Proto-Indo-European pronouns and particles

Proto-Indo-European pronouns and particles

Proto-Indo-European pronouns and particles have been reconstructed by modern linguists based on similarities found across all Indo-European languages. The following article lists and discusses their hypothesized forms.


PIE pronouns are difficult to reconstruct due to their variety in later languages. This is especially the case for demonstrative pronouns.

Personal pronouns

PIE had personal pronouns in the first and second person, but not the third person, where demonstratives were used instead. The personal pronouns had their own unique forms and endings, and some had two distinct stems; this is most obvious in the first person singular, where the two stems are still preserved in English "I" and "me". According to Beekes (1995), there were also two varieties for the accusative, genitive and dative cases, a stressed and an enclitic form.

Many of the special pronominal endings of these paradigms were later borrowed as nominal endings.

Beekes also postulates three adverbial particles unicode|ḱi "here", unicode|h₂en "there" and unicode|h₂eu "away, again", from which demonstratives were constructed in various later languages.

Interrogative and relative pronouns

There was also an interrogative/indefinite pronoun with the stem unicode|kʷe-/kʷi- (adjectival unicode|kʷo-), and probably a relative pronoun with the stem unicode|yo-.


*"Alb.": Albanian (Tosk/Gheg)
*"Hitt." Hittite
*"Arm.": Armenian (Old Armenian/Eastern/Western)
**"Lith".: Lithuanian
**"Latv".: Latvian
**Old Prussian
**Irish (Old Irish/Irish)
**"Gm.": German (Old High German/German)
**"Eng.": English, "OE": (Old English
**"ON": Old Norse
**"Goth.": Gothic
*"Gk.": Greek
**"Skt.": Sanskrit
**"Av.": Avestan
**Persian, "OPers.": Old Persian
**"Lat.": Latin
**"OCS": Old Church Slavonic
**"Russ.": Russian
*"Toch.": Tocharian
*"XMK": Ancient Macedonian
*"Illyr.": Illyrian

ee also

*Proto-Indo-European noun

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