Metathesis

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metathesis

[mə′tath·ə·səs]
(chemistry)
A reaction involving the exchange of elements or groups as in the general equation AX + BY → AY + BX.

Metathesis

 

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”).

V. M. ZHIVOV

References in periodicals archive ?
Metathesis reactions are also a green way to make molecules, says Charles P.
Although ring-opening metathesis reactions have been well known in the polymer community since the 1950s, it wasn't until the early 1990s that Grubbs and co-workers described ring-closing variants of interest to organic chemists.
Chapter topics include alkylation and allylation adjacent to a carbonyl group, asymmetric alkylation or aminatin of allylic esters, Suzuki, Beck and Sonogashira coupling reactions, cross-coupling reactions, regioselective or asymmetric 1,2-addition to aldehydes, olefin metathesis reactions, cyclization reactions, asymmetric aldol and Michael reactions, and steroeselective hydroformylation, carbonylation and carboxylation reactions.