Dutch kwam / kwamen

Red Arrow

Senior Member
Dutch - Belgium
I was wondering: why does Dutch kwam(en) have a W whereas the other Germanic languages don't have it (anymore)? I can't think of any other words like that.
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  • berndf

    German (Germany)
    I guess it is just a relict of an ancient pronunciation. In West Germanic the initial k was certainly still labialized. In OHG, e.g., you find spellings with qu-.

    Fater unser, thû thâr bist in himile,
    sî giheilagôt thîn namo,
    queme thîn rîhhi,
    sî thîn uuillo,
    sô her in himile ist, sô sî her in erdu, ..

    Early 9th century.


    Senior Member
    French - Belgium, some Wallo-Picard
    Dutch kwaad vs German Kot is another pair that's delabialised in German (alongside a shift to a back vowel) but kept labial with a low vowel in Dutch