Template:Middle English diphthongs

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Note: V means "any vowel"; C means "any consonant"; # means "end of word".

Late Old English (Anglian) Early Middle English Late Middle English Early Modern English Modern English Example (Old and Modern English forms given)[1]
æg, ǣg /ai/ /ai/ [æi] /eː/ /ei/ dæġ > "day"; mæġ > "may"; mæġden > "maiden"; næġl > "nail"; fæġer > "fair"; clǣġ > "clay"; grǣġ > "gray"
eg, ēg# /ɛi/ weġ > "way"; pleġan > "to play"; reġn > "rain"; leġer > "lair"; leġde > "laid"; hēġ (WS hīeġ) > hay
ēgV /ei/ > /iː/ /iː/ /əi/ /ai/ ēage > ēġe > "eye"; lēogan > lēġan > "to lie" (deceive); flēoge > flēġe > "fly"
ig, īg, yg, ȳg /iː/ tiġel > "tile"; liġe > "(I) lie" (recline); hīġian > "to hie"; ryġe > "rye"; byġe > "(I) buy"; drȳġe > "dry"
æw, aw, agV /au/ /au/ /ɔː/ /ɔː/ clawu > "claw"; lagu > "law"; dragan > "to draw"
ǣw, ēaw, ew, eow /ɛu/ /ɛu/ /juː/ /(j)uː/ mǣw > "mew"; lǣwede > "lewd"; scrēawa > "shrew"; eowu > "ewe"
ēw, ēow /eu/ /iu/ ċēowan > "to chew"; hrēowan > "to rue"; blēow > "blew"; trēowþ > truth
iw, īw, yw, ȳw /iu/ hīw > "hue"; nīwe > "new"; trīewe (WS) > "true"; Tīwesdæġ > Tiwesdæġ > "Tuesday"
āw, āgV, ow, ogV, ōw, ōgV /ɔu/ /ɔu/ /ou/ > /oː/ /əu/ (British), /ou/ (American) cnāwan > "to know"; crāwa > "crow"; snāw > "snow"; sāwol > soul; āgan > "to owe"; āgen > "own"; grōwan > "to grow"; blōwen > "blown"; boga > "bow" /bou/; flogen > "flown"
ugV, ūgV /uː/ /uː/ /əu/ /au/ fugol > "fowl"; drugaþ > drouth > "drought"; būgan > "to bow" /bau/
æh, ah, ag# /auh/ /auh/ ([x] → nil) /ɔː/ /ɔː/ slæht (WS sleaht) + -or > "slaughter"
([x] → /f/) /af/ /æf/ hlæhtor > "laughter"
eh /ɛih/ /ɛih/ /ei/ > /eː/ /ei/ streht > "straight"
ēh /eih/ > /iːh/ /iːh/ /əi/ /ai/ hēah > hēh > "high"; þēoh > þēh > "thigh"; nēh > "nigh"
ih, īh, yh, ȳh /iːh/ reht > riht > "right"; flyht > "flight"; līoht > līht > "light"
āh, āg#, oh, og# /ɔuh/ /ɔuh/ ([x] → nil) /ou/ > /oː/ /əu/ (British), /ou/ (American) dāg > dāh > "dough"
([x] → /f/) /ɔf/ /ɒf/ (British), /ɔːf/ (American) trog > "trough"
āhC, ohC, ōhC /ɔuh/ /ɔuh/ /ɔː/ /ɔː/ āhte > "ought"; dohtor > "daughter"; þoht > "thought"; sōhte > "sought"
ōh#, ōg# /ouh/ > /uːh/ /uːh/ ([x] → nil) /əu/ /au/ bōg > "bough"; plōg > plōh > "plough"
([x] → /f/) /ʊf/ (centralized) /ʌf/ ġenōg, ġenōh > enough; tōh > "tough"; ruh > "rough"
uh, ug#, ūh, ūg# /uːh/ (non-centralized) /ʊf/  ?


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References

These references will appear in the article, but this list appears only on this page.
  1. ^ Many examples from Fernand Mossé (1968), A Handbook of Middle English, tr. James Walker, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, pp. 27–29.