Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0176-4225
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9714
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The seemingly contradictory influences of r on neighboring sounds in the early Germanic languages have fueled controversy over r’s articulation in Proto-Germanic and later dialects. In this paper, we examine a number of these early Germanic sound changes and compare their effects to those observed in recent phonetic studies of the coarticulation of different types of r on adjacent vowels. We conclude that an apical trill and a central approximant r are phonetically the most likely conditioners of the earliest Germanic sound changes, while later changes can be accounted for by rhotics which were phonetically related to these earlier articulations.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): breaking; Germanic; historical phonetics; Old English; Old High German; rhotics; sound change
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