- Language Family
- Semitic, Arabic
In verbs in which the medial radical consonant is a sonorant, i.e. [m, n, l, r], a sonorant and a following vowel metathesize.
Type(s) of metathesis
Case types and qualities
- High front unrounded
- Mid back rounded
- Mid front unrounded
- Low front unrounded
The stem of the plural imperfective typically consists of a three consonant cluster. However, in verbs in which the medial radical consonant is a sonorant, i.e. [m, n, l, r], a vowel occurs to its left and this has been attributed to metathesis. The quality of this vowel is identical to the underlying quality of the vocalic melody.
|Imperfective Plural||Singular||Perfective||Stem V||Gloss|
|yo + korb + u||yo + krob||korob||/o/||'to groan'|
|ye + ħemz + u||ye + ħmez||ħemez||/e/||'to pin'|
|yi + tilf + u||yi + tlef||tilef||/i/||'to lose'|
|ya + ʔilb + u||ya + ʔleb||ʔaleb||/i/||'to overturn'|
No conditions could be found
a. Berrondonner et al. (1983): Maltese metathesis is a one-step operation in which the sonorant consonant and vowel switch positions.
V(1) C(2) R(3) V(4) C(5) V(6) --> 1 2 4 3 5 6
b. Hume (1991): Metathesis in Maltese is the product of three elementary operations of non-linear phonology: delink, insert and associate.
e.g. Derivation of [yokorbu] 'they groan'
(after plane conflation)
- Berrondonner, A. et al. 1983. Principles de grammaire polylectale. Lyon: Presses Universitaires de Lyon.
- Brame, M. K. 1973. On stress assignment in two Arabic dialects. In S. R. Anderson and P. Kiparsky (eds.), A festschrift for Morris Halle. NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. 14-25.
- Hume, Elizabeth. 1991. Metathesis in Maltese: Implications for the Strong Morphemic Plane Hypothesis. Proceedings of NELS 21: 157-172.
- Puech. G. 1979. Les Parlers maltais. Ph.D. dissertation. Université Lyon II.