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Competing Motivations in Grammar and Usage$
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Brian MacWhinney, Andrej Malchukov, and Edith Moravcsik

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198709848

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198709848.001.0001

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Six competing motives for repetition

Six competing motives for repetition

(p.246) 15 Six competing motives for repetition
Competing Motivations in Grammar and Usage

John Haiman

Oxford University Press

Most discussions of competing have implicitly adopted the point of view of the speaker. One may, however, also take the point of view of the hearer, and ask the question: given a specific linguistic structure, specifically a repetition of a form F, what (competing) meanings could lie behind that repetition, and how can the hearer tell which one was intended by the speaker? Intertextually, a speaker may repeat another speaker's F in order to fool yet another hearer that he is that other speaker, to voice his agreement with the other speaker, or to mock him. All of these are familiar, and have been more or less conventionalized in at least some grammars. Yet they may be distinguished from each other by the use of disambiguating “diacritics”—minor signs that are added to the fundamental diagram F(…)F to clarify what was intended.

Keywords:   iconicity, symmetry, twin forms, ideophones, decorative morphology, conformity, plagiarism, mockery, sycophancy, compensatory diacritics, reduplication, repetition

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