Talk:Germanic umlaut

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keyboard shortcuts[edit]

Perhpas a list of keyboard shortcuts might be included at the end of the page to help those typing?

On Macs (OS X, American keyboard layout) it is done by holding down the ALT key and pressing u (which gives you the diaeresis) and then the vowel.
For Windows: Hold down ALT and type on the number keyboard on the right side:
132 = ä
148 = ö
129 = ü
For more codes check here:
MichaelXXLF 15:40, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree. They'd be easy to add. Wikifan4 (talk) 19:08, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

umlaut in other languages[edit]

Since Umlaut is a German word, I always assumed that it specifically refers to the ä ö ü letters and sounds of German. The article presents German only as one example. What would be examples of umlauts in other languages? --AxelBoldt

Umlauts are used in many Germanic languages. E.g. fräulein in German and fröken in Swedish. As far as I know it's still called an umlaut. Also umlaut has TWO meanings: the inflected vowel and the diacritical mark itself. Both are "umlauts". I.e. ö is an "umlaut" and so are the two little dots above it. -RobertL30. Of course, whadiknow, I just took German for 6 years. We might actually need a native speaker to help clear up confusion.

That won't do, because I am a native German speaker... :-) For me, the three letters and sounds referred to above are "umlauts"; I wouldn't call the two dots by themselves an umlaut. But maybe the word "umlaut" is used differently and broader in English. --AxelBoldt

This diacritic mark (the two dots) is actually called trema or diaeresis. As a native speaker of German, I personally would not call ä, ö, ü "Umlaut" - except in a linguistic context - their proper names are ä, ö, ü MichaelXXLF 15:27, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

use is linguistics[edit]

It is my understanding that English-speaking linguists use the term for the process of vowel change as described, and that using the term for the dots themselves is a "popular" use that just caught on. Some linguists would call the English man/men change an umlaut, and also tooth/teeth, etc. I think I'll take another stab at this one. --LDC

LDC is correct in that the term "umlaut" is used in linguistics to describe vowel changes used to generate rule-governed changes in meaning. All Semitic languages, such as Arabic, use umlaut in their word-formation processes.

Umlaut is also used to describe anticipatory vowel harmony. My impression (as a non-expert) is that this generally occurs in languages like German that match the frontness of a vowel to the frontness of some (or all) grammatical suffixes. Linguists who study this subject reserve "vowel harmony" proper for progressive vowel harmony, in which the presence of a vowel (or category of vowels) determines what other vowel(s) can occur in the following syllables of a word. Progressive nasalization, found in some South American languages, is also an example of a type of vowel harmony.

The use of affixes to mark these same types of grammatical changes is called ablaut. Thus, the transformations {man ~ men}, {mouse ~ mice}, and {goose ~ geese} are all examples of umlaut, while {cat ~ cats}, {dog ~ dogs}, and {house ~ houses} are all examples of ablaut.

Hope that helps. pgdudda

This is not completely correct. Ablaut in Indo-European languages is a specific change of vowel that happened in Proto-Indo-European times, so {cat ~ cats} etc. are not ablauts. The example sing/sang/sung goes back to ablaut (with many developments and steps in between, though...). -- dnjansen 21:44 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

umlaut: diphthong?[edit]

Isn't the umlaut (as graphical symbol) just an abbreviated form of the diphthong, e.g. "ö" for "oe". -- Egil 07:46 Mar 10, 2003 (UTC)

Umlaut is NEVER a diphthong. A diphthong is a "vowel combination ... involving a ... movement from one vowel to another". For example, house contains the diphthong [au], written ou. The German umlauts are always pronounced as single, pure vowels, ä like [E] or [e:] (sometimes [E:], in some dialects [{]), ö like [2:] or [9], ü like [Y] or [y:].
Perhaps, you wanted to say that an umlaut is a kind of digraph, a "pair of letters to write one sound". -- dnjansen 06:50 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)


I have a hard time understanding this

The original conditioning environment was an i or j in the following syllable, though once umlaut had acquired grammatical function it was extended by analogy.

Does this mean that in the original definition, a change of vowel was called "umlaut" only if the following syllable had an "i" or "j", but in today's definition this is no longer required? AxelBoldt 02:17 Apr 28, 2003 (UTC)

I tried to make it more clear by combining it with the example. Is it o.k. now? -- dnjansen 21:44 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)


The Turkish language has ö and ü, pronounced identically to German. Does Turkish have a name for these characters? -- GCarty

I guess turkish would be similar to swedish, who uses ö and ä, but rarely with a grammatical function...
Turkish alphabet#Names says the Turkish name is just Ö. ᛭ LokiClock (talk) 03:54, 11 June 2011 (UTC)


While traveling in Europe a year or two ago I was investigating the terminology and found the German word "Zweipunkt" (meaning simply "two dots") used. I'd like to say that it was in the Duden Rechtschreibung book but I really can't be sure. --hippietrail

Some slang. This says it means "on-off".. >_< --Menchi 13:20, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Never heard of the word "Zweipunkt" before. I do not think there is a special name for the umlaut dots in German, since there is no need to have one. The letters ö and ü can be clearly identified by their respective sounds. Sometimes though, e.g. when spelling proper names, you have to explicitly distinguish between ä and e, since they sound similar. In this case, the letter ä (the whole letter, not just the dots on it) is called Umlaut a or Umlaut ä. --Gecek 16:45, 8 May 2004 (UTC)
I am a native speaker and I've never heard "Zweipunkt" so far. And I somewhat doubt that "Zweipunkt" means "on-off", we usually say "ein/aus" or "an/aus". BtW there is an article about "Zweipunkt" in the German Wikipedia, and it's referring to "Adalia bipunctata", a beatle... 15:24, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Zweipunkt is a kind of Ladybird: one with two dots, believe it or not. --Doric Loon 18:17, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
"Zweipunkt" with the translation "on-off" is not a word on its own, but rather a prefix as in "on-off control system", which may be translated as "Zweipunktregelung", an engineering term for a technical system with two alternating states. Hence, "Zweipunkt" means "on-off" in a way, but definitely not in the context of umlauts. -- 11:54, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
As another native speaker, I can confirm all that. Zweipunkt was most likely meant to be a slightly funny slang term for the Umlaut. —Nightstallion (?) 13:11, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
The two dots over the a/o/u are named "ä/ö/ü-Pünktchen" (ä/ö/ü-jots).. "Zweipunkt" is a kind of lady beetles (Marienkäfer) with two dots (talk) 19:14, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
I've never heard either Umlaut a or Zweipunkt. In spelling, ä and e are long and therefore as distinguishable as French ê (as ai in English air) and é (which English doesn't have unmistakably, to my knowledge), to which they are equal respectively. Germans will quite often lose the distinction when it comes to words ("Bären", pronounced like "Beeren", etc.), but can distinguish them in principle and if pressed to do so. Or you use a phonetic alphabet (possibly created ad hoc), where Ä is Ärger, Ö I don't know right now (ad hoc: Österreich; why not?), Ü is "Übelkeit" to my knowledge. -- (talk) 22:35, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

effect, not mark[edit]

Umlaut, the opposite of the ablaut, is the migration of a back vowel to the front of the mouth. Generally, this is accompanied by a rounding of the lips.

