́m ἐόντων frijōndē < *frijōndō (c.f. Old High German friunto)
locative *h₁sn̥(t)sú? satsu ἐοῦσῐ(ν)
  1. nominative singular: For this case the ending is composed by the full grade of the morpheme and the nominative singular morpheme "*-s". The ending is *-onts the basis of Latin -ēns/āns < Proto-Italic *-onts/ānts as well as Gothic -onds < Proto-Germanic *-ondz.
  2. accusative singular: The ending *-ónt-m̥ comes from the full grade and the accusative singular desinence *-m. It was preserved as Latin "-ontem", Sanskrit "-antam". Hittite generalized the thematic ending "*-om" at the expense of the original "-m̥", yeilding "-𒀭𒌅𒀭 " ("-antan").
  3. instrumental singular: The ending *-n̥téh₁ comes from the zero grade and the instrumental singular desinence *-éh₁. It's supported by both Sanskrit and PGmc.
  4. dative singular: The ending "*-n̥téy" is securely reconstructible for PIE. The accentuation is perfectly reflected in PGmc by Verner's law.
  5. locative singular: The ending "*-énti" is reconstructible for PIE, Hittite "-anti" must be a recomposition of an earlier "*-ant͡s". The grade of the suffix vowel is uncertain.
  6. nominative/vocative plural: For both PIE and PNIE the ending "*-ontes" is attested in Greek "-όντες", Vedic "-antas", and Hittite "-antiš".
  7. accusative plural: The ending "*-n̥tḿ̥s" must be reconstructed, the zero grade in the suffix attested in Vedic.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sihler, Andrew L., New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1995, →ISBN, page 311
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ringe, Donald, From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic (A Linguistic History of English; 1)‎[1], Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, →ISBN, page 48
  3. ^ Sihler, Andrew L., New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1995, →ISBN, page 316
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kloekhorst, Alwin, Etymological Dictionary of the Hittite Inherited Lexicon (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 5), Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2008, →ISBN, page 127
  5. ^ Ringe (2006) chapter 2, page 48
  6. ^ Ringe (2006) chapter 2, page 48
  7. ^ Ringe (2006) chapter 2, page 48
  8. ^ Ringe (2006) chapter 2, page 49
  9. ^ Ringe (2006) chapter 1, page 49
  10. ^ Ringe (2006) chapter 2, page 47
  11. ^ Ringe (2006) chapter 2, page 47
  12. ^ Ringe (2006) chapter 2, page 46
  13. ^ Ringe (2006) chapter 2, page 47
  14. ^ Ringe (2006) chapter 2, page 50