Verner's law


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Related to Verner's law: Grimm's law

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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
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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.
The original Proto-Germanic consonantal alternations of voiceless and voiced fricatives, generated by the operation of Verner's Law, though slightly modified, were relatively well attested in Old English.
The original Proto-Germanic consonantal alternations of voiceless and voiced fricatives, induced by the operation of Verner's Law, had been considerably obliterated by the time of the earliest attestations of Old English, yet their modified reflexes were relatively well preserved and systematically displayed in the Old English strong verb paradigm.
Verner's Law and the Old English strong verb paradigm
Though admirable in many ways in its evident erudition, the fact that there is, in addition, no glossary supplying a ready guide to ablaut or cognate, for example, or similarly to spirant, plosive, assimilation, dissimilation, Verner's Law (among a number of items of terminology which appear in the text, some with and some without accompanying explanation), is potentially problematic given the intended readership, and not least since the Index which is provided is merely a list of the individual words discussed.
To provide readers with an idea of what traditional comparative philology does - and, therefore, with an idea of what Mozeson would really have to do next if he wished to add substance to his claim that English derives from Hebrew - I shall summarize briefly Grimm's Law and Verner's Law, two of the most important philological laws explaining the history and development of English in the context of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family.
Without going into further details, let it simply be stated that Verner's Law explains such anomalies of English grammar as the was-were and dead-death alternations.
Mozeson can adduce general laws or principles of change within Hebrew in its different phases and among and between Hebrew and any of its supposed descendants to match the rigor of Grimm's Law and Verner's Law, his suggested Hebrew etymologies for English words will remain amusing but unconvincing.
(8) The fact that Gothic as the only Germanic dialect preserves reduplicated preterites systematically can be traced back to a number of Gothic-specific developments, such as the early elimination of the effects of Verner's law (which thus did not have a chance to obscure reduplication), extension of reduplicated vowel ai /[epsilon]/ to all forms (ignoring the contextual restrictions such as /h, h, r/ environment) or finally, extension of the stem of preterite singular to preterite plural (hence pl.
The originally unstressed reduplicating syllable created appropriate conditions for the operation of Verner's law in Germanic.
(10.) E.g., Gothic rule of vowel deletion, lowering of the short high vowels /i u/to /e o/, or relic forms of Verner's law (cf.
38) "Thus, I-E [p], [t], [k] > [f], [theta], [x] (Grimm's Law) or [b], [d], [g] (Verner's Law) depending on the position of the stress accent in the I-E etymon concerned.