y:Üen:v:es:ýXi Aaôf ev:ej:üen:y:a

Ap:n:i-Ap:n:i t:qdir :  Reduplication and its uses

            Reduplication, the doubling or partial doubling of syllables and words, is very frequent in Hindi-Urdu.  It may apply to full words of any kind: nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs (but not auxiliary verbs), even pronouns:

 0.  Vy:a-Vy:a s:am:an: l:an:a c:aehO ?
        'What (various) things should I bring?'

        (from Chapter Twenty-four of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
        From the general sense of plurality or repetition inherent in reduplication emerge a number of specific meanings.  Discussion and examples of the most important of them follow:

A. Onomatopoeic:

 1.   v:h . . . Ct: p:r c:`kr dn:adn: b:ndÜq c:l:an:ð l:g:ð T:ð.
        'He...had climbed onto his roof and begun firing his gun: boom, boom, boom.'

        (from  kÙs:m: j:òn:'s monolog edl: kað dhl:a dðn:ð v:al:ð edn:.  See context.)
 2.  oX Aaòr p:tT:r kñ XØk_ð c:Xak-c:Xak XÜXkr uCl: rhð T:ð .
        'Pieces of stone and brick breaking with a chataak-chataak sound went flying.'

        (from Chapter Twenty-eight of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
B. Intensive or emotive uses:

 3.  p:ðX m:ðø ddü hò.  CXp:Xa rhi hò.  y:haú kaðI daI hò ?
        'She's having labor pains.  She's tossing and turning.  Is there a midwife here?'

        (from Chapter Twenty-seven of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
 4.  D:en:y:a Aaòr t:in:aðø l:_eky:aú UK: kñ g:XYð el:y:ð g:il:i s:ae_y:aðø s:ð l:T:p:T:,  kic:_ m:ðø s:n:i hØI Aay:iø,  Aaòr g:XYð p:Xkkr dm: m:arn:ð l:g:iø . . .
        'Dhaniya and all three girls came lugging bundles of cane, dripping in their wet saris, coated with mud, threw down the bundles and started panting for breath...'

        (from Chapter Twenty of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
C. Reduplication may also indicate extreme degree:

 5.  m:òøn:ð t:að Ap:n:ð Aadm:i s:ð s:af-s:af kh edy:a T:a,  Ag:r t:Øm: ED:r-uD:r l:p:kñ,  t:að m:ðri B:i j:að EcCa haðg:i v:h k-úg:i.
        'So I told my man straight out, "If you starting fooling around here and there, then I'll also do whatever I feel like doing."'

        (from Chapter Five of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
 6.  us:ð Oðs:a j:an: p:_a ek us:ki kal:i-kal:i s:j:iv: AaúK:aðø m:ðø Aaús:Ü B:rð hØO hòø . . .
        'It seemed to him that there were tears welling up in her lively deep black eyes . . . '

        (from Chapter Eight of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
D. Reduplication of non-finite verb forms may express repetition of action in itself (7) or continuous action that leads to a new state (8), (9):

  7.  D:en:y:a ka G:m:NR t:að us:kñ s:úB:al: s:ð b:ahr hað hað j:at:a hò.
        'Dhaniya's pride began exceeding her power to keep it in check.'

        (from Chapter Eight of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
 8.  eS:S:Ø rað-raðkr g:l:a Pa_ð l:ðt:a T:a,  Vy:aðøek Up:r ka dÜD: us:ð p:c:t:a n: T:a.
        'The baby would be on the verge of crying its throat to shreds because it could not digest the extra milk (that was not its mother's).'

        (from Chapter Twenty-seven of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
 9.  b:al:k raðt:ð-raðt:ð b:ðdm: hað j:at:a.
        'The child would cry itself breathless.'

