Diminutive
(1,825 words)

The diminutive is a morphological pattern which expresses diminution, reduction, or lessening. The common Arabic terms for diminution and diminutive are at-taṣġīr or al-ism al-muṣaġġar, and at-taḥqīr and al-ism al-muḥaqqar for a pejorative/deteriorative/contemptuous meaning which is sometimes implicit in the form. The diminutive may also be used to express endearment or charity (e.g. Wright 1896:166; Fleisch 1961:380–381, 392; Fischer 2002:51).

Semitic languages, including Arabic, present series of noun patterns, i.e. substantives and adjectives, which e…

Cite this page
Tamar Zewi, “Diminutive”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 12 December 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_SIM_0026>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831



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