Reading: Reduplication: Its Types and Functions in Sinhala


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Reduplication: Its Types and Functions in Sinhala


M. G. Lalith Ananda

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About M. G. Lalith
Department of English and Linguistics
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Reduplication can be largely viewed as a subtype of repetition, a pervasive phenomenon of every language affecting all types of linguistic units such as sounds, words, and phrases. It can be also viewed as the systematic repetition of phonological material within a word for semantic or grammatical purposes. The aim of the present paper is to examine reduplication phenomenon in Sinhala1 in the broader spectrum of reduplication patterns and functions evidenced in many languages of the world. Data for the present study consisted of sentences with reduplication types and functions that can be distinguished in Sinhala. A sample of 60 sentences with such reduplication were used. The researcher consulted 05 adult native speakers of Sinhala for their grammaticality judgments about those sentences. The examples and example sentences used in this study are the data used for this purpose. In terms of the main findings of the study, it can be concluded that Sinhala employs reduplication in both of its spoken and written varieties in varying degrees and for various effects. In its written form, reduplication fulfills some stylistic functions and is mostly manifested in poetry, riddles, songs, anecdotes and narrations. The colloquial Sinhala uses reduplication in ordinary discourse and can be seen irrespective of the dialectal varieties. It can be observed at phonological, morphological/morpho-syntactic, and lexical levels. Sinhala manifests reduplication over a broad range of categories such as noun, verb, adjective, and adverb. Nevertheless, Sinhala is quite impoverished when viewed against the broader spectrum of reduplication types, sub-types, functions, and even in the areas of language affected by reduplication as evidenced in many languages of the world.

How to Cite: Ananda, M.G.L., 2019. Reduplication: Its Types and Functions in Sinhala. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, 6(1), pp.7–19. DOI:
Published on 30 Jun 2019.
Peer Reviewed


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