2021. № 4 (30), 45-48

V. V. Vinogradov Russian Language Institute RAS


The origin of Proto-Slavic *rǫka ‘hand’ is a special case: its derivation from Indo-European *er- ‘turn’ > *renk- ‘bend’ and its relationship with Lithianian riñkti / reñka ‘collect’ and rankà ‘hand’ are undoubted, but there is no consensus as to the exact nature of relation between Slavic and Baltic words: whether both are direct continuations of a common Balto-Slavic *rankā, or Slavic *rǫka is a Baltic loanword. The latter is commonly argued on account of the fact that Lit. riñkti / reñka has no known Slavic verbal cognates.  Russian dialectal verbs Novgor. порякнуть ‘understand’, упорякнуть Novgor. ‘understand’, Volkhov., Ilmen. ‘turn’ impel to renew the discussion concerning Proto-Slavic *rǫka. These verbs may be interpreted as prefixal/suffixal derivatives of Proto-Slavic *rękti and the latter as genetically identical to Lith. riñkti / reñka. Thus a reconstruction of a Balto-Slavic verbal stem *reñk- becomes possible, which would mean that Proto- Slav.*rǫka indeed goes back to a common Balto-Slavic*rañkā.