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  • the Old English adjective strang/strong "strong" corresponded to the noun strænþstrængþ(u)/strenþstrengþ(u) "strength," and the Old English adjective lang/long "long" corresponded to the noun lengþ(u) "length". These both show umlaut.

  • In Old English, the noun corresponding to slāw "slow" was slǣwþ, with the expected umlaut, but the word later got remodeled to have the vowel of the adjective: sloth. Sloth has two pronunciations in modern English: it may have a shortened vowel, like cloth (from Old English clāþ) or it may not, like oath (from Old English āþ).

  • The adjective foul is actually related to the noun filth. The latter shows umlaut and shortening: the words descend from Old English fūl and fȳlþ.

  • the noun width shows shortening of the originally long vowel seen in wide.

  • the adjective true corresponds to Old English triewe/treowe. (It would be more etymologically accurate if we used the spelling "trew" in modern English, but we don't because English spelling is a mess). Since the vowel in Old English (ie or eo) was front already, it didn't change in the noun triewþ/treowþ "truth".

  • breadth has an interesting history. It does show umlaut, as can be seen from comparing it to the adjective broad (from Old English brād; the development of the vowel in modern English is irregular). ‎But in Old English, it actually did not have the -th suffix: the umlaut was due to a Proto-Germanic form suffixed with something like -j- or -i-, which was lost resulting in brǣdu (cognate to German Breite). The suffix -th was added to it in Middle English by analogy with words like length and width. The vowel also ended up being shortened, which is not surprising since the word ends in a consonant cluster "dth" and the Middle English vowel that corresponds to the "ea" in this word (/ɛː/) was sometimes shortened even before a single consonant (as in bread, threat, death, deaf).

  • the Old English adjective strang/strong "strong" corresponded to the noun strænþ(u)/strenþ(u) "strength," and the Old English adjective lang/long "long" corresponded to the noun lengþ(u) "length". These both show umlaut.

  • In Old English, the noun corresponding to slāw "slow" was slǣwþ, with the expected umlaut, but the word later got remodeled to have the vowel of the adjective: sloth. Sloth has two pronunciations in modern English: it may have a shortened vowel, like cloth (from Old English clāþ) or it may not, like oath (from Old English āþ).

  • The adjective foul is actually related to the noun filth. The latter shows umlaut and shortening: the words descend from Old English fūl and fȳlþ.

  • the noun width shows shortening of the originally long vowel seen in wide.

  • the adjective true corresponds to Old English triewe/treowe. (It would be more etymologically accurate if we used the spelling "trew" in modern English, but we don't because English spelling is a mess). Since the vowel in Old English (ie or eo) was front already, it didn't change in the noun triewþ/treowþ "truth".

  • breadth has an interesting history. It does show umlaut, as can be seen from comparing it to the adjective broad (from Old English brād; the development of the vowel in modern English is irregular). ‎But in Old English, it actually did not have the -th suffix: the umlaut was due to a Proto-Germanic form suffixed with something like -j- or -i-, which was lost resulting in brǣdu (cognate to German Breite). The suffix -th was added to it in Middle English by analogy with words like length and width. The vowel also ended up being shortened, which is not surprising since the word ends in a consonant cluster "dth" and the Middle English vowel that corresponds to the "ea" in this word (/ɛː/) was sometimes shortened even before a single consonant (as in bread, threat, death, deaf).

  • the Old English adjective strang/strong "strong" corresponded to the noun strængþ(u)/strengþ(u) "strength," and the Old English adjective lang/long "long" corresponded to the noun lengþ(u) "length". These both show umlaut.

  • In Old English, the noun corresponding to slāw "slow" was slǣwþ, with the expected umlaut, but the word later got remodeled to have the vowel of the adjective: sloth. Sloth has two pronunciations in modern English: it may have a shortened vowel, like cloth (from Old English clāþ) or it may not, like oath (from Old English āþ).

  • The adjective foul is actually related to the noun filth. The latter shows umlaut and shortening: the words descend from Old English fūl and fȳlþ.

  • the noun width shows shortening of the originally long vowel seen in wide.

