Thursday, 5 January 2023

Grandpa Greg's Advanced Grammar: (re)DUPLICATIONS

Authors' Note: Reduplications as they are best known, sometimes also called duplications, are language forms (morphs), usually for nouns, in which an element of the word is repeated with little or no change; they figure prominently among the most musical elements in English and in other languages. To this author, the more commonly used term seems redundant. Many other examples begin with the letter 'h', e.g. harum-scarum, helter-skelter, higgeldy-piggeldyhillbilly, and hubba-hubba.

Authors' Note: (usually, FUD-uhl-dud-uhl, or with a French lilt, as here, fud-uhl-DUD-uhl)

an infrequently used (re)duplication, voiced dismissively in dealing with opinions that the speaker rejects.

In 1971 Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, father of current PM Justin Trudeau, unleashed a minor scandal by using unparliamentary language in the Canadian House of Commons. A portion of the ensuing brouhaha, deftly sidestepped by Trudeau, revolved around whether he had actually spoken or merely mouthed the inappropriate words.

Web discussion:

Authors' Note: 

(FUD-ee-dud-ee, or as a possibility here, fud-ee-DUD-ee). Another example of a (re)duplication.

Authors' Note: Higgledy-piggledy is yet another (re)duplication relating to disorder and impetuousness whose meaning overlaps with helter-skelter, and harum-scarum.

Authors' Note It sure warn't easy to pack the whole bunch of neighbors and pals into a single verse. I had to, with the greatest regret, leave out bumpkins, crackers, chawbacons, clodhoppers, hayseeds and yokels. I'll include 'em next time! 


Authors' Note:
bubba: stereotyped male inhabitant of the southern US with an upbeat, but macho attitude
Bubba: frequent nickname for a specific male, as used by his buddies

rubba: rubber (American slang for condom), with typical non-rhotic pronunciation
chick: southern girl

hubba-hubba: intriguing (re)duplication, presumably originating in the US a century ago; an expression of approval voiced by males when viewing a sexually attractive chick



The authors of the above poetic verses got so enthused about reduplications that they composed a series of patter-songs (in the style of Tom Lehr) dealing with this intriguing linguistic curiosity. If you follow along these links you can learn more grammar, and see dozens of surprising and enlightening examples of this phenomenon. Grab your ukulele, your guitar, or just your larynx, and enjoy singing along!
1)  Lyrics for Singable Satire: "A LESSON ABOUT REDUPLICATIONS

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