Metathesis (linguistics)
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Metathesis (; from
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
, from "I put in a different order";
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
: ''transpositio'') is the transposition of
sounds In physics, sound is a vibration that propagates as an acoustic wave, through a transmission medium such as a gas, liquid or solid. In human physiology and psychology, sound is the ''reception'' of such waves and their ''perception'' by the b ...
or
syllable A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. It is typically made up of a syllable nucleus (most often a vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels a ...

syllable
s in a word or of
words In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most lang ...

words
in a sentence. Most commonly, it refers to the interchange of two or more contiguous segments or syllables, known as adjacent metathesis or local metathesis: * ''foliage'' > ''**foilage'' (adjacent segments) * ''anemone'' > ''**anenome'' (adjacent syllables) * ''cavalry'' > ''**calvary'' (codas of adjacent syllables) Metathesis may also involve interchanging non-contiguous sounds, known as nonadjacent metathesis, long-distance metathesis, or hyperthesis, as shown in these examples of metathesis sound change from Latin to Spanish: * Latin > Spanish "word" * Latin > Spanish "miracle" * Latin > Spanish "danger, peril" * Latin > Spanish "crocodile" Many languages have words that show this phenomenon, and some even use it as a regular part of their grammar, such as
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-survivi ...
and
Fur Fur is a thick growth of hair Hair is a protein filament In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular bi ...
. The process of metathesis has altered the shape of many familiar words in
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
as well. The original form before metathesis may be deduced from older forms of words in the language's
lexicon A lexicon is the vocabulary A vocabulary is a set of familiar words In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, pra ...

lexicon
or, if no forms are preserved, from phonological reconstruction. In some cases it is not possible to settle with certainty on the original version.


Rhetorical metathesis

Dionysius of Halicarnassus Dionysius of Halicarnassus ( grc, Διονύσιος Ἀλεξάνδρου Ἁλικαρνασσεύς, ; – after 7 BC) was a Greek historian Hellenic historiography (or Greek historiography) involves efforts made by Greeks to track and r ...
was a historian and scholar in
rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the techniques writers or sp ...
living in 1st century BC Greece. He analysed classical texts and applied several revisions to make them sound more eloquent. One of the methods he used was re-writing documents on a mainly
grammatical In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic ...
level: changing word and sentence orders would make texts more fluent and 'natural', he suggested. He called this way of re-writing ''metathesis''.


Examples


American Sign Language

In
ASL American Sign Language (ASL) is a natural language In neuropsychology Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology. It is concerned with how a person's cognition and behavior are related to the brain and the rest of the nervous system. Pr ...

ASL
, several signs which have a pre-specified initial and final location (such as the signs RESTAURANT, PARENT, TWINS) can have the order of these two locations reversed in contexts which seem to be purely phonological. While not possible with all signs, this does happen with quite a few. For example, the sign DEAF, prototypically made with the '1' handshape making contact first with the cheek and then moving to contact the jaw (as in the sentence FATHER DEAF), can have these locations reversed if the preceding sign, when part of the same
constituent Constituent or constituency may refer to: Politics * An individual voter Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an electorate Electorate may refer to: * The people who are eligible to vote in an Election#Electorate, election, ...
, has a final location more proximal to the jaw (as in the sentence MOTHER DEAF). Both forms of the sign DEAF are acceptable to native signers. A proposed prerequisite for metathesis to apply in ASL is that both signs must be within the same region on the body. Constraints on the applications of metathesis in ASL has led to discussions that the phonology breaks down the body into regions distinct from settings.


Amharic

Amharic has a few minor patterns of metathesis, as shown by
Wolf Leslau__NOTOC__ frame, Wolf Leslau in 2004, speaking in San Diego to the 32nd North American Conference on Afroasiatic Linguistics. Wolf Leslau ( he, וולף לסלאו; born November 14, 1906 in Krzepice, Vistula Land, Poland; died November 18, 2006 in ...
. For example, "matches" is sometimes pronounced as , "nanny" is sometimes pronounced as . The word 'Monday" is , which is the base for "Tuesday" , which is often metathesized as . All of these examples show a pair of consonants reversed so that the stop begins the next syllable.


Azerbaijani

Metathesis among neighbouring consonants happens very commonly in Azerbaijani.


