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Umlaut (was: More questions)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 26, 2003, 19:13
On Tuesday, November 25, 2003, at 09:06 PM, Amanda Babcock wrote:

> On Tue, Nov 25, 2003 at 09:26:41AM -0500, John Cowan wrote: > >> There are three types of umlaut recognized in Germanistics: i-umlaut, >> or fronting, which is the type you describe; u-umlaut, or rounding; >> a-umlaut, or lowering. > > Is there a general tendency toward fronting, rounding, and lowering, > as opposed to backing, unrounding, and raising, or are these just the > three orthogonal operations Germanic languages chose to use?
i-umlaut & a-umlaut certainly occur in Welsh and and the other Brittonic langs. i-umaut occurs in the Gaelic langs - I'm not sure if a-umlaut does. The tendency, if there is a shifting, seems to be towards one of the apexes of the 'vocalic triangle' as, I think, John's email implies. AFAIK i-umlaut is the most common variety, a-umlaut second most and u-umlaut least frequent. Ray =============================================== (home) (work) ===============================================


Amanda Babcock <ababcock@...>
John Cowan <cowan@...>