In different languages reduplication of the root serves as a means to express plurality (Malay 'orang' - 'a person', 'orang-orang' - 'people') or a greater degree (Russian 'много' - 'many, much', 'много-много' - 'very many, very much').
But not in Chukchi. The Chukchi language has many interesting and unique features, the one that is, probably, the most striking is that some (not all) nouns in Chukchi have the first syllable of the root reduplicated in the singular number, and in the plural form those nouns have simply the root + the plural suffix (usually -т, joined to the root with a vowel that fits the vowel harmony of the word). For example:
Translation --- Singular --- Plural
Language --- йилыйил /jiɬəjiɬ/ --- йилыт /jiɬət/
Comrade --- тумгытум /tumɣətum/ --- тумгыт /tumɣət/
Soap --- мулемул /muɬemuɬ/ --- мулет /muɬet/
Worn dress --- кыргыкыр /kərɣəkər/ --- кыргыт /kərɣət/
My questions are:
- What is the logic behind having reduplication to mean singular? Or a language fact can have no obvious logic behind it?
- Does any other language have a similar feature?