On Dec 5, 2007, at 7:07 PM, T. A. McLeay wrote: > In English, the high front rounded vowels were unrounded towards > the end > of the Old English period. Mid front rounded vowels were either lost > much earlier, or generally not written. Decent (;) dialects of English > have since re-created them from things like [u:] and [@:]. A rounded [@:]? Does that belong to the phoneme which in rhotic dialects is /r=/? In which case, I wonder if that's why German /2/ and /9/ sometimes get pronounced in English as /r=/, e.g. _Göthe_ /"gr=t@/, _danke schön_ /"daNk@ Sr=n/. A related thing I've been wondering: How rare is it for front rounded vowels to become back rounded vowels? I don't think I've ever run across that sound change, but it seems plausible to me.