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german

Note: it's important, for the file to display properly, that Mac users have the font Times OE- 2 installed in your font folder. If some fonts display oddly below, you do not have the Times OE-2 font installed.)Both Rasmus Rask and Jakob Grimm, at the time of their deaths, were aware that there were exceptions to Grimm's Law, but no one at that time could account for these exceptions. That remained for the Danish linguist Karl Verner (1846 - 1896) to do.Verner noticed that a great number of exceptions to Grimm's Law also had a regularity and system of their own, and could be explained logically as well. By examining Sanskrit, which preserved the older Indo-European stress patterns and which did not undergo the Germanic Consonant shift, and comparing Sanskrit and Germanic cognates, Verner was able to see that stress patterns in words had influenced the pronunciation of nearby consonants.To see the effect of stress on nearby consonants, say the words "exist" and "exit." Most people pronounce the first /Ig'zIst/ and the second /EksIt/. (I use the symbol /E/ to stand for the mid front lax vowel.) Notice how the voiceless velar stop /k/ in "exit" becomes the voiced velar stop /g/ when it follows an unstressed (unaccented) vowel and is surrounded by voiced sounds. Verner concluded the changes described by Rask and Grimm occurred in early Germanic times, and then another set of consonant shifts occurred later caused by stress patterns. And then (this is crucial) the stress shifted to the first syllable, effectively hiding the causes of the succeeding shift and making it almost impossible to recognize. Verner published his results in 1875, and the patterns he described came to be known as Verner's Law.Verner was thus able to explain a whole category of seeming exceptions to Grimm's Law: Indo-European voiceless stops /p/, /t/, and /k/ shifted to early Germanic voiceless fricatives /f/, /q/ and /x/, according to Grimm's Law. Then, later, those v...

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