, 19:239

On the diachronic development of C1V1- reduplication in some Austronesian languages

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11525-009-9142-9

Cite this article as:
Reid, L.A. Morphology (2009) 19: 239. doi:10.1007/s11525-009-9142-9


This paper traces the diachronic developments of C1V1- reduplicative processes and their functions in some Austronesian languages. In the first half of the paper, we first examine the possible precursors of this reduplication, in particular the wide range of meanings that are associated with C1V1- reduplication in Formosan languages. One of the issues that is addressed is the diachronic relationship of C1V1- reduplication to the fixed vowel reduplicative pattern, C1a-, that is commonly found in both Philippine and Formosan languages and which has been reconstructed for Proto-Austronesian. I will claim that the evidence suggests that this fixed vowel reduplicative pattern developed from C1V1- reduplication, and not the reverse. Various paths of semantic development are proposed which bridge the gap between iterative and other functions such as instrumental nominalization, human noun plurals and quantifiers. In the Philippines, the development of *C1V1- ‘human noun plural’ in some of the northern languages of Luzon has resulted in the loss of any reduplicative tie to the base, resulting in the development of unique plural morphemes. This will be discussed in the second half of the paper, utilizing the concepts of abduction and deduction to demonstrate how reduplicative processes which are structurally ambiguous have been re-interpreted and analogically spread to affect lexical items originally not in the domain of the reduplication.


Reduplication Fixed segment reduplication Human noun plurals Austronesian Northern Philippine languages Formosan languages Ilokano Bontok Abductive innovation Deductive innovation 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai‘i at MānoaHonoluluUSA

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