        (from Chapter Twenty-seven of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
 For more on the use of a reduplicated participle to express repeated or continuous activity see notes on V-t:ð V-t:ð.  For discussion of the reduplication of finite verb forms, see notes on  k-ú t:að k-ú.
D. Echoics.  Like other South Asian languages Hindi-Urdu has a productive (ie, generally applicable) way to form "echoics":  In the commonest pattern when reduplicated as an echoic the initial consonant of the first syllable of the word to be echoed is replaced by  v:  If the word begins with a vowel the  v: is simply prefixed to the echo (13).  Sometimes  b:  is used instead of the  v: (11). Another common pattern is the substitution of a high vowel ( U,  I ) with an  Aa  in the echo (12).
       The meaning is usually 'X and the like' or 'X and things associated with X':

10.  p:an:i-v:an:i dðn:a hò.
        'Water and things have to be served.'

        (from Chapter Seven of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
11.  by:ah B:i eb:n:a Q:rc:-b:rc: kñ hað j:ay:g:a;  Aaòr K:ðt: B:i b:c: j:ay:úg:ð.
        '"There'll be a wedding with no expense of any kind and you'll be able to save the fields, too."'

        (from Chapter Thirty-five of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
Echoics can be formed from just about any kind of word, even infinitives (13) and participles (12):

12.  s:b: XÜX-XaXkr b:rab:r hað g:y:a.
        'Smashing and crashing everything collapsed in a heap.'

        (from  dað b:òl:aðø ki khan:i  by  )ðm:c:nd.)

13.  Aam:i ý khiø eks:i kað Aan:ð-v:an:ð-j:an:ð n:hiø dð rhi T:i.
        'The army wasn't letting anyone come or go or anything.'

        (from monologue  edl: kað dhl:a dðn:ð v:al:ð edn:  by  kÙs:Øm: j:òn:.  See context.)
Echoics are sometimes used disparagingly or dismissively:

14.  Aal:s:i-v:al:s:i kÙC n:hiø hò.
        '"Lazy"?  No way is he lazy!'

        (from Chapter Four of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
In the following exchange between husband and wife note the difference in tone between the semantic reduplication  rs:-p:an:i and the echoic  rs:-v:s: :

15.  kl:s:a l:ð j:aAað,  p:an:i B:rkr rK: dað,  haT:-m:Øúh D:aðy:ðø,  kÙC rs:-p:an:i ep:l:a dað. . . .
        haðri b:aðl:a --  rs:-v:s: ka kam: n:hiø hò,  kaòn: kaðI p:ahØn:ð hòø !
        '"Fill the pitcher.  Put out some water.  Wash up a bit.  Serve some sugar-cane juice and things."
        'Hori said, "There's no need for sugar-cane juice and all that.  Who is he?  Some sort of guest?"'

        (from Chapter Three of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
E. Totalizing. One of the characteristic uses of full (as opposed to partial or rhyming) reduplication is to indicate that an action applies fully to every single member of a class:

16.  m:rd-m:rd s:b: Ok haðt:ð hòø.
        'All men are the same (each and every one of them).'

        (from Chapter Twenty-three of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
17.  PÝl: eK:l:ð hòø g:Øl:S:n:-g:Øl:S:n:
        'Flowers have bloomed in every garden...'     [See example (24) below.]

        Compare the totalizing meaning of the complete reduplication  G:Üm:-G:Üm:  'combing' in (18) with the approximating meaning of the partial reduplication of  G:Üm:-G:am:  'wandering' in (19):
18.  v:h S:hr kñ Ok b:_ð m:haj:n: kñ Oj:ðøX T:ð.  un:kñ n:ic:ð kI Aadm:i Aaòr T:ð,  j:að Aas:-p:as: kñ dðhat:aðø m:ðø G:Üm:-G:Üm:kr l:ðn:-dðn: krt:ð T:ð.
        'He was the agent of a big money-lender from the city.  Under him there were a number of others who combed the nearby villages making loans and collecting debts.'

        (from Chapter Eight of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
19. Ok edn: v:ð s:ðm:ari p:hØúc: g:y:ð Aaòr G:Üm:t:ð-G:am:t:ð b:ðl:ari j:a en:kl:ð.
        'One day they arrived in Semaari and while wandering here and there came out in Belaari.'

