26 Functions of reduplication

This feature is described more fully in chapter 26.


Here we ask what semantic-grammatical functions productive reduplication can have in the language. Reduplication differs from word repetition (”very very very good”, “yes, yes, yes!”, “he worked and worked and worked”) in that it is strictly grammatically determined. Reduplication may be total (e.g. Principense dôsu dôsu ‘two each’) or partial (dô-dôsu); these two cases are not distinguished here. The semantic-grammatical functions of reduplication are grouped into three classes: iconic (intensitiy, iteration, plurality, distributivity), attenuating (i.e. to a reduced degree), and word-class-changing.


Martin Haspelmath and the APiCS Consortium


No reduplication10
Only iconic functions43
Attenuating function7
Word-class-changing function9
Attenuating and word-class-changing function7

Language Value Lexifier Details Source
Id Primary text Analyzed text Gloss Translation Type Language Audio Details