Volume 47, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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This paper aims at investigating the semantics of nominal reduplication cross-linguistically. Nominal reduplication is treated as an iconic morphological device expressing functions that have something to do with plurality. Nevertheless, in the languages of the world, other types of functions are attested as well, which seem to pivot around different notions like conceptual similarity, heterogeneity, combinations of them, or even possession. Based on a large-scale cross-linguistic analysis, we provide a typology of nominal reduplication considering the range of semantic functions and the type of reduplicative patterns. We argue that the attested variation clearly points to a common semantic core underlying the various functions, and this core can be identified in some modification of the degree and type of referentiality. Finally, the attested tendencies and correlations may shed new light on the role of iconicity in explaining the connection between reduplicated nouns and their functions.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): morphology; plurality; reduplication; referentiality; typology
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