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  1. #1
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    Reduplication of adjectives and adverbs

    I have read "controversial" notes about reduplication of adjectives and adverbs.
    Infact in "thai,an essential grammar" david smith say:

    "SIMPLE REPETITION OF THE ADJECTIVE:
    One function of this type of reduplication is to make the meaning LESS PRECISE,corresponding approximately to the adjectival suffix -ish
    in english:

    bann lék lék
    a smallish house "

    But in dictionary many times reduplication of adjective meaning "very"

    gaoL [of an object] [is] old; antique; decrepit
    gaoL gaoL [is] very old

    and in forum,members,use reduplication to put emphasis on adjectives.

    I'm a little bit confused because suffix -ish is in the opposite side of "very" and "emphasis"....


    Could you please explain this apparently "controversial" aspect of reduplication?


    P.S.
    For david Smith the only way to put emphasis or intensify(with the meanin of "very")an adjective with use of reuplication is to use onother tipe of reduplication:

    "REPETITION OF ADJECTIVE WITH TONAL CHANGE...
    ...When the first element is pronunced with an exaggerated high tone (gaoH gaoL)....

    ....This type of reduplicationtends to be a feature of female
    rather than male speech..."

    Correct?


    Thank you very much

  2. #2
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    Re: Reduplication of adjectives and adverbs

    Hi ben,

    For me, the repetition of the adjective makes the meaning more significant. If the adjective is negative (eg. small, useless, etc.) the repetition makes it seems more negative. However, if the adjective itself is positive, such as big and good, the meaning is more positive.

    It is a good idea to think of the repetition as -ish suffix. For example, smallish (lek lek) means rather small (even smaller than lek). Also, biggish (yai yai) means somewhat large (larger than Yai).

    According to the examples you did mentioned, if something is gao gao, it is quite old (older than single gao). However, the raise of the tone for the first adjective makes the meaning either emphasized or ironic.


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    Re: Reduplication of adjectives and adverbs

    Just to add to what Toni has already explained.

    Repetition on an adjective makes the meaning less precise. These reproductions can either reduce or enhance the meaning of the adjective.

    For example the word means 'old' when referring to an object, repeating the word - enhances the meaning to 'very old'.
    Yet, ᴧ means 'red', repeating the word - ᴧ reduces the meaning to 'reddish (not so vivid as red)'.

    Regarding raising the tone in the first adjective, this can also denote sarcasm.

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    Re: Reduplication of adjectives and adverbs

    For example the word means 'old' when referring to an object, repeating the word - enhances the meaning to 'very old'.
    Yet, ᴧ means 'red', repeating the word - ᴧ reduces the meaning to 'reddish (not so vivid as red)'.
    Can you give any examples or explanation of which adjectives are emphasized and which are diminished? In my (English) mind these are very contradictory results...

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    Re: Reduplication of adjectives and adverbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Pailin View Post
    Can you give any examples or explanation of which adjectives are emphasized and which are diminished? In my (English) mind these are very contradictory results...
    eg. somebody was slapped. her cheek seems reddish. ʹᴧ
    eg. that thing looks darkish. ͧѹ鹴ٴ may not be black, but dark
    eg. that thing looks baddish (is this word available??? ). ͧѹ鹴 -> it looks very bad.

    hope these help


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    Re: Reduplication of adjectives and adverbs

    Based on those examples, it appears to me (in agreement with Pailin, I think) that the effect of reduplication on the meaning is rather arbitrary, or at least quite non-intuitive.

    I have to conclude that much depends on context and voice inflection, which tells me that it may be a good practice to avoid using reduplication of adjectives in written Thai, unless you are quite sure the meaning will be taken as you intended.

    DogoDon

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    Re: Reduplication of adjectives and adverbs

    I have to conclude that much depends on context and voice inflection, which tells me that it may be a good practice to avoid using reduplication of adjectives in written Thai, unless you are quite sure the meaning will be taken as you intended.
    This is what I'm concluding as well. I think I've used both, but it has been with hand motion and voice inflection and context that the meaning has changed.

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    Re: Reduplication of adjectives and adverbs

    eg. that thing looks baddish (is this word available??? ). ͧѹ鹴 -> it looks very bad.
    Toni...I appreciate your examples. These are very oppostive concepts to me, though... In my vernacular, something that is 'baddish' is something that is NOT very bad. That's why I'm a little confused... but from my previous post, I am just going to assume there is a lot of context, body language and voice to influence the meaning.

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