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Can a double positive ever make a negative?
October 9, 2010 8:20 AM   Subscribe

Repetition needn't be redundancy. Contrastive focus reduplication (also lexical cloning, the double construction) is a little studied type of syntactic reduplication found in some languages. The first part of the reduplicant bears contrastive intonational stress, hence the name. [Via]
posted by Obscure Reference (42 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
As seen on many a marquee: GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS
(almost anything repeated 3 times seems to connote "an excess, more than enough for everyone" - of course when you say "more than enough girls for everyone" the objectification is pretty explicit)
posted by idiopath at 8:26 AM on October 9, 2010


Also:
Metafilter: SNARK SNARK SNARK
posted by idiopath at 8:27 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Eponysterical!

But interesting!
posted by ixohoxi at 8:38 AM on October 9, 2010


the paper
posted by kuatto at 8:38 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


But kind of weaksauce, since it's really just one Wikipedia link!
posted by ixohoxi at 8:39 AM on October 9, 2010


Wait, I'm a dumbass. I missed the first link.

I'm going to go look at another Web site now.

posted by ixohoxi at 8:40 AM on October 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


See this?

Because of shit like this, I usually stay away from this site when I'm baked.

Now, I'm a strange loop and simple conversation will be a mindfuck until at least lunchtime Monday.

This is not the weed's fault.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 9:02 AM on October 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


[This is good-good]

I know it's not the same thing, but straight from a 1940s English boarding school grammar class courtesy of My Mom:

Punctuate the following sentence.

"Following the grammar test, it was seen that Smith, where Jones had had had had had had had had had the examiner's approval."


Something like
"Following the grammar test, it was seen that Smith, where Jones had "had", had "had had"; "had had" had had the examiner's approval."

posted by Rumple at 9:08 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


They nailed it, Bada-boom bada-bing!
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:11 AM on October 9, 2010


There's an old joke linguists tell. So this famous linguist is pontificating at a conference and announces that while there are many languages in which a reduplicated negative term makes a positive statement (I am not not going!), there are none where a reduplicated positive term makes a negative statement.

To which a grad student in the audience is heard to respond, "yeah, right."
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:35 AM on October 9, 2010 [18 favorites]


BTW thanks for the post. Linguistics-filter is my favorite.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:35 AM on October 9, 2010


It warms my theoretical linguist's heart to see an NLLT article being linked and an interesting bit of grammar grammar being discussed on the Blue. Thank you!
posted by einzelsprachlich at 9:37 AM on October 9, 2010


I'm not sure about elsewhere, but South Africans will say 'now now' to emphasize that they mean 'right away' and not just soonish: "Come on Koebus, we have to leave for the braai now now."
But kind of for opposite effect, I find myself saying 'no no' when I need to say 'no' but maybe in like a reassuring manner: "Nono, I don't need you to do it right away.."
posted by Flashman at 9:38 AM on October 9, 2010


Well, well, well... this is interesting.
posted by LSK at 9:40 AM on October 9, 2010


To which a grad student in the audience is heard to respond, "yeah, right."

That was what I was alluding to in my title.
posted by Obscure Reference at 9:40 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know that Biblical Hebrew can insert the absolute form of an infinitive before the finite form of that same verb for emphasis. I've always thought about this like the expansion of the rule which says that the emphatic personal pronoun can be added to a finite verb in a language which morphologically accounts for person. It does make for strange translation, though, when you have "to go he went" or "to tie up they tied up." This is usually translated adverbially as "verily" or "really," but more nuance can get semantically close to the finite verb in question, like "they diligently served" for "to serve they served." This always gets me thinking what the proper adverbial form of the verb is closest to the finite verb without being redundant.

