|Originally England, Scottish Lowlands and the North Sea coast from Friesland to Jutland; today worldwide|
- English cheese and West Frisian tsiis, but Dutch kaas, Low German Kees, and German Käse
- English church and West Frisian tsjerke, but Dutch kerk, Low German Kerk, Kark, and German Kirche
The early Anglo-Frisian and Old Saxon speech communities lived close enough together to form a linguistic crossroads which is why they share some of the traits otherwise only typical of Anglo-Frisian languages. However, despite their common origins, English and Frisian have become very divergent, largely due to the heavy Old Norse and Norman French influences on English and similarly heavy Dutch and Low German influences on Frisian. The result is that Frisian now has a great deal in common with Dutch and the adjacent Low German dialects, bringing it into the West Germanic dialect continuum, whereas English has stronger North Germanic and Romance influences than the languages on the mainland.
The Anglo-Frisian family tree is:
The following is a summary of the major sound changes affecting vowels in chronological order. For additional detail, see Phonological history of Old English.
- Backing and nasalization of West Germanic ā̆ before a nasal consonant;
- Loss of n before a spirant, resulting in lengthening and nasalization of preceding vowel;
- The present and preterite plurals reduced to a single form;
- A-fronting: WGmc ā̆ → ǣ, even in the diphthongs ai and au (see Anglo-Frisian brightening);
- palatalization of Proto-Germanic *k to a coronal affricate before front vowels (but not phonemicization of palatals);
- A-restoration: ǣ → ā under the influence of neighboring consonants;
- Second fronting: OE dialects (except West Saxon) and Frisian ǣ → ē;
- A-restoration: a restored before a back vowel in the following syllable (later in the Southumbrian dialects); Frisian æu → au → Old Frisian ā/a;
- OE breaking; in West Saxon palatal diphthongization follows;
- i-mutation followed by syncope; Old Frisian breaking follows;
- Phonemicization of palatals and assibilation, followed by second fronting in parts of West Mercia;
- Smoothing and back mutation.
These are the words for the numbers one to ten in the Anglo-Frisian languages:
Comparison of West Frisian with English, Dutch and German
It is not thought of as a monolithic proto-language, but rather as a group of closely related dialects that underwent several areal changes in relative unison.
The grouping was first proposed in Nordgermanen und Alemannen (1942) by the German linguist and philologist Friedrich Maurer (1898–1984), as an alternative to the strict tree diagrams which had become popular following the work of the 19th-century linguist August Schleicher and which assumed the existence of an Anglo-Frisian group.
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Anglo-Frisian". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- The German linguist Friedrich Maurer rejected Anglo-Frisian as a historical subdivision of the Germanic languages. Instead, he proposed North Sea Germanic or Ingvaeonic, a common ancestor of Old Frisian, Old English and Old Saxon.
- Robert D. Fulk, “The Chronology of Anglo-Frisian Sound Changes”, Approaches to Old Frisian Philology, eds., Rolf H. Bremmer Jr., Thomas S.B. Johnston, and Oebele Vries (Amsterdam: Rodopoi, 1998), 185.
- Depending on dialect 1. en, jɪn, in, wan *e:, je: 2. twɑ:, twɔ:, twe:, twa: 3. θrəi, θri:, tri: 4. 'fʌu(ə)r, fuwr 5. fai:v, fɛv 6. saks 7. 'si:vən, 'se:vən, 'səivən 8. ext, ɛçt 9. nəin, nin 10. tɛn
- Grant, William; Dixon, James Main (1921) Manual of Modern Scots. Cambridge, University Press. p.105
- Also known as Anglo-Saxon.
- Some include West Flemish. Cf. Bremmer (2009:22).
- For a full discussion of the areal changes involved and their relative chronologies, see Voyles (1992).
- "Friedrich Maurer (Lehrstuhl für Germanische Philologie - Linguistik)". Germanistik.uni-freiburg.de. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
- Friedrich Maurer (1942), Nordgermanen und Alemannen: Studien zur Sprachgeschichte, Stammes- und Volkskunde, Strasbourg: Hünenburg.
- Wolfram Euler (2013), Das Westgermanische [subtitle missing] (West Germanic: from its Emergence in the 3rd up until its Dissolution in the 7th Century CE: Analyses and Reconstruction). 244 p., in German with English summary, Verlag Inspiration Un Ltd., London/Berlin, ISBN 978-3-9812110-7-8.
- Ringe, Donald R. and Taylor, Ann (2014). The Development of Old English - A Linguistic History of English, vol. II, 632p. ISBN 978-0199207848. Oxford.