Grimm's law

Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Grimm's Law

A formula describing the regular changes undergone by Indo-European stop consonants represented in Germanic, essentially stating that Indo-European p, t, and k became Germanic f, th, and h; Indo-European b, d, and g became Germanic p, t, and k; and Indo-European bh, dh, and gh became Germanic b, d, and g.

[After Jakob Ludwig Karl Grimm.]

Grimm's law

(Linguistics) the rules accounting for systematic correspondences between consonants in the Germanic languages and consonants in other Indo-European languages; it states that Proto-Indo-European voiced aspirated stops, voiced unaspirated stops, and voiceless stops became voiced unaspirated stops, voiceless stops, and voiceless fricatives respectively
[formulated by Jakob Grimm]

Grimm's′ law′

a statement of the regular pattern of consonant correspondences presumed to represent changes from Proto-Indo-European to Germanic, according to which voiced aspirated stops became voiced obstruents, voiced unaspirated stops became voiceless stops, and voiceless stops became voiceless fricatives: first formulated 1820–22 by Jakob Grimm.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Grimm's law - a sound law relating German consonants and consonants in other Indo-European languages
sound law - a law describing sound changes in the history of a language
References in periodicals archive ?
Among the topics discussed are substance and value in linguistic analysis, the system of relevance of the Homeric verb, the subjunctive without syntax, the Latin demonstratives, the phonological motivation for Verner's Law and Grimm's Law, traditional grammar and its legacy in 20th-century linguistics, and how the study of language went wrong in the Western tradition.
Students of English are familiar with Grimm's Law, under which Dutch "vader [father]" and English "father" are cognates with shared ancestry.
Interested in medieval literature, Jacob became a linguist, a philologist who formulated Grimm's Law, an explanation of how German, along with ancient Greek and Latin, evolved from an ancestral Indo-European language.