Slavic Liquid Metathesis and Pleophony - Complete and Incomplete, First and The Second Metathesis

Complete and Incomplete, First and The Second Metathesis

If one considers the liquid metathesis complete only under the condition that it occurs with the corresponding vowel lengthening, then the complete metathesis occurs only in South Slavic, partially Slovak and in non-word-initial position in the whole Czecho-Slovak area. The complete metathesis has been operational in all Slavic languages under the acuted syllable. Under the word-initial non-acuted syllable there was no lengthening except in South Slavic and partially Slovak. As it was mentioned, word-medially the complete metathesis occurred, besides in South Slavic, in Czecho-Slovak group; in Polish and Sorbian it operated without lengthening, and in North-West Lechitic it didn't operate even in the case of *CarC syllables (otherwise the incomplete metathesis occurred - without the lengthening). In East Slavic languages pleophony yielded *CVRC > CVRVC. The reflex of *l in North-West Lechitic and East Slavic is always "hard".

Since the reflexes of acuted word-initial *ar- and *al- have been the same in all Slavic dialects, the change of acuted *ar-, *al- must have preceded the change of other syllables closed by a liquid, where the reflexes are different. So one can distinguish the first and the second metathesis of liquids.

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