  • the adjective true corresponds to Old English triewe/treowe. (It would be more etymologically accurate if we used the spelling "trew" in modern English, but we don't because English spelling is a mess). Since the vowel in Old English (ie or eo) was front already, it didn't change in the noun triewþ/treowþ "truth".

  • breadth has an interesting history. It does show umlaut, as can be seen from comparing it to the adjective broad (from Old English brād; the development of the vowel in modern English is irregular). ‎But in Old English, it actually did not have the -th suffix: the umlaut was due to a Proto-Germanic form suffixed with something like -j- or -i-, which was lost resulting in brǣdu (cognate to German Breite). The suffix -th was added to it in Middle English by analogy with words like length and width. The vowel also ended up being shortened, which is not surprising since the word ends in a consonant cluster "dth" and the Middle English vowel that corresponds to the "ea" in this word (/ɛː/) was sometimes shortened even before a single consonant (as in bread, threat, death, deaf).

4 added 307 characters in body
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  • the Old English adjective strang/strong "strong" corresponded to the noun strænþ(u)/strenþ(u) "strength," and the Old English adjective lang/long "long" corresponded to the noun lengþ(u) "length". These both show umlaut.

  • In Old English, the noun corresponding to slāw "slow" was slǣwþ, with the expected umlaut, but the word later got remodeled to have the vowel of the adjective: (sloth). Sloth has two pronunciations in modern English: it may have a shortened vowel, like cloth (from Old English clāþ) or it may not, like oath (from Old English āþ).

  • The adjective foul is actually related to the noun filth. The latter shows umlaut and shortening: the words descend from Old English fūl and fȳlþ.

  • the noun width shows shortening of the originally long vowel seen in wide.

  • the adjective true corresponds to Old English triewe/treowe. (It mightwould be more etymologically accurate to spell it as trewif we used the spelling "trew" in modern English, but we don't because English spelling is a mess). Since the vowel in Old English (ie or eo) was front already, it didn't change in the noun triewþ/treowþ "truth".

  • breadth has an interesting history. It does show umlaut, as can be seen from comparing it to the adjective broad (from Old English brād; the development of the vowel in modern English is irregular). ‎But in Old English, it actually did not have the -th suffix: the umlaut was due to a Proto-Germanic form suffixed with something like -j- or -i-, which was lost resulting in brǣdu (cognate to German Breite). The suffix -th was added to it in Middle English by analogy with words like length and width. Adding this suffixThe vowel also causedended up being shortened, which is not surprising since the word ends in a consonant cluster "dth" and the Middle English vowel that corresponds to bethe "ea" in this word (/ɛː/) was sometimes shortened, as usual even before a single consonant (as in bread, threat, death, deaf).

  • the Old English adjective strang/strong "strong" corresponded to the noun strænþ(u)/strenþ(u) "strength," and the Old English adjective lang/long "long" corresponded to the noun lengþ(u) "length". These both show umlaut.

  • In Old English, the noun corresponding to slāw "slow" was slǣwþ, with the expected umlaut, but the word later got remodeled to have the vowel of the adjective (sloth). Sloth has two pronunciations in modern English: it may have a shortened vowel, like cloth (from Old English clāþ) or it may not, like oath (from Old English āþ).

  • The adjective foul is actually related to the noun filth. The latter shows umlaut and shortening: the words descend from Old English fūl and fȳlþ.

  • the noun width shows shortening of the originally long vowel seen in wide.

  • the adjective true corresponds to Old English triewe/treowe. (It might be more etymologically accurate to spell it as trew). Since the vowel in Old English was front already, it didn't change in the noun triewþ/treowþ "truth".

  • breadth has an interesting history. It does show umlaut, as can be seen from comparing it to the adjective broad (from Old English brād; the development of the vowel in modern English is irregular). ‎But in Old English, it actually did not have the -th suffix: the umlaut was due to a Proto-Germanic form suffixed with something like -j- or -i-, which was lost resulting in brǣdu (cognate to German Breite). The suffix -th was added to it in Middle English by analogy with words like length and width. Adding this suffix also caused the vowel to be shortened, as usual.