Umlaut is primarily an effect, not a mark. Such examples deriving from old English would be whole/heal, tooth/teeth, doom/deem. This is an effect that results from vowel harmony (not a typical Indo-European phenomenon) by having an i or a j after the stem of the word, affecting the behavior of the stem vowel, while itself generally disappearing.

Umlaut is the German and (borrowed) English word for this. The mark (the two dots) that is referred to in German as an umlaut is normally referred to in English as a diaresis, a borrowed usage from French that separates two consecutive vowels into two separate syllables (i.e. coöperate). --Hanseaticacid

Quite correct. Yet I do not see why you posted this on the talk page: both this article and the diaeresis article mention this. However, use of diaeresis is one of the features which the American accents of English tend to drop (my spelling "coördinate" is constantly "corrected" by people here). When an English speaker hears Umlaut, he typically thinks of ¨, and not the effect. Jor 19:09, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I've been bold and cut the two paragraphs below: they seem confused (confused me, anyway), and unhelpfully to mix POV and irrelevance:

There are a few exceptions where German oe or ue do not represent ö and ü, respectively. So you cannot replace them "back" to an umlaut beause they never was one. For example, Tuer [t'u:@r, t'u:6] ("doer", quiet uncommon) and Tür [ty:r] ("door") are distinct; soeben [zO'e:b@n, zO'e:bn=] ("just now") has three syllables and is not söben; Otto von Guericke [g'e:rIk@] is not Güricke (this proper name stems from French). German does not use the diaeresis on the e to distinguish disyllabic oe from ö because most occurrences are well known or a clear compound word (e.g. soeben, Bauentscheidung is a compound of Bau and Entscheidung etc.)

Foreign words would keep their diaeresis (e.g. Alëuten or Citroën) but most Germans would not pronounce them correctly with or without the diaeresis, so the diaeresis can be omitted. (However, dropping the umlaut as is done by non-German speakers should never be done, as it can change a word’s meaning.)

Markalexander100 03:21, 13 May 2004 (UTC)

Speaking as a moderately bilingual American, i absolutely agree with the first of the two removed 'graphs, but agree the wording needs work.
The observation about pronunciation would probably be hard to verify by the ususal methods, and tho i find it likely, IMO it deserves further discussion. The final sentence is IMO not well thought thru, primarily bcz the author obviously didn't think much about the role of context. --Jerzy(t) 06:04, 2004 May 18 (UTC)

The first paragraph isn't really about umlauts at all- it just says that words which don't have umlauts, and which no-one would think about adding umlauts to, should not have umlauts added. I don't think we need to spell that out. Markalexander100 01:36, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

I don't have a replacement for the 1st 'graph in mind, but it is aimed at a valid purpose. For example, anyone who knows that Tür and söben are words, and many who don't, are likely, in editing on WP, to convert the digraph to the umlauted letters, in response to the common belief that they are always interchangable and that the umlauts are always preferred. This is particularly problematic with surnames, and every time i see in the List of people by name tree, that someone has expunged a digraph and moved the name to the resulting different place in the alphabet, i make a point to restore the digraph version; i don't know for sure which is correct, and as with redirects, likely misspellings are good to have in the list. The more people who understand the point made in the 1st 'graph, the more likely they either document the fact when they are sure which is correct and the more who aren't sure will leave alone what might be the right version, when they add the other form. --Jerzy(t) 21:25, 2004 May 19 (UTC)
Söben? --Wik 00:42, May 20, 2004 (UTC)
My apology for misconstruing the reference to "Söben" in the deleted text, which does not actually say that it parallels Tür in being a word! I assumed it was just another hole in my vocabulary. [blush] --Jerzy(t) 03:59, 2004 May 20 (UTC)

With proper names, I can see you might have a point, although I've never come across it myself. With ordinary words, one would only have a problem if someone who didn't speak German, but knew a (dangerously) little about German orthography, was retyping some German text. I don't think that's likely. Markalexander100 01:39, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

i have edited this article by removing the incorrect references to welsh, viz.: "The Welsh language uses an umlaut when a vowel is doubled, as in seremonïau (sermoni-iau)." although vowel gradation does exist in welsh, this is not an instance of it, nor is it indicated by the 'umlaut' diacritic mark. the example given is an instance of the way diaeresis is used in welsh much along the same lines as it is used in french to disambiguate vowel sequences with hiatus from dipthongs with [j] spelled as correctly stated on the welsh entry in the relevant article on diareses: " Welsh also uses the accent for this purpose, with the diaeresis usually indicating the stressed vowel"


Since no-one has contributed here for over a year, I take it the page is not a controvertial one. On that basis I allow myself to "be bold" and rewrite the section on vowel mutation completely without asking for a consensus first. This section was facutally correct, but rather muddled - material belonging in one paragraph was scattered all over the place - and with too much focus on questions of German pronunciation, for which there is a separate article. Apart from that, it seemed to me that it would be difficult for a beginner to understand the explanations as they stood. The one thing which was positively misleading was the implication that Umlaut is primarily a marker of grammatical function. It is a historical development which left in its wake a vowel distinction which SOMETIMES took on grammatical significance.

