- Language Family
A long vowel and a following consonant metathesize.
A velar stop metathesizes with an adjacent bilabial stop.
Type(s) of metathesis
|b. CC||Synchronic||Obligatory||Adjacent||Between root and suffix|
Case types and qualities
- Alveolar nasal
- High front
- Mid front
- Mid back
- Velar stop
- Bilabial stop
CV metathesis: CV:CV ---> CCV:- ka
mi:nu-ka ---> mɳi:-ka 'fish'
pe:nu-ka ---> pɳe:-ka 'lice'
CC metathesis: -k + p- ---> -p + k-
gok-pi-n-esi ---> gop-ki-n-esis 'cought continuously-he'
mek-pi-t-u ---> mep-ki-t-u 'plucked-they'
No conditions could be found
a. CC Metathesis
Acoustic and Auditory Similarity (Hume 1997, 1998, 2001): The observation that only a labial and velar stop undergo metathesis but no others can be attributed to the acoustic and auditory similarity between the two consonants. This similarity is recognized in the feature geometry of Jakobson, Fant & Halle (1952) in which labials and velars are classified as [grave], a class which includes sounds having energy predominantly in the lower end of the spectrum.
Perceptual Enhancement (Hume 2001): An experimental study of the salience of consonant place in the context VCCV suggests that positioning a dorsal stop consonant in the onset, even when unstressed, provides a greater boost in perceptibility than it does for a labial stop consonant (Winters 1999). As the result of metathesis, the two consonants occur in the contexts which maximize their individual salience as well as the overall salience of the pair. Thus, contrast is strengthened along both syntagmatic and paradigmatic dimensions.
ɳ = retroflex dental nasal
A consonant/consonant metathesis essentially identical to the one observed here is found in the related language Kui .
- Hume, Elizabeth. 2001. Metathesis: Formal and Functional Considerations. In E. Hume, N. Smith & J. van de Weijer, Surface Syllable Structure and Segment Ordering. Leiden, NL: HIL.
- Israel, M. 1979. A grammar of the Kuvi language. Dravidian Linguistics Association. Vanchiyoor, Trivandrum, India.