Total reduplication is a widely common phenomenon in human languages.
Nevertheless, it has not gained sufficient attention among linguists. This
monograph demonstrates that the comparative study of total reduplication
challenges the traditional notion of linguistic universal. Contrary to the belief that
total reduplication is almost completely unknown in the linguistic landscape of
Europe, it is shown that a sizable group of European languages make ample
use of total reduplication (not only for lexical but also for grammatical purposes).
This means that the areal-typological map of the Old Continent has to be
modified considerably. With special focus on the situation in Europe, the
functional and formal aspects which determine the systematic character of total
reduplication are presented according to quantitative and qualitative principles.
Their importance for general linguistic theory is elaborated upon. The results are
evaluated cartographically. The data are drawn from several hundred languages
(standard and nonstandard varieties) world-wide. Methodologically, the study
relies on a huge parallel literary corpus.