Read moreIn this paper we argue that the suffixes *-nt- and *-mh1no- were grammaticalized as active and middle participles after Anatolian left the family. Anatolian inherited *-nt-, which originally functioned as a denominal possessive suffix. In Hittite, the *-nt-suffix is used to form verbal adjectives that express a state and are primarily object oriented (similar to *-to- in the “inner-Indo-European” languages). We propose that the reinterpretation of stative-intransitive verbal adjectives as processual (Hitt. ānt- ‘hot’ → ‘being hot’) and the subsequent usage of the nt-suffix with non-stative intransitive verbs and transitive verbs paved the way for its development to an active, subject-oriented participle in inner-Indo-European languages. This process independently took place in Hittite with certain verbs (e. g., adānt- ‘eating’/‘eaten’).
We show that the usage of *-nt- in Tocharian does not differ qualitatively from that of the inner-Indo-European languages and that *-mh1no-, albeit synchronically grammaticalized as gerund-like form, originally had the same function in Tocharian as its reflexes in the inner-Indo-European languages. With respect to their participial morphology, Tocharian is therefore less archaic as previously thought and patterns with the inner-Indo-European languages, while the Anatolian branch remains the most archaic one in the family.