i-mutation matters!

 

 

Modern English Word Pairs showing the effects of i-mutation

 

Nouns with mutated plurals:

 

foot — feet

mouse — mice

louse — lice

tooth — teeth

man — men

 

 

Noun > Verb:

 

tale — to tell

food — to feed

knot — to knit

lust — to list (“do as you list”)

blood — to bleed

doom ('judgment') — to deem (to judge)

gold — to gild

 

Verb > (a different) Verb:

 

fall — fell

dole —  deal

wander — wend

sit — set

lie — lay

 

Adjective > Verb:

 

full — to fill

whole — to heal

 

Adjective > Noun

 

strong — strength

long — length

straight — stretch

foul — filth

 

Mutations in other forms of a word:

fox — vixen

old — elder eldest

 

 

 

OLD ENGISH examples of i-mutation

 

Nouns with mutated plurals:

 

boc — bec (“books”)

freond — friend (“friends”)

 

Nouns with mutated dative only:

brother — brether

moder — meder

dohter — dehter

 

Verbs with unmutated past tense (mutated present):

(modern English given)

 

bought — buy

sought — seek

 

 

EARLY LATIN LOANS showing i-mutation

 

L unica > OE ynce (“inch”)

L strata > OE stae:t (“street”)

L puteus > OE pytt (“pit”)