Contrastive focus reduplication
Contrastive focus reduplication, also called identical constituent compounding, lexical cloning or the double construction, is a type of syntactic reduplication found in some languages. Doubling a word or phrase – such as do you LIKE-like him? – can indicate that the prototypical meaning of the repeated word or phrase is intended.
“As a rough approximation, we can say that the reduplicated modifier singles out a member or subset of the extension of the noun that represents a true, real, default, or prototype instance.”
The first part of the reduplicant bears contrastive intonational stress.
- I talked to him that week, but I didn’t TALK-TO-HIM-talk-to-him.
- In fact I barely talked to him. Not TALK-talked.
Contrastive focus reduplication has been called by various names in English. Early work on the construction referred to it as double or lexical cloning due to its superficial characteristics.
Theoretical differences in the approach to the construction result in different nomenclatures, as there are theoretical assumptions which underlie any expression. For example, reduplication is often thought of as a morphophonological process, whereas compounding is often regarded as a morphosyntactic process.
Contrastive focus reduplication features two identical - or near-identical - constituents; these constituents can be words, idioms, or phrases. The left constituent bears contrastive stress, and the right-constituent bears the weight of inflectional morphology.
In other languages
This construction has been identified in German, though research suggests that the meaning of the construction is not readily understood by all speakers.
- "I'll make the tuna salad and you make the SALAD-salad."
- "and you think you know me? The ME-me?"
- "I’m up, I’m just not UP–up."
The poem "After the Funeral" by Billy Collins contains many examples of contrastive focus reduplication.
- Ghomeshi, Jila; Jackendoff, Ray; Rosen, Nicole; Russell, Kevin (2004). "Contrastive focus reduplication in English (the salad-salad paper)" (PDF). Natural Language & Linguistic Theory. 22 (2): 307–357. doi:10.1023/B:NALA.0000015789.98638.f9. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- Hohenhaus, Peter (2004). "Identical Constituent Compounding – a Corpus-based Study". Folia Linguistica. 38 (3–4). doi:10.1515/flin.2004.38.3-4.297. ISSN 0165-4004.
- Finkbeiner, Rita (October 2014). "Identical constituent compounds in German". Word Structure. 7 (2): 182–213. doi:10.3366/word.2014.0065. ISSN 1750-1245.
- Huang, Yan (September 2015). "Lexical cloning in English: A neo-Gricean lexical pragmatic analysis". Journal of Pragmatics. 86: 80–85. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2015.06.005. ISSN 0378-2166.
- Horn, L. (1993). Economy and redundancy in a dualistic model of natural language. SKY: The Linguistic Association of Finland.
- McArthur, Tom (1992). The Oxford Companion to the English Language. Oxford University Press. p. 1127. ISBN 978-0-19-214183-5.
- Song, Myounghyoun; Lee, Chungmin (2015-04-03). "CF-reduplication in English: Dynamic Prototypes & Contrastive Focus Effects". Semantics and Linguistic Theory: 444. doi:10.3765/salt.v0i0.2590. ISSN 2163-5951.
- "Corpus of English contrastive focus reduplications". 30 May 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- Liberman, Mark (June 11, 2007). "Contrastive focus reduplication in Zits". Language Log. This example from Ghomeshi et al. was used by the comic strip Zits.
- ""Elusive" and "After the Funeral" by Billy Collins" (PDF). Boulevard Magazine. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-01-16. Retrieved 2014-10-26.
- Dray, Nancy. (1987). Doubles and modifiers in English. (Unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Chicago).
- Wierzbicka, Anna. (1991). Cross-cultural pragmatics: The semantics of human interaction. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.