Encyclopedia > Reduplication

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Reduplication is the process of repeating a word or part of it to express some grammical function, plurality for example. It is used in some language families' grammar, most notably in Malayo-Polynesian where it forms plurals:

Bahasa Malay rumah, house, rumah-rumah, houses.

Nama[?] uses reduplication to increase the force of a verb:

Go, look, Go-go, examine with attention.

Indo-European languages formerly used reduplication to form a number of verb forms, especially in the preterite or perfect tenses. In the older Indo-European languages, many such verbs survive:

  • spondeo, spopondi (Latin, "I vow, I vowed")
  • λειπω, λελοιπα (Greek, "I am missing, I was missing")
  • haitan, haihait (Gothic, "to name, I named")

None of these sorts of forms survive in modern English, although they existed in its parent Germanic languages.

See also: augment

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