  • the Old English adjective strang/strong "strong" corresponded to the noun strænþ(u)/strenþ(u) "strength," and the Old English adjective lang/long "long" corresponded to the noun lengþ(u) "length". These both show umlaut.

  • In Old English, the noun corresponding to slāw "slow" was slǣwþ, with the expected umlaut, but the word later got remodeled to have the vowel of the adjective: sloth. Sloth has two pronunciations in modern English: it may have a shortened vowel, like cloth (from Old English clāþ) or it may not, like oath (from Old English āþ).

  • The adjective foul is actually related to the noun filth. The latter shows umlaut and shortening: the words descend from Old English fūl and fȳlþ.

  • the noun width shows shortening of the originally long vowel seen in wide.

  • the adjective true corresponds to Old English triewe/treowe. (It would be more etymologically accurate if we used the spelling "trew" in modern English, but we don't because English spelling is a mess). Since the vowel in Old English (ie or eo) was front already, it didn't change in the noun triewþ/treowþ "truth".

  • breadth has an interesting history. It does show umlaut, as can be seen from comparing it to the adjective broad (from Old English brād; the development of the vowel in modern English is irregular). ‎But in Old English, it actually did not have the -th suffix: the umlaut was due to a Proto-Germanic form suffixed with something like -j- or -i-, which was lost resulting in brǣdu (cognate to German Breite). The suffix -th was added to it in Middle English by analogy with words like length and width. The vowel also ended up being shortened, which is not surprising since the word ends in a consonant cluster "dth" and the Middle English vowel that corresponds to the "ea" in this word (/ɛː/) was sometimes shortened even before a single consonant (as in bread, threat, death, deaf).

3 replaced http://english.stackexchange.com/ with https://english.stackexchange.com/
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In general, the suffix -th that creates nouns from adjectives comes from Proto-Germanic *-iþō.

Since this was already a suffix in Proto-Germanic, it definitely was not a separate word in Old English. In fact, it seems to descend from a Proto-Indo-European suffix, the same one that is the origin of Latin -(i)tas (which shows up in English borrowed words as -(i)ty).

The vowel shifts are not related to ablaut. There are two main causes:

  • umlaut, or i-affection: although the original i in the suffix was lost by the time of Old English, it left a trace by making a preceding vowel front, changing a to æ or e, o to e, and u to y (which became i later on).
  • regular shortening of long vowels before consonant clusters, and inconsistent shortening of long vowels in some cases before final single consonants

Examples:

  • the Old English adjective strang/strong "strong" corresponded to the noun strænþ(u)/strenþ(u) "strength," and the Old English adjective lang/long "long" corresponded to the noun lengþ(u) "length". These both show umlaut.

  • In Old English, the noun corresponding to slāw "slow" was slǣwþ, with the expected umlaut, but the word later got remodeled to have the vowel of the adjective (sloth). Sloth has two pronunciations in modern English: it may have a shortened vowel, like cloth (from Old English clāþ) or it may not, like oath (from Old English āþ).

  • The adjective foul is actually related to the noun filth. The latter shows umlaut and shortening: the words descend from Old English fūl and fȳlþ.

  • the noun width shows shortening of the originally long vowel seen in wide.

  • the adjective true corresponds to Old English triewe/treowe. (It might be more etymologically accurate to spell it as trew). Since the vowel in Old English was front already, it didn't change in the noun triewþ/treowþ "truth".

  • breadth has an interesting history. It does show umlaut, as can be seen from comparing it to the adjective broad (from Old English brād; the development of the vowel in modern English is irregularirregular). ‎But in Old English, it actually did not have the -th suffix: the umlaut was due to a Proto-Germanic form suffixed with something like -j- or -i-, which was lost resulting in brǣdu (cognate to German Breite). The suffix -th was added to it in Middle English by analogy with words like length and width. Adding this suffix also caused the vowel to be shortened, as usual.

In general, the suffix -th that creates nouns from adjectives comes from Proto-Germanic *-iþō.

