THE OLD ENGLISH CONSONANT "G"

/g/

SOURCE: Germanic */g/

OE /g/ had three different realizations, or allophones, depending upon its phonetic environment.

1. Voiced velar stop--before consonants, back vowels, or front vowels resulting from umlaut . Example: god "good."

REFLEX: ME /g/

2. Voiced velar fricative--between back vowels or after OE /l/ or OE /r/. Examples: burg "borough"; sagu "saying."

REFLEX: ME /w/ [See "Vocalizing of velar fricative." ]

3. alveopalatal semivowel--in vicinity of front vowels. Examples: gear "year." This allophone of OE /g/ merged with the phoneme OE /j/ inherited from Germanic.

REFLEX: OE /j/

SPELLING: g, 3

SOUND