Variable Copying Sites in Truku Cə-Reduplication

Hui Shan Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Based on 424 firsthand data, this paper provides an in-depth investigation on Cə-reduplication in Truku, which varies between first root-consonant (C1-) and second root-consonant (C2-) copying. The variation has previously been proposed to be either phonologically governed by the presence of glottal stop or semantically governed, dependent upon whether RECIPROCITY is denoted. This paper shows that although both proposals are plausible, they are inconsistent with the data available in previous studies as well as the firsthand data collected for this study. This paper shows instead that the variation of the copying site is both semantically and phonologically governed. Semantically, RECIPROCITY and PLURALITY together behave differently from other semantic functions such as PURPOSE and SIMULTANEOUSLY DOING X. Phonologically, for semantic functions that exhibit variation between C1ə-and C2ə-reduplication, the variation is governed by the phonological features of the initial and the second consonant of the root and are driven by the com-petition of different forces: the force to prevent marked segments (i.e., [ʔ, ɣ, ħ]) and sequences (i.e., [ jə, wə, xə, mə]) in the reduplicant and the force to achieve perfect correspondence between the reduplicant and the base, which are nicely captured by constraint interactions in Optimality Theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-46
Number of pages46
JournalOceanic Linguistics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jun


  • Cə-Reduplication
  • Firsthand Data
  • Optimality Theory
  • Truku
  • Variable Copying Sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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