Frankish vowel shifts

Dutch is right on the border area between ē and ei. Most Dutch words have ē, but it seems that certain words, in particular those with umlaut, have ei instead. The words with ei become more frequent as you head east and south, and the form reger is also attested in Middle Dutch. With *hraigrō there is another explanation though: the -g- that disappeared may have raised the vowel before it. I think there are other words that have that (including native Romance ones).

CodeCat20:16, 25 November 2012

Give me your thoughts on *muotjan. Some cite the reconstructed word as *muotan from *mōtanan, but I suspect it was *muotjan from *mōtjanan because of uo [øː] which is a result of the Western Germanic i-mut of /ō/.

Victar (talk)20:44, 25 November 2012

uo doesn't stand for [øː] though, it stands for [uo]. uo developed in Old Dutch and Old High German from Proto-Germanic stressed ō in all words (OHG has guot for *gōdaz), and in a few also from wō (kuo (cow) < *kwō-, Old Dutch huo < *hwō). There is also a parallel change from ē to ie. I think the earliest Old High German texts have ua or oa, but most have uo. I think they also have ea and ia early on, and ie later. ([1] has ua and ia) So *muotan certainly came from *mōtan, not *mōtjan. But I'm not sure whether the change ō > oa/ua and ē > ea/ia happened already in Frankish.

CodeCat21:03, 25 November 2012

Capiche. Thanks.

Victar (talk)21:18, 25 November 2012

Do you know if there is any evidence in Old French regarding this change? We know that Germanic au appears as ō, but what does Germanic ō appear as?

CodeCat21:21, 25 November 2012

There a two etymologies for muse, amuse, one of which cites *muotan as the origin. If that's true, PGm. /ō/ would be rendered as /u/ in French.

Victar (talk)22:54, 25 November 2012

But Proto-Germanic *hrōkaz (Old High German (h)ruoh) is borrowed as frox, fru, in modern French it's freux.

CodeCat23:17, 25 November 2012

Do you see that as contradictory?

Victar (talk)23:21, 25 November 2012

Well, if the same sound ends up in modern French as two different sounds, I wonder why that is. So I'd like to be able to compare other words that were borrowed from Germanic ō, to see if there is any general rule or pattern to them. And maybe through that, we can figure out whether Frankish still had ō, or whether it had already become a diphthong.

CodeCat23:44, 25 November 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Last modified on 18 April 2014, at 06:07