Danish

Some common nonstandard pronunciations of Danish words employ metathesis: * > "pictures" * > "through" But metathesis has also historically changed some words: * > " (Christian) cross"


Egyptian Arabic

A common example of metathesis in Egyptian Arabic is when the order of the word's root consonants has changed. * Classical Arabic > Egyptian Arabic ''gōz'' "husband" * Classical Arabic > ''ma‘la’a'' "spoon" * Persian ''zanjabil'' > Egyptian Arabic ''ganzabīl'' ~ ''zanzabīl'' "ginger" The following examples of metathesis have been identified in Egyptian Arabic texts, but are not necessarily more common than their etymological spellings: * > "God curse!" * > "theatre troupe" * > "philosophy" The following loanwords are also sometimes found with metathesis: * > "monologue" * > "hospital" * > "penalty" (in
football Football is a family of s that involve, to varying degrees, a to score a . Unqualified, normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is used. Sports commonly called ''football'' include (known as ''soccer'' ...
) The likely cause for metathesis in the word "hospital" is that the result resembles a common word pattern familiar to Arabic speakers (namely a Form X verbal noun). Perhaps the clearest example of metathesis in Egyptian Arabic is the modern name of the city of
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
: ()''Iskandariya'' (). In addition to the metathesis of ''x'' /ks/ to /sk/, the initial ''Al'' of ''Alexandria'' has been reanalyzed as the Arabic definite article.


English

Metathesis is responsible for some common
speech error A speech error, commonly referred to as a slip of the tongue (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rom ...
s, such as children acquiring ''spaghetti'' as ''pasketti''. The pronunciation (American English) for ''ask'' is now considered standard, and the spelling "ask" was used by Shakespeare and in the King James Bible. Chaucer, Caxton, and the Coverdale Bible, however, use "ax". The word "ask" derives from
Proto-Germanic Proto-Germanic (abbreviated PGmc; also called Common Germanic) is the reconstructed Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new ...
*aiskona. Some other frequent English pronunciations that display metathesis are: * ''nuclear'' > '' nucular'' (re-analysed as ''nuke'' + '' -cul ar'' suffix in ''molecular, binocular'') * ''prescription'' > ''perscription'' * ''introduce'' > ''interduce'' * ''asterisk'' > ''asterix'' * ''cavalry'' > ''calvary'' * ''foliage'' > ''foilage'' * ''pretty'' > ''purty'' The process has shaped many English words historically. ''Bird'' and ''horse'' came from
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
and ; and were also written and . The Old English "bright" underwent metathesis to , which became Modern English . The Old English "three" formed "thrid" and ''þrēotene'' "thriteen". These underwent metathesis to forms which became Modern English and . The Old English verb "to work" had the passive participle "worked". This underwent metathesis to , which became Modern English . The Old English "hole" underwent metathesis to ''þryl''. This gave rise to a verb "pierce", which became Modern English , and formed the compound "nose-hole" which became Modern English (May have occurred in the early Middle English Period: 'nosþyrlu' (circa 1050); 'nos-thirlys' (c. 1500). In 1565 'nosthrille' appears. 'thirl/thurl' survived even longer until 1878). Metathesis is also a common feature of the
West Country dialects West Country English is a group of English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which h ...
.


Finnish

In western dialects of
Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national language of the Finnish people * Finnish cuisine See also

...
, historical stem-final /h/ has been subject to metathesis (it is lost in standard Finnish). That leads to variant word forms: * "stallion" (standard * > ) * "smoke" (standard * > ) * "lie" (standard * > ) * "boat" (standard * > ) Some words have been standardized in the metathetized form: * * > "sorrow" * * > "family" * * > "hero" * * > "untrue" Sporadic examples include the word "green", which derives from older , and the vernacular change of the word "jovial" to (also a separate word meaning "bristly").


French

Etymological metathesis occurs in the following French words: * from popular Latin ''berbex'' meaning "sheep" (early 12th century). * from popular Latin ''formaticus'', meaning "formed in a mold" (1135). * (1654) from French ''mousquitte'' (1603) by metathesis. From Spanish ''mosquito'' ("little fly"). Deliberate metathesis also occurs extensively in the informal
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of co ...

