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A diphthongization is a sound change that turns a simple vowel (a monophthong ) into a sequence of two vowels (a diphthong ). The reverse sound change is called monophthonging . Diphthongization is a change in sound that only affects vowels.

Diphthongization in German

A diphthongization in early Old High German was mainly based on Old Franconian . The long vowel ō has developed to ua or uo and the long vowel ē to ia or ie . The resulting twilights were not monophthongized again until the early New High German period to long ū and long ī . The former diphthong ie is still reflected today in the spelling ie . In the Upper German dialects , however, the diphthongs have been preserved to this day; Compare Upper German Buech [ buəχ ], müed [ myəd ], lieb [ liəb ] versus standard German Buch [ buːx ], tired [ ˈmyːdə ] lieb [ liːb ].

For today's German, the so-called New High German diphthongization is particularly important. This means the development of the long vowels î, û and iu (spoken: ü [ y ]) to ei, au and eu / äu (keywords: min niuwez hus to my new house ). New High German diphthongization started in the 12th century from the southeast of the German-speaking area (today's Carinthia , Styria ) and spread northward into the Central German-speaking area in the following centuries. From there, the changes also made themselves felt in the emerging New High German standard language. The Low German dialects in the north and the Alemannic dialects in the south-west of the German-speaking area (without Swabian) did not take over these changes and, in this regard, remain in the older language; Compare Low German and Alemannic Is, Iis (Ys) [ iːs ], Für, Füür [ fyːɐ̯ fyːr ], Hus, Huus [ huːs ] versus standard German Eis [ aɪ̯s ], Feuer [ ˈfɔɪ̯ɐ ], house [ haʊ̯s ]. However, aware of the low- , medium- and high-Alemannic dialects as opposed to the maximum Alemannische diphthongization in the final position and the hiatus (z. B. High Alemannic German free [ freɪ ] "free", snowing [ ʃneɪə ] "snow" Bou [ boʊ ] "construction" , boue [ boʊə ] "to build", nöi [ nøɪ ] "new" vs. the highest level . frii (fry) [ friː ], schniie (schnye) [ ʃniːə ], Buu [ buː ], buue [ buːə ], nüü [ nyː ] ).

The New High German diphthonging has nothing to do with the so-called High German sound shift , which took place much earlier and only concerned consonants .

Diphthongization in other languages

The phenomenon of diphthongization can also be found in the history of many other languages, such as Czech , where, for example, u: became ou . Certain Polish dialects are also characterized by strong diphthongization, especially Podhalic .

Also for Romance languages , especially the Italian and Spanish , the diphthongization is characteristic. In Italian, it concerns sounds that were briefly voiced in Latin and in an open tone syllable: natare → n uo tare , pede → p ie de . In Spanish, closed tone syllables were also diphthongized (Latin tempus , It. Tempo , sp. T ie mpo ). In Neapolitan , diphthonging also occurs in the context of metaphony ("umlaut"), e.g. B. pòrtoportə 'I carry', but pòrt ip rtə 'you carry'.

See also


  • Helmut Glück (Ed.): Metzler Lexicon Language. 4th, updated and revised edition. Metzler, Stuttgart et al. 2010, ISBN 978-3-476-02335-3 .
  • Hadumod Bußmann (Ed.): Lexicon of Linguistics. 4th, revised and bibliographically supplemented edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-520-45204-7 .
  • Christopher J. Wells: German: a language history up to 1945 (= series Germanistische Linguistik. 93, series Germanistische Linguistik. Kollegbuch. ). Max Niemeyer, Tübingen 1990, ISBN 3-484-10638-7 , p. 328.

Web links

Wiktionary: Diphthongization  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Stefan Sonderegger : Old High German Language and Literature. An introduction to the oldest German. Presentation and grammar. 3rd, revised and significantly expanded edition. de Gruyter, Berlin a. a. 2003, ISBN 3-11-017288-7 , pp. 255 f.
  2. a b cf. Werner König , Hans-Joachim Paul: dtv-Atlas. German language (= dtv. 3025). 18th, revised and corrected edition. Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-423-03025-0 .
  3. See Linguistic Atlas of German-speaking Switzerland . Volume 1: Sound Geography. Vowel quality. Francke, Bern 1962, map 148–159; or Helen Christen, Elvira Glaser , Matthias Friedli (eds.): Small language atlas of German-speaking Switzerland. 5th edition. Huber, Frauenfeld 2015, ISBN 978-3-7193-1589-4 , map 87.