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I noticed that the form with the u vowel was kept only in High German. All other germanic languages use the form with i,such as Dutch and English. Why is that?Is this the result of some sort of sound change? The existence of two alternative forms with such different vowels seems really strange to me.

  • It's called ablaut. – Sverre Feb 25 '19 at 18:00
  • @Sverre Does this apophony have any meaning or is it just random? – X30Marco Feb 25 '19 at 18:09
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    @Sverre Isn't ablaut specifically the e/o changing in PIE? – Draconis Feb 25 '19 at 20:31
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    @sumelic I see! Thank you for that explanation – Draconis Feb 25 '19 at 23:31
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The feminine suffix variants *-ingō/-ungō correspond to the masculine *-inga-/-unga-, which go back to PIE *-en-ko-/-n̥-ko- (see Krahe 1969 'Germanische Sprachwissenschaft III' p. 206). The relationship between *-en- and *-n̥- is called ablaut.

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    Very nice answer: concise and well-sourced. – mach Feb 27 '19 at 11:51

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