Verbal Reduplication in the Omani Dialect

Said Al Jahdhami


Omani Arabic exhibits an exotic morphological process that fully reduplicates CVC monosyllabic structures into CVC.CVC verbal structures. Over four hundred verbs are formed via full reduplication of CVC structures that results into intransitive and transitive verbs as well as those that fall into both categories. A substantial number of these CVC structures do not really have meanings in isolation; when reduplicated, however, they form verbs that generally express repetition of an action and/or have a negative element associated with them. The reduplication process does not only give these verbs their meanings, but it also gives them their repetitive or negative component. Interestingly, partial reduplication of the rhyme of these CVC structures conjoined with C2 gemination (i.e. C1V1C2.C2V1C2) that makes C2 the onset and coda of the second syllable yields three types of verbal structures: those that express the same meanings as those fully reduplicated structures, those that have completely different meanings from their fully reduplicated counterparts, and those that are meaningless. Metathesis of the two consonants in these CVC structures (i.e. C2V1C1. C2V1C1 instead of C1V1C2.C1V1C2) results in meanings similar to those of the original forms in some cases as well as in completely different meanings in the majority of these verbal structures.

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