Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben

Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben

LIV, 2nd edition
Author Helmut Rix, Martin Kümmel et al.
Country Germany
Language German
Subject Proto-Indo-European verb
Publisher Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag
Publication date
1998, 2001
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 754 (1st edition),
823 (2nd edition)
ISBN 3-89500-219-4
OCLC 47295102
415/.03 21
LC Class P572 .L58 2001

The Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben (LIV, "Lexicon of the Indo-European Verbs") is an etymological dictionary of the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) verb. The first edition appeared in 1998, edited by Helmut Rix. A second edition followed in 2001. The book may be seen as an update to the verb entries of the Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (IEW) by Julius Pokorny. It was the first dictionary fully utilizing the modern three-laryngeal theory with reconstructions of Indo-European verbal roots.

The LIV's hypothesis about aspect

The authors of the LIV assume a dichotomy between telic verbs (terminated: for example, *leh₂p- 'to light up') and atelic verbs (ongoing: for example, *bʰeh₂- 'to shine') in early stages of Proto-Indo-European. Before the daughter languages split off, aspect emerged as a new grammatical category.

Telic verbs were interpreted as aorist forms, and the missing present was formed with various suffixes (for example, *leh₂p-: *l̥h₂p-sḱé-) and the nasal infix (*l̥h₂--p-), all of which are supposed to come from old grammatical forms of uncertain meaning.

Atelic verbs were interpreted as present forms, and the missing aorist was formed with the suffix -s-, yielding the sigmatic aorist.

This hypothesis is used to explain various phenomena:

In addition to the present and the aorist, the following aspects are assumed:


The lexical part contains for each verbal root


The book includes

Reception and criticism

See also

Other PIE dictionaries and grammars


  1. Presupposed by Proto-Celtic *loskī-, a secondarily formed causative reconstructed on the basis of Old Irish loscaid and Middle Welsh llosci 'to burn'
  2. Elmar Seebold, “‘LIV’, Lexicon of Indo-European verbs. Roots and their primary stems”, Indogermanische Forschungen 104 (1999): 287–295.
  3. Rix, Helmut. Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben (2 ed.). p. 34.
  4. Rix, Helmut. Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben (2 ed.). p. 35.
  5. Meier-Brügger, Michael. Indogermanische Sprachwissenschaft (7 ed.). p. F103.
  6. Fortson, BW (2004). Indo-European Language and Culture. Blackwell. p. 99.
  7. Ringe, Don (2006). From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-955229-0.
Look up Appendix:List of Proto-Indo-European roots in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
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