The word displaced first the predecessor of German Leiche, Leichnam (now “corpse”) and later on Leib (now dated, literary, religious). Doublet of Korpus, Korps. The umlaut remained rare until the 16th century. Its derivation from the -i- in Latin corporis, corpori seems unlikely in such a late borrowing. Probably the dissimilated variant körpel received the umlaut by analogy with diminutives in -el. Some Central German dialects show secondary umlaut before -r- + labial (see HunsrikKerrper, Kerrver and LuxembourgishKierper), but precisely these dialects make little or no use of this word. See English corpse for more.