On Mon, 14 Oct 2002 06:39:42 -0000, "Magwich78" <magwich78@...> wrote:

>The origin of the third person plural ending(s) is somewhat
>ambiguous. I presented the hypothesis that it derived from the
>active participle in -nt (or vice-versa) because of a similar
>occurrence in the Uralic languages. For example, Finnish
>sanovat 'they say' is clearly related to the active participle
>sanova 'saying'; in fact, it can be analyzed as participle + plural
>marker -t. It is possible that the 3rd plural ending of (late) PIE
>developed in a similar way. Of course, there is also a good
>possibility that I am wrong.
>What I don't understand is why a plural form -en or -an would be used
>in verbs but not in nouns. Unfortunately, I have no satisfactory
>explanation for Greek 1pl -men, etc.

The active participle solution looks implausible to me. Even comparing it to
the Finnish parallel we would expect **-ent-es, with an overt plural marker.
The use of a verbal third person marker or a 3rd person plural personal pronoun
as a nominal plural (or viceversa) is in itself not an uncommon phenomenon (we
have it in e.g. Papiamentu nan "they", -nan "pl.", or Sumerian -ene 3pl.tr.,
anim. pl.). It is therefore interesting to note the Cuneiform Luwian plural
marker -nzi (obl. -nza).

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal