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Indo-European question

From:Patrick Dunn <tb0pwd1@...>
Date:Saturday, June 16, 2001, 23:39
I just ordered a dictionary of Indo-European roots to play with, and I
started wondering -- how did we get inflectional endings?

Were they originally postpositions which became attached to the nouns?
If so, why do they seem to differ among languages so much?  -um in Old
English marks the plural dative, but in Latin -um marks the accusative and
neuter of some nouns.

Also, why do different nouns have different endings for different genders?
If, say, the genitive post-position was -i, why is -ae the feminine Latin
ending?  Wouldn't it be -i accross the board?

Or am I guessing wrong?  Keep in mind, I'm training to be a philologist,
not a linguist.  *snickers*


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Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Tom Tadfor Little <tom@...>
Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Lars Henrik Mathiesen <thorinn@...>