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Verner's Law
Verner's law describes a historical sound change in the Proto-Germanic language whereby consonants that would usually have been the voiceless fricatives , , , , , following an unstressed syllable, became the voiced fricatives , , , , . The law was formulated by Karl Verner, and first published in 1877. Problem A seminal insight into how the Germanic languages diverged from their Indo-European ancestor had been established in the early nineteenth century, and had been formulated as Grimm's law. Amongst other things, Grimm's law described how the Proto-Indo-European voiceless stops ', ', ', and regularly changed into Proto-Germanic ( bilabial fricative ), (dental fricative ), (velar fricative ), and (velar fricative ). However, there appeared to be a large set of words in which the agreement of Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, Baltic, Slavic etc. guaranteed Proto-Indo-European ', ' or ', and yet the Germanic reflex was not the expected, unvoiced fricatives , , , but rather ...
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Sound Change
A sound change, in historical linguistics, is a change in the pronunciation of a language. A sound change can involve the replacement of one speech sound (or, more generally, one phonetic feature value) by a different one (called phonetic change) or a more general change to the speech sounds that exist ( phonological change), such as the merger of two sounds or the creation of a new sound. A sound change can eliminate the affected sound, or a new sound can be added. Sound changes can be environmentally conditioned if the change occurs in only some sound environments, and not others. The term "sound change" refers to diachronic changes, which occur in a language's sound system. On the other hand, " alternation" refers to changes that happen synchronically (within the language of an individual speaker, depending on the neighbouring sounds) and do not change the language's underlying system (for example, the ''-s'' in the English plural can be pronounced differently depending ...
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Macron (diacritic)
A macron () is a diacritical mark: it is a straight bar placed above a letter, usually a vowel. Its name derives from Ancient Greek (''makrón'') "long", since it was originally used to mark long or heavy syllables in Greco-Roman metrics. It now more often marks a long vowel. In the International Phonetic Alphabet, the macron is used to indicate a mid-tone; the sign for a long vowel is instead a modified triangular colon . The opposite is the breve , which marks a short or light syllable or a short vowel. Uses Syllable weight In Greco-Roman metrics and in the description of the metrics of other literatures, the macron was introduced and is still widely used in dictionaries and educational materials to mark a long (heavy) syllable. Even relatively recent classical Greek and Latin dictionaries are still concerned with indicating only the length (weight) of syllables; that is why most still do not indicate the length of vowels in syllables that are otherwise metrically d ...
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Old English Language
Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages. It was brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers in the mid-5th century, and the first Old English literary works date from the mid-7th century. After the Norman conquest of 1066, English was replaced, for a time, by Anglo-Norman (a relative of French) as the language of the upper classes. This is regarded as marking the end of the Old English era, since during this period the English language was heavily influenced by Anglo-Norman, developing into a phase known now as Middle English in England and Early Scots in Scotland. Old English developed from a set of Anglo-Frisian or Ingvaeonic dialects originally spoken by Germanic tribes traditionally known as the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. As the Germanic settlers became dominant in England, their language replaced the languages of Roman Britain: Common Brit ...
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Grammatischer Wechsel
In historical linguistics, the German term ' ("grammatical alternation") refers to the effects of Verner's law when they are viewed synchronically within the paradigm of a Germanic verb. Overview According to Grimm's law, the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) voiceless stops *p, *t, *k and *kʷ usually became Proto-Germanic *f, *θ (dental fricative), *x and *xʷ (velar fricative). Karl Verner identified the principle that these instead become the voiced consonants *b, *d, *g, *gʷ if they were word-internal and immediately preceded by an unaccented vowel in PIE. Furthermore, PIE *s, which usually came into Germanic unchanged, became *z in this position; Proto-Germanic *z later became North- and West Germanic *r. Consequently, five pairs of consonants emerged, each pair representing a single PIE phoneme. The following table shows the precise developments from Proto-Indo-European through Proto-Germanic to Old Norse, West Germanic, Old English, Old High German and Middle Dutch. It is main ...
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Frisian Languages
The Frisian (, ) languages are a closely related group of West Germanic languages, spoken by about 500,000 Frisian people, who live on the southern fringes of the North Sea in the Netherlands and Germany. The Frisian languages are the closest living language group to the Anglic languages; the two groups make up the Anglo-Frisian languages group and together with the Low German dialects these form the North Sea Germanic languages. However, modern English and Frisian are not mutually intelligible, nor are Frisian languages intelligible among themselves, owing to independent linguistic innovations and foreign influences. There are three different Frisian branches, which are usually called the Frisian languages, despite the fact that their so-called dialects are often not mutually intelligible even within these branches. These branches are: West Frisian, which is by far the most spoken of the three and is an official language in the Dutch province of Friesland, where it is spoke ...
