Kloekhorst 2008:518 argues for a *-mn̥ derivative of the root *h₃neh₃- (“to name”), reflected in Hittite 𒄩𒀭𒈾𒄿 (ḫannai-, “to sue, judge”) (originally “to call to court”) and Ancient Greek ὄνομαι (ónomai, “to blame, scold, insult”) (with a semantic shift comparable to English to call names); see also *h₃en(h₂)-.
Sources disagree on the reconstruction of this word. Some reconstruct it with initial *h₃- because of Greek ὄνομα (ónoma), ὄνυμα (ónuma) and (ἀ)νώνυμος ((a)nṓnumos) (*n̥h₃C>νωC), but the lack of an initial laryngeal in Hittite 𒆷𒀀𒈠𒀭 (lāman) might suggest *h₁ (although the fate of word-initial *h₃ in Anatolian is unclear and controversial), and Armenian անուն (anun) could be from either one. The Greek o- could be due to assimilation to the following o-, just as in ὀδούς (odoús, “tooth”), from *odonts, assimilated from *edonts, from *h₁dont-, although this is now reconstructed with *h₃ by some authorities. Medial *-eh₃- is sometimes reconstructed on the basis of length in some Dutch and Low German denominal verbs, but these are more likely to be late forms using the Germanic a/ō ablaut found also in class VI strong verbs (and in Indo-Iranian it could have arisen by Brugmann's law, and in Latin by the analogy co-gnōscō (“to know”) : cōg-nōmen (“surname”) = nōscō (“to know”) : nōmen, with the other forms from PIE *ǵneh₃-).
The original paradigm is also somewhat difficult to reconstruct precisely; it might be proterokinetic ablauting *h₁nómn̥ ~ *h₁n̥méns, or just acrostatic with or without zero grade in weak cases. The Tocharian forms seem to come from *(h₁)nem-, which could be from the oblique form in an acrostatic paradigm. However, Ronald Kim reconstructs Proto-Tocharian *ñemə as *h₁nḗh₃mn̥.
|locative||*h₁némn̥, *h₁némni||*?||—||*h₁n̥mén, *h₁n̥méni|
- Proto-Albanian: *enmen-, inmen-
- Hittite: 𒆷𒀀𒈠𒀭 (lāman)
- Proto-Armenian: *anuwn
- Proto-Balto-Slavic: *inˀmen (see there for further descendants)
- Proto-Celtic: *anman (see there for further descendants)
- Proto-Germanic: *namô (see there for further descendants) (from the collective)
- Proto-Hellenic: *ónomə
- Proto-Indo-Iranian: *Hnā́ma (see there for further descendants)
- Proto-Italic: *nomen
- Phrygian: ονομαν (onoman)
- Proto-Tocharian: *ñemə
- Mallory, J. P.; Adams, D. Q., editors (1997), “Name”, in Encyclopedia of Indo-European culture, London, Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, page 390
- Stüber, Karin (1998). The Historical Morphology of n-Stems in Celtic. Maynooth Studies in Celtic Linguistics III. Maynooth: Department of Old Irish, National University of Ireland, pp. 53–59. →ISBN.
- Kloekhorst, Alwin (2008) Etymological Dictionary of the Hittite Inherited Lexicon (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 5), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 282ff
- ^ Kloekhorst, Alwin (2008) Etymological Dictionary of the Hittite Inherited Lexicon (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 5), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 599
- ^ Beekes, Robert S. P. (2011) Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An Introduction, revised and corrected by Michiel de Vaan, 2nd edition, Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, page 32
- ^ Sihler, Andrew L. (1995) New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 97
- ^ Ringe, Donald (2006) From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic (A Linguistic History of English; 1), Oxford: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 47