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Reduplication in Karitiana (Tupi)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes and analyzes reduplication processes in Karitiana affecting verbs and an affixal morpheme that functions as a quantifier of adjectives. Many nouns in Karitiana seem to be formed via reduplication, but, in fact, most of them are simply onomatopoeic; that is, they are formed by an iconic phonological string, not morphemes, that represents or emulates a typical repetitive movement or sound characteristic of the living being or object denoted by the noun. The chapter describes the criteria for considering ideophones as a special word class in Karitiana, and shows examples of ideophone repetition. The reduplication processes are implemented via affixation and trigger similar meanings despite their different lexical categories: when both verbs and adjectives show reduplication, the interpretation is necessarily plural. The chapter describes reduplication of suffixal quantifier in adjectives, meaning intensification of the quantification, which is yet another case of affixal reduplication reported to exist in Amazonia.

Keywords: iconic phonological string; ideophones; Karitiana; onomatopoeic; reduplication process



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