Accepted Paper:

From India to Borneo: investigating the structure and use of reduplication in Tamil, Malay and Melanau  


Shanthi Nadarajan (Universiti Malaysia Sarawak)

Paper short abstract:

Repetitive structures in Tamil, Malay and Melanau share several similarities. This paper will use data from the various languages to show how repetitive features from Tamil have influenced neighboring language communities.

Paper long abstract:

Reduplication is an important phenomenon in a number of South Asian languages. While its linguistic forms have long been studied in terms of formalist theories, the role of reduplication in English has been widely ignored. This paper will explore repetitive structures in Tamil (South Indian language) and compare them with the semantic and syntactic features of a number of Austronesian languages that used repetitive forms in Borneo. The second part of the paper will look at specific repetitive forms used in by early and contemporary Tamil, Malay and Melanau speakers in Malaysia, and explain how the language used by both immigrant and indigenous communities in the region has been affected over time via language dominance and pragmatism. The third section will explains the semantic and syntactical organization of the various forms in Tamil has changed which retaining their meanings. Finally, it will explain how continued migration in Asia is influencing the manner in which English being used in South Asia.

Panel WMW17
Language, linguistics, and culture