Template:Later English vowel development

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NOTE: In this table, abbreviations are used as follows:

Late Old English (Anglian), c. 1000 Middle English pronunciation, c. 1400 Modern English spelling, c. 1500 Early Modern English pronunciation, c. 1600 Modern English pronunciation, c. 2000 Source Example
a; æ; ea; ā+CC; often ǣ+CC,ēa+CC; occ. ē+CC (WS ǣ+CC) /a/ a /a/ /æ/ OE a OE mann > "man"; OE lamb > "lamb"; OE sang > "sang"; OE sacc > "sack"; OE assa > "ass" (donkey)
OE æ OE fæþm "embrace" > "fathom"; OE sæt > "sat"; OE æt > "at"; OE mæsse > "mass" (at church)
OE ea OE weax > "wax"; OE healf > "half" /hæf/ (GA)
OE +CC OE āscian > "ask" /æsk/ (GA); OE fǣtt > "fat"; OE lǣstan > "to last" /læst/ (GA) ; OE blēddre (WS blǣddre) > "bladder"; OE brēmbel (WS brǣmbel) > "bramble"
(w+, not +g,ck,ng,nk) GA /ɑ/, RP /ɒ/ OE a OE swan > "swan"; OE wasċan > "to wash"; OE wann "dark" > "wan"
OE æ OE swæþ > "swath"; OE wæsp > "wasp"
OE ea OE wealwian > "to wallow"; OE swealwe > "swallow" (bird)
(+r) /ar/ > GA /ɑr/, RP /ɑː/ OE heard > "hard"; OE ærc (WS earc) > "ark"
(w+ and +r) /ɔr/ > GA /ɔr/, RP /ɔː/ OE ea OE swearm > "swarm"; OE sweart > old poetic "swart" >! "swarthy"; OE weardian > "to ward"; OE wearm > "warm"; OE wearnian > "to warn"
(+lC,l#) /ɔː/ OE smæl > "small"; OE all (WS eall) > "all"; OE walcian (WS wealcian) "to roll" > "to walk"
(+lm) GA /ɑ/, RP /ɑː/ OE ælmesse > "alms"; Latin palma > OE palm > "palm"
(RP, often +f,s,th) /ɑː/ OE glæs > "glass"; OE græs > "grass"; OE pæþ > "path"; OE æfter > "after"; OE āscian /ɑːsk/ > "to ask"; OE lǣstan /lɑːst/ > "to last"
(leng.) /aː/ [æː] aCV /ɛː/ /eː/ > /ei/ OE a OE nama > "name"; OE nacod > "naked"; OE bacan > "to bake"
OE æ OE æcer > "acre"; OE hwæl > "whale"; OE hræfn > "raven"
(+r) /eːr/ > GA /ɛr/, RP /ɛə/ OE a OE caru > "care"; OE faran > "to fare"; OE starian > "to stare"
e; eo; occ. y; ē+CC; ēo+CC; occ. ǣ+CC,ēa+CC /e/ e /ɛ/ /ɛ/ OE e OE helpan > "to help"; OE elh (WS eolh) > "elk"; OE tellan > "to tell"; OE betera > "better"; OE streċċan > "to stretch"
OE eo OE seofon > "seven"
OE y OE myriġ > "merry"; OE byrġan > "to bury" /bɛri/; OE lyft- "weak" > "left" (hand); OE cnyll > "knell"
OE +CC OE cēpte > "kept"; OE mētte > "met"; OE bēcnan (WS bīecnan) > "to beckon"; OE clǣnsian > "to cleanse"; OE flǣsċ > "flesh"; OE lǣssa > "less"; OE frēond > "friend" /frɛnd/; OE þēofþ (WS þīefþ) > "theft"; OE hēold > "held"
(+r) ar /ar/ GA /ɑr/, RP /ɑː/ OE heorte > "heart"; OE bercan (WS beorcan) > "to bark"; OE teoru (WS teru) > "tar"; OE steorra > "star"
(w+ and +r) /ɔr/ > GA /ɔr/, RP /ɔː/ AN werra > "war"; AN werbler > "to warble"
(occ. +r) er /ɛr/ /ər/ > GA /ər/, RP /ɜː/ OE e OE sterne (WS stierne, styrne) > "stern"
OE eo OE eorl > "earl"; OE eorþe > "earth"; OE liornian, leornian > "to learn"
