ough words First Group

-ough words -- First Group

The first group shows two different developments from a long [u] sound:

Middle English sound ME spelling ModE spelling MnE sound

[u:x]

bough
plough

ynough
tough
bough
plow
[aʊ]
enough
tough
[ʌf]

[x] is the voiceless velar fricative as in Scots dialect loch.

The top examples show the loss of the final fricative, and the long vowel becomes a diphthong through the the Great Vowel Shift. When the fricative was retained and changed to [f], the vowel was shortened.