West Germanic gemination

West Germanic gemination

West Germanic gemination is a sound change that took place in all West Germanic languages, around 300 AD. All single consonants except IPA|/r/ were geminated (doubled) after a short vowel and before IPA|/j/; sometimes also before IPA|/w/, IPA|/r/, and IPA|/l/. A similar change occurred in the history of Old Norse, but was much more limited, applying only after IPA|/k/ and IPA|/g/. This change particularly affected the infinitives of the first conjugation of weak verbs, which ended in IPA|/jan/. By historical times (c. 800-900 AD), all of the West Germanic languages except Old Saxon had dropped the IPA|/j/. The IPA|/j/ also triggered i-Mutation, as well as palatalization in Old English and Old Frisian. Examples:


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