[Lingtyp] Question on reduplication for translative sense

Randy John LaPolla (Prof) RandyLaPolla at ntu.edu.sg
Thu Jun 16 10:07:12 UTC 2016

Thanks very much to Anvita Abbi, Giorgio Arcodia, David Beck, Guillaume Jacques, Geoffrey Khan and Zygmunt Frajzyngier for helpful replies to my question about the use of reduplication for a translative meaning. The replies are all given below. It seems from some of the replies, and my own sense of Rawang, that the key function is adverbialisation.


Begin forwarded message:

From: Anvita Abbi <anvitaabbi at gmail.com<mailto:anvitaabbi at gmail.com>>
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Question on reduplication for translative sense
Date: 16 June 2016 12:19:35 am SGT

Dear Randy
Most of the Indo-Aryan languages convey translative meaning by complete/total

duplication of location nouns as in the following Hindi examples. However, I have no idea of any language using partial reduplication.

1 səɽək səɽək


    road road    go-imp

   ‘Go by road’

2. ɟəŋgəl ɟəŋgəl ja-oge             to     cʰupe     rah-oge

orest forest go-2sg.fut   then  hidden stay-2sg.fut

  ‘(if) you go by forests you will stay hidden’


From: <giorgio.arcodia at unimib.it<mailto:giorgio.arcodia at unimib.it>>
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Question on reduplication for translative sense
Date: 15 June 2016 5:06:56 pm SGT

Dear Randy,

In Sicilian, the (total) reduplication of place nouns can be used to express a variety of 'locative' meanings, including 'in', 'at', 'from...to', etc.

You can find all the examples you need in this article:


It's in English and it's freely downloadable.

All the best,

Giorgio F. A.

Prof. Dr. Giorgio Francesco Arcodia
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
Dipartimento di Scienze Umane per la Formazione
Edificio U6 - stanza 4101
Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
20126 Milano

From: David Beck <dbeck at ualberta.ca<mailto:dbeck at ualberta.ca>>
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Question on reduplication for translative sense
Date: 15 June 2016 8:23:22 pm SGT

Hi, Randy

Upper Necaxa Totonac has partial final reduplication that applies to adverbs expressing posture or configuration that is used when the Figure is in motion. These are described on page 25ff of the attached paper.



From: Guillaume Jacques <rgyalrongskad at gmail.com<mailto:rgyalrongskad at gmail.com>>
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Question on reduplication for translative sense
Date: 15 June 2016 11:25:12 pm SGT

Dear Randy,

In Japhug a few nouns can be reduplicated to derive locational adverbs:

tʂu 'road' > tʂɯtʂu 'on the road, along the road'

I haven't yet written on this topic, but this example is in my dictionary:

Jacques, Guillaume. 2015. Dictionnaire Japhug-Chinois-Français, version
1.0. Paris: Projet HimalCo. URL http://himalco.huma-num.fr/.


From: Geoffrey Khan <gk101 at cam.ac.uk<mailto:gk101 at cam.ac.uk>>
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Question on reduplication for translative sense
Date: 15 June 2016 8:42:41 pm SGT

Dear Randy,

In Neo-Aramaic (Semitic) prepositions are repeated to express a translative sense, e.g.

reš ṭura

on mountain

‘on the mountain’

šawr-əx reša reša danna miya

jump.prs-1pl. on on this water

‘Let us jump over this water’

qam čadra do-malka

before tent of.the king

‘In front of the tent of the king’

pyað-ele qama-qamət čadra do-malka

passing-cop.3ms before before tent of.the king

‘He is passing in front of the tent of the king’


Khan, Geoffrey. 2008. The Neo-Aramaic Dialect of Barwar. 3 vols. Leiden: Brill, vol. 1, pp. 817-819

Khan, Geoffrey. 2016. The Neo-Aramaic Dialect of the Assyrian Christians of Urmi. 4 vols. Leiden-Boston: Brill, vol. 2, pp. 284-285

Best wishes,

Geoffrey Khan

From: Zygmunt Frajzyngier <zygmunt.frajzyngier at colorado.edu<mailto:zygmunt.frajzyngier at colorado.edu>>
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Question on reduplication for translative sense
Date: 15 June 2016 5:26:05 pm SGT

Although it is not really the case of translative, but in a  number of Chadic languages languages reduplication of nouns, adjectives, and numerals can derive an adverb. Some of these adverbs have locative and temporal function.
See Frajzyngier and Shay ‘Chadic’ in:
Frajzyngier, Zygmunt and Erin Shay (eds). 2012. The Afroasiatic languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

All best,
Zygmunt Frajzyngier
Department of Linguistics,
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309
Phone: 303-492-6959

From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org>> on behalf of "Randy John LaPolla (Prof)" <RandyLaPolla at ntu.edu.sg<mailto:RandyLaPolla at ntu.edu.sg>>
Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 4:53 PM
To: "<LINGTYP at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:LINGTYP at listserv.linguistlist.org>>" <LINGTYP at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG<mailto:LINGTYP at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG>>
Subject: [Lingtyp] Question on reduplication for translative sense

Hi All,
In the Rawang language (Tibeto-Burman, Northern Myanmar/Burma) I find a type of reduplication where the reduplication of the last syllable of a common noun, proper noun, or other word referring to a location can mark a translative (going through or by, or by way of) sense, as in the following examples:

            a.   Shı̀gùnggùng dı̄ráı̀.

                  shı̀gùng-gùng         dı̄-rá-ı̀

                  mountain-REDUP    go-DIR-I.PAST

                  'He came by way of the mountains.'
            b.   Zı̀dv̀n dv̀n               'by way of Zidan (thatch-growing plain)'
In most other TB languages the translocative sense (along with other locational senses) would be marked by postpositions, so this is unusual.
Has anyone found anything like this particular use of partial reduplication in other languages? If so, could you please send me references?

Thanks very much!

Prof. Randy J. LaPolla, PhD FAHA (羅仁地)| Division of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies | Nanyang Technological University
HSS-03-45, 14 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637332 | Tel: (65) 6592-1825 GMT+8h | Fax: (65) 6795-6525 | http://randylapolla.net/

CONFIDENTIALITY: This email is intended solely for the person(s) named and may be confidential and/or privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, please delete it, notify us and do not copy, use, or disclose its contents.
Towards a sustainable earth: Print only when necessary. Thank you.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lingtyp/attachments/20160616/38054a4f/attachment.htm>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Beck 2008(IDPH).pdf
Type: application/pdf
Size: 226477 bytes
Desc: Beck 2008(IDPH).pdf
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lingtyp/attachments/20160616/38054a4f/attachment.pdf>

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list