>The 1st and 2nd person endings arose from enclitic pronouns
>(*me and *te, respectively).

Of course, that's an inescapable conclusion. The question
is when this happened. My view is that it happened
exceedingly early and if I were to estimate the date when
the pronouns were attached to the verb stem, I'd say about
10,000 BCE. We also have the perfect endings *-xa, *-txa
and *-e in PIE which don't appear to be pronouns... of
course, that is, not pronouns that we are familiar with in
Indo-European because they no longer are used in this

>Later on, a distinction between definite (direct object
>overtly marked) and indefinite arose (which quickly evolved into a
>transitive-intransitive dichotomy).

I don't see any link whatsoever between thematic verbs
and definiteness. I doubt one can support this view very
well and it seems to me more of a cop-out solution to
account for something trivial like *-e- in *bher-e-ti.
I think there is a more benign answer here that has
nothing to do with demonstratives.

>When distinction between singular and plural numbers in
>verbs developed, the 3rd person forms were extended by the pronominal
>element -t in the singular and the participial suffix -nt in the plural:

Using a participal suffix for the third person plural is
semantically illogical. Rather, a clearer solution is
that *-t (originating from an attached demonstrative *to-)
was placed both on the 3rd person singular, which was either
endingless in athematic verbs or which ended in *-e for
thematic verbs, and the 3rd person plural in *-en. The
participal and 3pp suffixes just happen to look alike but
they are of very different origins.

>At this point, I am unsure when and how the 2nd singular
>ending changed to -s.

At an early point in IE (more like the Indo-Tyrrhenian
stage c.8500-7000 BCE), final dental stops were softened
to *-c (a dental affricate [ts]) and then to *-s in

The plural ending *-es is related to plurals in *-t found
in Uralic and Eskimo-Aleut. Likewise, the 2ps *-s is
related to the 2ps endings in *-t found in these languages
as well. There is also the matter of the aorist in *-s-,
which is related to a stative ending in *-t, and of
oscillations seen between *s and *t in some declensional
paradigms. This is all caused by the lenition of dental
stops in final position early on.

>At some stage in the above development, tense distinctions

Marked tenses developed mostly in post-IE. The past with
*e- is only found in some dialects such as Hellenic and
Indo-Iranian but there is no trace in Anatolian which
suggests strongly that this was merely a post-IE development.

The *-i marker (as in *bhereti "she carries") is more of an
"indicative" rather than a present tense marker. One must
realize that *?est "is/was" can also serve as a present
tense since the secondary must be used for negative
constructions like *[ne ?est] "it is/was not". There is no
such sentence as **[ne ?esti]. However, I do believe that
the *-i derives from *ei and signified the same as the past
augment in *e-: "at such time".

>As others have pointed out (Sihler), the PIE 'perfect' >paradigm is really
>a stative paradigm. I think the stative forms were always created by
>reduplication of the verb root, even in very ancient statives like *woid-
>(from **we(i)-weid-).

I think the perfect originally served exclusively as
the stative at one time, but by the time of PIE it was
apparently used for verbs which were not necessarily
stative. To put it another way, at some point statives
were spread evenly across a new aspectual system of
durative, aorist and perfect. This is the system that
exists in PIE.

Since there is no trace of **wi-weid-, what you are
saying is unlikely. Looking at languages from across the
world, reduplication is more naturally used for repetitive
or intensive actions rather than statives.

- gLeN

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