I don't want to get into rewriting the Hebrew business further down the page, but I doubt very much if a Hebrew jot is even remotely similar to the umlaut diacritic. But Hebrew does have umlaut in the sense of vowel mutation, and it would be good if someone expert on Semitics could add an example. --Doric Loon 22:40, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

My anxiety was a bit relieved in realizing that DL did not what i would call a "complete rewrite" but a major reorg and rewrites of some sections. It might help in evaluating whether something got lost if someone (not necessarily DL tho that might be most efficient) summarized, by section in some cases and 'graph in others, what degree of change in substance resulted.
As to the Hebrew jots, i'm beyond my depth, but if i am correct in thinking that
  • jot, yod, and iota are all descendants of yodh, and
  • this jot is one example, as Niqqud seems to support, of vowel-points related to yod, and
  • such jots go below, not above (Niqqud again),
then relating jot to umlaut (in its diacritic-mark sense) looks pretty silly to me as well.
--Jerzy (t) 19:57, 2005 Mar 24 (UTC)
Well done!
--Johan Magnus 11:22, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the kudos - we can all use a little now and then! The only substantial correction was that point about umlaut originally not being a grammatical feature, but purely a phonological one. (The same goes for ablaut, by the way, and if you are interested, I have modified that article too.) But you will see I have added quite a lot in the way of concrete examples, which I hope are interesting in themselves as well as making the whole system easier to understand.
As far as the Hebrew is concerned, I propose we wait a week, and if no-one has objected here, we delete that paragraph. --Doric Loon 15:32, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

page split[edit]

This article describes 2 different things with the same name. Should be split into separate articles. — ishwar  (SPEAK) 15:37, 2005 Mar 31 (UTC)

Disagree. Grammatical umlaut and typographical umlaut are too related.

-- Jordi· 18:30, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps it appears to be related in Germanic languages. But, umlaut can be used to refer to phonological processes that can occur in any language. This is not related to orthography in any way. Peace. — ishwar  (SPEAK) 19:04, 2005 Mar 31 (UTC)
It is indeed my impression that the term "umlaut" is only used to describe a feature of Germanic languages. Similar developments in other languages might be called "unlaut" by analogy, but that does not seem to be common. The article currently mentions such usage only in the most vague terms. Maybe Wikipedia rules mandate a split-up; readability does not at the moment. --SKopp 23:07, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that the term is most common in the Germanic literature. But it is not unfrequently encountered when used as a non-language specific term. For instance, a recent example of this usage is in Blevins & Garrett (1998: 528):
"....Conversely, for instance within Oceanic, a number of Micronesian languages show final vowel reduction and loss without regular adjacent tonic lengthening. Partial vowel-to-vowel coarticulation with or without peripheral vowel reduction is commonly phonologized as umlaut..."
I think that if we check out some linguistics dictionaries or encyclopedias, we will find something to this effect. Peace. — ishwar  (SPEAK) 23:24, 2005 Mar 31 (UTC)
  • Blevins, Juliette; & Garrett, Andrew (1998). The origins of consonant-vowel metathesis. Language, 74 (3), 508-556.
The Umlaut Diacritic was invented for German, and although it was then borrowed into a couple of other languages, it can only really be understood in terms of the Germanic phonological phenomenon umlaut; and the word "umlaut" was invented to describe this phenomenon IN GERMANIC. So my instinct would be not to split, at least in the first instance. Having them together like this makes the relationship between the two things very clear.
Of course, if somebody were to expand the phonology part of the article to go into non-Germanic languages in detail, then the situation might be different. I suspect, though, that parallel phenomena in non-Germanic languages are better referred to by other terms, and put in a different article. In that case, this article should remain primarily about Germanic. --Doric Loon 09:18, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
As a postscript to that, it strikes me that when the reference is not to Germanic, the most common practice by linguists is to talk about "i-mutation", as the article points out. If someone wants to write about this, a new article under that title might be the place to do it. But of course, if we go that way, then this article remains primarily about Germanic, and shouldn't be split. --Doric Loon 10:22, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hi. I am not referring to orthography. Just the phonological process. Irregardless of the origin of the term, the term is used to refer to a specific type of long distance vowel assimilation in any language, namely regressive assimilation (a.k.a. anticipatory or right to left assimilation). There are two usages: (1) umlaut = regressive vowel harmony or (2) regressive vowel harmony in Germanic languages. Both of the usages are found in linguistic literature.

The term i-mutation is only used for Germanic. For instance, in Nez Perce "dominant' vowels, /a, o, i/, cause "recessive" vowels to assimilate. I-mutation could not apply here. One would have to call this a-o-i-mutation.

If the term umlaut is not used, then the alternate terminology is regressive vowel harmony (a.k.a. regressive metaphony) or anticipatory vowel harmony (a.k.a. anticipatory metaphony) or right-to-left vowel harmony (a.k.a. right-to-left metaphony).

Yes, the article describes umlaut in Germanic languages while neglecting other language families. This is why I am writing a note here.

I am thinking that since the article discusses (1) a particular phonological process and (2) a particular orthographic symbol, there should be two separate treatments on different pages. Cheers. — ishwar  (SPEAK) 13:45, 2005 Apr 1 (UTC)

Thing is, "Umlaut" - like i-mutation - only refers to fronting caused by a following front vowel, so it would be the wrong word if you want to include a-mutation or o-mutation. There IS a-mutation in the Germanic languages too, and it is never called "umlaut". My suggestion: leave this German word for the specific Germanic phenomenon (noting in passing that some people do use it for i-mutation in other languages) and put our discussion of the broader concept of mutation irrespective of what vowel causes it (which I hope you will want to write) in a new article under the heading of your excellent terminological suggestion "regressive vowel harmony". (But please don't use the term "right to left", though, which is rather POV against Semitic languages.) We could then cross-reference from here, and say in the opening sentence that umlaut is a specific instance of rvh.
That is actually a different question from whether we split this article, of course, but it may mean the need to split it is less urgent. As long as both parts of the article focus on Germanic, they are better kept together. The othographical symbol is a reflex of the phonological process, so they are not two completely distinct terms; precisely because they overlap, it is useful to see them discussed together. --Doric Loon 18:30, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

my (belated) reply[edit]

I dont know much about the German terminology but here is a book that uses the term a-umlaut:

"umlaut (also vowel mutation)
1 German term for an (anticipated, partial) assimilation of the vowel of the syllable with main stress to the vowel of the following (secondary stressed or unstressed) syllable) (⇒ vowel harmony). A distinction can be drawn between palatalization (or 'fronting'), velarization (or 'backing,' ⇒ secondary articulation), raising, and lowering (⇒ raising vs lowering). The most significant example is i-umlaut, found in all Germanic dialects (with the exception of Gothic), which brought about a palatalization of back vowels and a palatalization and raising of low vowels. English reflexes of i-umlaut can be found in various plural forms (e.g. mouse > mice) and in other cases (e.g. drench < West Gmc. *drankjan). When the conditioners for umlaut disappeared, umlaut became grammaticalized (⇒ grammaticalization, morphologization). This is especially clear in languages such as German, where umlaut plays a role in plural formation (Haus : Häuser 'house : houses') and in derivation (Häuschen 'little house'). A-umlaut, which occurred in various Germanic dialects, is also known as breaking."
  • Bussman, Hadumod. (1996). Routledge dictionary of language and linguistics. K. Kazzazi & G. P. Trauth (Transl.). London: Routledge Reference.

