• Skip Navigation •
Header image. Go to Metathesis in Language Home page.
home | database | resources
list of languages in database | cc metathesis | cv metathesis


English (North American)

(Indo-European, Germanic, West )

Reversals of sequences of sounds occur in some lexical items in many English dialects. The data reported below are from North American English varieties.

Reversals occur both in the form of morphophonemic alternations but most frequently as variable pronuncations of a particular word.

Some involve two consonants with one frequently being a liquid.

Others involve a liquid and vowel.

One example has both C/C and C/V metathesis.
Consonant + Consonant:
comfRt, comftRbL 'comfort, comfortable'

tSipolte ~ tSipotle 'Chipotle, Mexican restaurant'

Consonant and Vowel: pr@poz ~ p@rpoz 'propose' (similarly, in other words beginning with 'pre')
nukliR ~ nuky@lR 'nuclear'
ril@tR ~ riLtR 'realtor'

Both C/V and C/C metathesis:
brEkfis ~ brEfIks 'breakfast'
In many cases one of the consonants is a liquid.
No information currently available.
Related Information:
No information currently available.
R = syllabic r
L = syllabic l
E = mid, front lax vowel, as in 'bed'
@ = schwa

Last Updated: 6/18/2007
My gratitude to, among others, Robin Dautricourt, Daniel Kiracofe, Bill Raymond and John Goldsmith for providing some of the examples.
eliabeth hume's home page | OSU Linguistics home page