What does reduplication mean in toki pona?
I’m still not sure on what the reduplication rules are in toki pona. kala kala could be anything. I just did a quick search on a bunch of toki pona word doubles and I found … nothing. A few times people used “mute, mute” for emphasis.
Some words have rather different senses in their noun and modifier forms, eg.
meli meli — girly girl (one describes behavior & style, one describes gender)
Double adjectives strike me as intensifiers, but that is just because I speak English.
suwi suwi — sweet sweet– can’t really say what this means.
ona ti li moku suwi suwi — This is sweet, sweet food.
But you could do the same with “mute”
suwi mute — very sweet
We have interjections with reduplication
a a a — (laughter)
Maybe this will be cleared up in the next official book on toki pona.