[Tibeto-burman-linguistics] Question on use of reduplication for translative sense

Randy J. LaPolla randy.lapolla at gmail.com
Fri Jun 17 02:05:18 UTC 2016

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)'

I understand from Scott and Krishna Boro that there is something similar in Boro. Has anyone found anything like this particular use of partial reduplication in other TB languages? If so, could you please send me references? 

When I asked this question on the LingTyp list the answers I got, as well as my own analysis of Rawang, seemed to point to it being part of a larger phenomenon, the use of reduplication of different types as a sort of adverbialization technique. Is that also the case in languages you are familiar with?

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/ <http://randylapolla.net/>
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