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



From Proto-Indo-European *suHnús.

Reconstruction notesEdit

According to the Moscow accentological school, there is often a fluctuation between fixed accent and mobile accent in names with -us. The word sūnùs, now stress pattern (3), in the monuments has a mixed accent, which arose, obviously, from different case wordforms, in part of which there were conditions for Hirt’s law. As a result, the victory was won by those wordforms in which Hirt’s law was not present, thereby leveling an extremely complex accent curve and thus distributing it according to more ancient paradigms. Adjectives also seem to have a similar distribution, cf. véikus (1) ~ veikùs (3). Also see Jay Jasanoff other explanation in “references”. However, from the point of view of the first explanation, it would be necessary to reject Jasanoff’s explanation that there is an stress pattern (1) in the Old Lithuanian. For according to Illich-Svitych’s materials there is a mixed accent, cf. gen. sg. sunaús ~ nom. sg. súnus, instr. sg. súnum. Apparently, this is due to the fact that Hirt’s law is postulated as a one-time law that occurred in all wordforms of the paradigm.

It is also necessary to pay attention to the different accent in the dative plural of Daukša sunúmus (1599) and in the Bible súnums (1755).


*sū́ˀnus m[1][2][3][4]

  1. son


Declension of *sū́ˀnus (u-stem, fixed accent)
Singular Dual Plural
Nominative *sū́ˀnus *sū́ˀnūˀ *sū́ˀnawes
Accusative *sū́ˀnun *sū́ˀnūˀ *sū́ˀnū(ˀ)ns
Genitive *sū́ˀnaus *sū́ˀnawau *sū́ˀnawōn
Locative *sū́ˀnēuˀ *sū́ˀnawau *sū́ˀnušu
Dative *sū́ˀnawei *sū́ˀnumā(ˀ) *sū́ˀnumas
Instrumental *sū́ˀnūˀ (early forms) *sū́ˀnumāˀ *sū́ˀnumīˀs
Vocative *sū́ˀnau *sū́ˀnūˀ *sū́ˀnawes

Alternative reconstructionsEdit


  • East Baltic:
    • Old Lithuanian: súnus
  • West Baltic:
  • Proto-Slavic: *sy̑nъ (see there for further descendants)


  1. ^ Kim, Ronald (2018), “The Phonology of Balto-Slavic”, in Jared S. Klein, Brian Joseph, and Matthias Fritz, editors, Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An International Handbook of Language Comparison and the Reconstruction of Indo-European[1], Berlin: de Gruyter
  2. ^ Derksen, Rick (2008), “*sy̑nъ”, in Etymological Dictionary of the Slavic Inherited Lexicon (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 4), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 483: “*súʔnus (?)”
  3. ^ Derksen, Rick (2015), “sūnus”, in Etymological Dictionary of the Baltic Inherited Lexicon (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 13), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 435: “*súʔnus”
  4. ^ Nikolajev, S. L. (2012), “Vostočnoslavjanskije refleksy akcentnoj paradigmy d i indojevropejskije sootvetstvija slavjanskim akcentnym tipam suščestvitelʹnyx mužskovo roda s o- i u-osnovami*”, in Karpato-balkanskij dialektnyj landšaft: Jazyk i kulʹtura[2] (in Russian), volume 2, Moscow: Institute for Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, page 40: “*sū́nus”
  5. ^ Jasanoff, Jay (2017) The Prehistory of the Balto-Slavic Accent (Brill's Studies in Indo-European Languages & Linguistics; 17), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, pages 106-107:
    *sū᷅nu- ~ *sūnu̍- [...] Old Lithuanian also has an immobile variant sū́nus (1), which some scholars have taken to be older than sūnùs (so Hock et al. 2015: 991–2, Derksen 2015: 435). Given the consistent mobility of the word in modern Lithuanian and Slavic, however, I consider it likelier that OLith. sū́nus is secondary, with analogical immobility from the semantically related kinship terms díeveris, brólis, and žéntas ‘son-in-law’.
  6. ^ Oslon, Mikhail V. (2017), “[Review of] Jasanoff Jay H. Prehistory of Balto-Slavic Accent”, in Вопросы языкового родства / Journal of Language Relationship[3] (in English), volume 15, Moscow: Institute of linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian State University for the Humanities and Gorgias Press, pages 301-311: “Hirt’s Law.”