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Reduplication without RED: Evidence from Diddly-infixation
Emily Elfner and Wendell Kimper
150-158 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Reduplication motivated by phonological (rather than morphological) factors has been argued to be local and limited to a single segment. In this paper, the authors provide evidence from diddly-infixation, a novel language game process, that phonologically-motivated reduplication can be non-local and can exceed a single segment. In this process, the nonsense word diddly infixes into a base word with initial stress, and triggers reduplication of the stressed syllable. Subjects in a questionnaire study were asked to generalize the pattern to words with non-initial stress, and preferred non-reduplicated forms in those cases. The authors argue that reduplication in diddly-infixation is phonologically motivated, because it appears only where necessary to meet requirements of English stress assignment. Since an entire syllable rhyme is reduplicated across the infixed word, phonologically-motivated reduplication can indeed be non-local and can exceed a single segment.

Published in

Proceedings of the 27th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Natasha Abner and Jason Bishop
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00