1.0 The Body > 1.5 Limbs, Joints, and Body Measures > 1.5.1 Hand, Arm, Wing

#702 PTB *g-yak ARM / HAND / CUBIT

This allofam with velar prefix has been specialized semantically into the areas of armpits/tickling and cubits. Of particular interest is the triplet in WB below, reflecting three separate allofams of our etymon: the naked root in lak‑kăli, the variant with dental prefix (written tshak‑kăli in the transcription of STC but better interpreted as chak‑kăli), and the present variant with velar prefix (gyak‑kăli).

The Lahu form with voiced initial, jâʔ, points to a variant with a nasal prefix, perhaps at the Proto-Loloish level.

There is a separate root ‘right hand’, reconstructed as *g‑ya ⪤ *g‑ra in STC #98.

There is still another resemblant root *g‑ya TICKLE (STC #51) underlying WT gya‑ba ‘tickle, itch’, Jingpho kəyá ‘id.’, WB b ‘itch’.

19953702174(g-)yɑk|armpit*Tibeto-Burman20.1Tibeto-Burman (previously published reconstructions)0Chou 72ACST800m0
5161247022012g-yak|armpit / tickle / cubit*Tibeto-Burman20.1Tibeto-Burman (previously published reconstructions)0Matisoff 03 HPTBJAM-HPTB6190
144924702,m,m581jak-git-okwristGaro (Bangladesh)811.7.1.2Garo1Burling 92 GaBaRB-GB 1
466457702,m,m1945jak-git-okwristnGaro (Bangladesh)811.7.1.2Garo1Burling 03 GaroRB-LMMG6.235-II:idx0
144939702,m581jak-tongforearm, lower part of forearm, wristGaro (Bangladesh)811.7.1.2Garo1Burling 92 GaBaRB-GB0
473562702,m,m1973chak◦gy◦dokwristnAtong821.7.1.3Koch1van Breugel 08 AtongSVB-GA0
78201702,m1632cak diŋwristWancho851.7.2.2Konyak-Chang1French 83WTF-PNN5250
171602702,m,702,m1628chak◦lo, chak◦dingwristWancho851.7.2.2Konyak-Chang1Marrison 67 NagaGEM-CNL0
167841702146Nkyakcubit (elbow to fingertips)*Lolo-Burmese426.1Lolo-Burmese1Matisoff 72 LTSRJAM-TSR100(a)0
5161227022011ʔ-|gyakᴴcubit*Lolo-Burmese426.1Lolo-Burmese1Matisoff 03 HPTBJAM-HPTB6190
303349702149ʔgyakcubit*Lolo-Burmese426.1Lolo-Burmese1Benedict 72 STCSTC34n1090
34200702146ʔkyakcubit (elbow to fingertips)(HIGH)*Lolo-Burmese426.1Lolo-Burmese1Matisoff 72 LTSRJAM-TSR100(b)0
167842702146ʔkyakcubit (elbow to fingertips)*Lolo-Burmese426.1Lolo-Burmese1Matisoff 72 LTSRJAM-TSR100(b)0
437209702,1289406gyak-ka-|liʼarmpit, tickleBurmese (Written)446.1.1Burmish1Benedict 76 WBurPKB-WBRD0
145936702,1289,699,1289,695,1289409gyak-kăliʼ ⪤ tshak-kăliʼ ⪤ lak-kăliʼarmpitBurmese (Written)446.1.1Burmish1Benedict 72 STCSTC2650
33440702839jâʔcubit (elbow to fingertips)Lahu (Black)476.1.2.2Central Loloish1Matisoff 72 LTSRJAM-TSR100(a)0
1151945450,702832ɔ̀-jâʔcubitLahu (Black)476.1.2.2Central Loloish1Matisoff 87 BPJAM-Ety0
334415450,702839ɔ̀-jâʔcubit (elbow to fingertips)Lahu (Black)476.1.2.2Central Loloish1Matisoff 72 LTSRJAM-TSR100(a)0
33443702930cha³length of outstretched fingersLisu476.1.2.2Central Loloish1Matisoff 72 LTSRJAM-TSR100(b)0
334447021368ca 44|cubit (elbow to fingertips)Sani [Nyi]476.1.2.2Central Loloish1Matisoff 72 LTSRJAM-TSR100(b)0
33442702234ca HS|cubit (elbow to fingertips)Akha486.1.2.3Southern Loloish1Matisoff 72 LTSRJAM-TSR100(b)0
80932p,702309a³¹ tɕa̱⁴²cubit (elbow to fingers)Bai (Jianchuan)518Bai1Zhao 90ZYS-Bai13.30
80931702309tɕa̱⁴²cubit (elbow to fingers)Bai (Jianchuan)518Bai1Zhao 90ZYS-Bai13.30
20522702480di̯ək/i̯əkwingChinese (Old/Mid)539.0.1Old Chinese0Chou 72ACST954d0
328952702481gi̯ək/i̯əkwingChinese (Old/Mid)539.0.1Old Chinese0Karlgren 57 GSRGSR954d0
76479702468jiəkwingChinese (Middle)549.0.2Middle Chinese0Coblin 86WSC-SH370

