Monday, July 03, 2006

Rumsen Metathesis

Recently, on Jabal Al-Lughat, Lameen posted an example of metathesis from Sierra Miwok, a language rather closely related to the Ohlone languages. I thought it would be nice to show some Rumsen Ohlone examples of metathesis:

'itčen tar 'itčnen become stuck in tar
čumay aspen čumyan look for aspens (?)
meekel salamander meeklen hunt salamanders
'umux wolf 'umxun hunt wolves

These examples reflect second syllable metathesis (as in Sierra Miwok) between verbal forms and noun forms.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Pretty cool. It's really hard to say what's phonology and what's morphology here.

My inclination is to say that verbalization is marked by a morphological rule of the form:

...VC -> ...CVn

As opposed to saying that there's a suffix -n, and assuming some purely phonological metathesis rule applies to turn umuxn into umxun, etc.

I'd be interested to know what happens when you verbalize nouns that don't end with ...VC (with just a vowel, or with a consonat cluster, or howabout monosyllabic roots like CVS), though.