Until recently I’d never heard of “ablaut reduplication”, but I have unknowingly been applying it my whole life…and so have you!
Ablaut reduplication is when you repeat a word that has a similar sound or spelling. The following examples are from ProEdit:
- Kitty cat
Can you see the pattern?
The first word always has an I vowel and the second either an A or O. If you have three words (eg ding dang dong) the order of words is always the I first, then the second either A or O. It may not seem important but the order of vowel is very important. You would never say the clock goes tock-tick, you’d never eat a Kat Kit bar or worry about the bad big wolf.
Isn’t that fascinating?