A compounding analysis of plural reduplication

Yuta Tatsumi


The paper offers an analysis of plural reduplication in Japanese. I argue that reduplicated nouns are antonym compounds that have two opposite values of number features. Each member of a reduplicated noun is associated with an interpretable valued number feature, and values of the number features must not be identical to each other. I propose that two opposite values on the top node of a reduplicated noun becomes an uninterpretable valued feature in Japanese. As a result, reduplicated nouns in Japanese are not specified as singular or plural because uninterpretable features do not have any semantic import. The proposal makes the prediction that reduplicated nouns are similar to bare common nouns in the sense that they do not bear the specification of singular-plural distinction. I show this prediction is borne out. The proposal also leaves room for an analysis of typological variation of plural reduplication.


plural reduplication; compounding; number features; Japanese

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v3i1.4374

Copyright (c) 2018 Yuta Tatsumi

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