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Reduplication in Hup (Northwest Amazonia)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter contributes a case study of reduplication in Hup, a Nadahup language spoken in northwest Amazonia, and considers its form, function, and diachrony in typological perspective. It presents the study, a member of the small Nadahup family of the Amazon, with attention to both formal and functional aspects. While Hup and other Nadahup people do not participate in this exogamy system, Hup speakers are nonetheless in frequent interaction with speakers of Tukanoan languages and are in general bilingual. Reduplication is normally understood as a phenomenon distinct from repetition. Despite variations in functions and productivity across word classes, reduplication is in all cases iconic, such that the complexity of the linguistic sign corresponds to relative complexity in semantic content. The fact that certain Hup structures share properties of both repetition and reduplication provides evidence for synchronic middle ground, which in turn may derive from a diachronic link between two phenomena.

Keywords: Hup speakers; Nadahup language; Northwest Amazonia; reduplication; Tukanoan languages



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