Last modified on 23 February 2015, at 05:24


This Proto-Germanic entry contains reconstructed words and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.



From two sources, both reflecting earlier *-ōjaną:

  • From Proto-Indo-European *-eh₂yé-, an innovated compound suffix from *-eh₂ (eh₂-stem noun suffix) + *-yé- (denominative suffix). These were originally formed as denominative verbs from ō-stem nouns. When attached to thematic (a-stem) nouns, the thematic vowel was also retained, but the resulting compound suffix *-eyé- became part of the first weak class instead.
  • From Proto-Indo-European *-(e)h₂yé-, an innovated compound suffix from *-(e)h₂- (factitive verb suffix) which was originally athematic, but later extended with the thematic present suffix *-yé-.

Cognates include Latin -āre (first conjugation), Ancient Greek -άω (-áō) contracted verbs, Sanskrit presents in -आयति (-ā́yati).




  1. Creates denominative verbs from nouns.
  2. Creates factitive verbs from adjectives.


Derived termsEdit


This class eventually became the dominant and most productive verb class in all daughter languages. In northern West Germanic, the suffix was reanalysed and extended to -ōjaną based on the first and third class of weak verbs.

  • Old English: -ian
  • Old Frisian: -ia
  • Old Saxon: -on, -oian
  • Old Dutch: -on
    • Middle Dutch: -en (merged with all other verbs)
  • Old High German: -on
    • German: -en (merged with all other verbs)
  • Old Norse: -a
    • Icelandic: -a
    • Faroese: -a
    • Norwegian:
      • Bokmål: -e
      • Nynorsk: -a
    • Swedish: -a
    • Danish: -e
  • Gothic: -𐍉𐌽 (-ōn)