Friday, September 24, 2010

A lovely little article that will make you laugh

Thanks to my friend Andrew Sullivan on Facebook, I found this blog post, which talks about a linguistic study of contrastive reduplication. This is a very common phenomenon in colloquial spoken English, though you've probably never noticed it. Examples are things like this.

"Well, it was big. But not BIG-big."
"Sure I like him. I just don't LIKE HIM-like him."

So if you'd like a good giggle about reduplication in English and other languages, check it out.


  1. A form of this is extremely common in the Malay language (which my wife and her family are native speakers of). For example, when my wife wants her take-away meal to be extra spicy, she asks me to order it padas-padas ("spicy spicy").

  2. Cool, JDsg! Japanese has a lot of onomatopoetic forms that have reduplication, like choko-choko (waddling) and fuwa-fuwa (fluffy).