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Poster: Thind

Punjabi Reduplication

Sonam Thind 

This research looks at the process of reduplication in the Malwai dialect of Punjabi under the Optimality Theory framework. Previous research has been done on reduplication, but has focused on either partial reduplication with or without a vowel change, or total reduplication without any change to the reduplicated stem. Malwai reduplication is different: the stem undergoes total reduplication with a single vowel alternation. The process is invoked to capture a wider range of ideas associated with the semantic meaning of the initial stem. The positioning of the alternation can be explained by stress patterns; Punjabi has the MAIN-­‐LEFT constraint, and any exceptions to this can be attributed to the weight-­‐to-­‐stress principle. The reduplicated suffix will have a vowel alternation that occurs on the stressed syllable, while the rest of the stem remains the same. Distinctions between vowel length, nasality, and tone are all maintained in the reduplicated suffix. The alternations can be explained by a CHANGE-­‐INPUT-­‐OUTPUT constraint, which results in a predictable dissimilation from the original vowel to the highest back vowel: [uː] or [ʊ] depending on length. If the vowel cannot go any higher or further back, the constraint forces it to become the lowest vowel, either [aː] or [ʌ], again, dependent on length. Reduplication does not occur on every word; only a single-­‐ footed stem may be reduplicated. This research is beneficial to existing work as it fills in a logical gap in the system, and provides a constraint-­‐based account to new data.