Verner's law

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Ver·ner's Law

 (vûr′nərz, vĕr′-)
n.
A law stating essentially that Proto-Germanic noninitial voiceless fricatives in voiced environments became voiced when the previous syllable was unstressed in Proto-Indo-European. For example, both the th- and the -d of English third are descended from Proto-Germanic voiceless *th, but the second was voiced by Verner's Law.

[After Karl Adolph Verner (1846-1896), Danish philologist.]

Verner's law

(ˈvɜːnəz)
n
(Linguistics) linguistics a modification of Grimm's Law accommodating some of its exceptions. It states that noninitial voiceless fricatives in Proto-Germanic occurring as a result of Grimm's law became voiced fricatives if the previous syllable had been unstressed in Proto-Indo-European
[C19: named after Karl Adolph Verner (1846–96), Danish philologist, who formulated it]
Vernerian adj

Ver′ner's law′


n.
a statement of the regularity behind some apparent exceptions in the Germanic languages to Grimm's law, namely, that Proto-Germanic voiceless fricatives became voiced when occurring between voiced sounds if the immediately preceding vowel was not accented in Proto-Indo-European: formulated 1875 by Karl Verner.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Verner's law - a qualification of Grimm's law
sound law - a law describing sound changes in the history of a language
References in periodicals archive ?
The focus of the present paper is the process of gradual elimination of the effects of Vernerian voicing from the Old English strong verb system.
The distribution of the vestiges of the original Vernerian voiceless and voiced alternants in Old English strong verb paradigm entailed the presence of the old voiceless fricative in the infinitive and 1, 3sg.
The definition of elimination can be extended however to include some less regular cases to the effect that forms such as Anglian past participles in classes VI and VII (such as befoen, geseen) can be interpreted as instances where Vernerian alternations were lost.
In this way a list of 211 verbs which could potentially display Vernerian alternations was compiled.
Discernible traces of elimination of Vernerian alternations appear in five verbs: forli[thorn]an, li[thorn]an, scri[thorn]an, sni[thorn]an and ofsni[thorn]an, where levelling affected primarily preterite plural and past participle forms, extending the voiced fricative /[eth]/, reminiscent of the original voiceless fricative, to these forms.
The figures indicate that the tendency towards levelling of the Vernerian alternations is most pronounced in forms of subjunctive pret.
Instances of elimination of Vernerian alternations are limited to three verbs only: ceosan, geceosan, beseo[thorn]an and appear in all forms in which they could be expected except for subjunctive pret.
The past participle forms -fulen, folen, faelon, scattered across various texts, are the only forms of this verb, which exhibit no traces of Vernerian alternations.
Table 7 presents overall distribution of Vernerian alternations in Class III.
In Gothic and possibly in East Nordic the Vernerian alternations became soon obliterated and the effects of the process were eliminated (through analogical levelling of [gamma] [beta] z with their voiceless equivalents in the present).