Metathesis (W3)Als dt. "Metathese", engl. "Metathesis", bezeichnet man die Lautumstellung / Buchstabenumstellung innerhalb eines Wortes - meist zur Vereinfachung der Aussprache, auch bei Entlehnung in eine andere Sprache.
Das Wort "Metathese" kommt direkt von lat. "metathesis" bzw. griech. "metáthesis" und setzt sich zusammen aus griech. "meta" = dt. "zwischen", "mit", "um", "nach" und griech. "thésis" = dt. "Setzen", "Stellen", griech. "tithénai" = dt. "setzen", "stellen". Die "Metathese" ist also eine "(Buchstaben-, Laut-)Umstellung".
Nach Wikipedia soll die Bezeichnung "metathesis" von Dionysius of Halicarnassus geprägt worden sein.
"Metathesis" is a linguistic pattern in which two sounds occur in one order in one form of a particular word, but in the opposite order in another form of the same word.
For example, in the Austronesian language Leti, the final consonant and vowel in a particular word can occur in both possible orders: a word like "ukar" = 'finger' can also be pronounced "ukra". The choice between the two orders depends on several factors, including the number of consecutive consonants at the beginning of the next word. If the next word begins with only one consonant (such as "lavan" = 'big'), the vowel comes first, as in "ukar lavan" = 'thumb, big toe'. If the next word begins with multiple consecutive consonants (or a geminate, as in "ppalu" = 'bachelor'), the consonant comes first, as in "ukra ppalu" = 'index finger'.
Across different languages, "metathesis" has been described as conditioned by phonology (as in Leti), morphology (e.g., the order of two sounds might be reversed in the singular and plural forms of a word), speech errors, historical changes that are likely related to speech perception or the ease of speech production, and other factors.
Metathesis: Formal and Functional Considerations
Ohio State University
The focus of this paper is on metathesis, the process whereby in certain languages, under certain conditions, sounds appear to switch positions with one another. Thus, in a string of sounds where we would expect the linear ordering of two sounds to be ...xy..., we find instead ...yx....
In the Austronesian language Leti, for example, the final segments of a word occur in the order vowel + consonant in some contexts, while as consonant + vowel in others, e.g. ["kunis"]/["kunsi"] ‘key’. While variation in the linear ordering of elements is typical in the domain of syntax, it is comparatively striking in phonology, differing in nature from most other phonological processes which are typically defined in terms of a single sound, or target, which undergoes a change in a specified context.
Thus, the change from /nb/ to [mb] can be described in simple terms as place assimilation of the target /n/ in the context of a following /b/, thereby yielding [mb]; or, in traditional linear formalism, /n/ ® [m]/ __[b].
In contrast, the reversal of sounds such as /sk/ ® [ks], as attested in Faroese, defies such a simple formalism given that metathesis seems to involve two targets, with each essentially providing the context for the other. Due in part to the distinct nature of the process, metathesis has traditionally resisted a unified and explanatory account in phonological theory.
"Metathesis" is a term used in linguistics to describe a language pattern where a sequence of two sounds occurs in one order in one context and in the opposite order in a related context. For example,
The literature on "metathesis" dates back at least a century and covers topics concerning its origin, typology, Conditioning Factors, and theoretical status, among others. This bibliography provides a broad overview of the research carried out on the topic. It should be noted, however, that the literature on metathesis is not as expansive as, for example, that of processes such as assimilation or deletion. One reason for this is because "metathesis" does not occur as pervasively across languages and, as a result, it has been given less attention than other more common processes. This has resulted in the status of "metathesis" as a regular process being questioned, as discussed in the articles listed under "Regularity of Metathesis". While links between metathesis and speech errors have sometimes been assumed ("Metathesis and Speech Errors"), most work on metathesis focuses on more regular phonological or morphological patterns ("Morphological Metathesis"), and among these, on metathesis involving a consonant and vowel or two consonants (though see "Uncommon Metathesis Patterns"). There are several informative works on cross-linguistic patterns of metathesis (see "Typological Studies") as well as in-depth studies of metathesis in particular languages (see "Language Case Studies"). The literature is generally divided as to whether metathesis is analyzed as a synchronic process (see "Theoretical Phonology Approaches"), or as sound change (see "Historical Approaches"). In addition to theoretical and descriptive studies, metathesis has been examined to a lesser extent from psycholinguistic and computational perspectives (see "Psycholinguistic Approaches, Computational Approaches") and also in terms of first and second language learning (see "Language Acquisition"). Most articles contain information on the factors conditioning metathesis (see "Phonetic and Phonological, Sociolinguistic, and Statistical") which has provided insight into its nature, and has revealed that most of the factors conditioning metathesis are the same as those involved in more common processes (see "Conditioning Factors"). The authors wish to thank Kylie Fitzgerald for her assistance with this project.
