No Metathesis in Harmonic Serialism

Chikako Takahashi


This paper presents a Harmonic Serialism analysis of synchronic metathesis, proposing to eliminate metathesis as an atomic operation, instead analyzing apparent metathesis cases as a result of the sequential application of simpler operations such as copy + deletion or fusion + fission, and not as segment reordering. The analysis of Rotuman phase alternation in this paper offers a unified account of apparent metathesis, deletion, and umlaut as all going through the processes of copy + deletion and subsequent fusion. Balangao CC metathesis is analyzed as fusion + fission incorporating an idea that CC metathesis is phonetically motivated. Removing the atomic metathesis operation has several benefits: (a) it simplifies the inventory of operations in Harmonic Serialism, (b) it correctly predicts locality restrictions on metathesis patterns without the help of other constraints that are otherwise needed in HS analysis, (c) and it correctly predicts the typological restrictions on the types of segments that undergo CC metathesis.


metathesis; Harmonic Serialism; Rotuman; Balangao;transposition

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Copyright (c) 2018 Chikako Takahashi