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What is reduplication? Typology and analysis part 2/2: The analysis of reduplication

Journal article
Authors Laura J. Downing
Sharon Inkelas
Published in Language and Linguistics Compass
Volume 9
Issue 12
Pages 516-528
ISSN 1749-818X
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Languages and Literatures
Pages 516-528
Language en
Keywords reduplication, typology, Optimality Theory
Subject categories General Language Studies and Linguistics, Linguistics


Reduplication has played a central role in the development of phonological theories for 30 years. The introduction of the classical optimality theory (OT) in the 1990s sparked intensive research into the typology and analysis of reduplicative patterns, as reduplication was a key testing area both for OT and for theories critical of OT. Now, after some 20 years of research within the OT model, it is appropriate to assess the leading ideas on reduplication that have come out of this period of concentrated research. This pair of articles serves this purpose. The first article presents a typological survey of the function and form of reduplication, covering classic forms of reduplication as well as less well-studied forms, such as phrasal reduplication, morphologically complex reduplicants and reduplication without phonological identity. The second article surveys recent formal approaches, such as base-reduplicant correspondence and morphological doubling, covering debates such as the morphological status of the reduplicant, exfixation, semantically empty, and a-templatic and compensatory reduplication.

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