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Database

Somali

(Somali, Ethiopia, Kenya, etc.; Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic)

Summary:
In a few words, two middle consonants metathesize after syncope.
Examples:
culus + aa ---> cuslaa, 'he was heavy'
duman + ay ---> dunmay, 'got organized'
neceb + ayd ---> nebcayd, 'she disliked it'
Conditions:
Metathesis is conditioned by syncope.
Motivation:
No information currently available.
Related Information:
a. Syncope
Nouns of Declension 3 and verbs of Conjugation 3b regularly lose the stem-final vowel.

gabadh
'girl'
+ -o
>
gabdho
'girls'
hayso
'have'
+ -teen
>
haysteen
'they possessed'

In some verbs and adjectives, a final short vowel drops out when morphemes are added to the root.

hadal
'talk'
+ -ay
>
hadlay
'(he) talked'
ladan
'good'
+ ahay 'I am'
>
ladnahay
'I feel find'

Vowel loss does not occur if the resulting word would have three consonants together.

orod + -tay
>
orodday
*ordtay
'(she) ran'
Symbols:
c = voiced pharyngeal fricative
x = voiceless pharyngeal fricative
j = voiced or voiceless palato-alveolar affricate

Last Updated: 6/19/2007
References:
eliabeth hume's home page | OSU Linguistics home page