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Given the agent suffix -ter- (which exhibited e-grade when meaning a profession or purpose and o-grade when meaning the recent perpetrator), can -trom suffix also be a zero grade from this one plus inanimate nomenative ending -om? Especially taking into account internal derivation. Just some examples.

u̯es-tēr (tailor) -> u̯es-tr-om (wear)

a̯ero̯-tēr (plowman) -> a̯ero̯-tr-om (plow)

On the other hand, Fortson lists -tro- suffix along with -tlo- suffix as separate instrumental suffixes. I wonder whether then was a similar agent suffix -tel- (cf Russian prii̯a-tel "friend", Greek aristo-tel)?

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Shouldn't you name the language you're asking about? – Gaston Ümlaut Sep 5 '12 at 10:57
Should be: Greek Ἀριστοτέλης "Aristoteles". They spoke Ancient/Old Greek there, not Modern Russian. – Alex B. Sep 5 '12 at 23:55
@Alex B. okay, what does it change? -es is an ending. The question is whether there was an agent suffix -tel- to which attested suffix -tl-/-tlo- is a zero-grade. – Anixx Sep 6 '12 at 0:00
There is no suffix -tel- in Ἀριστοτέλης; the name is a compound whose second member is related to the noun τέλος 'end, purpose, etc.'. – TKR Sep 12 '13 at 2:58
up vote 3 down vote accepted

According to Jean Haudry, Proto-Indo-European *-tr-om indeed is *-ter with zero-grade and neuter ending.

Also according to him, PIE *-tel is an old phonetic variant of PIE *-ter.

Next to PIE *-tr-om, there is also PIE *-tl-om, as in Latin "(ob)staculum" from PIE *stéH₂-tlom.

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Hello Mara and welcome! You said "According to Jean Haudry"... While it's not mandatory, if you could link the paper/book where this is stated (especially if readable as in Google Books), it would increase the quality of your answer. :D Just a note. :) – Alenanno Feb 17 '13 at 14:47
It's from Jean Haudry, "L'indo-européen", from the series "Que sais-je". I think, it's this one: (…) – Mara van Aken Feb 17 '13 at 15:01
I accept even though I already know the answer myself. – Anixx Feb 17 '13 at 16:10

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