Anyway, that isn't contrastive, like this example. Still a cool instance of semantically rich repetition in language.
posted by Dia Nomou Nomo Apethanon at 9:44 AM on October 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


That was what I was alluding to in my title.
posted by Obscure Reference


Reduplication or redundancy?
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:56 AM on October 9, 2010


In the same was as "yes, yes, yes" can mean uncertainty not emphatic agreement and "yeah, yeah, yeah" means trivialization?
posted by Rumple at 10:07 AM on October 9, 2010


Yeah. I think "Oh! Oh! Yes! Yes!" means something else again.
posted by Ahab at 11:00 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Shmetafilter
posted by victors at 11:11 AM on October 9, 2010


You know what's funny funny: dude's name is Ray Jackendoff
posted by FuturisticDragon at 11:17 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Shit" - small screwup
"Shit, shit, shiiiit" - medium screwup
"Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck!" - major screwup
posted by pyrex at 11:22 AM on October 9, 2010


Now I'm lost in thinking what different permutations of "Oh!" and "Yes!" can tell. Infinite Fun Space for us people.
posted by Free word order! at 11:27 AM on October 9, 2010



the paper


I'm gonna go get the papers, get the papers.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:30 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


cf. Whoopi Goldberg's remark that what Roman Polanski did wasn't "rape rape".
posted by steambadger at 11:30 AM on October 9, 2010


fourcheesemac: This has been attributed to Columbia University philosopher Sidney Morgenbesser, who has a number of other gems.
posted by Picklegnome at 12:01 PM on October 9, 2010


Yeah, so they say. Linguistic in jokes exemplify polygenesis.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:33 PM on October 9, 2010


I'll have some of that snout. It looks delicious.
posted by Nomyte at 1:08 PM on October 9, 2010


ixohoxi: "Wait, I'm a dumbass. I missed the first link."

Oh, you're not a dumbass, just a dumb-dumb.
posted by Reverend John at 1:18 PM on October 9, 2010


No, no, no.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:19 PM on October 9, 2010


No, no,no,no,no.. No, no no no no no nonononononono..... No! No. No, no,nnononononononono. NO!
posted by pyrex at 2:09 PM on October 9, 2010


How clever clever.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:42 PM on October 9, 2010


So many closet linguists! Linguists, Schwinglists. I don't for the life of me get Jackendoff (and I've tried), but this is nice to draw attention to...
posted by stonepharisee at 4:05 PM on October 9, 2010


> Now, I'm a strange loop and simple conversation will be a mindfuck until at least lunchtime Monday.

You've seen the morphing actresses in the neighboring thread then?
posted by stonepharisee at 4:13 PM on October 9, 2010


Repetition is a form of change
- Brian Eno
posted by Grangousier at 4:25 PM on October 9, 2010


BTW thanks for the post. Linguistics-filter is my favorite.

Do you like it, or do you like like it?
posted by cortex at 9:20 PM on October 9, 2010


Do you like it, or do you like like it?

I only like like mountains.
posted by LiteOpera at 10:55 PM on October 9, 2010


I've often speculated that, given the American tendency to use the word "nazi" to mean something akin to "fundamentalist" in phrases like "grammar nazi" and "feminazi" and "soup nazi," within a few decades we'll have the reduplication "nazi nazi." You heard it here first, folks.
posted by pluckemin at 8:25 AM on October 10, 2010


To which a grad student in the audience is heard to respond, "yeah, right."
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:35 AM on October 9


I always heard that as, "yeah, yeah."
posted by joannemerriam at 9:24 AM on October 10, 2010


In Chile, land of euphemism and ersatz-everything, saying café-café or salmón-salmón means, respectively, coffee-not-Nescafé and salmon-not-Mackerel.
posted by signal at 3:03 PM on October 10, 2010


The Dutch seem to never say nee ("no", pronounced "nay") just once. It's always five times, "nee, nee, nee, nee, nee."
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:44 PM on October 10, 2010


In Chile, land of euphemism and ersatz-everything, saying café-café or salmón-salmón means, respectively, coffee-not-Nescafé and salmon-not-Mackerel.

I believe you only because you knew how to put those cowlick looking things on top of vowels.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 5:56 PM on October 11, 2010


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