Page:Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader.djvu/26

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AN OUTLINE OF ANGLO-SAXON GRAMMAR.

PALATAL-UMLAUT.

15. In some instances, eo (io) which resulted from the breaking of e before h + consonant (9) becomes ie (i, y). This process presupposes the change of the guttural h, which caused the breaking, into a palatal h, which then produces an effect agreeing with that of i-umlaut. (S. § 101.)

Thus, reoht, rieht, riht, ryht, right; cneoht, cnieht, cniht, cnyht, boy; seox (x = hs), siex, six, syx, six.

Note 1.—In LWS ea, ēa before h, x, g, and c are sometimes changed into e, ē: sleh (for sleah) imp. sg. of slēan, to strike; seh (for seah) pret. sg. of sēon, to see; geneahhe, geneh(h)e, enough; nēah, nēh, near; ðēah, ðēh, though; weaxan, wexan, to grow; bēag, beg, ring; ēac, ēc, also.

Note 2.—In LWS ea, ēa after the palatals g, c, and sc are also sometimes changed into e, ē (S. § 102): gef (for geaf ) pret. sg. of giefan, to give; get (for geat) pret. sg. of gietan, to get; geat, get, gate; gēar, gēr, year; ongēan, ongēn, against; cealf, celf, calf; scēap, scēp, sheep.


LOSS OF MEDIAL g.

16. After a palatal vowel, g (palatal) often disappears before d and n, and, in compensation, the vowel is lengthened. (S. §214, 3.)

Thus, bregdan, brēdan, pret. sg. brægd, brǣd, to brandish; pret. sg. sægde, sǣde, pp. gesægd, gesǣd, of sęcgan, to say; frignan, frīnan, to inquire; mægden, mǣden, maiden; ðegen, ðēn, servant; ðegnian, ðēnian, to serve; wægn, wǣn, wain.

The occasional disappearance of g (guttural) after a guttural vowel is therefore due to the influence of palatal forms: pret. pl. brūdon, pp. brōden (for brugdon, brogden) follow the pattern of bregdan, brēdan, etc.