        (from Chapter Thirty of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
        It should be noted that the totalizing sense of reduplication can overlap with the intensive sense.  Thus, the phrase  s:Øb:h-s:Øb:h  in (20) can mean either 'every morning' or 'first thing in the morning':
20.  s:Øb:h-s:Øb:h kam: p:r en:kl: j:at:i hò Aaòr dðr rat: g:y:ð G:r l:aòXt:i hò&&&
        'Every morning (or 'first thing in the morning') she goes out to work and comes back home late at night...'

        (from   ec:e_y:a Aaòr c:il:  by  s:Ø\:m: b:ðdi.  See context.)
F. Mapping.  In addition to the intensification and approximation, there is a third general function of reduplication:  Repetition of a manner adverb or a numeral may be co-ordinated with a second reduplication (sometimes implicit) to express a correlation of degree (21), (22) or the distribution of some set x among the members of set y (23), (24):

21.  j:òs:ð-j:òs:ð m:ØXYa G:Øm:at:ð T:ð t:ðs:ð-t:òs:ð v:h PaXk z:m:in: m:ðø G:Øs:t:a j:at:a T:a.
        'The more they turned the handle, the further the gate sank into the ground.'

        (Sentence 6 from Section 21 of Part Four of  c:ndÒkant:a.)
        (In contemporary Hindi-Urdu  v:òs:ð-v:òs:ð  is more likely than  t:òs:ð-t:òs:ð.)
22.  v:h Aag:ð-Aag:ð kaðYi ki Aaðr c:l:ð,  haðri p:iCð-p:iCð c:l:a.
        'As he went ahead toward the bungalow, Hori came along behind.'

        (from Chapter Two of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
23.  Ok-Ok b:aCa s:aò-s:aò ka haðg:a.
        'Each calf will fetch a hundred rupees.'

        (from Chapter N of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
24.  Ap:n:a-Ap:n:a D:rm: Ap:n:ð-Ap:n:ð s:aT: hò.
        'To each his own duty.'

        (from Chapter Twenty-four of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
25.  PÝl: eK:l:ð hòø g:Øl:S:n:-g:Øl:S:n:         l:ðekn: Ap:n:a-Ap:n:a dam:n:
        'Flowers have bloomed in every garden but each has been spoken for.'

        (suggested by  m:ðhr fa-qi  from a poem by  ej:g:r m:Øradab:adi.  See context in Urdu.)
G. Semantic reduplication.  In addition to phonological reduplication it is necessary to recognize semantic reduplication.  Examples of semantic reduplication are paired words like  S:adi-by:ah  'wedding and marriage' and  s:aðc:-ev:c:ar  'thinking and considering' whose members have no detectable formal resemblance but which have meanings similar to echoics and reduplicates like  S:adi-v:adi  and  s:aðc:-s:ac:  that do:
26.  S:adi-by:ah m:ðø p:il:i s:a_i p:hn:i j:at:i hò . . .
        'You wear a yellow sari to weddings and marriages...'

        (from Chapter Three of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
27.  Ok b:_ð qb:il:ð ka s:rdar hò.  us:ð Paús:i dðt:ð hØO s:rkar B:i s:aðc:-ev:c:ar krðg:i.
        'He's the chief of a large tribe.  Even the Government would think long and hard before hanging him.'

        (from Chapter Six of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
It seems that most instances of semantic reduplication involve approximation (rather than intensification or distribution).  In some instances the members are mutually complementary, as in the pair  K:a-p:i  in (28):
28.  kÙC Aaram: kr l:að,  kÙC K:a-p:i l:að.
        'Take some rest.  Have something to eat and drink.'

        (from Chapter Twenty of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)
        For more on reduplication in Hindi-Urdu and other South Asian languages see publications by Anvita Abbi.

To conversion exercise on reduplication.

To translation exercise on reduplication.

To index of grammatical notes.

To index of  m:lhar.

Drafted and posted 25 Oct - 3 Nov 2002. Linking to texts begun 13 Nov 2002. Augmented 14 Mar 2003.