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A reaction involving the exchange of elements or groups as in the general equation AX + BY → AY + BX.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



one of the types of combinative sound changes, consisting of the transposition of sounds or syllables within a word.

Metathesis is found:

  1. In historical phonetic changes; for example, Russian lo- replaced Common Slavic ol- at the beginning of a word, as in Old Russian lodiia, “boat.”
  2. In the borrowing of words from other languages; for example, Ket garnitsa from Russian granitsa, “border.”
  3. In morphophonological alternations; for example, Georgian Su&qmetl, “fifteen” (not SquSmetl ), from qu&l, “five.”

Metathesis is especially common in substandard (colloquial or dialectal) speech; for example, Russian substandard perelinka for the standard pelerinka, “pelerine,” “cape,” by analogy with the prefix pere-. Metathesis may take place when sounds occur in close proximity (for example, Russian mramor from Latin marmor, “marble”) or when they occur at a distance (for example, Russian futliar from German Futteral, “case”). A special kind of metathesis is quantitative metathesis, whereby the quantitative characteristics (length) of sounds are exchanged, while their qualitative characteristics are retained (as in the Greek transformation of teos to teos).

Metathesis is used in literature for humorous effects (for example, S. Marshak’s poem “How Absentminded He Is”).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Metathesis is a phonological process in which two segments/phonemes exchange their places.
The run represented a scale up of 40,000 times what had been previously demonstrated in the laboratory and the largest ever usage of "Schrock" (Molybdenum/Tungsten) catalysts for metathesis with ethylene and a renewable oil.
Andersson, "Autonomic healing of epoxy vinyl esters via ring opening metathesis polymerization," Advanced Functional Materials, vol.
The rigidity and high glass transition (Tg) characteristics of these epoxy polymers reduce or impede the mobility of the crosslinked network making the metathesis of the disulfide bonds difficult.
The metathesis activity of the Grubbs catalysts wilh dicyclopentadicne (DCPD) is compared to those of the Hoveyda-Grubbs first generation calalysts with ENB as substrate.
Upon ring-closing metathesis [38-40] of dienol 11 in the presence of Grubb's 1st generation catalyst (5mol%) in C[H.sub.2][Cl.sub.2] at room temperature delivered tetrahydropyridine 12 in 89% yield.
A metathesis reaction of aromatic disulphides, which naturally exchange at room temperature, causes the regeneration.
In the Pahlavi books karsift is several times portrayed as the 'chief of birds', and Redard speculates that the other names that apparently refer to the same bird, caxrawak, cixraz, carg, might continue related onomatopoieic formations *cakra-vaka- (applied in India to a different bird!), *cakra-vaca-, and simply *cakra- (which could have produced carg through metathesis).
Grubbs, "One-pot synthesis of polyrotaxanes via acyclic diene metathesis polymerization of supramolecular monomers," Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol.
Crick reaction has been employed in combination with living polymerization techniques such as ring-opening polymerization (ROP), ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP), cationic polymerization, nitric-oxide mediated radical polymerization (NMP), atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), and reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (RAFT).
The devices she finds most in evidence are "anagram and metathesis," "reversal," and "mistaken identity"-really, all in their different ways variations on reversal, of which she assembles a full catalogue, from the "biting-cold mid-June morning" with which the novel opens to the "warm land" that "lay white as frost" at the end.