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 (äb′lout′, äp′-)
A vowel change, characteristic of Indo-European languages, that accompanies a change in grammatical function; for example, i, a, u in sing, sang, sung. Also called apophony, gradation.

[German : ab, off (from Middle High German ab, abe, from Old High German aba; see apo- in Indo-European roots) + Laut, sound (from Middle High German lūt, from Old High German hlūt; see kleu- in Indo-European roots).]


(ˈæblaʊt; German ˈaplaut)
(Linguistics) linguistics vowel gradation, esp in Indo-European languages. See gradation5
[German, coined 1819 by Jakob Grimm from ab off + Laut sound]


(ˈɑp laʊt, ˈæb-, ˈɑb-)

(esp. in Indo-European languages) regular alternation of vowels in a word element, reflecting a change in grammatical function, as in English sing, sang, sung, song.
[1840–50; < German, =ab- off + Laut sound]


A change in the vowel in different forms of a verb, such as tenses, for example “hang” and “hung.”
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ablaut - a vowel whose quality or length is changed to indicate linguistic distinctions (such as sing sang sung song)
gradation, grade - a degree of ablaut
vowel, vowel sound - a speech sound made with the vocal tract open
References in periodicals archive ?
In a follow-up letter, Anil added the following to "Vowel Cascades, Vowel Movements and Di-Odes": "Vowel movements, because of their similarity to ablauts, could also be called "sound offs" after the etymology of ablauts, "off sounds", and by comparison with the familiar military cadence, "Sound off, one, two, ..." But I doubt any ablauts cover all five vowels.
His introduction holds that his primary difficulty was avoiding typical suffixation for past actions; ablauts, modal auxiliary forms, and a short list of participials accomplish that function in Gadsby.
Abiogenic, abiotic abjurations ablate ablauts. Ablaze, abloom, ablution abnegates abnormal abodes.
For instance, Palmgren, on the basis of i-mutation, distinguishes eight types of formal relation between nouns and denominal weak verbs (land "land" ~ lendan "to land," lar "teaching" ~ l[??]ran "to teach," segl "sail" ~ siglan "to sail," bold "house" ~ byldan "to build," blod "blood" ~ bledan "to bleed," lust "pleasure" ~ lystan "to please," rum "room" ~ ryman "to clear up" and stean "steam" ~ stieman "to emit steam"), but relates the derivatives of strong verbs mainly to the ablaut of the verb and only secondarily to other phenomena.
In Old English, this definition comprises four subtypes: (i) zero derivation with inflectional morphemes and without derivational morphemes, as in ridan "to ride" > ridda "rider"; (ii) zero derivation without explicit morphemes, either inflectional or derivational, as in bidan "to delay" > bid "delay"; (iii) zero derivation with or without explicit inflection but displaying ablaut, such as, respectively, cnawan "to know" > cneowian "to know carnally" and drifan "to drive" > draf "action of driving"; and (iv) zero derivation with formatives that cannot be considered derivational affixes in synchronic analysis, such as -m in fleon "to fly" > fleam "flight."
Along with the analysis of the nature of morphological bases, Kastovsky (1968) has listed an inventory of alternations that can be traced back to the study of Germanic ablaut, which, in terms of word-formation, involves the use of inflectional means for derivational purposes, notably the stems of the present, preterite and past participle of strong verbs.
After noting the existence of an Indo-European ablaut *mero/*moro which denotes an adjective meaning "gross" as revealed by Celtic -maros, Germanic -merus, and Greek -[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Schmidt lists several facts which for him point to a borrowing of the Slavic from the Germanic.