Open main menu


This Proto-Indo-European 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.




There are two PIE reconstructions that can be obtained using the comparative method:

  • *dʰugh₂ter- on the basis of: PIIr. *dʰugHtar- (Sanskrit duhitár-, PIr. *dʰugʰtar- > *dʰugdʰar- > *dugdar- > Gathic Avestan dugədar-), Ancient Greek θυγάτηρ-, Tocharian A ckācer, Tocharian B tkācer
  • *dʰukter- on the basis of: Iranian *duxθrī (> Old Persian *duhçī) and *duxtar- (> New Persian duxtar) due to the absence of Bartholomae’s Law, possibly Gaulish duxtir, Gothic dáuhtar, Oscan fu-utreí (dative singular), Armenian dustr, Hieroglyphic Luwian t(u)watra/i-, Lycian kbatra-, Slavic *dъkti > *dъťi, Lithuanian duktė̃

The latter form is secondary, occurring due to the deletion of the medial laryngeal in the sequence CHCC in the oblique stem, which was paradigmatically leveled in the daughters. E.g. genitive singular *dʰugh₂tr̥és > *dʰuktr̥és. The CHCC > CCC change was a synchronic PIE phonological rule.

According to Kloekhorst, hieroglyphic Luwian tu(w)atra/i- and Lycian kbatra- reflect Proto-Luwic *duetr-, further reflecting Proto-Anatolian *duegtr- < PIE full-grade stem *dʰwegh₂ter-. The original inflection was thus hysterodynamic bandi-type as described by Beekes (1995: 175): *CéC-R, *CC-éR-m, *CC-R-ós:

  • Nominative singular: *dʰwégh₂-tr̥
  • Accusative singular: *dʰugh₂-tér-m
  • Genitive singular: *dʰugh₂-tr-ós

After the split of Anatolian branch from Proto-Indo-European, the other Indo-European languages underwent a common innovation, replacing the nominative stem *dʰwégh₂tr̥ by the accusative stem in the zero-grade *dʰúgh₂tēr which however retained the original accentuation and which further underlies the attested Greek forms *θύγατηρ (Homeric θύγατρα (thúgatra)) > θυγάτηρ (thugátēr) (θυγατέρα, θυγατρός). In the other Indo-European languages the accentuation of the accusative was later on transferred to the nominative form, yielding the oxytonic paradigm listed in the declension table, as retained in Sanskrit (duhitā́, duhitáram, duhitúḥ) and Lithuanian (duktė̃, dùkterį, dukterès).


The original meaning is probably "the (potential) suckler, the one that draws milk"; compare Sanskrit दुहे (duhé) / दुग्धे (dugdhe), and the *-tḗr suffix common to other r-stem kinship terms.


*dʰugh₂tḗr f (oblique stem *dʰugtr̥-)

  1. daughter


Athematic, hysterokinetic
nominative *dʰugh₂tḗr
genitive *dʰugh₂trés
singular dual plural
nominative *dʰugh₂tḗr *dʰugh₂térh₁(e) *dʰugh₂téres
vocative *dʰugh₂tér *dʰugh₂térh₁(e) *dʰugh₂téres
accusative *dʰugh₂térm̥ *dʰugh₂térh₁(e) *dʰugh₂térm̥s
genitive *dʰugh₂trés *? *dʰugh₂tróHom
ablative *dʰugh₂trés *? *dʰugh₂tr̥mós
dative *dʰugh₂tréy *? *dʰugh₂tr̥mós
locative *dʰugh₂tér, *dʰugh₂téri *? *dʰugh₂tr̥sú
instrumental *dʰugh₂tréh₁ *? *dʰugh₂tr̥bʰí




  • Hackstein, Olav (2002), Uridg. CH.CC > C.CC. Historische Sprachforschung 115.1–22.
  • Schmidt, Gernot (1973), Die iranischen Wörter für “Tochter” und “Vater” und die Reflexe des interkonsonantischen H (ə) in den idg. Sprachen. Kuhns’ Zeitschrift 87.36–83.
  • Kloekhorst A. (2011), The accentuation of the PIE word for ‘daughter’. In: Pronk T., Derksen R. (Eds.) Accent Matters. Papers on Balto-Slavic Accentology. 235-243.
  • Beekes, R.S.P. (1995), Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An Introduction. Benjamins
  1. ^ [1], "بیدخت" in Dehkhoda Dictionary.