By Pedi


2016-05-08 17:09:09 8 Comments

I have come across the term ablaut.

I have searched many dictionaries, however, I haven't been able to understand its meaning. Can you tell me whether the term is the same as vowel change or not.

Additionally.We have in German language a corresponding term with vowel change ,that is ,der vokalwechsel

2 comments

@frank 2016-05-12 16:42:02

Sing, sang, sung, song is indeed an example of ablaut, but only one kind of ablaut. There is another more interesting kind because it's more fruitful. This is shown by the words nest, sit, seat.
The root here is 's-t'. The nest is where a bird sits down. ni means down, the same as in the words nether and beneath. This type of vowel gradation was very productive, and is still present in North Indian languages, as in beithna, to sit, bithana, to seat.
I can't find a reference, but I suspect the word ablaut was introduced by the brothers Grimm, serious philologists in addition to being renowned for their fairy tales.

@Niels Kornerup 2016-05-10 14:03:52

Ablaut is defined as a change in vowel in related words or forms. The word actually originates from the German words "ab" (off) and "laut" (sound), meaning that ablaut literally means an off sound. It refers to when different forms of a word have different vowels, as in sing, sang, sung.

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