umlaut

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umlaut (ŏŏm´lout) [Ger.,=transformed sound], in inflection, variation of vowels of the type of English man to men. In this instance it is the end product of the effect of a y (long since disappeared) that was present in the plural; the y caused the vowel before the n to be pronounced higher and more forward in the mouth in the plural than in the singular; eventually there was replacement of the vowel in the plural. Other examples are mouse, mice;tooth, teeth;to fall, to fell;doom, deem. Umlaut is also called mutation and inflection. For the variation of sing, sang, see ablaut. Umlaut is also the name for the diacritical symbol placed above a vowel to indicate a sound change in Germanic languages, as in the German Fräulein and the Swedish fröken (see accent).

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umlautabout, bout, clout, devout, doubt, down-and-out, drought, flout, gout, grout, knout, Kraut, lout, mahout, misdoubt, nowt, out, out-and-out, owt, pout, Prout, right about, rout, scout, shout, snout, spout, sprout, stout, thereabout, thereout, throughout, timeout, tout, trout, way-out, without •layout, payout •buyout • blowout • layabout •gadabout • roundabout • knockabout •walkabout • runabout • turnabout •hereabout • roustabout •handout, standout •readout • hideout • dugout • blackout •checkout •breakout, stakeout, takeout •strikeout •knockout, lockout •walkout •cookout, lookout •workout • sell-out • fallout • pull-out •umlaut • litter lout • spin-out •burnout, turnout •hangout • wipeout •copout, dropout •waterspout • beansprout • clearout •sauerkraut • washout • printout •white-out • shoot-out •cut-out, shut-out

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um·laut / ˈoŏmˌlout/ Linguistics • n. a mark ( ¨ ) used over a vowel, as in German or Hungarian, to indicate a different vowel quality, usually fronting or rounding. ∎  (esp. in Germanic languages) the process by which a back vowel becomes front in the context of another front vowel, resulting, e.g., in the differences between modern German Mann and Männer or (after loss of the inflection) English man and men. • v. [tr.] modify (a form or a sound) by using an umlaut.

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umlaut the process in Germanic languages by which the quality of a vowel was altered in certain phonetic contexts, resulting for example in the differences between modern German Mann and Männer or (after loss of the inflection) English man and men.

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umlaut (philol.) change in the sound of a vowel due to partial assimilation to an adjacent sound. XIX. — G., f. um- about + laut sound.