American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A change in a vowel sound caused by partial assimilation especially to a vowel or semivowel occurring in the following syllable.
- n. A vowel sound changed in this manner. Also called vowel mutation.
- n. The diacritic mark (¨) placed over a vowel to indicate an umlaut, especially in German.
- v. To modify by umlaut.
- v. To write or print (a vowel) with an umlaut.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In philology, the German name, invented by Grimm, for a vowel-change in the Germanic languages, brought about by the influence of a vowel in the succeeding syllable: namely, of the vowel i, modifying the preceding vowel in the direction of e or i, and of the vowel u, modifying the preceding vowel toward a or u. Only the former, or the change by a following i (now generally lost or altered), is found in English or German: thus, German mann, männer; fall, fällen; maus, mäuse; fuss, füsse; etc.; in English the phenomena are only sporadic remains, like
man, men; fall, fell; mouse, mice; foot, feet. In Icelandic both kinds of umlaut are frequent and regular changes. An English name sometimes used for ‘umlaut’ is mutation. Compare ablaut.
- In philology, to form with the umlaut, as a form; also, to affect or modify by umlaut, as a sound.
- n. linguistics An assimilatory process whereby a vowel is pronounced more like a following vocoid that is separated by one or more consonants.
- n. linguistics The umlaut process (as above) that occurred historically in Germanic languages whereby back vowels became front vowels when followed by syllable containing a front vocoid (e.g. Germanic lūsi > Old English līs(i) > Modern English lice).
- n. linguistics A vowel so assimilated.
- n. orthography The diacritical mark ( ¨ ) placed over a vowel, usually when it indicates such assimilation.
- v. To place an umlaut over a vowel.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Philol.) The euphonic modification of a root vowel sound by the influence of a, u, or especially i, in the syllable which formerly followed.
- n. a diacritical mark (two dots) placed over a vowel in German to indicate a change in sound
- From German Umlaut, from um ("around") + Laut ("sound"), from Old High German hlut. (Wiktionary)
- German : um-, around, alteration (from Middle High German umb-, from umbe, from Old High German umbi) + Laut, sound (from Middle High German lūt, from Old High German hlūt). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“What happens in umlaut is that a back vowel is modified so as to have the form of the corresponding front vowel when there is a front vowel in the following syllable; this typically happens in plural forms of nouns, comparative forms of adjectives, and other words that have suffixes, so Mann (man) becomes Männer (men), lang (long) becomes länger (longer), and Tod (death) becomes tödlich (deathly, lethal).”
“The preposition um means around or surrounding, but as a prefix the word has the idea of changing or modifying; laut means sound, so an umlaut is a modified sound.”
“Now an umlaut is masculine, but an accent mark ...?”
“Okay, so they're spelling it differently (the umlaut is a nice touch, I must admit) ... but still!”
“The computer thought the umlaut was the last letter in the alphabet and removed everyone else's names," he said.”
“Probably because of that strange little trema (a French kind of umlaut or diaeresis) over the "e".”
“Everywhere that his name appears in the printed text, the letter "u" is marked with two dots above it (called an 'umlaut') to show that it is pronounced differently from the way the unmarked vowel is normally pronounced.”
“For those of you unfamiliar with German diacritics, "umlaut" is the name for the two dots above a vowel.”
“#458783: Doesn't start if installed into a directory with an "umlaut”
“By the way, there is no "umlaut" ¨) in the name Under Byen - we don't have umlauts in Danish ;-)”
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