French
pattern of speech called ''
verlan Ambigram of the word "verlan". ''Verlan'' () is a type of argot in the French language, featuring inversion of syllables in a word, and is common in slang and youth language. It rests on a long French tradition of transposing syllables of indivi ...
'' (itself an example: < , meaning 'the reverse'). In verlan new words are created from existing words by reversing the order of syllables. Verlanization is applied mostly to two-syllable words and the new words that are created are typically considerably less formal than the originals, and/or take on a slightly different meaning. The process often involves considerably more changes than simple metathesis of two phonemes but this forms the basis for verlan as a linguistic phenomenon. Some of these words have become part of standard French. A few well known examples are: * ' > ' * ' > ' * ' > ' * ' > ' Some Verlan words are metathesized more than once: * ' > ' > '


Greek

In
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
, the present
stem Stem or STEM may refer to: Biology * Plant stem, the aboveground structures that have vascular tissue and that support leaves and flowers ** Stipe (botany), a stalk that supports some other structure ** Stipe (mycology), the stem supporting the c ...
often consists of the
root In vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , from Greek τραχεῖα ἀρτηρία ''trācheia artēria'' 'windpipe' + φυτά ''phutá'' 'plants'), form a large grou ...
with a
suffix In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languag ...
of ''y'' (˰ in Greek). If the root ends in the vowel ''a'' or ''o'', and the consonant ''n'' or ''r'', the ''y'' exchanges position with the consonant and is written ''i'': * ''*cháryō'' > ''chaírō'' "I am glad" — ''echárē'' "he was glad" * ''*phányō'' > ''phaínō'' "I reveal" — ''ephánē'' "he appeared" For metathesis of vowel length, which occurs frequently in
Attic An attic (sometimes referred to as a ''loft'') is a space found directly below the pitched roof of a house or other building; an attic may also be called a ''sky parlor'' or a garret. Because attics fill the space between the ceiling of the t ...
and
Ionic Greek Ionic Greek ( grc, Ἑλληνική Ἰωνική, Hellēnikē Iōnikē) was a subdialect Subdialect (from Latin , "under", and Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It ...
, see
quantitative metathesis Quantitative metathesis (or transfer of quantity)Smyth Smyth is an early variant of the common surname Smith (surname), Smith.Citation: Bardsley, 1901 Shown below are notable people who share the surname "Smyth". Notable people sharing the Smyth ...
.


Hebrew

In
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-survivi ...
the verb conjugation (''binyan'') ''hitpaēl'' () undergoes metathesis if the first consonant of the root is an alveolar or postalveolar fricative. Namely, the pattern ''hiṯ1a22ē3'' (where the numbers signify the root consonants) becomes ''hi1ta22ē3''. Examples: * No metathesis: root ''lbš'' = ''hitlabbēš'' ("he got dressed"). * Voiceless alveolar fricative: root ''skl'' = ''histakkēl'' ("he looked t something). * Voiceless postalveolar fricative: root ''šdl'' = ''hištaddēl'' ("he made an effort"). * Voiced alveolar fricative: root ''zqn'' = ''hizdaqqēn'' ("he grew old"); with assimilation of the T of the conjugation. * Voiceless alveolar affricate: root ''t͡slm'' = ''hit͡stallēm'' ("he had a photograph of him taken"); with assimilation (no longer audible) of the T of the conjugation. Hebrew also features isolated historical examples of metathesis. For example, the words ''keves'' and ''kesev'' (meaning "lamb") both appear in the Torah.


Hungarian

In case of a narrow range of
Hungarian Hungarian may refer to: * Hungary, a country in Central Europe * Kingdom of Hungary, state of Hungary, existing between 1000 and 1946 * Hungarians, ethnic groups in Hungary * Hungarian algorithm, a polynomial time algorithm for solving the assignme ...
nouns, metathesis of a and a
liquid consonant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of s, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical properties of speech. Th ...
occurs in
nominative case In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as ...
, but the original form is preserved in
accusative The accusative case (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) of a noun is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb. The same case is used in many languages for the objects of (some or all) prepositions. It is ...
and other suffixed forms: * chalice, but (accusative), (possessive), (plural) * burden, but (acc.), (poss.), (pl.) * flake, but (acc.), (poss.), (pl.) The other instances are ntestinalvillus/fluff/fuzz/nap vs. ''bolyhok'', vs. ''molyhos'' down/pubescence n plants and the obsolete animal's fetus (cf. ''vemhes'' ’pregnant
nimal Nimal may refer to * Nimal Bandara, Sri Lankan politician * Nimal Gamini Amaratunga, Sri Lankan judge * Nimal Gunaratne, Sri Lankan air force officer * Nimal Mendis, Sri Lankan politician * Nimal Piyatissa (born 1968), Sri Lankan politician * Nima ...
). The first of them is often used in the regular form ().


