Examples of adverbial diminutives for linguistic research
Thread poster: Magdalena Ciubancan
Magdalena Ciubancan  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 13:55
English to Romanian
+ ...
Mar 30, 2008

Hello everybody,
A friend of mine is conducting some linguistic research on diminutives and she asked me to help her with getting some information about the existence of diminutives for the adverbial pair "far" - "close/near" in various languages. For example, in Romanian we have "departe" (far) - "aproape" (near, close) and also the diminutive "departisor" (approx. 'a little far (away)'), but no diminutive corresponding to "aproape". Do you know of such examples in other languages? (preferably other than English). If you do, please post your replies here. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much!


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Roman Bulkiewicz  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 13:55
Member (2004)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Ukrainian Mar 30, 2008

The endearement suffixes "-еньк-" reflect the tone of the speech and also may have some connotations of meaning, as specified below:

далеко = far
далеченько ~ quite far away

близько = near, close
близенько ~ very close/near

Hope this helps.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
Spanish Mar 30, 2008

In Spanish we can say "lejos" (far) or "lejecitos" (with diminutive):

Está lejecitos = It's a bit far

and also "cerca" (close) or "cerquita" (with diminutive):

Está cerquita = It's pretty close

In Spanish we have diminutives for just about anything, and Mexicans use them more commonly that other Spanish-speakers. People have no problem adding a diminutive ending to any word whenever they feel like it.


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Eleni Makantani
Greece
Local time: 13:55
Member
English to Greek
+ ...
Greek Mar 30, 2008

far = μακριά (makria)
little further = μακρούτσικα (makroutsika) (old form and not sure if used in all regions of Greece, positively used in Northern Greece, particularly in Macedonia and Thrace).

close= κοντά (konta)
little closer= κοντούτσικα (kontoutsika) (same as μακρούτσικα)


Both of them are diminutives, however they are used when the distance is considerably further or closer, so as not to sound grumpy using superlatives. Used both for distance and for time.

[Edited at 2008-03-30 16:58]


Φτανουμε; [Ftanoume?] [Are we getting any closer?]
Μακρούτσικα είμαστε ακόμα [Makroutsika eimaste akoma] [mot-a-mot: we are still a bit away, meaning: we still have a long way to go].

[Edited at 2008-03-30 17:00]


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James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:55
Russian to English
+ ...
Russian Mar 30, 2008

I don't think this is exactly what you're looking for, but here it is anyway . . .

The suffix "-ovato" on certain kinds of adverbs in Russian serves a similar purpose in that it denotes a reduction in the property described by the adverb. Here are some examples:

- bedno - bednovato (poorly, meagerly - a little [or somewhat] poorly, meagerly)
- pozdno - poznovato (late - a little late)
- plokho - plokhovato (bad - a little bad, not too good)
- slabo - slabovato (weakly - somewhat weakly)

You will find a decent discussion of "-ovato" here:

http://www.efremova.info/word/-ovat-_yj.html

although it's in Russian . . .

[Edited at 2008-03-30 23:20]


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Magdalena Ciubancan  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 13:55
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Mar 31, 2008

Thank you all very much! I forwarded your answers to my friend, I'm sure she will find them very helpful. And thanks Proz (again and again) for all the opportunities it offers:)
Have a nice week!


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Marta Bevanda  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:55
English to Italian
+ ...
Italian Mar 31, 2008

in Italian
lontano = far
vicino = close, nearby

As far as diminitives are concerned, there is a diminitive for lontano > lontanuccio (=quite far), but not for vicino. Languages are strange creatures...
Good luck to your friend!


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Deschant
Local time: 11:55
Reply Mar 31, 2008

Henry Hinds wrote:

In Spanish we can say "lejos" (far) or "lejecitos" (with diminutive):

Está lejecitos = It's a bit far

and also "cerca" (close) or "cerquita" (with diminutive):

Está cerquita = It's pretty close

In Spanish we have diminutives for just about anything, and Mexicans use them more commonly that other Spanish-speakers. People have no problem adding a diminutive ending to any word whenever they feel like it.


I'd just like to add that in Spain we do use the diminutive "cerquita" but not "lejecitos". I can think of other examples of adverbs with diminutives (for example, "despacio", slowly - "despacito") but in Spain we don't use as many as in Mexico.


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:55
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Other examples in Spanish (LAmerica) Mar 31, 2008

In the area of the Caribbean (and I bet in many other countries in Latin American as well, except Mexico) we say "lejitos", no "lejecitos".

Other examples are:
"más tardecito" (for a bit later),
"más tempranito" (for a bit earlier)
"larguito" (longer)
"cortito" or "cortico" (shorter)
"chiquitito" or "chiquitico" (small, little)
"muertito" or "muertecito" (dead)
etc., etc., etc.
We even form diminutives out of diminutives: out of "cerca", "cerquita", then "cerquitita" or "cerquitica" (even closer).

As Henry mentioned, we have no problem adding a diminutive to almost anything.


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Karin Maack  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:55
English to German
German Apr 25, 2008

weit, ein bisschen weiter = far, a little farther
nah, ein bisschen näher = close, a little closer


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Magdalena Ciubancan  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 13:55
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you very much Apr 25, 2008

Thanks again for all your answers and sorry for not replying sooner. Languages are, indeed, strange creatures But that's what makes them worth studying in the end
Thank you again and have a nice weekend. And also Happy Easter to those of you who are Orthodox.


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Examples of adverbial diminutives for linguistic research

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