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Stative Verbs

One common reduplication pattern in Sereer is the reduplication of an inflected stative verb stripped of its affixal inflectional morphology (and often exhibiting different allomorphs of its derivational morphology due to the different segmental context). Semantic distinctions between this and the use of an unreduplicated stative verb are not clear.

nqoox ne a ɓalga ɓalig. 'The bull is black.' (Note: ɓal-g-a ɓal-ig, *ɓal-ig-a ɓal-ig) (115)

qaarit ke a laaɓiira laaɓiir. 'The friends are generous.' (115)

Note that although the reduplicated verb has no inflectional morphology in the form of suffixes, it still bears a plural consonant mutation if the first verb has one.

ambeel ale a xooɗa xooɗ. 'The lake is deep.' (115)

peel ke a nqooɗa nqooɗ. 'The lakes are deep.' (Note: *nqooɗa xooɗ) (115)

This reduplication pattern cannot occur when subject extraction is marked on the verb with the suffix -u: qaarit ke a laaɓiira (laaɓiir) 'the friends are generous' but qaarit qum laaɓiiru (*laaɓiir)?, 'which friends are generous?' (115)

Please see the section on Special Adjectives for more on the status of reduplicative stative verbs/adjectives.


Certain prepositions can be reduplicated to indicate increased intensity, similar to the use of "very" in English. Mono-syllabic prepositions are reduplicated in their entirety, with addition of an "e" between the two copies. Multi-syllabic prepositions are not reduplicated. Many prepositions cannot be reduplicated; it appears that those that are reduplicable are frozen forms, and that the process is not productive. Examples of the prepositions that can be reduplicated are given in (1)-(3).

  1. pam e pam
    pam e pam near RED near
    'really close. (143)'

  1. kam e kam
    kam e kam inside RED inside
    'at the very inside. (143)'
  1. tok e tok
    tok e tok on RED on
    'on the very top. (143)'

Verbal prepositions can also be repulicated, most often when they are marked with the de-verbal adjectivizer -u, as shown in (4) and (5). Not that the latter example is based on the verb goƭ 'be far away'.

  1. donen matu matu
    don -en mat -u mat -u put -2sg be.close -DV.ADJ be.close -DV.ADJ
    'Put it right here. (143)'
  1. koƭu koƭu
    koƭ -u koƭ -u be.far -DV.ADJ be.far -DV.ADJ
    'Far far away. (143)'

Agentive deverbal nouns

Please see the main article on Deverbal nominalization.

Agentive deverbal nouns are created by reduplication pattern where the base, the root verb, is extended leftwards from the base.


These all belong to the person class, since they are all agentive nouns and take an o- FV for singular and none for plural, just like okiin/wiin. In terms of consonant mutation of the stem-initial consonant of the resulting agentive noun, the first four items in the table above pattern with what we would expect, that is voiceless for singular and voiced for plural. Oqooxox-xooxox patterns oppositely, and ojaajax-jaajax shows no change.

Oana 22:04, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

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