Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Mon Jan 31 16:32:09 UTC 2000

Ron Butters said:
> In a message dated 1/31/2000 9:50:07 AM, highbob at MINDSPRING.COM writes:
> << Oh, yes.  I've heard in words like "preformance" and "preform," and also in
> the word "southren" for southern.  I don't hear it as much as I used to do.
> I have no idea of the cause, but I remember thinking at one time it might be
> a form of hypercorrectivism perhaps caused by misreading.  Maybe it's all a
> phenonmenon traced back to dyslexia.  But I doubt it.  (Very much.) >>
> It is called metathesis (sometimes methasetis). BIRD and BRID have bveen
> going bvck and forth this way throughout history. Likewise ASK and AKS. It is
> a normal process of linguistic change.

But isn't there more than just metathesis going here?  In the performance/
preformance examples, they're changing one prefix into another (more
common/transparent?) prefix.  Is this also a case of some reanalysis?
People may do perform -> preform and pervert -> prevert, but do they ever
do purple -> preple or person-> preson?  I doubt it, since in the latter cases
people are less likely to interpret the first syllable as a latinate prefix.
(Or should that be a perfix?)


More information about the Ads-l mailing list