by Shreeya Singh Dhakal on April 9, 2018


This blog post is the fourth post in the series 'Derivation in Nepali'. In the previous posts (An Introduction to Derivation in Nepali, Derivation in Nepali: Affixation and Derivation in Nepali: Compounding), we gave a brief introduction to derivations in Nepali and discussed the process of affixation and compounding in Nepali. In the blog post, we'll be discussing the process of word formation due to reduplication.


Reduplication (द्वित्व) means repetition. It is a process of word formation in which a root or a part of the root repeats in order to derive a new word. Reduplication can be classified into three distinct types and they are:


  • Total Reduplication (पूर्ण द्वित्व)

  • Partial Reduplication (आंशिक द्वित्व)

  • Echo Reduplication (आपरिवर्तित द्वित्व)


  • Total Reduplication


    New words are formed when an entire word repeats in the process of word formation. Such words express varied levels of intensity to the meaning represented by the root. Some of such compounds are given in Table 1.


    Table 1: Compounds Formed due to Total Reduplication

    Independent Form

    Compound Word

    खल खल खेद खेद तान तान

    खलखल खेदाखेद तानातान


    Partial Reduplication


    In partial reduplication, only a part of a word is repeated to form a new word. Some of such compounds are given in Table 2.


    Table 2: Compounds Formed due to Partial Reduplication

    Independent Form

    Compound Word

    झगडा झगडा कसले कसले सल्लाह सल्लाह

    झैझगडा क-कसले सरसल्लाह


    Echo Reduplication


    A word formed due to echo reduplication is similar to the one formed due to total reduplication. The only difference is that the initial syllable of the second copy of the root replaced by a similar sounding substring. The process of echo reduplication expresses higher level of intensity to the meaning of the root. Some of such compounds are given in Table 3.


    Table 3: Compounds Formed due to Echo Reduplication

    Independent Form

    Compound Word

    केटो केटो नरम नरम टाल् टाल्

    केटोसेटो नरमकरम टालटुल


    Tags: Nepali Grammar