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Title:Minimal Reduplication
Authors:Jessica Leah Saba Kirchner
Abstract:This dissertation introduces Minimal Reduplication, a new theory and framework within generative grammar for analyzing reduplication in human language. I argue that reduplication is an emergent property in multiple components of the grammar. In particular, reduplication occurs independently in the phonology and syntax components, and in both cases it occurs due to the ordinary workings and independently-motivated properties of those components. Therefore, no special theoretical machinery is necessary in order to analyze reduplication.

Phonological and syntactic reduplication both have distinct properties, which I lay out and explore in some depth. In cases of phonological reduplication (which includes morphological reduplication), reduplication occurs as a phonological repair process. These reduplication constructions are minimal in phonological size, they exhibit TETU, and they interact normally with morphophonology. No RED morpheme or constituents like “base” and “reduplicant” are needed to analyze them successfully.

Syntactic reduplication occurs when a syntactic constituent is copied and merged with another morpheme, creating a complex constituent with two daughters below X0. These cases are not limited in phonological size and do not exhibit TETU. They are restricted in their interaction with morphophonology. In addition, due to the nature of the merged constituent, these constructions sometimes exhibit phonological behavior which appears to be non-optimizing.

Case studies are presented with data from Kwak’wala, Tamil and Samala, with supporting evidence from many other languages.
Article:Version 1