Adjectival Reduplication in Zulu

  • Toni Cook


This paper introduces and provides an empirical description of the process of adjectival reduplication in Zulu. New data reveals that it behaves similarly to the better-studied process of verbal reduplication, in that both consist of a disyllabic constituent prefixed to the stem. Despite similarities between adjectival and verbal reduplication, the nominal morphology of adjectives leads to key differences as well. The inclusion of prefixal material in the reduplicant reveals a distinction between classifier morphemes that are underlyingly syllabic vs. non-syllabic; the latter reduplicate while the former do not, regardless of whether they are homorganic with the following segment. The traditional Dokean division between genuine adjectives and relatives is considered, as well as the role of fossilised class prefixes in the (non-)availability of reduplication. Options for reduplications of monosyllabic adjectival stems demonstrate that fully syllabic prefixal morphemes are permitted in the reduplicant in cases of adjectival sub-minimality. The influence of verbal reduplication is also hypothesised to affect judgments of well-formedness of adjectival reduplications, as adjectives ending in a final [u] or [o] are less likely to reduplicate than their counterparts ending in [a], [i], or [e].


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614