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Postby Alex Sheremet » Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:32 pm

Adler's Ch. 20 briefly covers diminutives, but doesn't have enough on actual word formation. Checking with Allen & Greenough's "Grammar," I find:

-ulus, -olus (after a vowel); -culus, -ellus, -illus

There are examples, but they are inconsistent, e.g. atri-olum / auri-cula.

Are there rules for using the above suffixes, or does this have to be learned strictly by memorization? I can only find a slight pattern in Greenough's book.
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Postby metrodorus » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:57 pm

Check the text on the Latinum site called 'Latin Suffixes" - it is also available on Google Books - it covers the topic again. There is also a discussion, if I recall, on the Latin wikipedia site, on this topic.
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Postby Diaphanus » Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:08 am

There is an excellent Vicipaedia article on the formation of diminutive words:


But there are some other rules that I am trying to get added there:

Substantive consonant stems in c, d, g, t usually take -ul- (see Lane's Latin Grammar, section 271):
  • vocula from vox (stem voc-)
  • mercedula from merces (stem merced-)
  • regulus from rex (stem reg-)
  • capitula from caput (stem capit-)
Substantive and adjective "pure" i-stems usually take -cul- (see Lane's Latin Grammar, section 275):
  • pisciculus from piscis (stem pisci-)
  • tristiculus from tristis (stem tristi-)
  • molliculus from mollis (stem molli-)
Substantive mixed i-stems usually take -cul- (as other i-stems do); less often they take -ul-, but stems in -tat(i)- (nominative singular -tas) always take -ul-:
  • monticulus from mons (stem mont(i)-)
  • particula from pars (stem part(i)-)
  • calculus from calx (stem calc(i)-)
  • civitatula from civitas (stem civitat(i)-)
  • aetatula from aetas (stem aetat(i)-)
Adjectives of one termination almost always take -ul-:
  • audacula from audax
  • infantulus from infans
  • valentulus from valens
Salve! Verbifex sum quia creatio verborum latinorum novorum mihi placet!
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