So umlaut is used to refer to non-i-umlaut processes.

Regarding non-Germanic languages, umlaut is used to refer any regressive assimilation involving any vowel—not just assimilation involving [i].

As I mentioned above (but in less detail), there is a usage among some linguists, to use the terms

  • umlaut for regressive assimilation
  • vowel harmony for progressive assimilation
  • metaphony for any vowel assimilation (i.e. both regressive and progressive)

Here are some definitions from Trask (1993, 1996) that may help us in this discussion.

from (Trask 1993):

"Umlaut A type of inflection by vowel change in the root, as in tooth/teeth and mouse/mice. Umlaut differs from Ablaut only in its historical source, and both terms are usually only used by linguists who are aware of the historical facts."

from (Trask 1996):

"umlaut (in senses 1 and 2, also metaphony) 1. A type of phonological change in which a vowel assimilates in quality to a following vowel, as when pre-Old English *mu:siz (the plural of mu:s 'mouse') developed into *my:siz (the ancestor of modern mice). The term is particularly used with Germanic languages. See also affection. 2. A synchronic alternation in vowels deriving from such a change, as in English mouse/mice."
"metaphony 1. A synonym for umlaut. 2. Any type of assimilation between non-adjacent vowels in a word, including vowel harmony and umlaut. The term is applied both to the historical change and to the resulting alternations. 3. A label applied in a quite bewildering fashion to a wide range of historical changes and synchronic alternations involving vowels, including at least umlaut, vowel harmony, ablaut and such vowel alternations as those in Spanish verbs like pode 'be able', puedo 'I can'. NOTE: The term was originally coined in sense 1, but it is perhaps preferable to restrict it to sense 2, as recommended by Lass (1984: 171-172)."
"vowel harmony (also harmony) 2. (also metaphony) Any phonological process in which the quality of a vowel is altered in such a way as to make it more similar to another vowel in the same phonological word: assimilation of non-adjacent vowels. Some analysts restrict the term 'vowel harmony' to instances of left-to-right assimilation, preferring other terms, such as umlaut or affection, for cases of right-to-left assimilation."
"affection A term applied in historical philology, particularly in respect of Celtic languages, to any of various historical developments in which the quality of a vowel is partly assimilated to ('affected' by) the quality of a vowel in a following syllable. Welsh, for example, historically exhibits both i-affection (raising before /i/) and a-affection (lowering before /a/); the conditioning vowel often disappeared later. Examples: *bardī > beirdd 'bards'; Latin pāpilio > pebyll 'tent'; *butā > bod 'be'; Latin grammatica > gramadeg. The term umlaut, used in the Germanic languages, means the same as 'affection'."
  • Trask, R. L. (1993). A dictionary of grammatical terms in linguistics. London: Routledge.
  • Trask, R. L. (1996). A dictionary of phonetics and phonology. London: Routledge.

Regarding the terms left-to-right and right-to-left, I cant control the usage of these since they are used by not only me but by the general linguistic community. But, you have a nice observation about the bias of these terms. I never thought about this before. I have only seen phonetic transcription written in the usual European direction (although I do know of one person who has created a notational system that leaves the visual direction irrelevant by using directional arrows).

Anyway, perhaps, no one will agree to a page split. Even so, the article is not very comprehensive and slightly incorrect/misleading in some aspects. Peace. — ishwar  (SPEAK) 17:33, 2005 Apr 14 (UTC)

another quote[edit]

Just in case this is helpful to anyone. — ishwar  (SPEAK) 17:58, 2005 Apr 14 (UTC)

  • Malmkjær, Kirsten (Ed.). (2002). The linguistics encyclopedia (2nd ed.). London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
"Assimilation may take place over syllable boundaries, as occurs through the process of umlaut, or, as it is sometimes called, mutation. The Proto-Germanic form [*musiz] gave Old English [mɪːs] (Modern English mice), when the vowel in the first syllable was drawn forward through the influence of the front vowel in the second syllable. Similarly, Latin feci gave rise to Spanish hice when the influence of the Latin vowel [i] raised [e] to [i] through assimilation. Final [i] subsequently lowered to [e]. Compare also Latin veni and Spanish vine.
"The effect of phonological change on aspects of morphology is evident in the restructuring of the plural forms in some English words:
  Germanic Old English Modern English
Sing *mūs mūs [maʊs] 'mouse'
Pl *mūsi mīs [maɪs] 'mice'
Sing *fōt fōt [fʊt] 'foot'
Pl *fōti fēt [fɪːt] 'feet'
"In these and examples like them, the process of umlaut or mutation operated to change the stem vowel [uː] > [iː] and [oː] > [eː] through the fronting influence of a following close front vowel [i] which then disappeared. Subsequently, [iː] > [ai] and [eː] > [iː]...."

If anone wants to add this to the table the modern german words are: Maus, Mäuse, Fuss, Füsse (correct: Fuß, Füße)


Ishwar, this is useful, and has cost you quite a lot of work, so thanks. The table with Germanic forms of mouse and foot is good, and if you agree, I would like to move it into the article proper.

As far as the semantic range of "umlaut" is concerned, I have to say your evidence is persuasive. I had heard the phrase "a-umlaut" before, but I thought it was just someone making a rogue analogy. Seems to be more common than that. So to that extent you are right.

However, it seems to me that when we have such a wealth of terms, and have so many distinctions to make, it is good to match the terms to the distinctions, and your last quote from Trask suggests a good example of this: umlaut and affection are synonymous, but typically one uses umlaut for Germanic and affection for Celtic. This isn't just him, or just me - there is a general (and very positive) tendency to be as specific as possible with these terms, and I do think we should follow that tendency, even if you have proved that it is not universal.

Again, I would recommend we put a note here saying that the term "umlaut" is sometimes used for lots of other kinds of vowel harmony, and then make a new and separate article under whichever term you like best, and discuss all sorts of vowel harmony phenomena there.

