I need help reconstructing the Old Novgorodian words for "earth", "hand", "bee" and "bird nest". I'm not good at linguistics at all and don't really understand all of the sound changes, but Wikipedia lists all of the sound changes between proto-Slavic and Old Novgorodian. So the words in proto-Slavic were: *zemľa, *rǫka, *bьčela and *gnězdo. The sound changes that occured are all listed here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Novgorod_dialect#Linguistic_features

Thanks in advance!

1 Answer 1


The best reference on Old Novgorod is Andrey Zaliznyak's 2004 monograph, Древненовгородский диалект (Drevnenovgorodskij dialekt, 2nd ed.), freely available online https://inslav.ru/publication/zaliznyak-drevnenovgorodskiy-dialekt-2-e-izd-m-2004 (this is the official website of the Institute of Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences)

There’s an index at the end of the book, where I was able to find the following entries:

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  • Thanks a lot! Did Novgorodian have stresses like Russian does? Would it be ruka or ruká when pronounced? Commented Jan 16, 2021 at 14:33
  • 4
    @MMastro1610 - I wouldn't jump to conclusions that fast, even in Modern Russian which is presumably “dialectically uniform” you can find both ру́ку and руку́ as the Accusative case form of рука́ “hand”. We simply don't know anything about the Novgorodian stress.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Jan 16, 2021 at 19:41
  • 1
    do you know if there is a translation of this work? I would be interested in it, but sadly can't read Russian
    – Tristan
    Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 11:46

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