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This Proto-Indo-European entry contains reconstructed terms and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.



Often considered to contain the substantifying suffix *-wr̥.


*péh₂wr̥ n[1]

  1. fire
    Synonyms: *h₁n̥gʷnís, *h₂eh₁ter-
  2. spelt (grain)[2][3]

Usage notes[edit]

Two main terms for “fire” are reconstructible for Proto-Indo-European: *h₁n̥gʷnis and *péh₂wr̥. They are usually considered in semantic opposition. The term *h₁n̥gʷnis is usually masculine and refers to fire as something animate and active (compare Agni, the most prominent Old Indic deity), whereas the term *péh₂wr̥ is neuter and refers to fire as something inanimate and passive, i.e. as a substance.


Athematic, proterokinetic
singular collective
nominative *péh₂wr̥ *péh₂wōr
genitive *ph₂wéns *ph₂unés
singular dual plural collective
nominative *péh₂wr̥ *péh₂wōr
vocative *péh₂wr̥ *péh₂wōr
accusative *péh₂wr̥ *péh₂wōr
genitive *ph₂wéns *ph₂unés
ablative *ph₂wéns *ph₂unés
dative *ph₂wéney *ph₂unéy
locative *ph₂wén, *ph₂wéni *ph₂wén, *ph₂wéni
instrumental *ph₂wénh₁ *ph₂unéh₁



  • Proto-Anatolian: *páHʷr̥ (see there for further descendants)
  • Armenian:
  • Proto-Balto-Slavic:
    • Latvian: pūrs (winter wheat) but more often pūr̨i in analogy to kvieši, rudzi, mieži
    • Lithuanian: pū̃ras (one corn of winter-wheat; used in the plural for winter-wheat)
    • Old Prussian: panno (fire), pure (bromegrass)
    • Proto-Slavic: *pyrь (cinder; couch grass; spelt) (see there for further descendants)
    • Proto-Finnic: *panu (fire) (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Germanic: *fōr (from *ph₂wṓr < *péh₂wōr) (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Hellenic: *pāwər?
  • Proto-Italic: *pur (see there for further descendants)
  • Tocharian:


  1. ^ Ringe, Donald (2006) From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic (A Linguistic History of English; 1)‎[1], Oxford: Oxford University Press, →ISBN
  2. ^ Gamkrelidze, Th. V.; Ivanov, V. V. (1995) Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans. A Reconstruction and Historical Analysis of a Proto-Language and Proto-Culture. Part I: The Text (Trends in linguistics. Studies and monographs; 80), Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter, pages 566–567 – he gives pʰūr-
  3. ^ Трубачёв, Олег Николаевич (a. 2002) Этногенез и культура древнейших славян (in Russian), Moscow: Наука, published 2003, →ISBN, pages 232–233 – he gives pūr-, but according to him it is the same word as the one for fire because spelt required drying by the fire.

Further reading[edit]