Timothy C. Phillips

Summer Institute of Linguistics




Retention and Reduction in Reduplicants of Semai


One dialect of Semai has the homophonous verb form ɟək which can mean either "to stand" or "to marry".  When these two verbs are reduplicated, however, the former surfaces as ɟəɲɟək and the latter as ɟəkɟək, the difference being explanable historically by a segment retained in the reduplicant which has been lost in the base. This is just one phenomenon witnessed in Semai reduplication.  This paper explores the wide variety of reduplication found across various Semai dialects, then proposes a series iambic reductions that serve to explain these phenomena. Examples of this same general pattern of reduplication and reduction are provided from several other Aslian languages as well.