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Full Access Ideophonic reduplication of content words in Mandarin Chinese: A category shift and its typological background

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Ideophonic reduplication of content words in Mandarin Chinese: A category shift and its typological background

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Ideophonic reduplication is a special type of reduplication in Mandarin Chinese. By repeating the mere sounds of a word or expression taken from the linguistic context, it turns content words into temporary ideophones. I argue that this operation highlights the signifiant (the acoustic form) and downplays the signifié (the concept referring to the subject in reality) of the reduplicated segments. This type of reduplication differs from pragmatic repetition, and it has a number of distinctive characteristics. I argue that the development of ideophonic reduplication in Chinese is closely connected with the typological characteristics of Chinese.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Linguistics Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Beijing CHINA liudanq@gmail.com

10.1163/1960602812X00023
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/content/journals/10.1163/1960602812x00023
2012-01-01
2017-09-23

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