Japanese

* for (), meaning "atmosphere" or "mood" Small children commonly refer to kusuri "medicine" as sukuri. arata- "new" contrasts with atarashii "new". The following are examples of argot used in the entertainment industry. * for (), the former meaning "content (of news article)", "food ingredient", "material (for joke or artwork)", the latter "seed", "species","source" * for * The word for sorry, ''gomen'', is sometimes inverted to ''mengo'' ( backslang).


Lakota

* The words and are dialectal variants of the same word, meaning "abalone" or "porcelain".''New Lakota Dictionary'', Lakota Language Consortium, 2008 * The word , meaning "rib," has its origins in "side of the body" and "bone", but is more commonly metathesized as .


Navajo

In
Navajo The Navajo (; British English: Navaho; nv, Diné or ') are a Native American people Native Americans, also known as American Indians, First Americans, Indigenous Americans and #Terminology differences, other terms, are the Indigenous peop ...
, verbs have (often multiple) morphemes prefixed onto the verb stem. These prefixes are added to the verb stem in a set order in a prefix positional template. Although prefixes are generally found in a specific position, some prefixes change order by the process of metathesis. For example, prefix (3i object pronoun) usually occurs before , as in : 'I'm starting to drive some kind of wheeled vehicle along' < + + + + However, when occurs with the prefixes and , the metathesizes with , leading to an order of + + , as in : 'I'm in the act of driving some vehicle (into something) & getting stuck' < < + + + + + instead of the expected * () ( is reduced to ).


Romanian

Similar to the French ''verlan'' is the
Totoiana Totoiana ("Totoian"), also known as the "Totoian language" ( ro, Limba totoiană) or the "inverted language" ( ro, Limba întoarsă, link=no), is a speech form used in the village of Totoi in Alba County Alba County () is a county (județ A ' ...
, a speech form spoken in the village of Totoi in
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
. It consists in the inversion of syllables of Romanian words in a way that results unintelligible for other Romanian speakers. Its origins or original purpose are unknown. Its current use is recreative.


Rotuman

The
Rotuman language Rotuman, also referred to as ''Rotunan'', ''Rutuman'' or ''Fäeag Rotųam'', is an Austronesian language The Austronesian languages (, , , ) are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured ...
of (a part of
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. It lies about northeast of New Zealand. Fiji consists of an archipelago ...

Fiji
) uses metathesis as a part of normal grammatical structure by inverting the ultimate vowel with the immediately preceding consonant.


Saanich

In Saanich, metathesis is used as a grammatical device to indicate "actual"
aspect Aspect or Aspects may refer to: Entertainment * ''Aspect magazine'', a biannual DVD magazine showcasing new media art * Aspect Co., a Japanese video game company * Aspects (band), a hip hop group from Bristol, England * Aspects (Benny Carter album ...
. The actual aspect is most often translated into English as a ''be ... -ing'' progressive. The actual aspect is derived from the "nonactual" verb form by a CV → VC metathetic process (i.e. consonant metathesizes with vowel). See Montler (1986) and Thompson & Thompson (1969) for more information.


Slavic languages

Metathesis of
liquid consonant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of s, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical properties of speech. Th ...
s is an important historical change during the development of the
Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European languages spoken primarily by the Slavs, Slavic peoples or their descendants. They are thought to descend from a proto-language called Proto-Slavic language, Proto- ...