By the way, who is Task? I am very worried about his suggestion that there is any similarity at all between umlaut and ablaut. That doesn't sound to me like an authority. But the title of his book obviously claims to be one. --Doric Loon 19:54, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

No problem, it's fun for me.
R(obert) L. Trask is a linguist who has worked a lot on the Basque language. In addition to this research, he has written many books on general linguistics, historical linguistics, and English linguistics/trad. grammar. I think that he passed away recently.
There is similarity between grammaticalized umlaut and ablaut. We only know that historically there is a difference between the development of Germanic umlaut and ablaut because proto-languages have been reconstructed. But, just looking from a synchronic perspective, the vowel alternation in mice/mouse and sing/sung is the same. If a development like this occurred in a language isolate with no written records, no one would ever know if the vowel alternation was due ablaut or umlaut. I believe that Trask is referring to this. — ishwar  (SPEAK) 20:51, 2005 Apr 14 (UTC)
OK, I've added a note about the more general use of the word, which should answer your immediate objections. It does mean that the article on vowel harmony requires some urgent work. Would you do this, Ishwar? --Doric Loon 19:16, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
hi. started the clean-up for V harmony. peace – ishwar  (speak) 07:17, 2005 July 31 (UTC)
just a further note on left-to-right & right-to-left bias. the terms regressive and progressive are also biased as they assume a directional metaphor where the beginning of the forward/progression direction starts from the left-edge of the word. only the terms anticipatory and perseveratory are not biased. but i dont like this terms as they defined in a different way. practically all phonetic notation is from left to right. you just cant win! – ishwar  (speak) 07:29, 2005 July 31 (UTC)
I understand progressive and regressive to mean forward and back in time. --Doric Loon 12:03, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Umlaut diacritic in languages other than German[edit]

I have just modified this section, and I hope it is an improvement. The point is, the diacritic can only be called "umlaut" in German (where it indicates the umlaut phenomenon proper) or in languages which have borrowed it from German. Someone needs to check the history of the other languages mentioned here. I know that Turkish borrowed from German, but in some of the other cases the history may be different. If it is, they do not belong in this article. --Doric Loon 10:17, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I have added a couple of categories. However, it seems to me that the whole category thing is very messy. Is it helpful to have all these separate categories covering much the same ground? As long as we have them, a key article like this must be listed in all of them, but I would be very happy if someone wanted to rationalise these in some way. --Doric Loon 12:30, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Vote for splitting[edit]

A few weeks ago we debated splitting this article. At that time I thought this was unnecessary, because the article was fairly well balanced. However, now User Benwing has written a new article on umlaut under the title i-mutation, which broadly overlaps with the the first half of this article, though it very laudibly tries to go into more depth. Some kind of resolution of this will be necessary, and I think it will possibly involve merging the new article into the first part of the Umlaut article. But then the Umlaut article will be much longer and will after all need to be split. Can I suggest those of you who have a stake in this article have a look at Talk:I-mutation and record your views there? --Doric Loon 18:24, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I believe the ISBN template belongs in the article, no? But a simple Amazon search would have been easier than all of this. --SKopp 09:37, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Inherently funny word[edit]

Is there any reason why inherently funny word is in the See also section. That article makes no reference to umlaut. Samw 28 June 2005 23:46 (UTC)

Agreed. "Inherently funny word" is a daft notion anyway. Why should the word "Umlaut" be funny? Because it sounds non-English and we laugh at foreigners? --Doric Loon 29 June 2005 11:54 (UTC)

Umlauts in Wikipedia[edit]

I think its the wrong plase to ask, but I don't know a better place for it: If I see a misspelled german word (no dots), should I replace it or will that cause errors when viewing it in a browser? --Blah(de) 19:10, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

No, change it. These things should be correct. Any modern browser can read an Umlaut. --Doric Loon 08:04, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Thanks --Blah(de) 10:12, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Splitting, again[edit]

as the article gets longer, there is no reason to keep two separate topics bundled here. "typographical umlaut" is merely the orthographical means to express (some) umlauted vowels in German. The diacritic has other uses, and when used independently of German, it is more properly referred to as diaeresis (in English and Greek, for example; coërxion, coöperation). dab () 19:10, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I was bold, and I realize this is a major change and may require some cleanup, but in the long run there is really no way around this. The material was very uncleanly discributed between this article and diaeresis already. And yes, I realize the minute distinction of ¨ vs. ¨. All the more reason to discuss it in a dedicated article rather than separately: The distinction is not made by all typographic systems (certainly not by html entities), and usage overlaps. dab () 19:45, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Good, I've been thinking for a while this was necessary. --Doric Loon 13:46, 7 March 2006 (UTC)


After that useful split, it is possibly time to complete the proposals I made earlier. SO, would any of you mind if I move this article to Germanic Umlaut and create a disambiguation page at Umlaut? --Doric Loon 10:57, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

OK, since there have been no objections, and since this was mooted before and there were no objections then either, I see no reason to wait. Here goes. --Doric Loon 20:10, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

I renamed it to "Germanic umlaut", with the lowercase 'u', as "umlaut" is not a proper noun (or part of one in this context). - furrykef (Talk at me) 01:55, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Quite right! --Doric Loon 13:44, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

hm, sorry to be late, but that move wasn't a very good idea. umlaut is used for this sort of vowel affection in all sorts of languages, not just Germanic. This article treats the phenomenon in general, and is now mis-titled. dab () 14:54, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

alright, I see that this is now treated at i-mutation, which is fair enough, (except that umlaut must not be exclusively due to /i/). dab () 14:57, 3 October 2006 (UTC)


It says that the only spelling problems occur with 'ä' & 'e'. But aren't 'ü' and 'y' pronounced the same?Cameron Nedland 14:52, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

They are pronounced the same. But as y is a very rare letter in German, problems only rarely occur. People would mention it if e.g. a proper name was spelled with y. MichaelXXLF 15:21, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Okay, thanks.

