Reduplication

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Reduplication

 

in linguistics, complete or partial repetition of a root, stem, or word. Reduplication may express plurality, as in the Malay orang (“person”) and orangorang (“people”). It may be used to intensify an action or quality, as in the Russian khodish’-khodish’ (“you walk and walk”) and bol’shoi-bol’shoi (“very big”). Sometimes an adjective formed by reduplication expresses a lesser degree of a quality, as exemplified by the Malagasy fotsi-fotsi (“whitish”). Reduplication may also express different aspectual and other meanings in a verb. In the Indo-European languages, there is partial reduplication in the formation of the perfect and present. Reduplication is also used in onomatopoeic expressions, such as the Russian ku-ku (the call of the cuckoo) and the English “tick-tick.”