Papillon – Reduplication in derivational theories

This course discusses the phenomenon of reduplication, the process by which grammatical information is conveyed by repeating all or part of a word. Although rare or marginal in most European languages, reduplication is a common process worldwide.

  1. Indonesian (Cohn 1989)
    1. buku book
    2. buku-buku books
  2. Lushootseed (van Eijk 1990)
    1. sáq̓ʷ to fly
    2. sáq̓ʷ-áq̓ʷ to fly slowly in circle

As a phenomenon reduplication poses several interesting problems for a theory of language. Unlike prefixes and suffixes, reduplication cannot be treated in terms of concatenating normal segments to the ends of a string. The reality must therefore be slightly more complex than this simple picture of morphology. For this reason reduplication has been at the forefront of many theoretical debates in morphology and phonology for the last several decades, informing us about phonology as well as about how morphosyntax talks to it.

The course will cover the questions of how phonological identity across phonemes can be computed or constructed as well as what representations and mechanisms they require. The focus will be on modular derivational approaches, as opposed non-modular non-derivational ones like Optimality Theory. We will discuss various proposals that have been offered in order to derive reduplication, covering at least Marantz (1982), Raimy (2000), Frampton (2004, 2009), and Halle (2008) and the relationship between these theories and our understanding of the language faculty.

Recommended reading
Marantz, A. (1982). Re reduplication. Linguistic inquiry, 13(3), 435-482.

Optional readings
Rubino, C. (2005). Reduplication: Form, function and distribution. Studies on reduplication, 11-29.

Inkelas, S., & Downing, L. J. (2015). What is Reduplication? Typology and Analysis Part 1/2: The Typology of Reduplication. Language and Linguistics Compass, 9(12), 502-515.