Accuracy of examples[edit]

It's a bit disconcerting to see so much inaccuracy in what purports to be a standard reference work. The concepts are OK, but the examples are all over the place. The "Old English" plural (nominative) of "mouse" is mýs (that is, /mǖs/, if you can see that that's a front rounded vowel with a macron). The /mīs/ pronunciation is Middle English. The "Germanic" (taking that to mean Proto-Germanic) nominative plural was *mūsiz. This will not give Old High German muosi or German Mäuse, which point to a proto-West-Germanic form *mūsīz, with what looks like a remodeling after the i-stem plural. (Cf. Proto-West-Germanic *gastiz, *gastīz "guest" (nom. sg. and pl.) whence OHG gast, gesti, German Gast, Gäste.) Same thing with German Füße "feet". (Incidentally, in reference to an example in the main entry, "man" was not originally one of these nouns, but an n-stem.)
Parenthetically, in classical Germanic Philology the term umlaut, following Grimm's usage, is generally reserved for i-umlaut, the other varieties variously designated according to effect (lowering, rounding, breaking, and so on); in any case, the North Germanic languages go in for positively baroque vowel mutations compared to West Germanic. But there's no reason not to call them all "umlaut" and, for that matter, so designate any similar phenomenon in any language (and the phenomenon is abundant). Alsihler 21:25, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

better examples without non-umlauted counterparts[edit]

Only seldom it is found in a word which does not have a non-umlauted counterpart: rare examples are schön.... If this is trying to say what it sounds like, the author has forgotten about schon. If it's trying to say something else, it should be said completely differently. --Espoo 09:53, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

You are quite right. I wrote that, and afterwards I did remember schon, but the relationship is particularly complicated, so I thought it could be left. But schon and schön are indeed cognates. You could also argue that für is related to vor, but that really does go well back before Umlaut. I think früh (early) would be another safe example of an umlauted word with no unshifted cognate. --Doric Loon 22:53, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Früh has Bavarian cognates like Fruah (Frühe, the early time) and Fruahjahr (Frühjahr/-ling, spring) which according to normal processes would equate *Fruhe, *Fruhjahr in Standard German. But schon means already and schön means "fair, beautiful". How are they cognate? :-) Examples would be the ones with long ä: Bär (bear), sägen (saw), Ähre (head of a corn), etc.; dämmern (darken), schnöd (~~ "vile); etc.-- (talk) 10:09, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
On schon/schön see for example Kluge, Etymologisches Wörterbuch, 822: "Schon Adv. std. (9. Jh.). Eigentlich Adverb zu schön, das sich seit dem 13. Jh. verselbstständigt...".
On früh, I don't think the objection about Bavarian variants cuts it, because the point is that the umlauted and non-umlauted forms usually alternate within the language (Mann and Männer would be used by the same speaker), not between language forms.
But you are quite right about your other examples. I hadn't thought of these - obviously it is more common than I realised. Probably these other examples should go in the article.--Doric Loon (talk) 18:18, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
From an etymological point of view there should be quite a few umlauted forms with no umlauted counterparts. Many verbs in the first class of weak verbs would fall into this group, for example hören, gären, nennen (related to Name), nähren (related to genesen), rennen (causative of rinnen), senden, wehren. There are also a lot of examples in the group of ja-stem nouns: Ende, Erbe, Fenn, Hecke, Heer, Künne, Netz, Stück. Also a lot of examples in the i-, u- and ja-stem adjectives: grün, schön, eng (related to Angst), süß, dünn, fremd. CodeCat (talk) 20:01, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Germanic verbs[edit]

Dbachmann, I have just reverted a whole series of edits of yours - sorry, I hesitated to do this because you obviously spent a lot of time on it, and your edits are normally good. In this case, there are several issues. First, I think you misunderstand the term "Rückumlaut". The point is not that anyone ever thought that Umlaut took place in the past tense and then was reversed, I don't think. The "Rück" idea is not diachronic. Rather, if you take the dictionary form as the starting point, you get the illusion of it working back the way. You are right that it is a misleading term, but it is rather cute just the same, and I don't mind keeping it. Secondly, I don't think the current opinion IS that the j disappeared before Umlaut took place. The umlaut in the present tense of "think" took place because of the j. The reason there was never Umlaut in the past tense is because the past tense never had a j. Third issue, why delete the paragraph on strong verbs? I think it is useful to show that fangen > fängt is not Ablaut. Doric Loon (talk) 05:36, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

umlaut and ablaut[edit]

In the present-day languages, and particularly German, the basic difference between umlaut and ablaut as forms of vowel mutation is that ablaut is arbitrary and umlaut predictable. It is predictable in two senses: a) you know when it will (or is likely to) happen, and you know what will happen. For example, in German a neuter noun whose plural ends in -er will always have its vowel (a/o/u) mutated, and it will always be mutated in one particular way. Thus Dorf-> Dörfer. You know the vowel will change and you know it won't be Darfer. By contrast families of words such as Mahlen/Mühle/Mehl or Licht/Leuchte or indeed the strong verbs, the vowel changes (whatever the historical reason) now have all the appearance of being totally arbitrary. This is a significant point and deserves mention. Escoville (talk) 16:24, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

I would hesitate to say it is THE basic difference. It is one difference which is significant for language learners. These are two specific groups of vowel modification, which occur in different situations, have different causes, have different results, and serve different grammatical functions. I would lead with those points if I had to explain the difference. But it is true that Umlaut has a general obvious regularity in the modern language, whereas Ablaut, viewed synchronically, has the appearance of randomness. --Doric Loon (talk) 13:03, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

To pick semantics: It's not the basic difference, but it is a key consequence of their essentially different origins. The basic difference is that of those origins, not of that very important consequence and its great impact on learning Germanic languages. If you had to learn two vowel rotations, we'd be out of business. :) ᛭ LokiClock (talk) 04:59, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

But don't forget the Umlaut (NOT Ablaut!) in geben > gibt or dachte > denken or fahren > fertig or drucken > drücken, all of which in different ways show that Umlaut is often not regular. In English, nobody thinks of foot > feet as regular. On the other hand, Ablaut can be pretty regular. If you are learning Dutch you can learn the pattern for class I verbs and apply it straight off to about thirty verbs which follow the rules of that class. In the medieval languages like Old English or Middle High German, Ablaut is regular enough that students learn the system rather than learning individual "irregular" verbs. But the thing about modern German is that the umlaut diacritc makes MOST examples of Umlaut visually regular, so it is easy to learn as a system, whereas the number of strong verbs has reduced so far that it is easier just to learn irregular verbs than to try to learn the Ablaut system. In other words, this regularity distinction is only true in some of the languages, it is not completely true even there, and it is only an issue in language pedagogics, not for any kind of systematic linguistics. --Doric Loon (talk) 10:30, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Oh, not regularity in that sense. Ablaut is indeed sufficiently regular in terms of reliability. But it is irregular in terms of logic. There are some patterns that can be seen, some mirroring here and there (such as with Old Norse's 1st & 2nd conjugations), but otherwise they make little sense, phonologically, past their hypothetical original incarnation. ᛭ LokiClock (talk) 18:33, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Remove restriction to i-mutation[edit]

