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vowel fracture

noun, Phonology
1.

breaking1

[brey-king] /ˈbreɪ kɪŋ/
noun
1.
Phonology. the change of a pure vowel to a diphthong, especially in certain environments, as, in Old English, the change of a vowel to a diphthong under the influence of a following consonant or combination of consonants, as the change of -a- to -ea- and of -e- to -eo- before preconsonantal r or l and before h, as in earm “arm” developed from arm, and eorthe “earth” from erthe.
Also called vowel fracture.
Origin
1870-1875
1870-75; translation of German Brechung; see break, -ing1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for vowel-fracture

breaking

/ˈbreɪkɪŋ/
noun
1.
(linguistics) (in Old English, Old Norse, etc) the change of a vowel into a diphthong
Word Origin
C19: translation of German Brechung
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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