- a word might have two sounds in one order in its singular form but the opposite order in its plural form;
- or the relative ordering of two sounds within a word form might change over the history of a language;
- or a speaker might swap two sounds when speaking quickly.
"Metathesis"; from Greek "metáthesis", from "µetat???µ?" = "I put in a different order"; Latin: "transpositio") is the transposition of sounds or syllables in a word or of 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":
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:
- foliage > **foilage (adjacent segments)
- anemone > **anenome (adjacent syllables)
- cavalry > **calvary (codas of adjacent syllables)
Many languages have words that show this phenomenon, and some even use it as a regular part of their grammar, such as Hebrew and Fur. The process of metathesis has altered the shape of many familiar words in English as well.
- Latin "parabola" > Spanish "palabra" = "word"
- Latin "miraculum" > Spanish "milagro" = "miracle"
- Latin "periculum" > Spanish "peligro" = "danger", "peril"
- Latin "crocodilus" > Spanish "cocodrilo" = "crocodile"
The original form before metathesis may be deduced from older forms of words in the language's 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.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus was a historian and scholar in rhetoric 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 level: changing word and sentence orders would make texts more fluent and 'natural', he suggested. He called this way of re-writing "metathesis".
Metathesis is responsible for some common speech errors, such as children acquiring "spaghetti" as "pasketti". The pronunciation /'æks/ (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 "*aiskona".
Some other frequent English pronunciations that display metathesis are:
The process has shaped many English words historically. "Bird" and "horse" came from Old English "bridd" and "hros"; "wasp" and "hasp" were also written "wæps" and "hæps".
- "aforementioned" > "afrementioned"
- "nuclear" > "nucular" (re-analysed as "nuke" + "-cular" suffix in "molecular", "binocular")
- "prescription" > "perscription"
- "introduce" > "interduce"
- "asterisk" > "asterix"
- "comfortable" > "comfturble"
- "cavalry" > "calvary"
- "foliage" > "foilage"
- "pretty" > "purty"
The Old English "beorht" = "bright" underwent metathesis to "bryht", which became Modern English "bright".
The Old English "þreo" = "three" formed "þridda" = "thrid" and "þreotene" = "thriteen". These underwent metathesis to forms which became Modern English "third" and "thirteen".
The Old English verb "wyrcan" = "to work" had the passive participle "geworht" = "worked". This underwent metathesis to "wroht", which became Modern English "wrought".
The Old English "þyrl" = "hole" underwent metathesis to "þryl". This gave rise to a verb "þrylian" = "pierce", which became Modern English "thrill", and formed the compound "nosþryl" = "nose-hole" which became Modern English "nostril" (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.
Etymological metathesis occurs in the following French words:
Deliberate metathesis also occurs extensively in the informal French pattern of speech called "verlan" (itself an example: "verlan" - l'"envers", 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.
- "brebis" from popular Latin "berbex" meaning "sheep" (early 12th century).
- "fromage" from popular Latin "formaticus", meaning "formed in a mold" (1135).
- "moustique" (1654) from French "mousquitte" (1603) by metathesis. From Spanish "mosquito" ("little fly").
A few well known examples are:
Some Verlan words are metathesized more than once:
- "laisse tomber" > "laisse béton"
- "lourd" > "relou"
- "louche" > "chelou"
- "français" > "céfran"
"arabe" > "beur" > "rebeu"
Old Spanish showed occasional metathesis when phonemes not conforming to the usual euphonic constraints were joined. This happened, for example, when a clitic pronoun was attached to a verb ending: it is attested that forms like "dejadle" = "leave [plural] him" were often metathesized to "dejalde" (the phoneme cluster /dl/ does not occur elsewhere in Spanish). The Spanish name for "Algeria" ("Argelia") is likely a metathesis of the Arabic name for the territory (al-Jaza'ir).
"Lunfardo", an argot of Spanish from "Buenos Aires", is fond of "vesre", metathesis of syllables. The word "vesre" itself is an example:
"revés" > "vesre" = "back, backwards"
"Gacería", an argot of "Castile", incorporates metathesized words:
"criba" > "brica"
Some frequently heard pronunciations in Spanish display metathesis:
- "calcomanía" > "calcamonía"
- "dentífrico" > "dentrífico"
- "croqueta" > "cocreta"
Abfrage im Google-Corpus mit 15Mio. eingescannter Bücher von 1500 bis heute.
Engl. "Metathesis" taucht in der Literatur um das Jahr ???? / nicht signifikant auf.