Umlaut is used, very popularly in at least North Germanic linguistics, to refer to other types of mutation, such as the u-mutation that created Å. This article states that umlaut is specifically a type of i-mutation. In the North Germanic case, the recognition of both u-umlaut and i-umlaut, if not also a-umlaut, is fundamental due to the entanglement of the front u-umlauts and back i-umlauts, mergers most usually considered to have taken place before umlaut became distinctive. They are truly two halves of a whole. So it is important to uphold this inclusion of other types of umlaut, and not just to reflect common practice. ᛭ LokiClock (talk) 18:50, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Any opposers? ᛭ LokiClock (talk) 23:27, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps we could move this article to Germanic i-mutation and create a u-mutation article. Then whoever isn't researching Old Norse won't be sidetracked by a sound change they aren't interested in. On the other hand, it would be cool to see how the two could be covered together. — Eru·tuon 02:31, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
In Old Norse it's the same sound change phenomenon, just with counteracting triggers. In fact, the two umlauts can combine, such as in gø̨rvi, producing either a new phoneme or just another means of obtaining /ø/. It wouldn't kill us to refrain from explicitly excluding the other type of umlauts and to have a section on it in the larger article. I don't, however, think it could stand as an article of its own, because it's just a special case of the phenomenon. Most of the content of the article would be rehashing of the information on i-umlaut. If the section can't go here, a note should be made that umlaut goes beyond i-umlaut in Old Norse, with a link to Old Norse#Umlaut. I do think Germanic i-mutation and Germanic umlaut should be merged in any event, since they're two articles on the exact same subject. ᛭ LokiClock (talk) 04:12, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
Besides, the point of an encyclopedia isn't to keep you from getting sidetracked. Rather, it should explain its subjects' function and meaning by demonstrating its range of meaning in verifiable academic usage. In academic literature on Old Norse, u-umlaut and i-umlaut are treated as types of umlaut, and their reflexes in Proto-Germanic place u-umlauts with analogous origins to i-umlauts. Compare an example of i-umlaut - fað(e)riz (PIE) > fęðr (ON); with an example of u-umlaut - faðerun (PIE) > fǫður (ON). It's not that Old Norse has a mere difference in terminology, but that there was a manifestation of the phenomenon in Old Norse that was notably different from in the others. The only reason there should be multiple articles on the same subject is when a subsection of the main article has outgrown its fishbowl. Anything else would be a WP:content fork. ᛭ LokiClock (talk) 08:10, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't think it's out of the question to just retitle the Old Norse section "Umlaut in Old Norse" and open with a sentence about how, unlike in the other languages, Old Norse umlaut involves multiple mutations. Then any exclusive sentences can be adjusted without failing to communicate that it was most widely an i-mutation. ᛭ LokiClock (talk) 06:48, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Use of term "phonologized"[edit]

This term is meaningless. A non-phonological sound change is an oxymoron. I'd assume phonemic is meant, but the Old Norse statement remains confusing or inaccurate. Even if it's meant that the one umlaut produces vowels purely by allophonic alternation, those vowels don't stop being phonemic. When one says that a sound change has become phonemic it means that the sounds before and after the process have become distinct, not that the sound change itself represents a system of alternation between phonemes and not between allophones. Ablaut, for example, is not a phonemic sound change because it was never an allophonic sound change.

The statement in question:

The situation in Old Norse is complicated as there are two forms of i-mutation. Of these two, only one is phonologized.

LokiClock (talk) 03:20, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

"following vowel"[edit]

This article begins as follows:

In linguistics, umlaut (from German um- "around"/"the other way" + Laut "sound") is a process whereby a vowel is pronounced more like a following vowel or semivowel.

What is a "following vowel"? Michael Hardy (talk) 16:41, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Nothing technical - a vowel coming later in the word. ᛭ LokiClock (talk) 17:05, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

"Umlaut in Dutch" needs correcting[edit]

Hey guys, dude from Antwerp/Belgium here, I saw some minor mistakes in the section on Dutch (which is also the majority language in Belgium) but since I don't feel secure enough to start editting it myself, I'll post here and see what you guys have to say about it or if y'all are proficient enough in English & wiki'ing to edit it yerselves.

"that long vowels and diphthongs were not affected by umlaut in the more western dialects, including those in Brabant and Holland that were most influential for standard Dutch." -> it is rather "Flanders and Holland" (and Zeeland). "Flanders" here in the historical meaning (County of Flanders), now +- the provinces West Flanders and East Flanders. Not the current sense of Flanders, being the whole Dutch-speaking part of Belgium.

I wouldn't know how to shortly get that into the article lol.

Most Brabantian dialects *do* have extensive umlauting - especially on long ô, which is the example used in the article; only a small corner bordering to Holland (and under heavy linguistic influence from there) has forms without umlaut. (the old Markiezaat of Bergen op Zoom; see also Lords and margraves of Bergen op Zoom Except for this area (with smaller cities like Bergen op Zoom, Steenbergen, Roosendaal), Brabantian dialects have the form 'vulen' instead of 'voelen', pronounced /vy:lë/, or alternatively /vylə/ (North Brabant) or with vowel opening /vø:lə/ (Flemish Brabant).

This area includes all major (historical) Brabantian cities, like Antwerp, Brussels, Leuven, Breda (it's older, traditional dialect at least), Mechelen, Den Bosch, Eindhoven, Tilburg etc.

A dialect map of the word "green" (st. Dutch groen /grun/, Brabantian gruun /gry:n/ and var.) can be found here:

The dots indicate dialects without umlaut (=groen /grun/), the other symbols various results of umlaut like /gry:n/, /gryn/, /grø:n/, /grøyn/; and Frisian (horizontal rectangles): grien /gri.ən/

So while it's true that the umlaut-less forms of Standard Dutch are based on western forms, these are not the Brabantian ones (the big influence of Brab. dialects on the standard language is another myth, but that's for another time; Flemish dialects have had much bigger impact, as a.o. the lack of umlauts show)

(some examples from my native Antwerp dialect; with the exception of the North-West corner of North Brabant, these go for *all* of the Brabantian dialects, with /y:/ sometimes as /y/ (North) or /ø:/ (South):

  • ô: to feel/voelen /vy:lə/; to seek/zoeken /zy:kə/; woelen /wy:lə/, wroeten /vry:tə/, anal. to plural brother/broer = /bry:r/; tired/moe = /my:g/ < */my:j/; sweet/zoet /zy:t/; green/groen /gry:n/

long *â: cheese/kaas /kε:s/; shear/schaar /schε:r/; suffix -aar < Latin -ârius /εr/, /ε:r/

I could name many more; almsot all instances of long ô and many of â have umlaut where it's expected.

