Perhaps a rogue question but my father loves languages and when on holiday in Holland was trying to tell me about the two vowel (or constant? Shifts) changes that occured, and so why English and German vowels are different - but he could remember very little from his linguistics module! I would love some suggestions for books on the subject I could get him for his birthday - any suggestions would be fantastic!

Thanks so much, Matt

  • 2
    Are you talking about the Great Vowel Shift? Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 23:58
  • Or possibly Grimm's Law (consonants)?
    – TKR
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 1:03
  • 1
    Grimm's Law (aka the First Germanic Consonant Shift) applies to all Germanic languages, including English and German. English and German vowels are different partly because of the English Great Vowel Shift, which German didn't have, and the consonants are different because of the Second Germanic Consonant Shift, which German had but English didn't.
    – jlawler
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 14:59


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