A Grammar of Yami

8 Comparative Constructions
 8.1 Comparatives with reduplication

  There are two different types of reduplication to express comparatives of the nouns or stative verbs: (1) reduplication of the first two syllables of the root, e.g., rako-rako ‘bigger', and (2) deletion of the root final (coda) consonant, followed by reduplicating the remaining syllable of the root, e.g., ma-rehe-rahet ‘worse'. But reduplication of the first CV- of the root expresses plurality, e.g., ma-le-léma ‘all lazy'. A comparison between comparatives and plurality is illustrated in (137). The stem of plurality is stressed in the penultimate syllable, whereas the comparative is stressed in the last syllable. More examples are provided in (138)-(139).

 

(137) Comparisons of comparatives with plurality reduplication

Stem

Comparative

Plurality

apía ‘good'

a-pia-pia ‘better'

a-pi-pía ‘all good'

matáva ‘fat'

ma-tava-tava ‘fatter'

ma-ta-táva ‘all fat'

anáro ‘long'

a-naro-naro ‘longer'

a-na-náro ‘all long'

masári ‘dark'

ma-sari-sari ‘darker'

ma-sa-sári ‘all dark'

malóit ‘dirty'

ma-loi-loit ‘dirtier'

ma-lo-lóit ‘all dirty'

másngen ‘near'

ma-snge-sngen ‘nearer'

ma-sé-sngen ‘all near'

(138) ko ma- tava -tava aka ni Kaka.

1.S.NOM SV-RED-fat CON GEN older.sibling

‘I am fatter than my older sister.'

(139) namen ma- ta -táva sira kaka.

1.P.NOM.EXCL SV-RED-fat NOM.P older.sibling

‘We sisters are all fat.'