LINGUIST List 10.360

Sun Mar 7 1999

Sum: Reduplication in Tunisian Arabic

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <>


  1. Zouhair Maalej, Reduplication

Message 1: Reduplication

Date: Sat, 06 Mar 1999 16:09:35 +0000
From: Zouhair Maalej <>
Subject: Reduplication

Dear Colleagues,

I posted a query on 1 Feb 1999 (LINGUIST List 10.167.1) on the subject
of "Duplication," and the original text is the following:

I have engaged in a pragmalinguistic investigation of what I am
provisionally calling "duplication" in Tunisian Arabic. It consists in
using two lexical items or a collocation as in what follows:

- ka'ba ka'ba (one each)
- l-qatl wa l-maktul (the killing and the killed)
- r-raajil raajil (the male a male)

Leaving aside the syntactic dimension for the time being, such types of
duplication play various pragmatic functions in TA. My query relates to
the following points:

(i) Does the same phenomenon exist in other languages?
(ii) If it exists, what pragmatic function(s) does it serve?
(iii) Does someone on the list know of any publications in this area
(papers/books) ?

If this topic turns out to be attractive to colleagues, a summary will
be posted to the List.

I would like first to express my gratitude to all those who responded to
this query (by sending advice, encouragement, bibliography, paper, or
showing interest), and whose names are alphabetically listed below (I
apologize if I missed anyone):

- Salvatore Attardo (US)
- Keira Ballantyne (University of Hawai)
- E. Bashir (University of Michigan) 
- Shobhana Chelliah (University of North Texas)
- Alain Dawson (Lille, France)
- Mark de Vos (South Africa)
- Ghazali Salem (University of Tunis I)
- Joerg Keller (University of Hamburg)
- Jan K. Lindstrom (Helsinki University)
- Robert Nelson (Southern Illinois University)
- Michael Parkvall (Stockholm University)
- Terry Potter (US)
- Terry Regier (University of Chicago)
- Deborah D. K. Ruuskanen (Finland)
- Georges Rebuschi (France)
- Veit Reuer (University of Berlin)
- Carsten Sinner (Spain)
- Gerhard van Huyssteen (South Africa)
- David Wharton (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
- Colin Whitely (Spain)

I would like to add a particular word of thanks to Terry Potter, Terry
Regier, Gerhard van Huyssteen, Salvatore Attardo, and Jan K. Lindstrom
for being particularly helpful.

All the mails I received talk about reduplication as a ubiquitous
phenomenon in natural language. However, what I have learned is that,
contrary to common beliefs, in the same way there is reduplication there
is also duplication. Likewise, there are semantic in the same way as
there are pragmatic dimensions to reduplication and duplication. In
Tunisian Arabic, for instance, the iconic dimension (repetition,
intensity, etc.)is not the most prevailing one. Some reduplications
(actually the same reduplicative construction) are context-sensitive,
and could be used to perform a variety of speech acts ranging from
simple polite request, to a strategy of turn-taking, etc. I need to
check my data again more carefully to refine my conclusions. 

The quantity of material I received forbids me to list it to all.
However, all those interested in a bibliography on this issue (over 140
pages) are welcome e-mail me and I will attach the document to them.

Content-Description: Card for Zouhair Maalej
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