Phonological Derivations of Synchronic Metathesis in Modern Persian

Mufleh Salem Alqahtani


This study discusses phonological derivations in Modern Persian which result from synchronic metathesis in light of Optimality Theory (OT). Synchronic metathesis to follow the Sonority Sequencing Principle (SSP) is operated by two phonological rules; metathesis of word-final cluster and Sonority-Driven epenthesis. In this context, the first rule blocks the environment for the second. This phonological derivation is known as bleeding which is also a type of phonological derivation of synchronic metathesis that is motivated by the Syllable Contact Law. The first rule, as the metathesis of heterosyllabic consonants, blocks the environment for the second, as in contact anaptyxis. OT Parallelism is capable of accounting for this bleeding as a transparent rule interaction yielded by synchronic metathesis, which is motivated by the Syllable Contact Law as well as the SSP since reference to the intermediate steps between input and output is not necessary. To that end OT Parallelism is capable of accounting for transparency in the bleeding order.


Persian; Metathesis; SSP; Syllable Contact Law; Transparent rule interactions; Parallel OT

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