Slavic languages
: a syllable-final liquid metathesized to become syllable-initial, therefore e.g. Polish or Czech vs. English . A number of
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
roots indicate metathesis in Slavic forms when compared with other
Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), Signed language, sign, or o ...
: * Proto-Indo-European > Latin , German , English , . c.f. Slavic cognates e.g. Czech "castle", Serbo-Croatian "castle" or "town", Russian (''grad'') and (''gorod'') "city". The divergence in meaning is attributed to the fact that the PIE root designated an enclosed area. * Proto-Indo-European > Proto-Germanic "arm", Proto-Slavic "shoulder"; Proto-Germanic > German , English "arm"; Proto-Slavic > Russian ('rámya'), Serbo-Croatian , Czech , Polish "shoulder" * Proto-Indo-European "to milk" > Proto-Germanic "milk", Proto-Slavic ; Proto-Germanic "milk" > German , Dutch , English ; Proto-Slavic > Russian (''moloko''), Serbo-Croatian or , Czech , Polish "milk" Other roots have diverged within the Slavic family: * Proto-Indo-European > Proto-Slavic > Russian (''mgla''), Polish , Czech , Slovak , Ukrainian (''imla''), "mist". The English word is also cognate, as is the Sanskrit (''megha''), hence
Meghalaya Meghalaya (, or , meaning "abode of clouds"; from Sanskrit , "cloud" + , "abode") is a states and union territories of India, state in northeastern India. Meghalaya was formed by carving out two districts from the state of Assam: the United Kha ...

Meghalaya
, "abode of clouds". * Proto-Slavic "bear" (literally "honey eater") > Russian (''medvéd''), Czech , Serbo-Croatian or , Polish . c.f. Ukrainian (''vedmíd'')


Spanish

Old Spanish Old Spanish, also known as Old Castilian ( es, castellano antiguo; osp, romance castellano ) or Medieval Spanish ( es, español medieval), was originally a dialect of Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin, is no ...
showed occasional metathesis when phonemes not conforming to the usual euphonic constraints were joined. This happened, for example, when a
clitic In morphology and syntax In linguistics, syntax () is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of Sentence (linguistics), sentences (sentence structure) in a given Natural language, language, usually including word ...
pronoun was attached to a verb ending: it is attested that forms like "leave luralhim" were often metathesized to (the phoneme cluster does not occur elsewhere in Spanish). The Spanish name for Algeria (''Argelia'') is likely a metathesis of the Arabic name for the territory ().
Lunfardo Lunfardo (; from the Italian ''lombardo'' or inhabitant of Lombardy (man), (woman) lmo, lombard, links=no (man), (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , ...
, an
argot A cant is the jargon Jargon is the specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity. Jargon is normally employed in a particular Context (language use), communicative context and may not be well understood outside t ...
of Spanish from
Buenos Aires Buenos Aires ( or ; ), officially Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or cap ...

Buenos Aires
, is fond of
vesre Vesre (reversing the order of syllables within a word) is one of the features of Rioplatense Spanish Rioplatense Spanish (), also known as Rioplatense Castilian, is a variety Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Al ...
, metathesis of syllables. The word itself is an example: * ' > ' "back, backwards"
Gacería Gacería is the name of a slang or argot A cant is the jargon or language of a group, often employed to exclude or mislead people outside the group.McArthur, T. (ed.) ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (1992) Oxford University Press ...

Gacería
, an argot of Castile, incorporates metathesized words: * > Some frequently heard pronunciations in Spanish display metathesis: * > * > * >


Swahili

In
Swahili Swahili may refer to: * Swahili language, a Bantu language official in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and widely spoken in the African Great Lakes * Swahili people, an ethnic group in East Africa * Swahili culture, the culture of the Swahili people * Sw ...
, some foreign words can undergo metathesis during their importation. For instance, "american" becomes "mmarekani".


