Feature GB158: Are verbs reduplicated?

Patrons: Jakob Lesage



A verb is reduplicated if its root is fully or partially repeated. The word class of the outcome of the process is not relevant, as long as the root is a verb. Full repetition of already inflected verbs or units larger than a root does not trigger a 1 for this feature. This feature only targets productive reduplication. Reduplication in closed classes (e.g. only a small, closed conjugation class) is not relevant. Lexicalized examples are irrelevant.


  1. Code 1 if a source mentions productive verbal reduplication.
  2. Code 1 if you identify productively reduplicated verbs in a source.
  3. Code 0 if a source mentions that there is no productive (verbal) reduplication.
  4. Code 0 if a source discusses reduplication of nouns or other items but not of verbs.
  5. Code 0 if the only instances of verbal reduplication are lexicalized.
  6. Code ? if there are examples that contain potential verbal reduplication but their analysis remains inconclusive.
  7. Code ? if you suspect the author may have missed or disregarded verbal reduplication.


Leti (ISO 693-3: lti, Glottolog: leti1246)

In Leti, instrument nouns can be productively derived from nouns by means of partial reduplication (van Engelenhoven 2004: 101–102, 139–140). Leti is coded 1.

sòra ‘to sew’       → sòr-sòra ‘needle’
sèra ‘to sprout’    → sèr-sèra ‘sprinkler’
sòpna ‘order’       → sòp-sòpna ‘servant’

Abu' Arapesh (ISO 639-3: aah, Glottolog: abua1245)

In Abu' Arapesh, repetition and reduplication are only productive in child language (Nekitel 1985: 174). This language is coded 0.

Yulu (ISO 639-3: yul, Glottolog: yulu1243)

For Yulu, Santandrea (1970: 79) explicitly mentions that reduplication does not occur. This language is coded 0.

Further reading

Gil, David. 2005. From repetition to reduplication in Riau Indonesian. In Bernhard Hurch (eds), Studies on reduplication, 31–64. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Hurch, Bernhard (ed.). 2005. Studies on reduplication. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Marantz, Alec. 1982. Re reduplication. Linguistic Inquiry 13. 435–482.

Moravcsik, Edith A. 1978. Reduplicative Constructions. In Joseph H. Greenberg, Charles Albert Ferguson & Edith A. Moravcsik (eds), Universals of human language. Volume 3: Word structure, 297–334. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Rubino, Carl. 2005. Reduplication: Form, function and distribution. In Bernhard Hurch (eds), Studies on reduplication, 11–29. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.


Nekitel, Otto. 1985. Sociolinguistic aspects of Abu', a Papuan language of the Sepik area, Papua New Guinea. Canberra: Australian National University. (Doctoral dissertation.)

Santandrea, Stefano. 1970. Brief grammar outlines of the Yulu and Kara languages (Bahr el Ghazal, Sudan- Central African Republic). (Museum Combonianum, 25.) Rome: Sodality of St. Peter Claver.

van Engelenhoven, Aone. 2004. Leti: A language of Southwest Maluku. (Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk instituut voor taal-, land- en volkenkunde, 211.) Leiden: KITLV Press.

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Name Glottocode Family Macroarea Contributor Value Source Comment