At least the following sets of endings existed:
The primary vs. secondary endings are used in different categories, with primary (or "non-past") endings appearing in the present indicative and throughout the subjunctive, while the secondary (or "past") endings appear in the imperfect indicative, the aorist indicative, and in some or all optative categories. The perfect indicative had its own endings; likewise, the imperative. Note that, from a diachronic standpoint, the secondary endings are actually the more basic ones, while the primary endings were formed from them by adding a suffix, originally -i in the active and -r in the mediopassive (although the more central subfamilies have innovated by extending -i to the mediopassive as well).
The athematic (mi) endings are added directly to the stem, while the thematic (ō) endings use a "thematic vowel" o or e before the endings. Whether thematic or athematic endings are used is a property of a given verb conjugational class. The athematic endings appear to be older, and ablaut within a given paradigm (usually between active singular and all other forms) generally occurs only in athematic classes. The clear tendency in the daughter languages is to extend the thematic endings at the expense of the athematic ones, likely because of the complications resulting from the consonant clusters formed when the mostly consonant-initial endings are added directly onto the mostly consonant-final stems. Traditional accounts say first-person singular is the only form where the endings differed, except for the presence or absence of the thematic vowel. Newer accounts by Sihler (1995) and Fortson (2004) are similar, with the proto-forms modernized using laryngeal notation. Sihler, however, notes that many of the most archaic languages have third-person singular forms missing a t and proposes an alternative t-less thematic ending along with the standard ending. Greek and Balto-Slavic have t-less forms in thematic actives, whereas Vedic and Hittite have t-less athematic middle forms. Beekes (1995), uses the t-less forms as the starting point for a radical rethinking of the thematic endings, based primarily on Greek and Lithuanian. These proposals are still controversial, however.
|Buck (1933)||Sihler (1995)||Fortson (2004)||Beekes (1995)|
A third conjugation has been proposed in Jay Jasanoff's h₂e-conjugation theory.
Read more about this topic: Proto-Indo-European Verbs
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