Reduplication in Urban Hijazi Arabic Dialect Spoken in the Western Region of Saudi Arabia

Hanan Mohammed Kabli


This study focuses on trilateral reduplicated roots (CVCC), such as laff “wrap’”, and quadrilateral duplicated roots (CVCCVC), like waswas “whisper” and their reduplicated counterparts of the type C1VC2CC1VCc21 and C1VC2C1VC2 in the Urban Hijazi Arabic dialect (UHA dialect). This research centers on reduplication in the UHA dialect as a total duplication. Semantically, reduplication in this dialect displays three main functions: 1) intensifying reduplication, as in adjectives; 2) emphatic reduplication, as in nouns; and 3) iterative reduplication, as in verbs. The data were collected using interviews with native speakers of the UHA dialect via Blackboard and face-to-face meetings. The analysis of the data shows that sometimes the C1VC2C1VC2 pattern is a duplication at the surface level (i.e., pseudo-reduplication) because it has a genuine root and is underived from the trilateral roots whereas others are derived from trilateral roots and undergo the process of duplication. However, the C1VC2CC1VCC2 pattern shows that the second syllable is a copy of the original root. Nevertheless, both patterns show similar functions of reduplication in verbs, nouns, and adjectives. In addition, they reveal a similar derivational mechanism in changing parts of speech by adding the prefix y- to the verb, the prefix mu- to the adjective, and the suffix -a to the noun. In conclusion, this study confirms that not all quadrilateral duplicates originated from trilateral reduplicated roots. Also, the results are in line with the Basra linguists’ claims that roots in the Arabic language can be trilateral, quadrilateral, and so on. 

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English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)

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