Your first link didn't work but I'm assuming it's the Álgu page for násti; I'm familiar with that site (see also here
for my list for "star", here
for my list for "spider", and here
where I cited that site as one of the sources), but thanks.
awrui wrote:I don't think they just switches consonants, there must be some steps in between.
awrui wrote:There is a hypothesis that the saami languages took different routes from where they came from to where they are now, and that's why some languages have more "ancient" features than others.
Yeah, but the metathesis of initial and final consonants doesn't follow those geographic patterns. For example, with the words for "star", Eastern Saamic has tCsnC (in some cases tCstC) and Western Saami has nCstC. But with the words for "spider", it doesn't follow that pattern at all; Ume (a Western Saamic language) has fChnC while Eastern and other Western languages, including its neighbors on both sides, have the consonants the other way around (some with additional changes as well).
I know I've seen metathesis like this with a few other words, but can't remember right now which ones, which was in part why I asked.
The way in which it is so sporadic (only a few words) and scattered (no consistent or distinct geographical pattern that tends to lead to this type of metathesis, i.e. not consistently in the same varieties of Saami nor consistently Eastern versus Western etc.) and yet still consistent (each time it happens it seems to be the reversal of the first consonant and the final consonant) made me wonder if there were some other factor involved. In the back of my mind I have a vague sense that I may have read somewhere that it could have been for purposes of euphemism, but I'm honestly not sure if it could be some other language family I read that about, and can't find the source now.
Anyway my question is not about the differences among Saami languages in general but specifically about those sporadic ones that involve metathesis, very specifically the reversal of initial and final
(or medial) consonants. (Even internal metathesis like -vk- to -kv- is more common, and seems more natural, and is not what I'm looking for.) Does anyone have other examples of initial consonants being metathesized with final or medial consonants among Saami languages? I'm sure these aren't the only two I've seen before, but at the moment I can't think of or find more examples besides the words for "star" and "spider". (Which of course is making me question whether or not I'm even right that there are