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Umlaut is the phonological process in which back vowels or diphthongs are fronted due to (a) a following front vowel, or (b) a specific morpheme or morphological class.


A well-known example is German umlaut. Plural nouns can be formed in several (unpredictable) ways. One possibility is fronting of the base vowel: Apfel:Äpfel and Bauch:Bäuche.



  • Lieber, R. 1980. On the Organization of the Lexicon, PhD diss. Univ. of New Hampshire, reproduced by the IULC.
  • Spencer, A. 1991. Morphological Theory, Blackwell, Oxford.

Other Languages

German Umlaut (de)

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