13 March 2013

Lexical Doublets

There is a great fondness for paired expressions in Malay, otherwise known as lexical doublets. On page 5 of the Media Permata of 13 March 2013, in an article on rumours that circulate in cyber space, we are told that one particular rumour:

adalah palsu dan tidak benar sama sekali

which might be translated as:

is false and not true at the same time

Of course, English also has some lexical doublets, such as rules and regulations, due care and attention, and goods and chattels, but I suspect that they are mainly found in the legal domain and are less common in ordinary language. In fact, in English I would describe 'false and not true' as tautologous. But it seems to be fine in Malay.