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English Language
English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, with its earliest forms spoken by the inhabitants of early medieval England. It is named after the Angles, one of the ancient Germanic peoples that migrated to the island of Great Britain. Existing on a dialect continuum with Scots, and then closest related to the Low Saxon and Frisian languages, English is genealogically West Germanic. However, its vocabulary is also distinctively influenced by dialects of France (about 29% of Modern English words) and Latin (also about 29%), plus some grammar and a small amount of core vocabulary influenced by Old Norse (a North Germanic language). Speakers of English are called Anglophones. The earliest forms of English, collectively known as Old English, evolved from a group of West Germanic (Ingvaeonic) dialects brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers in the 5th century and further mutated by Norse-speaking Viking settlers starting in the 8 ...
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Dutch Language
Dutch ( ) is a West Germanic language spoken by about 25 million people as a first language and 5 million as a second language. It is the third most widely spoken Germanic language The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family spoken natively by a population of about 515 million people mainly in Europe, North America, Oceania and Southern Africa. The most widely spoken Germanic language, E ..., after its close relatives German language, German and English language, English. ''Afrikaans'' is a separate but somewhat Mutual intelligibility, mutually intelligible daughter languageAfrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see , , , , , . Afrikaans was historically called Cape Dutch; see , , , , , . Afrikaans is rooted in 17th-century dialects of Dutch; see , , , . Afrikaans is variously described as a creole, a partially creolised language, or a deviant variety of Dutch; see . spoken, to some degree, by at least 16 million people, mainly in Sou ...
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German Language
German ( ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Italian province of South Tyrol. It is also a co-official language of Luxembourg and Belgium, as well as a national language in Namibia. Outside Germany, it is also spoken by German communities in France ( Bas-Rhin), Czech Republic ( North Bohemia), Poland (Upper Silesia), Slovakia ( Bratislava Region), and Hungary (Sopron). German is most similar to other languages within the West Germanic language branch, including Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German, Luxembourgish, Scots, and Yiddish. It also contains close similarities in vocabulary to some languages in the North Germanic group, such as Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language after English, which is also a West Germanic language. Germ ...
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West Germanic Languages
The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic family of languages (the others being the North Germanic and the extinct East Germanic languages). The West Germanic branch is classically subdivided into three branches: Ingvaeonic, which includes English and Frisian, Istvaeonic, which includes Dutch and its close relatives, and Irminonic, which includes German and its close relatives and variants. English is by far the most-spoken West Germanic language, with more than 1 billion speakers worldwide. Within Europe, the three most prevalent West Germanic languages are English, German, and Dutch. Frisian, spoken by about 450,000 people, constitutes a fourth distinct variety of West Germanic. The language family also includes Afrikaans, Yiddish, Luxembourgish, and Scots, which are closely related to Dutch, German and English respectively. Additionally, several creoles, patois, and pidgins are based on Dutch, English, or German. Histo ...
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Scandinavian Language
The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages—a sub-family of the Indo-European languages—along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages. The language group is also referred to as the Nordic languages, a direct translation of the most common term used among Danish, Faroese, Icelandic,Elfdalian, Norwegian, Gutnish, and Swedish scholars and people. The term ''North Germanic languages'' is used in comparative linguistics, whereas the term Scandinavian languages appears in studies of the modern standard languages and the dialect continuum of Scandinavia. Danish, Norwegian and Swedish are close enough to form a strong mutual intelligibility where cross-border communication in native languages is very common. Approximately 20 million people in the Nordic countries speak a Scandinavian language as their native language,Holmberg, Anders and Christer Platzack (2005). "The Scandinavian la ...
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Rhotacism (sound Change)
Rhotacism () or rhotacization is a sound change that converts one consonant (usually a voiced alveolar consonant: , , , or ) to a rhotic consonant in a certain environment. The most common may be of to . When a dialect or member of a language family resists the change and keeps a sound, this is sometimes known as ''zetacism''. The term comes from the Greek letter ''rho'', denoting . Albanian The southern, Tosk dialects, the base of Standard Albanian, changed to , but the northern, Gheg dialects did not: * vs. 'the voice' * vs. 'the knee' * vs. 'Albania' * vs. 'cheerful' * vs. 'lost' * vs. 'smiling' * vs. 'broken' * vs. 'touched' * vs. 'amazed' * vs. 'Albania' (older name of the country) * vs. 'burnt' * vs. 'drunk' * vs. 'baked' * vs. 'wood' * vs. 'did' * vs. 'put' * vs. 'caught' * vs. 'dust' * vs. 'happy' * vs. 'love' Aramaic In Aramaic, Proto-Semitic ''n'' changed to ''r'' in a few words: * ''bar'' "son" as compared ...
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Old High German
Old High German (OHG; german: Althochdeutsch (Ahd.)) is the earliest stage of the German language, conventionally covering the period from around 750 to 1050. There is no standardised or supra-regional form of German at this period, and Old High German is an umbrella term for the group of continental West Germanic dialects which underwent the set of consonantal changes called the Second Sound Shift. At the start of this period, the main dialect areas belonged to largely independent tribal kingdoms, but by 788 the conquests of Charlemagne had brought all OHG dialect areas into a single polity. The period also saw the development of a stable linguistic border between German and Gallo-Romance, later French. The surviving OHG texts were all written in monastic scriptoria and, as a result, the overwhelming majority of them are religious in nature or, when secular, belong to the Latinate literary culture of Christianity. The earliest written texts in Old High German, glosses and ...
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