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umlaut

Line breaks: um¦laut
Pronunciation: /ˈʊmlaʊt
 
/
Linguistics

Definition of umlaut in English:

noun

1A mark (¨) used over a vowel, especially in German, to indicate a different vowel quality.
Example sentences
  • German umlauts appear to be a problem in some cases.
  • The evidence is that originally the German keyboard produced circumflexes instead of umlauts but it was replaced by an English keyboard.
  • Come on folks, don't you know how to pronounce vowels with umlauts over them?
1.1 [mass noun] The process in Germanic languages by which the quality of a vowel was altered in certain phonetic contexts, resulting for example in the differences between modern German Mann and Männer.
Example sentences
  • It is important to note that in many OE words containing vowels affected by umlaut, the /i/ or /j/ in the following unstressed syllable has been lost.
  • Not all vowel gradations are caused by umlaut.
  • The mutations of a basic vowel by umlaut are of two kinds in OE.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
Modify (a form or sound) by using an umlaut: the colour of prothetic vowels, unless umlauted by the next syllable, was that of the laryngeal which was vocalized
More example sentences
  • Accented and umlauted vowels, and diacritical marks on consonants must be avoided, because they act as roadblocks and break the speed of a typist.
  • That's like the umlauted vowel in the first syllable of the German town name Tübingen.
  • In the choral movement of his ninth symphony, the soprano soloist has to sing her highest note on the umlauted U in flügel, an even more daunting vowel sound than that in ‘who'd.’

Origin

mid 19th century: from German Umlaut, from um 'about' + Laut 'sound'.

Definition of umlaut in:

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