Edited by Paolo Ramat and Elisa Roma
[Studies in Language Companion Series 88] 2007
► pp. 317–350
This article provides a new vista of an old problem, viz. the supposed counter-iconic nature of a variety of reduplicative patterns which encode categories such as diminution, attenuation, etc. It is argued that even these categories are iconically represented by reduplication because iconicity is not tied to an increase in size of the entities referred to by the reduplicative construction. Iconicity applies if the semantic description of the quality encoded by reduplication is more complex than the one necessary for the description of the non-reduplicated pattern. This new understanding of iconicity is illustrated by examples of total reduplication drawn from a world-wide convenience sample of languages. Circum-Mediterranean languages are given special emphasis in the final discussion.
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