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.

Proto-Indo-European Edit

Etymology Edit

Usually explained as a derivation from the words for "fist" and "finger":

Ultimately all of these forms may go back to a verbal stem *penkʷ- (to take in hand, to handle), though such a verb is not attested in any of the daughter languages. In contrast, Blažek (1999: 229) argues that the meanings "fist”, etc. are primary.[1] A relation to *ponkʷ-to- (all, whole) has also been suggested, possibly seen in Latin cūnctus and Hittite 𒉺𒀭𒆪𒍑 (pa-an-ku-uš, family), thus *pénkʷe meaning "the whole (hand)".[2]

Pronunciation Edit

  • (Sihler 1995): IPA(key): /ˈpen.kʷe/, [ˈpeŋ⁽ʷ⁾.kʷe][2]

Numeral Edit

Proto-Indo-European cardinal numbers
 <  4 5 6  > 
    Cardinal : *pénkʷe
    Ordinal : *penkʷetós[3]


  1. five

Declension Edit


Descendants Edit

  • Proto-Albanian: *penče (see there for further descendants)
  • Anatolian:
  • Armenian:
  • Proto-Balto-Slavic: *pénkti
    • East Baltic:
    • West Baltic:
    • Proto-Slavic: *pętь (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Celtic: *kʷenkʷe (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Germanic: *fimf (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Hellenic: *pénkʷe (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Indo-Iranian: *pánča (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Italic: *kʷenkʷe (see there for further descendants)
  • Messapic: [script needed] (penka-)
  • Phrygian: πινκε (pinke)
  • Proto-Tocharian: *p'ä́ñćä[4] (see there for further descendants)

References Edit

  1. ^ Franklin E. Horowitz (1992). “On the Proto-Indo-European etymon for ‘hand’.” WORD―Journal of the International Linguistic Association, 43(3), 411-419.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sihler, Andrew L. (1995) New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, →ISBN
  3. ^ Fortson, Benjamin W. (2004, 2010) Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, Oxford: Blackwell
  4. ^ Adams, Douglas Q. (2013), “piś”, in A Dictionary of Tocharian B: Revised and Greatly Enlarged (Leiden Studies in Indo-European; 10), Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi, →ISBN, pages 415-416
  • Blažek, Václav (1999) Numerals: comparative-etymological analyses of numeral systems and their implications (Opera Universitatis Masarykianae Brunensis, Facultas philosophica; 322)‎[1], Brno: Masarykova Univerzita