Some etymologies from the Oxford dictionary suggest that the pronunciation with the unrounded [ɑ] is more original than the one with the unrounded vowel.
Forms: sing.OE– all (late WS. OE–ME eall, eal), OE–16 al (north.ME alle). pl.OE–ME alle (WS. OE–ME ealle, north.ME–16 al), ME– all. For early inflected forms, see below, D.
Etymology: Common to all the Germanic stock, but not found beyond: compare Old Saxon all, al, Old Frisian al, ol, Old High German al (all-er), Old Norse all-r, Gothic all-s. Properly adj. but passing on one side into a n., on the other into an adv. As an adj. it usually precedes, but sometimes follows its n.
In northern and Scots a', l is lost as in alms, talk. A occurs rarely and doubtfully in Middle English northern or n. midl.; a' is the current spelling in modern literary Scots
Forms: 16 bal, 16– ball, 18– baul ; Sc. pre-17 17– ball, 19– ba, 19– baw. (Show Less)
Etymology: < Middle French, French †bal dance (2nd half of the 12th cent. in Old French; now obsolete), social gathering for dancing (c1228 in Old French) < Old French balerbale v.1 Compare Old Occitan bal dance, sort of poetry, instrumental music (Occitan bal), Catalan ball (1290), Spanish baile (c1300; 1500 as baila), Portuguese baile (1452 as bailo), Italian ballo (a1312), all in senses ‘dancing, a dance, social gathering for dancing’
Forms: (OE ceallian), ME callen, ME–15 calle, (ME cale, kal, kel), ME kall, ME–16 cal, ME callyn, 15 caal, ( caul(e), ME– call. Also (Sc.) 16–18 caw, 17–18 ca, ca'.(Show Less)
Etymology: Old English shows a single instance of ceallian: but Middle English callen, kallen, was originally northern, and evidently < Old Norse kalla to call, cry, shout, to summon in a loud voice, to name, call by a name, also to assert, claim (Swedish kalla, Danish kalde). A common Germanic vb.: in Middle Dutch callen, Dutch kallen to talk, chatter, prattle, Middle Low German kallen, Old High German challôn, Middle High German kallin to talk much and loud, to chatter < Germanic *kallôjan, cognate with gol- in Slavonic gólos voice, sound, and perhaps with Aryan root gar- to chatter.
Forms: ME fael, ME south. væl, val, ME–16 fal, ME–16 falle, 15 faule, fawle, foll, 17–18 Sc. fa', faw, ME– fall.(Show Less)
Etymology: < fall v.: compare Old Frisian fal, fel (masculine), Old Saxon, Old High German fal, Old Norse fall neuter The synonymous Old English fięll, fyll ( < *falli-z), < same root, did not survive into Middle English, unless it be represented by the forms fæl, væl in Layamon.
An act or instance of falling.
Forms: OE smæl, OE, ME smel, OE, ME–16 smal; ME–16 smale, ME Sc. smaill; ME smalle, ME– small; 15 smaul(e, ME–15 Sc. smaw, 17–18 Sc. sma', sma.(Show Less)
Etymology: Common Germanic: Old English smæl, = Old Frisian smel (West Frisian smel, North Frisian smēl), Middle Dutch (Dutch), Old Saxon (Middle Low German, Low German), Old High German (Middle High German) smal (German schmal), Old Norse smal-r (rare; Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish smal, are perhaps mainly from Low German), Gothic smal-s; connection with Old Norse and Icelandic smá-r (Norwegian and Danish smaa, Swedish små) small, Old High German smâhi (Middle High German smæhe) insignificant, is doubtful, and relationship to forms outside of Germanic (as Old Slavonic malŭ) somewhat uncertain. In the later Continental languages the prevailing sense is that of ‘slender’, ‘narrow’.
The form smale, representing Old English disyllabic forms, is common in Middle English and occurs as late as the 17th cent.