Karl Verner

(redirected from K. A. Verner)

Verner, Karl


Born Mar. 7, 1846, in Århus; died Nov. 5, 1896, in Copenhagen. Danish linguist.

Verner is the author of the so-called Verner’s law, which explains the alternation of voiceless and voiced consonants in the Germanic languages as a reflex of free stress, an earlier feature of these languages, which preceded a strong expiratory accent on the root. In Germanic philology Verner’s law is formulated as follows: “The voiceless spirants h, p, f, and s, which came about as a result of the Germanic consonant shift, become voiced, if the immediately preceding vowel does not bear the original Indo-European primary stress. Voicing did not occur in the clusters ht, hs, ft, fs, sk, st, and sp. “ Compare Ancient Sanskrit pit ā, Gothic fadar, Old High German Fater, Old English fader —father.


“Eine Ausnahme der ersten Lautverschiebung.” Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung, 1877, vol. 23, no. 2.


Sravnitel’naia grammatika germanskikh iazykov, vol. 2. Moscow, 1962.