Usually it is assumed that in PIE the verb forms for the singular first, second, and third person are respectively -m-, -s-, -t- (cfr. Latin).

The personal pronouns, instead, have the second and third person inverted.

Why is this the case? I am no expert, but I thought that personal endings could have formed by agglutination with some forms of personal pronous.

What happened?

My question is very much related to this question.

  • 2
    Well, the paradigm of PIE *so (which is usually considered a demonstrative rather than a personal pronoun, btw) actually has t- instead of s- in all but the m. f. nom. forms, so that at least could easily be related to the 3sg -t in verbs.
    – TKR
    Nov 20, 2014 at 17:39
  • 1
    Yes, I think consensus is that PIE didn't have third person pronouns ("se" etc is reflexive not third person). But your point about -t- vs t- stands.
    – Colin Fine
    Nov 20, 2014 at 20:57

1 Answer 1


It's easy (though of course conjectural) to connect 3sg -t in verbs with the t- of the demonstrative pronoun, which (as I said in my comment) actually only has s- in the masc. and fem. nom. Then the questions become (1) whether this t- has anything to do with the 2sg pronoun tu, and (2) whether the 2sg verbal ending -s has anything to do with the s- of the masc./fem. nom. of the demonstrative pronoun. I suppose a semantic change from second person to third person or vice versa is not impossible, but I would wager that the answer to both questions is no, and the similarities are coincidental.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.