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ABLAUT. A term used in PHILOLOGY for both the diachronic shifting of vowels (also known as VOWEL SHIFT) and the synchronic grading of vowels (also known as vowel gradation), especially in the INDO-EUROPEAN languages. Vowel gradation occurs in English in the formation of some irregular noun plurals (man, men; goose, geese) and some irregular verbs (sing, sang, sung; swim, swam, swum). Compare STRONG VERB.
ab·laut / ˈabˌlout/ • n. a change of vowel in related words or forms, e.g., in Germanic strong verbs (e.g., in sing, sang, sung).
ablaut alternation in the vowels of related word forms, especially in Germanic strong verbs (e.g. in sing, sang, sung).
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