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TERMS: Umlaut-Ablaut

From:dirk elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Date:Friday, November 12, 1999, 22:48
On Fri, 12 Nov 1999, Dr. David E. Bell wrote:

> From: Paul Bennett <Paul.Bennett@...> > > I think the actual term may be ablaut, now I come to re-read it. > Basically, one > > of more vowels in a noun changes to a similar vowel to mark the plural. > > Actually I've seen both terms used for this kind of inflection. anyone know > what the distinction really is between umlaut and ablaut?
Umlaut is a change in vocalism which is triggered by a vowel somewhere else, usually a suffix. Ablaut is a change in vocalism which is also the primary exponent of some morphological category. A couple of English examples: old -> elder the stem vowel changes because of the suffix: umlaut sing-sang-sung the stem vowel changes to mark past tense and the past participle Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga