A reader writes:
I’d like to know whether there is a linguistics term for a compound made up of two doublets. I suspect the phenomenon is so rare – the only unforced example I can think of in English is “head chef” – that no-one’s ever seen the need for a term. But I’d love to have this confirmed. (I’ve read that literary Burmese delights in using such compounds, so perhaps there’s a term in Burmese – but I know nothing of that language.)
My interest stems from writing on the history of coffee in Indonesia and encountering the Indonesian compound “kopi kawa” (a tea-like infusion made from coffee tree leaves), both elements derived from Arabic qahwa. The transmission route from qahwa to kopi is well established, but perhaps paradoxically that from qahwa to kawa is unclear.
I suspect there is no such name, but it’s an interesting topic, and all thoughts are welcome.