Since this was already a suffix in Proto-Germanic, it definitely was not a separate word in Old English. In fact, it seems to descend from a Proto-Indo-European suffix, the same one that is the origin of Latin -(i)tas (which shows up in English borrowed words as -(i)ty).

The vowel shifts are not related to ablaut. There are two main causes:

  • umlaut, or i-affection: although the original i in the suffix was lost by the time of Old English, it left a trace by making a preceding vowel front, changing a to æ or e, o to e, and u to y (which became i later on).
  • regular shortening of long vowels before consonant clusters, and inconsistent shortening of long vowels in some cases before final single consonants

Examples:

  • the Old English adjective strang/strong "strong" corresponded to the noun strænþ(u)/strenþ(u) "strength," and the Old English adjective lang/long "long" corresponded to the noun lengþ(u) "length". These both show umlaut.

  • In Old English, the noun corresponding to slāw "slow" was slǣwþ, with the expected umlaut, but the word later got remodeled to have the vowel of the adjective (sloth). Sloth has two pronunciations in modern English: it may have a shortened vowel, like cloth (from Old English clāþ) or it may not, like oath (from Old English āþ).

  • The adjective foul is actually related to the noun filth. The latter shows umlaut and shortening: the words descend from Old English fūl and fȳlþ.

  • the noun width shows shortening of the originally long vowel seen in wide.

  • the adjective true corresponds to Old English triewe/treowe. (It might be more etymologically accurate to spell it as trew). Since the vowel in Old English was front already, it didn't change in the noun triewþ/treowþ "truth".

  • breadth has an interesting history. It does show umlaut, as can be seen from comparing it to the adjective broad (from Old English brād; the development of the vowel in modern English is irregular). ‎But in Old English, it actually did not have the -th suffix: the umlaut was due to a Proto-Germanic form suffixed with something like -j- or -i-, which was lost resulting in brǣdu (cognate to German Breite). The suffix -th was added to it in Middle English by analogy with words like length and width. Adding this suffix also caused the vowel to be shortened, as usual.

In general, the suffix -th that creates nouns from adjectives comes from Proto-Germanic *-iþō.

Since this was already a suffix in Proto-Germanic, it definitely was not a separate word in Old English. In fact, it seems to descend from a Proto-Indo-European suffix, the same one that is the origin of Latin -(i)tas (which shows up in English borrowed words as -(i)ty).

The vowel shifts are not related to ablaut. There are two main causes:

  • umlaut, or i-affection: although the original i in the suffix was lost by the time of Old English, it left a trace by making a preceding vowel front, changing a to æ or e, o to e, and u to y (which became i later on).
  • regular shortening of long vowels before consonant clusters, and inconsistent shortening of long vowels in some cases before final single consonants

Examples:

  • the Old English adjective strang/strong "strong" corresponded to the noun strænþ(u)/strenþ(u) "strength," and the Old English adjective lang/long "long" corresponded to the noun lengþ(u) "length". These both show umlaut.

  • In Old English, the noun corresponding to slāw "slow" was slǣwþ, with the expected umlaut, but the word later got remodeled to have the vowel of the adjective (sloth). Sloth has two pronunciations in modern English: it may have a shortened vowel, like cloth (from Old English clāþ) or it may not, like oath (from Old English āþ).

  • The adjective foul is actually related to the noun filth. The latter shows umlaut and shortening: the words descend from Old English fūl and fȳlþ.

  • the noun width shows shortening of the originally long vowel seen in wide.

  • the adjective true corresponds to Old English triewe/treowe. (It might be more etymologically accurate to spell it as trew). Since the vowel in Old English was front already, it didn't change in the noun triewþ/treowþ "truth".

  • breadth has an interesting history. It does show umlaut, as can be seen from comparing it to the adjective broad (from Old English brād; the development of the vowel in modern English is irregular). ‎But in Old English, it actually did not have the -th suffix: the umlaut was due to a Proto-Germanic form suffixed with something like -j- or -i-, which was lost resulting in brǣdu (cognate to German Breite). The suffix -th was added to it in Middle English by analogy with words like length and width. Adding this suffix also caused the vowel to be shortened, as usual.

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