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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 15, 2008

On the development of Germanic consonants. The Danish shift and the Danish lenition

Kurt Gustav Goblirsch
From the journal

The main events in the history of Germanic obstruents are thought to be the Germanic and High German consonant shifts, and traditionally research has focused on these two great upheavals. As a result, conclusions on the development of consonants have been based primarily on a comparison of these two shifts. This has led to inaccurate, or at best, incomplete results. Other accounts, like those of Hennig Brinkmann (1941) and L. L. Hammerich (1955), compared the High German lenition with Verner's Law or examined the relationship of West Germanic gemination to the High German shift. Such studies have increased our understanding of the processes involved, but much material was as yet untapped. Changes in the Scandinavian languages, however, have a scope equal to the two ›famous‹ shifts and can shed much light on the processes at work in Germanic: true consonant shifts have occurred in Danish and Icelandic. Danish has also been affected by a lenition more far reaching than the German lenition. R. C. Boer (1916), Henrik Abrahams (1949), Ludwik Zabrocki (1964), and M. I. Steblin-Kamenskij (1974) have compared the Scandinavian shifts to the first and second shifts, but their work has remained largely without resonance outside Scandinavian studies.

Published Online: 2008-01-15
Published in Print: 2002-September-27

© Max Niemeyer Verlag GmbH, Tübingen 2002

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