Lexical reduplication and affective contents
A pragmatic and experimental perspective
The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the use of a linguistic form (lexical reduplication) can communicate affective contents. Lexical reduplication, understood as the intentional repetition of a word, is defined as a pattern XX used to convey, on the one hand, a content which differs from the “basic” meaning of X by involving, for instance, intensification, narrowing, or expansion, and, on the other hand, an affective content that results from the evaluation of the state of affairs at hand. To test reduplication as well as the derivation of affective contents linked to its use, I have relied on a recognition task: after hearing a short story, participants were asked if the items presented on the screen occurred in the story or not. The results obtained suggest that the formal pattern of reduplication plays the role of a trigger.