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Book Chapter

Do not repeat: Repetition and reduplication in German revisited


Kentner,  Gerrit
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, External Organizations;
Department of Language and Literature, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society;

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Kentner, G. (2022). Do not repeat: Repetition and reduplication in German revisited. In M. Eitelmann (Ed.), Extravagant Morphology: Studies in rule-bending, pattern-extending and theory-challenging morphology (pp. 181-206). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-2DB2-B
This chapter offers a synopsis of repetitive and reduplicative constructions in German, a set of diverse morphophonological types mostly found in substandard registers of the language. A phonological examination of these structures suggests that German strictly prohibits exact adjacent repetition of phonological material within lexical representations. I suggest this generalisation to be a grammatical requirement in the lexicon that holds across all levels of the phonological hierarchy, with only a few well-defined exceptions (abbreviations, loans, onomatopoeias, and ideophones). Reduplicative constructions are situated between the poles of marginal, sub-standard language use, apparent deviance from the concatenative ideal that otherwise pervades German morphology, and strict adherence to the lexical-phonological requirement regarding identity avoidance. In this respect, they are, as I argue, characteristic instances of extravagant morphology.