Nuances of Repetition

Image by Shabinh from Pixabay

I stumbled across a little nuance in how we talk about repeated actions. I stumbled across a little nuance… ok, too obvious.

When we use a noun (Esperanto O-word) that names an action, we usually talk about a single instance of that action, and we can talk about several using the plural form.

Let’s roll with eĥo (echo), because ĥ is an under-appreciated letter (pronounced like the ch in Scottish loch).

Eĥo

A single echo

Eĥoj

Echoes – more than one echo

But in Esperanto, we also have access to the suffix “ad” (click to see related posts), which implies that an action is repeated or continual:

Eĥado

A long echoing, or several echoes together at a time.

What if we went full-on and pluralised that too? What then?

Eĥadoj

Several long echoes, or several times when echoes were repeated.

What happens is that we talk then of several long echoings or several points when echoes were repeated! Makes sense. I’d never really thought about comparing plurality with repeatedness, so I thought that was interesting! (check out the inspiration source at PMEG).

And I hope you’re enjoying as much as me the fact that an “echo” in itself is also a repeated sound, so we’ve got repeats inside repeats…

Whenever I talk about a word I tend to do a dictionary dive, and I wanted to also share something I found when reading up on eĥo:

Seneĥe

Echolessly

An example usage might be:

La krio seneĥe velkis

The cry echolessly faded

It’s just a joy to pronounce 🙂

6 thoughts on “Nuances of Repetition

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