Grimm's law

Grimm's law

noun Linguistics.
the statement of the regular pattern of consonant correspondences presumed to represent changes from Proto-Indo-European to Germanic, according to which voiced aspirated stops became voiced obstruents, voiced unaspirated stops became unvoiced stops, and unvoiced stops became unvoiced fricatives: first formulated in 1820–22 by Jakob Grimm, though the facts had been noted earlier by Rasmus Rask.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To grimm's law
Collins
World English Dictionary
Grimm's law (ɡrɪmz)
 
n
the rules accounting for systematic correspondences between consonants in the Germanic languages and consonants in other Indo-European languages; it states that Proto-Indo-European voiced aspirated stops, voiced unaspirated stops, and voiceless stops became voiced unaspirated stops, voiceless stops, and voiceless fricatives respectively
 
[formulated by Jakob Grimm]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

grimm's law

description of the regular correspondences in Indo-European languages formulated by Jacob Grimm in his Deutsche Grammatik (1819-37; "Germanic Grammar"); it pointed out prominent correlations between the Germanic and other Indo-European languages of Europe and western Asia. The law was a systematic and coherent formulation, well supported by examples, of patterns recognized as early as 1814 by the Danish philologist Rasmus Kristian Rask. It is important for historical linguistics because it clearly demonstrates the principle that sound change is a regular phenomenon and not a random process affecting only some words, as had been thought previously.

Learn more about Grimm's law with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature