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The exact nature of the distinction is unknown; possibly ⟨s⟩ was apical while ⟨z⟩ was laminal. This phase has been dated as early as the 4th century, though this is highly debated.The first certain examples of the shift are from the Edictus Rothari (a.The other two occur in standard German only in original geminates, e.g. This shift probably began in the 8th or 9th century, after the first and second phases ceased to be productive, otherwise the resulting voiceless plosives would have shifted further to fricatives and affricates.In those words in which an Indo-European voiceless plosive became voiced as a result of Verner's law, phase three of the High German shift returns this to its original value (*t The combination -nd- was shifted to -nt- only in some varieties of OHG. bintan "to bind"), but in Middle High German and modern standard German the unshifted pronunciation prevails (cf. (Although in OHG both fintan and findan "to find" are encountered, these represent earlier forms *findan and *finþan, respectively; note the corresponding alternation in Old Saxon findan and fīþan.It is therefore not uniquely High German; it is nonetheless often grouped together with the other shifts, as it did spread from the same area.The shift took several centuries to spread north, appearing in Dutch only during the 12th century, and in Frisian and Low German not for another century or two after that.643, oldest extant manuscript after 650), a Latin text of the Lombards.
In historical linguistics, the High German consonant shift or second Germanic consonant shift is a phonological development (sound change) that took place in the southern parts of the West Germanic dialect continuum in several phases.Although it might be possible to see as a similar group of three, both the chronology and the differing phonetic conditions under which these changes occur speak against such a grouping.What is sometimes known as the fourth phase shifted the dental fricatives to plosives.High German subdivides into Upper German (green) and Central German (blue), and is distinguished from Low German (yellow) and Dutch.The main isoglosses – the Benrath and Speyer lines – are marked in black.