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Volume 46, Issue 2 (May 2008)


The dual theory of reduplication

Sharon Inkelas
  • Corresponding author
  • University of California at Berkeley.
  • Email:
Published Online: 2008-03-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/LING.2008.013


This article argues that the fundamental typological distinction pertaining to reduplication is that between phonological duplication and morphological doubling (the Dual Theory of reduplication). Phonological duplication, which occurs for a phonological purpose such as providing an onset or nucleus for a syllable or filling in the featural content of an otherwise unspecified timing unit in the representation, is formally related to phonological assimilation, modeled here via the mechanism of string-internal correspondence. It obeys phonological locality conditions, targets phonologically defined constituents, and is sensitive to phonological markedness considerations. Morphological doubling, which occurs for a morphological purpose such as marking a change in meaning or creating a new stem type, is the result of the doubling of a morphological category such as root, stem, or affix. Morphological doubling, modeled via the “double insertion” mechanism of Morphological Doubling Theory (Inkelas and Zoll 2005), is not derived by phonological correspondence and therefore is not subject to any of the phonological properties characteristic of phonological duplication; the two copies, related morphosemantically, are phonologically independent.

About the article

*Correspondence address: Department of Linguistics, University of California at Berkeley, 1203 Dwinelle, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

Received: 2004-12-02

Revised: 2007-12-09

Published Online: 2008-03-12

Published in Print: 2008-05-01

Citation Information: Linguistics, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/LING.2008.013. Export Citation

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