OE +CC OE hērde (WS hīerde) > "heard"
(leng.) /ɛː/ ea,eCV /eː/ /iː/ OE specan > "to speak"; OE mete > "meat"; OE beofor > "beaver"; OE meotan (WS metan) > "to mete" /miːt/; OE eotan (WS etan) > "to eat"; OE meodu (WS medu) > "mead"; OE yfel > "evil"
(+r) /iːr/ > GA /ɪr/, RP /ɪə/ OE spere > "spear"; OE mere > "mere" (lake)
(occ.) /ei/ OE brecan > "to break" /breik/
(occ. +r) /eːr/ > GA /ɛr/, RP /ɛə/ OE beoran (WS beran) > "to bear"; OE pere, peru > "pear"; OE swerian > "to swear"; OE wer "man" > "were-"
(often +th,d,t,v) /ɛ/ OE leþer > "leather" /lɛðɚ/; OE stede > "stead"; OE weder > "weather"; OE heofon > "heaven"; OE hefiġ > "heavy"
i; y; ī+CC,ȳ+CC; occ. ēoc,ēc; occ. ī+CV,ȳ+CV /i/ i /ɪ/ /ɪ/ OE i OE writen > "written"; OE sittan > "to sit"; OE fisċ > "fish"; OE lifer > "liver"
OE y OE bryċġ > "bridge"; OE cyssan > "to kiss"; OE dyde > "did"; OE synn > "sin"; OE gyldan > "to gild"; OE bysiġ > "busy" /bɪzi/
OE +CC OE wīsdōm > "wisdom"; OE fīftiġ > "fifty"; OE wȳsċan > "to wish"; OE cȳþþ(u) > "kith"; OE fȳst > "fist"
OE ȳ+CV,ī+CV OE ċīcen > "chicken"; OE lȳtel > "little"
OE ēoc,ēc OE sēoc > "sick"; OE wēoce > "wick"; OE ēc + nama > ME "eke-name" >! "nickname"
(+r) /ər/ > GA /ər/, RP /ɜː/ OE gyrdan > "to gird"; OE fyrst > "first"; OE styrian > "to stir"
(leng. — occ.) /eː/ ee /iː/ /iː/ OE wicu > "week"; OE pilian > "to peel"; OE bitela > "beetle"
o; ō+CC /o/ o /ɔ/ GA /ɑ/, RP /ɒ/ OE o OE god > "god"; OE beġeondan > "beyond"
OE +CC OE gōdspell > "gospel"; OE fōddor > "fodder"; OE fōstrian > "to foster"
(GA, +f,s,th,g,ng) /ɔː/ OE moþþe > "moth"; OE cros > "cross"; OE frost > "frost"; OE of > "off"; OE oft > "oft"; OE sōfte > "soft"
(+r) /ɔr/ > GA /ɔr/, RP /ɔː/ OE corn > "corn"; OE storc > "storc"; OE storm > "storm"
(leng.) /ɔː/ oa,oCV /oː/ GA /ou/, RP /əu/ OE fola > "foal"; OE nosu > "nose"; OE ofer > "over"
(+r) /oːr/ > GA /ɔr/, RP /ɔː/ OE borian > "to bore"; OE fore > "fore"; OE bord > "board"
u; occ. y; ū+CC; w+ e,eo,o,y +r /u/ u,o /ʊ/ /ʌ/ OE u OE bucc > "buck" /bʌk/; OE lufian > "to love" /lʌv/; OE uppe > "up"; OE on bufan > "above"
OE y OE myċel > ME "muchel" >! "much"; OE blysċan > "to blush"; OE cyċġel > "cudgel"; OE clyċċan > "to clutch"; OE sċytel > "shuttle"
OE +CC OE dūst > "dust"; OE tūsc > "tusk"; OE rūst > "rust"
(b,f,p+ and +l,sh) /ʊ/ OE full > "full" /fʊl/; OE bula > "bull"; OE bysċ > "bush"
(+r) /ər/ > GA /ər/, RP /ɜː/ OE u OE spurnan > "to spurn"
OE y OE ċyriċe > "church"; OE byrþen > "burden"; OE hyrdel > "hurdle"
OE w+,+r OE word > "word"; OE werc (WS weorc) > "work"; OE werold > "world"; OE wyrm > "worm"; OE wersa (WS wiersa) > "worse"; OE weorþ > "worth"
(leng. — occ.) /oː/ oo /uː/ /uː/ OE (brȳd)-guma > ME "(bride)-gome" >! "(bride)-groom"
(+r) /uːr/ > /oːr/ > GA /ɔr/, RP /ɔː/ OE duru > "door"
(often +th,d,t) /ʌ/  ?
