S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) English Language and Literature (영어영문학과) 영학논집(English Studies) 영학논집(English Studies) No.34 (2014)
The Perceptual R-Metathesis in Middle English
- Kang, Eunsoo
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 인문대학 영어영문학과
- 영학논집, Vol.34, pp. 61-86
- metathesis ; Middle English ; r-metathesis ; perceptual metathesis ; perceptual optimization ; place of articulation ; manner of articulation
- This study aims to investigate whether the r-metathesis in Middle English is a sporadic sound change or not. The traditional view on the metathesis in English has strongly argued that it is sporadic and it can be explained by vowel epenthesis and deletion. However, the result from the analysis of the Middle English variants suggests that words in a certain kind of phonological environments such as Vrst and Vrht have a significantly greater number of metathetic variants. This can be attributed to the perceptual optimization argued by Blevins and Garrett (2005). In other words, perceptual difficulty between /r/, /s/, and /h/ followed by /t/ in coda position might be the cause of the r-metathesis, which provides more plausible explanation than the vowel epenthesis and deletion.