Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Reduplication

I plan on handling most of the morphology by means of different types of reduplication.

First we have full reduplication: When used with nouns it indicates a sort of plurality or paucality. But either form can be used with any number with differences in accuracy. For example knz is the word for drop (of water). On its own it is transnumeral:

knz
drop
"(a) drop" or "(some) drops"

Used with a numeral it is a specific number of drops:

knz hmj
drop one
"one drop"

knz kxqj
drop seven
"seven drops"

Reduplicated and on its own it is plural:

knzknz
drop-PL
"(many) drops" (althoug in fact lexicalized to "rain")

But when the reduplicated form is used with a numeral it means about [this many] or at least [this many].

knzknz hmj
drop-PL one
"some drops" or "few drops"

knzknz gnjf
drop-PL twelve
"a dozen drops"

More reduplication after the jump...

There are also a few kinds of partial reduplication. A partially reduplicated prefix marks definiteness. It takes the shape of the first CV of the word, but leaves out the tone using the (neutral) low tone, and the vowel is also short. Here is an example:

knknz
DEF-drop
"the drop(s)" or "(a) certain drop(s)"

And it can be combined with plural.

knknzknz
DEF-drop-PL
"the drops" or "certain drops"

Another type of reduplication marks negativity and uses partial reduplication, but changes the initial consonant, in this way:

<kx, kf, ‘> changes to <k>
<k, h, kg, kv> changes to <>
<f, x> changes to <h>
<v, g> changes to <Ø>

So its structure is C'V with a low tone. And for the drop that means:

nknz
NEG-drop
"(a) non-drop(s)" or "not (a) drop(s)"

And the combinations:

nknknz
NEG-DEF-drop
"the non-drop(s)" or "not the drop(s)"

nknzknz
NEG-drop-PL
"(many) non-drops" or "not (many) drops"

nknknzknz
NEG-DEF-drop-PL
"the (many) non-drops" or "not the (many) drops"

And this is also how the word  ‘mhmmz means "non-language":

‘mhmmz
NEG-speech
"non-language" or "non-speech"

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