Im on my research about form and meaning of japanese reduplication. Have you guys ever heard or use 休み休み? What exactly the meaning is? If I translate 'resting multiple times' is it right? Thanks

  • It sounds like young girl who is in high spirits due to 休み.
    – vdudouyt
    Sep 14 '17 at 11:05
  • So is it like someone has a cheerful personality or what?
    – user25631
    Sep 14 '17 at 13:58

I assume you already know onomatopoeia/mimetic words such as キラキラ and ヒューヒュー, which heavily use reduplication. The following is only about duplicated verbs.

There are a few words that appear in the form of "repeated verbs", but you have to memorize their meanings one by one, looking them up in a dictionary:

  • 休み休み (no-adj): "resting at times; with pauses"
  • ノリノリ (no-adj): "in high spirits​; cooking" (almost always written in kana)
  • イケイケ (na-adj/no-adj): "excited; upbeat" (almost always written in kana)
  • 飛び飛び (no-adj): "with intervals; scattered; sporadic"
  • 泣く泣く (adverb): "tearfully; with great regret; reluctantly"
  • 返す返す (adverb): "indeed; really; repeatedly"

Basically you cannot repeat arbitrary verbs (aside from rare exceptions in poetry/lyrics, where verb reduplication is occasionally employed for metrical purposes, e.g., 「本を読み読み」 = "reading a book").

You can use V + に + V pattern to express doing something intensively and/or repeatedly. This is a generic pattern with which you can use almost any verb.

  • Is V+に+V pattern use for reduplicated verbs? Does reduplicated verbs in Japanese just as you've mention above? Mm if I translate 休み休み as 'resting multiple times while do something' am I right?
    – user25631
    Sep 14 '17 at 13:24
  • @user25631 1) See the link. You can say 走りに走った, 笑いに笑った and so on and on. 2) Maybe correct, but I can't tell without seeing the full sentence.
    – naruto
    Sep 14 '17 at 13:34
  • Mm but almost in data that Ive found the pattern for reduplicated verbs are not like that...most of all V+V pattern without に. Ex : 恐る恐る 泣き泣き 代わる代わる... Hmm Im just see the meaning based on derived word not from the sentence..Is it hard to decide if I just look the meaning from the derived word?
    – user25631
    Sep 14 '17 at 13:53
  • 恐る恐る and 代わる代わる are adverbs listed in a dictionary, and they have their own (unpredictable) meanings. You have to memorize the meaning of each word. 恐れに恐れる is not listed in a dictionary, but it simply means "to be extremely afraid." It's a generic pattern you can reuse with many various verbs once you've understood it.
    – naruto
    Sep 14 '17 at 14:06
  • But before become adverbs, both of are verbs right?
    – user25631
    Sep 14 '17 at 14:58

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