Reduplication in Khowar Back To Main Page

Reduplication in Khowar (kʰɔwar) Language

Farid Ahmad Raza

Khowar is an Indo-Aryan language of the Dardic group spoken by some 600,000 people in Chitral in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, in the Ghizer District of Gilgit-Baltistan, and in two villages of Kalm in Upper Swat namely Ushu and Matiltan. Speakers of Khowar have also migrated heavily to Pakistan's major urban centres e.g. Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi, having sizeable populations there. The Khowar language shares common characteristics with other Dardic languages, but some unique features of Khowar are different from the other languages of the region.

There are many ways for word formation in world languages. Reduplication is a one and very common way of forming a new word. According to a ‘A. Kauffman York College of Pennsylvania’ “Reduplication in language is a morphological type that – through doubling a word, element, root, or stem – enhances, emphasizes, amplifies, enlarges, diminishes, adds number or changes verb tense – to bring about significant meaning changes or shades of meaning”. From Wikipedia, “Reduplication in linguistics is a morphological process in which the root or stem of a word (or part of it) or even the whole word is repeated exactly or with a slight change”. Reduplication is language-specific, i.e. some languages the process is very simple and some languages the function are very wide.

In Khowar many types of reduplication found, some being dealt-with here:
1. The most common one is full reduplication. In the process a word or stem reduplicate fully and formed a new word like zrukh-zrukh, nɑs-nɑs. In full reduplication, augmentation is very common like kɔri-kɔri,bi-bi.
2. Partial Reduplication, in this kind of construction, a word repeats partially or a part becoming reduplicate and formed a word like phu-phuk, li-lot.
Vowel alteration is another way of word reduplication in the language, in this way vowel inside a word changed and formed a new meaningful word just like tʃi-tʃɛq, ʒi-ʒɑʋ.
3. Another type of Reduplication in Khowar is Reduplication plus adding vowel at the end like sɑf-sɑfo, mux-muxo.
4. Reduplication plus adding of segments/ sounds like dzɑh-ɑ-dzɑh-i, ɖuk-ɑ-ɖuk-i.
5. The first part inflects, and the second part remain same like, muxɑ mux, zuqɑ zuq.
6. In this kind of construction, the word first part remains same, and adding a segment of word in between and the second part inflects like ʋɔr pi ʋɔru, lˠɑi pi lˠɑju.
7. Echo Reduplication a first part of a word has meaning but the second part has no meaning in his own remain echo of the first word. This kind of construction is very common in Khowar. Just like tʃɑj mɑj, u:ɣ mu:ɣ.

For every kind of reduplication example table are mentioned below classifying in groups and with example words.

Table 1: Full Reduplication Full reduplication of the the word or stem repeats it without any change in word or morpheme. In full reduplication augmentation (perfective participle) is very common feature in Khowar
WordMeaningReduplication Meaning
nɑs pice, partnɑs-nɑsToo many pieces
much bɔ-bɔ To many, too much
Pʰuk less, small pʰuk-pʰuk (kori) In bit and pieces
lɔʈ big lɔʈ-lɔʈ Big big
kɔri having done kɔri-kɔri Having done much/more
Table 2: Partial Reduplication In this type of construction, a phoneme or word stem is repeated partially. The examples listed here show that Reduplication is one way of forming plurals in Khowar. Vowel alteration or ablaut (change of vowel) also found with partially reduplication here.
Pʰuklesspʰɔ:-pʰukvery small in quantity
ʒɔlˠnutʒir-ʒɔlˠApricot kernels
Table 3: Reduplication plus adding vowels The third type of construction in Khowar is Reduplication plus adding vowel at the end of the word like-ɔ.
sɑfallsɑf-sɑf- ɔ (biti)all together
ɡɔlˠDry bed of seasonal stream ɡɔlˠ-ɡɔlˠ-ɔ (korik)To make panic
nɑsedge nɑs- nɑs- ɔ (drɛk)To make spill
muxface mux mux-ɔ (pɔʃik)To face some one,
muʒbetween muʒ-muʒ-ɔ In between
Table 4: Reduplication plus adding of segments/ sounds There is another way of word formation through reduplication is adding vowels ɑ and i -with both parts.
dzɑh wet dzɑh-ɑ-dzɑh When still wet
xɑmplane xam-ɑ-xɑm-iA big area with plane pieces of land
ɖuk mount ɖuk-ɑ-ɖuk- iA big area with mounds here and there
u:ɣwater u:ɣ- ɑ-uɣ- iWatery
ɡɛhtdust ɡɛht-ɑ-ɡɛht-iDusty
Table 5: Reduplication by adding vowel to the first Part The fifth type of reduplication in Khowar is adding vowel with the first part while the second part remain the same.
mux face mux-ɑ -muxface to face
nɑsa Close bynɑs-ɑr- nɑsAll around
zuq (dik)to pushzuq-ɑ -zuq (korik)Pushing
pɛʈʂhot pɛʈʂ-ɑ- pɛʈʂ While something is still hot
mulˠ root mulˠ-ɑ- mulˠ (bik)Spreading roots
Table 6: Adding Segment of word in between The most and common reduplication in Khowar is adding a segment of word in between both parts and inflects as ending.
kɔʃtnaked or poortʃɑn bi tʃɑnupoor people
kʰɔʃthidden kʰɔʃt ɑ kʰɔʃtistealthily
lˠɑj Patterns/ designslˠɑi pi lˠɑjuFull of patterns
ʋɔrpleasent smellʋɔr pi ʋɔruSpices
lɔqragLɔq pi lɔquWorn out clothes
Table 7: Echo Reduplication In these types of construction, the second word does not have a meaning of its own, it is like an echo of the first one. This called echo reduplication
tʃɑ:jTeatʃɑ:j- mɑ:jTea etc.
ʂɑpik bread ʂɑpik-mɑpikMeal
u:ɣ water u:ɣ mu:ɣ Water etc.
sɑbɑq lesson sɑbɑq-mɑbɑqlessons

farid raza

Farid Ahmad Raza, President Mother-tongue Institute for Education and research (MIER) is a linguist and researcher, working on language promotion, documentation and multilingual education in Chitral.
He is Editor in-chief of a journal "Khowar Nama" for Khowar language

A Website on the Culture, History and Languages of Chitral.