The Why and How of Total Reduplication: Current Issues and New Perspectives
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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In this paper I discuss two types of total reduplication that prove to be productive in Contemporary German: real-X Reduplication (RXR) and Durative Reduplication (DR). The function of the former, RXR, is to restrict the meaning of a word to its prototypical content (cf. Buchbuch ‘book-book; real book, not an e-book’). Based on corpus data I address the question whether we are dealing with reduplication or with compounding here. As a result it will become apparent that the process of RXR, while showing some parallels to compounding, lacks crucial characteristics of compounding and is therefore to be seen as a case of reduplication. The latter type of total reduplication, DR, involves the doubling of a bare, inflectionless verb stem, thus encoding durativity of the denoted event or activity (cf. grummel-grummel ‘grumble-grumble, to be continuously grumbling’). Finally I sketch a path of diachronic development of the emergence of DR from ideophones.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): durative; German; identical constituent compounding; total reduplication
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