International auxiliary languages::Diminutive


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International auxiliary languages


See also Esperanto word formation.

For generic use (for living beings and inanimate objects), Esperanto has a single diminutive suffix, "-et".

  • domo (house) → dometo (cottage)
  • knabo (boy) → knabeto (little boy)
  • varma (warm) → varmeta (lukewarm)

For personal names and familial forms of address, the affixes "-nj-" and "-ĉj-" are used, for females and males respectively. Unusually for Esperanto, the "root" is often shortened.

  • patrino (mother) → panjo (mum, mommy)
  • patro (father) → paĉjo (dad(dy))
  • Aleksandra (Alexandra) → Alenjo (Sandra)
  • Aleksandro (Alexander) → Aleĉjo (Sandro)
  • Johano (John) → Joĉjo (Johnny)
  • Maria (Mary) → Manjo
  • Sofia (Sophie) → Sonjo
  • Vilhelmo (William) → Vilĉjo (Bill(y), Will(y))

Whereas languages such as Spanish may use the diminutive to denote offspring, as in "perrito" (pup), Esperanto has a dedicated and regular suffix, "-id" used for this purpose. Thus "hundeto" means "little dog" (such as a dog of a small breed), while "hundido" means a dog who is not yet fully grown.


See also Free word-building in Interlingua.

Interlingua has a single diminutive suffix, -ett, for diminutives of all sorts.

  • Johannes (John) → Johannetto (Johnny)
  • camera (chamber, room) → cameretta (little room)
  • pullo (chicken) → pulletto (chick)

Use of this suffix is flexible, and diminutives such as mama and papa may also be used. To denote a small person or object, many Interlingua speakers simply use the word parve, or small:

  • parve can → small dog
  • parve arbore → small tree

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International auxiliary languages
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