We can: ступня. But we don't have to. Ступня is a part of нога.If you are seeing the doctor and using the word нога, which means "leg/foot", how would you be clear the pain was in the your foot and not your leg? Would you say something like "the lower part of нога"?
To my surprise, the foot is actually smaller than I expected ,-) It more or less corresponds then to the abovementioned Baltic pėda/pēda, but in Baltic, like in Slavic, this part is not used in a general sense: for example on one's legs will be на своих ногах in Russian and ant savo kojų in Lithuanian, but to stand on feet also corresponds to стоять на ногах in Russian and stovėti ant kojų in Lithuanian.
That's true, and in Lithuanian naga still means "hoof".Well, as was previously discussed in this forum (http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1071663) noga is related to the English word "nail"!!!! (as in "toe-nail")
If there is a common well-known name for that part of leg - we would use it. Otherwise - yes, we would have to describe it somehow...If you are seeing the doctor and using the word нога, which means "leg/foot", how would you be clear the pain was in the your foot and not your leg? Would you say something like "the lower part of нога"?
That's not a problem, I believe. "Доктор, у меня ступня болит", or, if you want to specify it's not "подошва", "у меня верхняя часть ступни болит". The word ступня, unlike стопа, is a conversational word, not a special designation for a well-defined part of the foot, and as such it is a very close equivalent for the word 'foot'. […]Otherwise - yes, we would have to describe it somehow...
Well, in English the foot is not only a separate part of the body, but also a part of the leg, as the Wikipedia article for the human leg I was pointed to by a PM explicitly writes. Somehow, the two conceptions do not contradict each other and coexist.The difference is in the status: in Germanic, the foot is a separate part of the body, whereas in Balto-Slavic it is an optional part of the leg.
Yes:BTW, can anyone confirm if "стопа" is of the same Indo-European root as the English "step"? I guess it is.
I think it is neither illogical nor redundant, though it makes no difference for all external logic. It helps locate ступни as we're talking of them; that's probably an illustration of ahvalj's point in #14.Sometimes, you can also hear the expression "ступни ног". Although it is logically redundant, it is quite acceptable.