5.2. The Motion

5.2.1. In accordance with their use, adjectives distinguish gender by different forms in the same word, and agree with the nouns they define in gender, number and case. This is usually called the Motion of the Adjective.

5.2.2. We saw in § 3.4. that there are some rare cases of Motion in the noun. Sometimes the opposition is made between nouns, and this seems to be the older situation: pater / mater, bhrater / suesor.

But an adjective distinguishes between masculine / feminine / neuter or at least between animate / neuter (inanimate). This opposition is of two different kinds:

a. The animate is opposed to the inanimate by declension, vocalism and accent: -os/-om, -is/-i, -nts/-nt, -es/-es

b. The masculine is opposed to the feminine, when it happens, by the theme vowel: -os/-a, -nts/-ntia,-nti, -us/-ui

The general system can be so depicted:


















-ntia / -nti










NOTE. The masculine-feminine opposition is possibly new to Europaio, as IE II had probably only the animate-inanimate opposition. The existence of this kind of adjectives is very important for an easy communication as, for example, the adjectives in -a are only feminine (unlike the nouns, which can also be masculines). An -o stem followed by an -s in Nom. sg. is animate or masculine, never feminine only, while there are still remains of feminine nouns in -os.