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This Proto-Indo-European entry contains reconstructed terms and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.



The word is either a nominalization of an unattested adjective *h₂r̥tḱós (destroying) or a derivative of *h₂rétḱ-os ~ *h₂rétḱ-es- (destruction) (cf. Avestan 𐬭𐬀𐬱𐬀𐬵(rašah), Sanskrit रक्षस् (rákṣas)).

In late PIE (i.e. post-Anatolian period), the word metathesized into *h₂ŕ̥ḱtos which phonetically surfaced as *h₂ŕ̥ḱþos following the rule that when dental and velar occlusives appear syllable-initially, they metathesize tkkt and turn into a thorn cluster denoted ḱþ. See Wikipedia for a discussion of these clusters' makeup.


*h₂ŕ̥tḱos m

  1. bear


nominative *h₂ŕ̥tḱos
genitive *h₂ŕ̥tḱosyo
singular dual plural
nominative *h₂ŕ̥tḱos *h₂ŕ̥tḱoh₁ *h₂ŕ̥tḱoes
vocative *h₂ŕ̥tḱe *h₂ŕ̥tḱoh₁ *h₂ŕ̥tḱoes
accusative *h₂ŕ̥tḱom *h₂ŕ̥tḱoh₁ *h₂ŕ̥tḱoms
genitive *h₂ŕ̥tḱosyo *? *h₂ŕ̥tḱoHom
ablative *h₂ŕ̥tḱead *? *h₂ŕ̥tḱomos
dative *h₂ŕ̥tḱoey *? *h₂ŕ̥tḱomos
locative *h₂ŕ̥tḱey, *h₂ŕ̥tḱoy *? *h₂ŕ̥tḱoysu
instrumental *h₂ŕ̥tḱoh₁ *? *h₂ŕ̥tḱōys


  • Proto-Albanian: *artsa
    • Old Albanian: ar (< shortening of *arth, where -th was mistaken for a diminutive suffix)
      • Albanian: ari (< back-formation from arinj (pl.), inherited plural of OAlb ar), arushë (feminine)
  • Proto-Anatolian: *Hŕ̥tḱos[1] (see there for further descendants)
  • Armenian:
  • Proto-Balto-Slavic: *irśtwā́ˀ (< *h₂r̥tḱ-wéh₂)
  • Proto-Celtic: *artos (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Hellenic: *árktos
    • Ancient Greek: ἄρκτος (árktos) (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Indo-Iranian: *Hŕ̥ćšas (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Italic: *orssos
    • Latin: ursus (see there for further descendants)


  1. ^ Kloekhorst, Alwin (2008), “ḫartakka-”, in Etymological Dictionary of the Hittite Inherited Lexicon (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 5), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 369