Verb Reduplication in Hiaki

Hiaki uses reduplication to indicate habitual aspect on verbs. Reduplication is a process by which a part of a word is repeated. It is used in many languages to indicate plurality and intensification.

In the case of Hiaki, it indicates that the action indicated by the verb occurs regularly or habitually. In the example below, the unreduplicated verb is the form used for the present tense. To indicate that the action is habitual, the first syllable of the verb is copied and added to the front of the word:

1. a. Hoan aman bwiika.
‘Juan is singing there.’

b. Hoan hiva aman bwi-bwiika.
‘Juan always sings there.’

Form and Meaning in Hiaki Verbal Reduplication

Click here to download the paper

Mrs. Leyva created a database of hundreds of examples of reduplicated verbs, which she and Heidi Harley used in writing the above paper. In this paper, they described the different reduplication patterns they found in the database, and the morphological, phonological and lexical factors that influence them. They also touched on the primary meanings of reduplication such as the usual habitual aspect, emphasis, iteration (repetition) and a few other secondary meanings.

Besides habitual meaning, Hiaki reduplication can indicate emphasis, especially in commands, and with some verbs, it can also indicate repetition:

2. a.
Katee uka soto’ita hunum mamana.
Kat=ee uka soto’i-ta hunum ma-mana
Don’t=2sg the.acc pot-acc there reduplicant-set.container
“Don’t put that pot there!”

Uu hamut hittoata chamchamta.
Uu hamut hittoa-ta cham-chamta
The woman medicine-acc reduplicant-mash
“The woman is mashing the medicinal herbs.”

Allomorphy in Hiaki Reduplication

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This paper proposes a phonological analysis of three variant allomorphs: disyllabic reduplication, light syllable and morphological gemination.


Heavy syllable reduplication

· chip-ta ‘sip-tr, taste’ –> chipchipta
· hak-ta ‘inhale-tr’ –> hakhakta
· ham-ta ‘break-tr’ (e.g., glassware, dishes,cups) –> hamhamta

Light syllable reduplication

bwii.ka ‘sing’ –> bwi.bwi.ka ‘cry’ –> ‘irrigate’ –>
‘ ‘go hunting’ –> ‘a.’
tee.ka ‘lay it across’ –> te.te.ka
wi.u.ta ‘tear it down’ –> wi.wi.u.ta

Disyllabic reduplication

kupikte ‘shut eyes’–> kupikupikte
kalakte ‘wipe, clean off’ –> kalakalakte
chiveta ‘’ –> chivechiveta


hima ‘discard, throw out’ –> himma
hahase ‘chase, pursue’ –> hahhase
maveta ‘receive, accept’ –> mavveta