This Proto-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.



Compounded from the original athematic suffix *-tel- (still preserved in *dętelъ, *dętьlъ (woodpecker) and *dętelъ (clover)) and *-jь. Traces of the original consonantal-stem inflection are well preserved in plural forms, such as the Old Church Slavonic nominative plural (-e) / -ⰵ (-e), but genitive plural () / -ⱏ ()).

*-tel- formant probably continues Proto-Indo-European *-ter-, most likely as a result of dissimilation in words such as *orteľь (plower) < *or-tel- < *or-ter-. The alternation l : r could also be inherited, because it is already found in Proto-Indo-European, not only in common words, but also in other suffixes, such as *-tlom : *-trom, *-dʰlom : *-dʰrom, which form nomina instrumenti.

Compare *-dlo.


*-teľь m

  1. Deverbative, forms agent nouns from the infinitive/aorist stem. Equivalent to English -er.
    *dati (to give)*dateľь (donor, giver)
    *žęti*žęteľь (harvester, cropper)
    *bľusti (to be awake; watch)*bľusteľь (guard, guardian, sentry)
    *prositi (to ask; beg)*prositeľь (beggar)
    *dělati (to do)*dělateľь (worker)
    *prijati (to favor, please; be favorable)*prijateľь (friend)


Derived termsEdit



  • East Slavic:
    • Old East Slavic: -тєль (-telĭ)
  • South Slavic:
  • West Slavic:


  • Šekli, Matej (2012) , “Besedotvorni pomeni samostalniških izpeljank v praslovanščini”, in Philological Studies[1] (in Slovene), volume 10, issue 1, Skopje, Perm, Ljubljana, Zagreb, pages 115–32
  • Halla-aho, Jussi (2006) Problems of Proto-Slavic Historical Nominal Morphology: On the Basis of Old Church Slavic (Slavica Helsingiensia; 26)‎[2], Helsinki: University of Helsinki, page 28ff
  • Sławski, Franciszek, editor (1976) Słownik prasłowiański (in Polish), volume II, Wrocław: Polska Akademia Nauk, page 50ff