- Language Family
Metathesis of a stem initial consonant and a following vowel occurs with the prefixation of a consonantal person marker. If metathesis results in an /ml/ cluster, these segments are also metathesized.
Type(s) of metathesis
|a. CC/CV||Synchronic||Obligatory||Adjacent||Root-initial, root-final|
Case types and qualities
- Bilabial stop
- Bilabial nasal
- Alveolar lateral
When a consonantal person marker (/j-/ ‘2nd sg.’, /k-/ ‘1st pl.’, /b-/ ‘2nd pl.’, etc.) is prefixed to a stem-initial consonant, the stem consonant metathesizes with the following vowel, as shown in (a). (For some stems, the initial consonant deletes. See related processes .)
a. CV metathesis
|verb root:||with C prefix:|
If metathesis with the following vowel results in an /ml/ cluster, those segments are metathesized, as illustrated in (b). The consonant sequence /lm/ may optionally be assimilated to become [mm].
b. CV and CC metathesis
bul> *C-uml> C-ulm ~ C-umm> ‘find’
bel> *C-aml> C-alm ~ C-amm> ‘speak’
No conditions could be found
Phonotactic Restriction (Jakobi 1990): Metathesis occurs to avoid a non-occurring consonant sequence in initial position and the inadmissable combination of consonants such as /ml/ in medial position.
Perceptual Optimization (Hume 2000): By switching the order of a stem-initial consonant and following vowel, both consonants end up adjacent to a vowel. The initial consonant, which is a person marker, is more salient in this context than preconsonantally.
- Hume, Elizabeth. 2000. The Role of Speech Perception in Phonology: The Case of Metathesis. Talk given at the Dept. of Linguistics, University of Chicago, 4/19/00.
- Jakobi, Angelika. 1990. A Fur grammar. Helmut Buske Verlag. Hamburg.
- Mielke, Jeff & Elizabeth Hume. 2001. Considerations of Word Recognition for Metathesis. In E.Hume, N. Smith & J. van de Weijer, Surface Syllable Structure and Segment Sequencing. Leiden: HIL. 2001.