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Grimm's law

noun, Linguistics
1.
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.
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British Dictionary definitions for grimm's-law

Grimm's law

/ɡrɪmz/
noun
1.
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
Word Origin
formulated by Jakob Grimm
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for grimm's-law

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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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