Telugu

From a comparative study of
Dravidian Dravidian, Dravidan, or Dravida may refer to: Language and culture *Dravidian languages, a family of languages spoken mainly in South India and northeastern Sri Lanka *Proto-Dravidian language, a model of the common ancestor of the Dravidian langu ...
vocabularies, one can observe that the retroflex consonants () and the liquids of the alveolar series () do not occur initially in common Dravidian etyma, but
Telugu Telugu may refer to: * Telugu language, a major Dravidian language of India *Telugu people, an ethno-linguistic group of India * Telugu script, used to write the Telugu language ** Telugu (Unicode block), a block of Telugu characters in Unicode ...
has words with these consonants at the initial position. It was shown that the etyma underwent a metathesis in Telugu, when the root word originally consisted of an initial vowel followed by one of the above consonants. When this pattern is followed by a consonantal derivative, metathesis has occurred in the phonemes of the root-syllable with the doubling of the suffix consonant (if it had been single); when a vowel derivative follows, metathesis has occurred in the phonemes of the root syllable attended by a contraction of the vowels of root and (derivative) suffix syllables. These statements and the resulting sequences of vowel contraction may be summed up as follows: Type 1: V1C1-C² > C1V1-C²C² Type 2: V1C1-V²- > C1V1- Examples: * ''lē'' = ''lēta'' "young, tender" < *eɭa * ''rē'' = ''rēyi'' "night" < *ira * ''rōlu'' "mortar" < oral < *ural


Turkish

Two types of metathesis are observed in
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
. The examples given are from Anatolian Turkish, though the closely related
Azerbaijani language Azerbaijani () or Azeri (), also referred to as Azeri Turkish, is a Turkic language The Turkic languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), ges ...
is better known for its metathesis: * Close type: ** = "bridge" ** = "ground" ** = "hedgehog" ** = "match" ** = "neighbour" ** = "nobody" ** = "flag" ** = "sour" * Distant type: ** = ' "
bulgur Bulgur (from tr, bulgur, , groats; also burghul, from ar, برغل, burġul, groats) is a cereal A cereal is any grass cultivated (grown) for the edible components of its grain A grain is a small, hard, dry seed, with or without an att ...

bulgur
" ** = "loan" ** = ' "curse"


Urdu and Hindi

Like many other natural languages Urdu and Hindi also have metathesis like in this diachronic example: Sanskrit () ''janma'' > Urdu and Hindi ''janam'' "Birth"


In popular culture

* Metathesis is described by the character Data in the episode " Hollow Pursuits" in the television series '' Star Trek: The Next Generation'' after Captain Picard accidentally addresses Lieutenant Barclay as "Mr. Broccoli".


See also

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Anagram An anagram is a word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of a different word or phrase, typically using all the original letters exactly once. For example, the word ''anagram'' itself can be rearranged into ''nag a ram'', also the word ...

Anagram
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Dyslexia Dyslexia, also known as reading disorder, is a disorder characterized by difficulty reading Reading is the process of taking in the sense or meaning of letters, symbols, ''etc.'', especially by sight or touch. For educators and researche ...

Dyslexia
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Epenthesis In phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound system of any particular language variety. At one t ...
*
Quantitative metathesis Quantitative metathesis (or transfer of quantity)Smyth Smyth is an early variant of the common surname Smith (surname), Smith.Citation: Bardsley, 1901 Shown below are notable people who share the surname "Smyth". Notable people sharing the Smyth ...
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Spoonerism A spoonerism is an error in speech in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched (see Metathesis (linguistics), metathesis) between two words in a phrase. These are named after the Oxford don and ordained minister William A ...


Citations


General bibliography

* Hume, E., & Seyfarth, S. (2019). "Metathesis". In M. Aronoff (ed.), ''Oxford Bibliographies in Linguistics''. New York: Oxford University Press. . * * Montler, Timothy. (1986). ''An outline of the morphology and phonology of Saanich, North Straits Salish''. Occasional Papers in Linguistics (No. 4). Missoula, MT: University of Montana Linguistics Laboratory. (Revised version of the author's PhD dissertation,
University of Hawaii A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to mechanisms which govern the behavior Behavio ...

University of Hawaii
). * * Young, Robert W., & Morgan, William Sr. (1987). ''The Navajo language: A grammar and colloquial dictionary'', (rev. ed.). Albuquerque:
University of New Mexico Press The University of New Mexico Press (UNMP) is a university press at the University of New Mexico. It was founded in 1929 and published pamphlets for the university in its early years before expanding into quarterlies and books. Its administrative ...
.


External links

* Searchable database of metathesis
Ohio State University Dept. of Linguistics Metathesis Page
* Compare
"Development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis"
2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry—metathesis process
"Metathesis"
in ''The Blackwell Companion to Phonology'' * {{Authority control Phonology Speech error nn:Metatese#Metatese i språk