One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Vowel alternation, as arising from ablaut or umlaut.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Victor Henry (1850–1907). From French métaphonie (M. Bréal tr. F. Bopp Gramm. Comparée des Langues Indo-Européennes V. 23 (note)) from méta + -phonie, as a calque on German Umlaut; compare apophony.
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