Monday, June 6, 2011



You're at a party.  The food is good.  You know that månnge' means "delicious," so you tell the host "månnge'."

But then someone else says, "No, it's månngengengenge'!"

Many languages, not just Chamorro, repeat one of the syllables in a word to express a) on-going motion, or b) the intensity of a quality.  It's called reduplication.

So, to say that Jose is going (hånao), we say "Humåhånao si Jose."  That's on-going motion.  The "hå" in "hånao" is repeated : håhånao.

But to stress the quality of something, good or bad, you can use reduplication as well. 

Bonito (pretty/handsome) becomes bonitotototo (very pretty/handsome).

Chaddek (fast) becomes chaddedededek (very fast).

Chamorros even use reduplication in English!

Speeding become speedidididing!  Pues ma tikket.  If the fine was huge, pues ma tikkekekeket.

No comments:

Post a Comment