Attenuative verbal reduplication in Mauritian
This paper presents an aspect of the grammar of Mauritian, a French-based Creole, called ‘Attenuative Reduplication’ (AR). AR is not specific to Mauritian since it can be found in other Creoles, and in languages like Mandarin Chinese, Setswana and Malagasy to cite but a few. The properties of reduplicated constructions has been the topic of extensive research and for the most characterized as iconic (Sapir 1921). Kouwenberg & LaCharité argue that the Iconicity principle can somehow be extended to AR although they do not seem, at first glance, to fit the generalization. However, data from Mauritian show that AR is not necessarily iconic nor pluractional. I argue that AR is a lexical formation process and that the interpretations available with AR are dependent on the aspectual properties of the predicate. The analysis, couched within a constraint-based grammar, can be extended not only to other lexical categories but also to other languages where the phenomenon is available.