Uml. of the Gmc. diphthong */au/ is a bit rarer, and only exists in the eastern half of old Brabant. Some relics of umlauts in diminutives also exist mostly in this eastern half, but umlauts in strong verbs only remain in a few neighbouring villages with Limburg, where these are stll very common.

Cheers, Diederik, Antwerp.

PS the reason why I didn't want to edit this myself is, as you can see, that the way I explain it turns out very unnecessarily long and incoherent ;) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:47, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

I didn't know Germanic long o was umlauted in the west as well. I knew that Germanic au wasn't, though. But I remember that some dialects have zeuken with not just umlaut but also a mid vowel rather than the closed vowel of Dutch and German. I think those might be eastern forms influenced by Old Saxon which didn't experience the diphthongisation of long o to uo in early medieval times like Old Dutch and Old High German did. Regardless of this, though, I'm quite sure that umlaut has only become a real grammatical phenomenon in some areas, where it's used in diminutives as well. I'm not sure where the border between 'manneke' and 'menneke' lies exactly, and maybe some vowels are umlauted only in the eastern areas in this way. CodeCat (talk) 14:32, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, the eu-vowel can be quite hard to judge on as it differs greatly from dialect to dialect how you have to see it in historical perspective. The /eu/ is prominent in the 'Saxon' areas of Dutch (Eastern Netherlands), and lowered to (Dutch spelling) /ui/ in Groningen; in these parts you might consider the /eu/ sound "original" and lacking the old development ô to uo. (but I'm unclassified to make that statement)
The same *might* also hold true for the 'Franconian' dialects of Limburg, which have /eu/; but I'm not too familiar with their history either so I can't say anything about that.
However, the Brabantian dialects with /eu/ all just stem from /uu/ with vowel opening, but these have undergone Old Franconian ô -> uo for sure. These are mainly the city-dialects of a) Antwerp and b) Mechelen (both surrounded by /uu/-areas) and c) Southern-Central Flemish Brabant - Brussels, Leuven, Tienen, and everything around; also enclosed by /uu/-dialects.
(This fits in a general 'cycle' of vowel shifts, where all long vowels are lowered/opened (/ie/ -> /ee/, long /oe/ -> /oo/, /ee/ -> /ei/ etc., and because of the /ie/, /uu/ and /oe/-slots now being "open" (since they became /ee/, /eu/, /oo/), in these same dialects there's a tendency of dropping the last element (shwa) of the diphthongs /i.ə/, /u.ə/ and /oe.ə/ (from gmc *ai, *au), turning them into long vowels instead of 'fake diphthongs'.)
Anyway, the manneke - menneke border lies (or lay; as these forms are now retreating) around the isogloss of umlaut of *au, so indeed "functional" umlaut is seldom in Brabantian. Still the lexical /oe/-forms of Dutch are clearly rooted in West-+East-Flanders, Zeeland and Holland; and not Brabant, as my original point was supposed to be before I got distracted. And the article seemed to indicate that the ABN got its /oe/-forms like voelen, zoeken etc from Holland-Brabant dialects ;)
Diederik — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:32, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
I live in Eindhoven, which lies in the area of 'functional' umlaut, so that you often hear people say 'menneke' but also 'beumke' (from baum-). I'm not sure if I've ever heard 'zuuken' (from sôk-) here though, but I have heard 'stuupke' (from stôp-). So, the dialects around Eindhoven clearly umlaut long vowels, and the raising of ô is also apparent. So as far as that goes, the dialects around Eindhoven fall in the same area as German, rather than standard Dutch. However, the dipthongisation of î to ei (ij) also occurs, while Limburgish lacks it, and it also has the monophthongisation of au to ô which Limburgish and German don't have (Limburgish has böjmke according to Wiktionary, similar to German bäumchen). CodeCat (talk) 13:12, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Two dots[edit]

Shouldn't it be mentioned that the umlaut is two dots above the letter? Seems that there is no description in the introduction of how the umlaut is actually written. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:36, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

An umlaut is a sound change of the fronting of a rounded back vowel. It is important not to confuse this with the two dots that German uses to represent these rounded front vowels. Mochattez 05:50, 21 February 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mochattez (talkcontribs)

Error in table examples?[edit]

From the text it seems like "Loss of final '-z'" should result in *fōtiz -> *fōti and not *fōtiz -> *fēti.

Process Language Singular Plural Singular Plural
Original form Proto-Germanic *mūs *mūsiz *fōts *fōtiz
Loss of final -z West Germanic *mūs *mūsi *fōt *fōti

jsnx (talk) 14:29, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

In the cited source of the table (Malmkjaer et al.) I see no reference to this original Proto-Germanic /-iz/ ending. Moreover, a similar table appears in Campbell, Historical Linguistics (p. 23), without this form being mentioned (although it is mentioned in the text). So, until further clarifications on the sources, I remove this table line. בוקי סריקי (talk) 10:47, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
The ending was -iz < PIE -es, there are plenty of sources for that like Ringe 2006. CodeCat (talk) 14:33, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough, but we still need a reference to show that the /-z/ was lost in West Germanic and not later (i.e. in Pre-Old English). Currently, the table contains data which no reference covers. בוקי סריקי (talk) 16:13, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
It shouldn't be too hard to find a reference for that, too, because it's pretty firmly established. All the other West Germanic languages show the same loss. It's only in the unrounding where Old English actually starts to differ from its sisters. CodeCat (talk) 17:02, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
It sounds you are very knowledgeable on this topic, so please go ahead and add some references. I've been trying to find references on this point, but couldn't find any clear ones. Thanks in advance! בוקי סריקי (talk) 13:38, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Umlauts in other languages[edit]

It is unfortunate, that it is not recognized in the article that Turkish and other Turkic languages have also Umlauts. In Turkish language, they use ö and ü, in Turkmen language, there is also a ü. In Hungarian they us ő for the ö -- (talk) 05:00, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

This article is called Germanic umlaut. Turkish and Hungaruan are not Germanic languages. You need to distinguish the umlaut symbol ¨ from the linguistic process of umlaut. They are quite different things. CodeCat (talk) 15:14, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

False ablaut[edit]

Could we have a citation, please, for the claim that Umlaut in Germanic verbs is widely known as "False Ablaut", and that that is not just somebody's personal pet tag? Otherwise I intend to remove that information. --Doric Loon (talk) 20:40, 25 May 2014 (UTC)