Chinese comparandum

翼 OC *gi̯ək, GSR #954d ‘wing’; Li 1971: (*rək); Baxter 1992 #469: *ljɨk; B & S 2011: *ɢrəp (with dialectal change to ‑k)2; Schuessler 2007:570; Mand. .

趩 OC *tʼi̯ək, GSR #954g ‘sound of marching’; Li 1971: (*thrjək); Baxter 1992: (*hlrjɨk); B & S 2011: --; Schuessler 2007:--; Mand. chì.

腳/脚 OC *ki̯ɑk, GSR #776g-h ‘leg, foot’; Li 1971: (*kjak); Baxter 1992: (*kjak); B & S 2011: *s.kak, [k]ak; Schuessler 2007:309; Mand. jiǎo.

匊/掬 OC *ki̯ôk, GSR #1017a,c ‘both hands joined; grasp with both hands; double-handful’; Li 1971: (*kjəkw); Baxter 1992:770: *k(r)juk; B & S 2011: (*k(r)uk); Schuessler 2007:--; Mand. .

JAM: GSR reconstructs this morpheme (翼), Mand. with initial *gi̯‑, but STC prefers *di̯‑, since the phonetic series (GSR #954) also contains 趩 *t’i̯ək/t̂’i̯ək, Mand. chì ‘sound of marching’. Baxter’s (2011) reconstruction *ɢrəp reverts to the interpretation with velar (actually postvelar) onset.

Benedict (p.c.) later agreed with the GSR reconstruction, assuming that it is underlain by an earlier *gli̯ək. He then derived the allofam in *t’‑ from an alternant with prefixal *s‑, i.e. *ski̯ək, but this is not very convincing.

Yang 1980 suggests further Chinese comparanda: 腳/脚 OC *ki̯ɑk ‘leg, foot’, GSR #776g, Mand. jiǎo; and 匊/掬 OC *ki̯ôk ‘both hands joined; grasp with both hands; double-handful’, GSR #1017a-c, Mand. .

ZJH: Of these four Chinese comparanda, only the first, 翼 ‘wing’, is defensible, although the more likely PTB comparandum is *(g‑)lak (Handel 2009:133-5). Both 趩 chì and 匊/掬 are impossible as they are not close in terms of sound correspondences; 腳/脚 jiǎo ‘foot’ is conceivable if we assume prefix-preemption of PST *g‑yak on the Chinese side, but the semantic shift makes this comparison speculative at best.

^ 1.
[Source note] (lit: arm-neck).
^ 2.
See explanation for coda *‑p in discussion of #699 PTB *d‑yak HAND / ARM / LEAF.