Reduplication issues in my conlang (crosspost from blog)
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? Jipí der saz ûf eime steine
posts: 291
, Transition Metal message
Ayeri uses reduplication for a number of things, because reduplication is a nice feature. Says the Grammar on this topic (§ 3.2.3):

It is used for hortatives, to indicate that something is done again, and it is used to form diminutives of nouns.

There are two patterns listed for verbs, one with complete reduplication of the imperative verb form for hortative statements, and one with partial reduplication as a way to express that an action takes place again, i.e. some kind of frequentative – like this:

nara- 'speak'naru-naru 'let's speak'na-naru 'let's speak again'
narayeng 'she speaks'na-narayeng 'she speaks again'

Nouns use complete reduplication to derive diminutive forms, for example veney-veney 'doggie' < veney 'dog'. Sometimes, this is also lexicalized, though:

agu 'chicken'agu-agu 'chick'
bata 'child'bata-bata 'grandchild'
kusang 'double'kusang-kusang 'model'
matikān 'fever'mati-mati 'lovemaking'
veh- 'build, construct'veha-veha 'tinkering'

As you can see from the above examples, the outcome of lexicalized reduplication of nouns is not always what one would expect from a strict interpretation: sometimes the result simply adds a more endearing shade of meaning to the original word than strictly signifying a smaller version of the thing.

Last year, however, I also began applying (lexicalized) reduplication to adjectives as a means of derivation:

apan 'wide'apan-apan 'extensive'
ikan 'complete, whole'ikan-ikan 'entire; completely, totally'
pakas 'special'pakas-pakas 'gay, homo'
pisu 'tired, exhausted'pisu-pisu 'tiresome, exhausting'

This is all fair enough, but when I was translating something very recently, I even found myself using this reduplication of adjectives productively:

Nayand yanoyambecause ada-rengthat-A.INAN voyNEG sanoboth talingaya-asmechanic-P nayand kayvomaya-j-aspassenger-PL-P kayvan-yacompany-LOC nā,1SG.GEN, angAT paron-ayprepare-1SG.T gamar-yammanage-PTCP kebay~kebayEMPH~alone sidegan-leyrepair-P.INAN kopo=ikan.difficult=very
'And because there were neither a mechanic nor passengers in my company, I prepared to manage – all alone – a very difficult repair.' (cf. de Saint-Exupéry 13)

What I did here is reduplicating kebay 'alone' to kebay-kebay 'all alone'. The question is then, whether I should regularize this reduplication process, too, as a means to emphasize the large extent of the quality described by the adjective. This is, essentially, an augmentative function.

Now, in languages like German or French, adjectives are noun-like in that they agree with their noun heads in categories of the noun – in German and French this would be number and case. In Ayeri, on the other hand, adjectives aren't inflected for either the noun's or the verb's categories, but they are still nouny in that uninflected nouns may serve as adjectives easily, for example:

anang 'charm'anang 'charming'
dipakan 'pity'dipakan 'pathetic, wretched, pitiable'
gino 'drink'gino 'drunk'
ijan 'silver; coin'ijan 'rich'
karon 'water; sea'karon 'liquid'
mihan 'wood'mihan 'wooden'

This is also relevant regarding case-inflected noun compounds, for example kihas 'map' in this passage:

(N)ara-tang,say-3PL.M.A, angAT myabe.supposed.to pasy-ong-ay=engbe.interested.in-IRR-1SG.T=rather sungkoran-asscience-P kihas(.)map
'(T)hey told me, I should rather be interested in geography(.)' (cf. de Saint-Exupéry 12)

The question then is, if adjectives are essentially nouny in Ayeri, should there be a reduplicating derivative method that basically does the opposite of what it does for nouns? It doesn't necessarily strike me as counter-intuitive given the range of things that reduplication is already used for in Ayeri, but systematically it seems confusing. Also, consider that although nouns are rather consistently case-marked in Ayeri, they appear zero-marked (that is, superficially unmarked) when they carry the trigger morpheme. Thus, a trigger-marked diminutive noun that also exists as a zero-derived adjective could at least potentially clash with a reduplicated adjective at least in its identical surface form.

Works Cited:
de Saint-Exupéry, Antoine. Le Petit Prince. Ed. Rudolf Strauch. 11th ed. Paderborn: Schöningh, 1991. 12–13. Print.
? Jipí der saz ûf eime steine
posts: 291
, Transition Metal message
Um, of course you're allowed to comment if you like. And actually, I'd like to know if what I pointed out towards the end (nouns: reduplication = diminutive; adjectives: reduplication = essentially augmentative; adjectives are nouny) strikes anyone as particularly unnatural or otherwise very problematic.
? Travis B. posts: 603
, Crystallogen message
I can't say I can comment on the realism of the specified scheme of diminutive for nouns versus augmentative for adjectives for nouny adjectives (being both a rather inexperienced conlanger and a non-linguist), even though I personally would have made both act the same way (like with my adjectives in Proto-Søkkli, which are not merely verby but indeed are full-fledged verbs, albeit with some special derivational inflections).

Well, now that I think of it, it should be okay, especially if adjectives aren't very nouny (e.g. are nouny only in agreeing with nouns, e.g.).
? Rhetorica Your Writing System Sucks
posts: 1279
, Kelatetía message
Intuitionalistically, I don't see a problem with it; there are lots of examples of systems where affixes can (appear to) have inverse effects on words just because you provide a different root. "Inflammable" is a great English example of this—a naïve English speaker will assume it means "not flammable."

Given that, I think this is actually a really natural problem for a language to have, and it would probably be solved by memorizing individual words from context. Over time, I bet the boundary between the two categories would break down and some nouns would adopt augmentative reduplication and some adjectives would adopt diminutive reduplication. This could readily result in many hilarious shibboleths.

If you haven't done so already it'd probably be a good idea to include all reduplicated forms in your dictionary, especially so that nouns acting as adjectives are readily apprehended in their correct form.
? Jipí der saz ûf eime steine
posts: 291
, Transition Metal message
Well yeah, I thought that rather than scrapping those irregularly reduplicated or zero-derived adjectives, they're just there as irregularities, and get registered in the dictionary as such already anyway.
? Radius C / 2π
posts: 113
, Hydrogen message
Late to the party here, but I would say: go for it. There is no reason why nouniness of adjectives would prevent the two word classes from working in different ways. For example big > bigger, but kill > killer; -er goes for both comparatives on adjectives and agentive nominalizations on verbs. This sort of thing happens in nature, and it's normal and common for linguists to use such differences as tests for a root's default syntactic category.