Verner's law

noun Linguistics.

the statement by K. Verner of a regularity behind some apparent exceptions in the Germanic languages to Grimm's law, namely, that Proto-Germanic voiceless fricatives became voiced when between voiced sounds if the immediately preceding vowel was not accented in Proto-Indo-European.

Origin of Verner's law

First recorded in 1890–95 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for verner's law

Verner's law

/ (ˈvɜːnəz) /


linguistics a modification of Grimm's Law accommodating some of its exceptions. It states that noninitial voiceless fricatives in Proto-Germanic occurring as a result of Grimm's law became voiced fricatives if the previous syllable had been unstressed in Proto-Indo-European

Derived Forms

Vernerian (vɜːˈnɛərɪən), adjective

Word Origin for Verner's law

C19: named after Karl Adolph Verner (1846–96), Danish philologist, who formulated it
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