The consonant cluster simplification process can also appear to take on the form of metathesis, or the transposition of segments. For example, in the sentence ``baHis bi+alam bi+il+zAt sAciB(t) maSHa'' the first two words are pronounced /b a H i s i b a l a m/ by all three speakers that we recorded. Another interesting feature of this example is that the apparent transposition triggers a cross-word resyllabification.
After close examination and consultation with an Arabic linguist, we have concluded that these events are not metathesis but rather a combination of epenthesis and reduction or elision. This phenomenon occurs mainly with an /i/ following a (possibly cross-word) consonant cluster, frequently in the words ``bi'' and ``li.'' Because vowel epenthesis in Cairene is primarily realized as [I]/, it sounds as if the vowel and its preceding consonant are simply reversed, but when the same phenomenon is examined in other dialects the simplifying vowel varies in realization, indicating that it is not a post-cluster /i/ that is pulled back, but rather an inserted simplifying vowel and an elided /i/.
We have labeled the preceding vowel as an epenthetic vowel, excluding it from the unit database as described above. The elided vowel is removed from the labels.