Plural vowel change
|From:||Raymond A. Brown <raybrown@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, January 28, 1999, 7:01|
At 9:08 pm -0500 27/1/99, Steg Belsky wrote:
>On Wed, 27 Jan 1999 21:33:51 +0000 "Raymond A. Brown"
>>In Old English the rounded front vowels became unrounded, so it had:
>>(sing.), fe:t (plural). These developed regularly to modern English
>>and 'feet'. Thus, to answer one of your later questions, the change
>>fronting of the vowel.
>This only happened in Old English? I thought it happened someplace far
>back in Germanic language's history, since the same exact thing exists in
>Yiddish...the plural of /fus/ (foot) is /fis/ (feet).
But Standard German has /fus/ and /fys/.
Umlaut happened way back in protoGermanic times and is common to all
Germanic languages. But the unrounding of front rounded vowels most
certainly is _not_ a common Germanic feature. The official Modern German
language & many (most?) of its spoken dialects as well the Scandinavian
languages, Dutch, Flemish & Afrikaans still preserve _rounded_ front
I did not wish to imply that only English unrounded these vowels, however.
But the Old English change from f=F8:t to fe:t was an Old English change &
has nothing to do with Yiddish which developed at a later date in another
place. Sure some other Germanic languages, e.g. Yiddish & some spoken
German dialects have also unrounded these vowels.