Access to the Database

Definition and Scope:

The working definition of reduplication for the Database is as follows:

    Definition: a reduplicative construction is a set of at least two linguistic forms F and F' in a paradigmatic, i.e. non-suppletive morphological relation in which F' contains a segment or a sequence of segments, which is derived from a non-recursive repetition of (a part of) F. Reduplication exists if a specific grammatical form makes systematic use of reduplicative constructions.

In addition, extragrammatical/onomatopoeic expressions and lexical reduplication are included within the Database.

In accordance with the above definition, the Database as such will not cover:

  • Phonological / prosodic reduplications which create preferred prosodic templates without any morphological or other grammatical meaning;
  • Syntactic reduplications
  • Repetitive syntactic operations (e.g. English very, very good);
  • Recursive morphological operations (e.g. the German Ur-ur-Großvater); or
  • Harmonic phenomena such as (distant) assimilations, vowel harmony, etc.
  • Constrastive reduplication (e.g. English: salad-salad)
The Database will also not analyze reduplication in child language, sign language, or language games. Information on these matters can be found under Other Reduplication Phenomena.

Data Collection:

Language Sample:

The WALS 100-language sample has been used as a basis for the language Sample. In addition, other languages have also been taken into consideration when these contain interesting reduplication types or when the researchers have a particular interest in any language or when there happens to be a considerable amount of information available to the researchers on the reduplication system of any language. Thus, the Sample may necessarily be NOT representatively balanced in the strictest sense of the term. The researchers have, however, attempted to represent the languages of the world in various genetic groups and geographical areas.


The sources of information are grammars, various papers on reduplication, and questionnaires completed by experts on a variety of languages.

Data Analysis and Presentation:

The Database has an example-based structure. Each example is analyzed carefully in terms of phonology and morphology, and it is linked to information on semantics, diachrony, and productivity. It is also linked to references. For some examples, phrases or sentences are also provided to illustrate their use.

Morphology is analyzed only when there are differences between the simplex and reduplicated word forms.

Only those fields which have been completed will be displayed on the result pages.

Users should keep in mind that a lack of data does not necessarily indicate a lack of reduplication in the languages under discussion.

The transcription systems used in the original grammars are preserved within the Database.

For more information, users are invited to refer to:

Search Functions:

The ultimate purpose of the Database is to enable the following search functions: When searching for information, users will be required to select the fields for which interest exists on a proactive basis, as only those fields will be displayed in the results page of the search.

Technical Implementation:

The software for the technical implementation of the Database is a MySQL 4.0.24 Debian database on an Apache2 Server. For presenting the data in the web in an appropriate manner, HTML, JavaScript, and PHP are used. HTML, DHTML, and JavaScript are employed for the design and the layout of the data, whereas the PHP, embedded in the HTML, provides access to the MySQL database. The data itself is stored in the MySQL database and consists of several different tables representing the search fields and the so-called lookup-tables, which show the connections and relationships between these. This method of structuring enables a sophisticated flexibility in the Reduplication Database, especially of that included in the query-builder.

How to Cite Information from the Database:

When citing information from the database, the following information should be provided: (a) author (Bernhard Hurch), (b) year (2005 ff.), (c) name of the Database (Graz Database on Reduplication), (d) address of the main page of the Database (, and (e) the last date of access.
 Access to the Database