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The Linguistic Review

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Volume 34, Issue 4


Position and stress as factors in long-distance consonant metathesis

Anya Lunden / Kelsey Renoll
Published Online: 2017-07-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2017-0013


Long-distance consonant metathesis is less common than the metathesis of adjacent segments but is shown to occur in multiple languages (e.g. Māori heru rehu ‘spade’) As words tend to be short, and examples rare, it is difficult to assess the tendencies of long-distance consonant metathesis. This paper gives the results of a production experiment with five-syllable nonce words set up to examine the effect of position within the word and stress-status for long-distance consonant/consonant metathesis. It is found that all positions but the initial one are equally likely to be involved in a metathesis, which is consistent with a previous finding that word-initial onsets resist metathesis in adjacent-segment metathesis. Onsets of stressed syllables are also less likely to participate in metathesis with consonants at greater distances than in an adjacent syllable. The findings suggest that long-distance consonant metathesis is not fundamentally different from adjacent-segment metathesis, although, unlike adjacent segment metathesis, it cannot occur as part of regular process.

Keywords: metathesis; locality; stress; word-initial position; onsets


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-07-22

Published in Print: 2017-11-27

Citation Information: The Linguistic Review, Volume 34, Issue 4, Pages 615–634, ISSN (Online) 1613-3676, ISSN (Print) 0167-6318, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2017-0013.

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