Verner's law, stated by Karl Verner in 1875, describes a historical sound change in the Proto-Germanic language whereby voiceless fricatives *f, *þ, *s, *h, *hʷ, when immediately following an unstressed syllable in the same word, underwent voicing and became respectively the fricatives *b, *d, *z, *g, *gʷ.
(In Proto-Germanic, voiced fricatives * were allophones of their corresponding voiced plosives * when they occurred between vowels, semivowels and liquids, so we write them here as *b, *d, *g. But the situations where Verner's law applied resulted in fricatives in these very circumstances, so we understand these phonemes as fricatives in this context.)
Famous quotes containing the word law:
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest? He said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
—Bible: New Testament, Matthew 22:36-40.