(occ. +th,d,t) /ʊ/ OE wudu > "wood" /wʊd/
ā; often a+ld,mb /ɔː/ oa,oCV /oː/ GA /ou/, RP /əu/ OE ā OE āc > "oak"; OE hāl > "whole"
OE +ld,mb OE camb > "comb"; OE ald (WS eald) > "old"; OE haldan (WS healdan) > "to hold"
(+r) /oːr/ > GA /ɔr/, RP /ɔː/ OE ār > "oar", "ore"; OE māra > "more"; OE bār > "boar"; OE sār > "sore"
ǣ; ēa /ɛː/ ea,eCV /eː/ /iː/ OE ǣ OE hǣlan > "to heal" /hiːl/; OE hǣtu > "heat"; OE hwǣte > "wheat"
OE ēa OE bēatan > "to beat" /biːt/; OE lēaf > "leaf"; OE ċēap > "cheap"
(+r) /iːr/ > GA /ɪr/, RP /ɪə/ OE rǣran > "to rear" ; OE ēare > "ear"; OE sēar > "sere"; OE sēarian > "to sear"
(occ.) /ei/ OE grēat > "great" /greit/
(occ. +r) /eːr/ > GA /ɛr/, RP /ɛə/ OE ǣr > "ere" (before)
(often +th,d,t) /ɛ/ OE ǣ OE brǣþ "odor" > "breath"; OE swǣtan > "to sweat"; OE -sprǣdan > "to spread"
OE ēa OE dēad > "dead" /dɛd/; OE dēaþ "death"; OE þrēat "menace" > "threat"; OE rēad > "red"; OE dēaf > "deaf"
ē; ēo; often e+ld /eː/ ee,ie(nd/ld) /iː/ /iː/ OE ē OE fēdan > "to feed"; OE grēdiġ (WS grǣdiġ) > "greedy"; OE > "me"; OE fēt > "feet"; OE dēd (WS dǣd) > "deed"; OE nēdl (WS nǣdl) > "needle"
OE ēo OE dēop "deep"; OE fēond > "fiend"; OE betwēonum > "between"; OE bēon > "to be"
OE +ld OE feld > "field"; OE ġeldan (WS ġieldan) "to pay" > "to yield"
(often +r) /ɛːr/ ear,erV /eːr/ /iːr/ > GA /ɪr/, RP /ɪə/ OE ē OE hēr > "here"; OE hēran (WS hīeran) > "to hear"; OE fēr (WS fǣr) > "fear"
OE ēo OE dēore (WS dīere) > "dear"
(occ.) /eːr/ > GA /ɛr/, RP /ɛə/ OE þēr (WS þǣr) > "there"; OE hwēr (WS hwǣr) > "where"
(occ. +r) /eːr/ eer /iːr/ /iːr/ > GA /ɪr/, RP /ɪə/ OE bēor > "beer"; OE dēor > "deer"; OE stēran (WS stīeran) > "to steer"; OE bēr (WS bǣr) > "bier"
ī; ȳ; often i+ld,mb,nd; often y+ld,mb,nd /iː/ i,iCV /əi/ /ai/ OE ī OE rīdan > "to ride"; OE tīma > "time"; OE hwīt > "white"; OE mīn > "mine" (of me)
OE ȳ OE mȳs > "mice"; OE brȳd > "bride"; OE hȳdan > "to hide"
OE +ld,mb,nd OE findan > "to find"; OE ċild > "child"; OE climban > "to climb"; OE mynd > "mind"
(+r) /air/ > GA /air/, RP /aiə/ OE fȳr > "fire"; OE hȳrian > "to hire"; OE wīr > "wire"
ō; occ. ēo /oː/ oo /u:/ /u:/ OE ō OE mōna > "moon"; OE sōna > "soon"; OE fōd > "food" /fuːd/; OE dōn > "to do"
OE ēo OE cēosan > "to choose"; OE sċēotan > "to shoot"
(+r) /uːr/ > /oːr/ > GA /ɔr/, RP /ɔː/ OE flōr > "floor"; OE mōr > "moor"
(occ. +th,d,v) /ʌ/ OE blōd > "blood" /blʌd/; OE mōdor > "mother" /mʌðə(r)/; OE glōf > "glove" /glʌv/
(often +th,d,t,k) /ʊ/ OE gōd > "good" /gʊd/; OE bōc > "book" /bʊk/; OE lōcian > "to look" /lʊk/; OE fōt > "foot" /fʊt/
ū; often u+nd /uː/ ou /əu/ /au/ OE ū OE mūs > "mouse"; OE ūt, ūte > "out"; OE hlūd > "loud"
OE +nd OE ġefunden > "found"; OE hund > "hound"; OE ġesund > "sound" (safe)
(+r) /aur/ > GA /aur/, RP /auə/ OE OE ūre > "our"; OE sċūr > "shower"; OE sūr > "sour"
(occ. +t) /ʌ/ OE būtan > "but"; OE strūtian > ME strouten > "to strut"


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