Reconstruction:Proto-Sino-Tibetan/lak ~ C-jak
- Proto-Sino-Tibetan: *lək (Coblin, 1986)
- Proto-Tibeto-Burman: *lak ~ C-jak (Matisoff, STEDT); *lak (Benedict, 1972; Coblin, 1986; Michailovsky, 1991); *g-lɑk (Chou, 1972); *g-lak ~ lak (Weidert, 1987)
This root is widely attested in Sino-Tibetan languages, and exhibits considerable morphophonemic and lexemical variation. The basic form of the root seems to be *lak, and in some languages the initial has changed into a yod *jak, which may further fricatise into z- or ʑ-. To the yodated form can various prefixes be added.
With *d- this prefixation gives *d-jak, another common allofam, which can undergo affricatisation to yield dʑ- or prefix preemption to yield *dak. Note that *dak may as well result from delateralisation of *l-, presumably through an intermediate stage *ʎ- < *lj-. Some languages show forms which seem to have arisen from *ld-, either through reprefixation *lə- on *d- prefixed allofams or metathesis of the *d- prefixed allofam *ld- < *d-l-.
With *g- prefixation gives *g-jak, with secondary meanings such as "cubit, armpit".
With *p- prefixation gives *p-jak, represented mainly by Written Tibetan ཕྱག (phyag, "hand (honorific)").
The following allofams are listed in STEDT:
- 1 #377 *lak ⪤ C-jak ("arm, hand, wing")
- 1a #695 *lak ("hand, limb")
- 1b #696 *jak ("arm, hand, armpit, tickle")
- 1c #699 *d-jak ("hand, arm, leaf")
- 1d #700 *dak ("arm, hand")
- 1e #702 *g-jak ("arm, hand, cubit")
- 1f #705 *p-jak ("arm")
- 1g #350 *la ("leg, foot")
- 1h #375 *ja ("leg, foot")
- 1i #888 *d-ja OR g-ja ("foot")
The Chinese word for "hand" 手 is unrelated.
*lak ~ C-jak
- Old Chinese:
- 翼 (*ɢrək < **ɢrəp (Baxter-Sagart); *lɯɡ (Zhengzhang Shangfang), “wing; to support with hand; to help”)
- 亦, 腋 (*m-qak (Baxter-Sagart); *laːɡ (Zhengzhang Shangfang), “armpit”)
- 掖 (*laːɡ (Zhengzhang Shangfang), “to support somebody with hand; armpit”)
- 胳 (*klaːɡ (Zhengzhang Shangfang), “armpit”)
- 袼 (*klaːɡ (Zhengzhang Shangfang), “sleeve suture”)
- Middle Chinese: 翼 (jɨk); 亦, 腋, 掖 (jiᴇk); 胳, 袼 (kɑk)