GrandPiano wrote: ↑
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 21:27
shimobaatar wrote: ↑
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 20:31
Omzinesý wrote: ↑
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 20:05
English and Swedish often have v while German has b.
Have, ha (va), haben; live, leva, leben etc. What sound change explains them?
be what you're looking for?
How do we know that it shifted from [β] to [
b]? How do we know Old High German didn't retain a [
b] that lenited to [β] in the other West Germanic languages?
Well, I didn't write the article, of course, but in historical linguistics, it's generally assumed that a single change in one direction (in this case, [β] > [
b] in OHG) is more likely than a number of identical changes in another direction (in this case, [
b] > [β] in Old English, Old Saxon, Old Dutch, etc.).
Of course, it's hard to really know anything for certain when we're looking at the past, but as spanick said, this conclusion fits better with things like Verner's Law, and we can make an educated guess. That's what makes sense to me, at least.