Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Tue Feb 1 10:24:47 UTC 2000

Ron Butters said:>
> I'm dubious that anything but phonology is very much as work here. It seems
> to me to go both ways (just like BIRD/BRID). I hear "pervention" as much as
> "prevention"; cf. also "pervaricate," "perliminary"--even "February" becomes
> "Feburary" as well as "Febuary."

The thing that always troubles me about metathesis is the seeming lack of
motivation or rules for it.  Since it goes on both directions, creating and
destroying onset consonant clusters, why do people do it?  I mean, I can see
why you might do it as an occasional speech error, but how does it become
a bona fide language change?

Lynne, the phonologically impaired

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