Edward Sapir (18841939). Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech. 1921.
examples. Such locutions as a big big man or Let it cool till its thick thick are far more common, especially in the speech of women and children, than our linguistic textbooks would lead one to suppose. In a class by themselves are the really enormous number of words, many of them sound-imitative or contemptuous in psychological tone, that consist of duplications with either change of the vowel or change of the initial consonantwords of the type sing-song, riff-raff, wishy-washy, harum-skarum, roly-poly. Words of this type are all but universal. Such examples as the Russian Chudo-Yudo (a dragon), the Chinese ping-pang rattling of rain on the roof,21 the Tibetan kyang-kyong lazy, and the Manchu porpon parpan blear-eyed are curiously reminiscent, both in form and in psychology, of words nearer home. But it can hardly be said that the duplicative process is of a distinctively grammatical significance in English. We must turn to other languages for illustration. Such cases as Hottentot go-go to look at carefully (from go to see), Somali fen-fen to gnaw at on all sides (from fen to gnaw at), Chinook iwi-iwi to look about carefully, to examine (from iwi to appear), or Tsimshian am am several (are) good (from am good) do not depart from the natural and fundamental range of significance of the process. A more abstract function is illustrated in Ewe,22 in which both infinitives and verbal adjectives are formed from verbs by duplication; e.g., yi to go yiyi to go, act of going; wo to do, wowo23 done; mawomawo not to do (with both duplicated verb stem and duplicated negative particle). Causative duplications