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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Regarding Reduplication and Repetition: A separate treatment in a unified approach Add Dissertation
Author: Francesca Forza Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Università degli Studi di Verona, PhD in Linguistics
Completed in: 2011
Linguistic Subfield(s): Phonology; Syntax;
Director(s): Sergio Scalise
Chiara Melloni

Abstract: The main goal of the dissertation is showing that there are three different
kinds of iterative phenomena in languages: phoneme reduplication, not
analyzed here, reduplication and repetition. The phenomena differ on the
basis of the grammatical components involved and therefore have very
different effects. The first phenomenon I term phoneme reduplication:
1. Italian ciao ciao 'bye bye'
It is the mere repetition of phonemes, where no morphological operation
takes place but, also, basically no meaning is added.
But the main target of this work lies in the difference between the other
two phenomena: reduplication (2) and repetition (3).
2. Japanese hore 'fall in love' hore-bore 'fondly'
3. Italian bello bello 'nice nice'
My work argues that reduplication is first and foremost a formal
phenomenon. It can involve several kinds of meaning, some of which are of
very iconic origin, but all the meanings get encoded grammatically. Then,
phrases can be iterated as well, and they are candidates for repetition. I
take repetition to have an exclusively iconic function, basically with a
single meaning: emphasis. No formal aspects are involved here. I insert
the preceding generalization in the wider framework of the Parallel
Architecture (Jackendoff 1997, 2002 and ff.). Phoneme reduplication is a
merely phonological operation, confined to the phonological structure rule
component and with no interface rule having any role whatsoever.
Reduplication proper is a morphological phenomenon that takes place as an
actual derivation, as a syntactic structure rule. A syntactic
structure-phonological structure interface rule takes care of the
phonological operations that are present in most cases, e.g. linking
markers, but also more unexpected phonological facts. Full and partial
reduplications are differentiated at this point. The semantic structure
rules, alternatively called conceptual structure rules, will be devoted to
the rendering of the meaning of the derivation itself. Fundamentally, all
the meanings are grammatically encoded. Instead, repetition is the result
of a phonological structure- semantic structure interface rule, with an
inactive syntactic side. Repetition does not affect the conceptual
structure because of a process going on in the syntactic component: the
conceptual structures are the very trigger.
Empirically, the two formations show different behavior. Phonologically, in
reduplicative processes, stress or tone are re-analyzed; in repetition this
does not happen. The same holds for the possibility of insertion of
epenthetic material between the two iterating units and the application of
readjustment rules. Morpho-syntactically and semantically, the possibility
of inserting linking elements, to begin with, is available in reduplication
and ruled out in repetition. Additionally, there is internal inflection: in
reduplication nouns are not found in the plural form, for example, and
verbs are not inflected, while such processes are allowed in repetition.
Then, reduplication can undergo constraints of morpho-syntactic nature, and
it can show limited productivity; repetition does not. Finally, cases of
semantic drift and idiosyncratic phenomena are found in reduplication and
not in repetition. It has to be remarked that the patterns attested in
spoken languages are also found in Sign Languages, suggesting a universal
character of the generalization.