LOC colloquium – Gloria Mellesmoen

Friday November 24, 2023
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Gloria Mellesmoen will give an in-person LOC colloquium on November 24th 3:30-5pm, 2023.

Title: Miniature, Messy, and Meaningful: Diminutive Reduplication in Salish

Abstract: A diminutive morpheme signals that something is small or little in some dimension, which can include the size of an object (“small cat”) or amount of a quality (“a little clever”). Diminutivity is typically marked in Salish languages by reduplication, which is the morphological process of doubling certain sounds in a word to change the word’s meaning (mimaw ‘cat’ > mimmaw ‘little cat’).  While diminutive reduplication in Salish has received some attention in phonological theory for its typologically uncommon properties (e.g., bare consonant reduplication), there is still much unknown about its range of permutations across the family and its semantic contribution. In this talk, I highlight some key findings about the morphophonology and semantics of diminutive reduplication in Salish, which only emerge when the methodological and empirical challenges that arise in the documentation and analysis of reduplication are considered.