Updated About content Print Article Share Article
views updated

REDUPLICATION. The act or result of doubling a sound, word, or word element, usually for grammatical or lexical purposes. In classical Greek, grammatical reduplication serves to form the perfect of the verb, by means of a prefixed syllable that repeats the initial consonant: lū́o I loosen, léluka I have loosened. A mix of grammatical and lexical reduplication occurs in various languages: for example pluralizing in Malay contoh example, contoh-contoh examples, raja king, rajaraja kings. A word in which this process occurs is a reduplication or (more commonly) a reduplicative. In English, lexical reduplication is found: (1) In occasional borrowings, such as beriberi, a disease caused by deficiency of vitamin B1, (from Sinhala, an emphatic doubling of beri weakness). (2) In echoic or otherwise phonetically suggestive words, such as tut-tut/tsk-tsk. In most cases, some elements contrast while others are repeated, as with mishmash and hanky-panky. Such words are often informal and whimsical, with contrasts that affect vowels (mish-mash, pingpong, pitter-patter, tick-tock, tittle-tattle) or consonants (mumbo-jumbo, niminy-piminy), the latter often involving an opening h-sound (hanky-panky, harum-scarum, helter-skelter, hocus-pocus, holus-bolus, hugger-mugger). Less precisely reduplicative resemblances occur in such words as hunky-dory and associations can be made between actions in such words as walkie-talkie. (3) In such occasional emphatic repetitions as no-no in the slang expression It's a no-no (It's something definitely not to be done). (4) In pidgin and creole usages, such as Tok Pisin lukluk to stare (from look) and singsing a festival (from sing), Kamtok and Krio bɛnbɛn crooked (from bend), and Kamtok and Nigerian Pidgin katakata confused (from scatter). See ALLITERATION, ASSONANCE, ECHOISM, JEWISH ENGLISH, JOURNALESE, SCOTS, SINGSONG.

More From

You Might Also Like