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Philip Newton schrieb:
> (I wonder whether the situation in German <f> vs. <v> in native words
> is similar? I don't know enough about the history of German to tell.
> But there again, you have two letters for the same sound, /f/ --
> "fiel" [(he) fell] and "viel" [much] are identical and you have to
> learn which is spelled how.)

My freshly acquired MHG dictionary[1] (gotta learn MHG this semester) says:

   *vallen* stV [VIIa], abs./pD _ab, ûz, von_/Adv.lok.(+D),
   (nieder-, herab-, um-)fallen/stürzen [...]

   *vil* (1) Adj., viel [unflekt., auch nachgest.]

'Vallen' is a strong verb and following the references it's conjugated 
like _halten_, so the past should be _ich viel_.

Carsten


[1] Henning, Beate. _Kleines Mittelhochdeutsches Wörterbuch_. 5th ed. 
Tübingen: Niemeier, 2007