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Derivation::Hypocorism

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Names::given    Ending::language    Forms::first    Regional::often    Female::''mar    French::syllable

Derivation Hypocorisms are often generated as:

  • a reduction (in English) of a longer word to a single syllable, then adding -y or -ie to the end, such as movie ("moving picture"), telly ("television") or Aussie ("Australian").
  • a contracted form of a personal name, such as Tony from Anthony, Rosy for Rosemarie or Vicky from Victoria.
  • a baby-talk form approximating the name's pronunciation, such as Bess for Elizabeth.
  • a personal name with a diminutive suffix; in some languages diminutive forms of names are used primarily when referring to children, and the meaning can oscillate between tenderness and condescension when used for an adult.
    • -(c)ito/-(c)ita or -(c)ín/-(c)ina in Spanish, such as Juanita from Juana. Extra consonants may be interposed as in Carmelina and Carmencita from Carmen, or merged, as in Carmina.
    • -chen, -lein, -(l)i, -(e)le (usually used with names) in German, such as Hündchen or Hündlein (from Hund, meaning "dog") or Kalli (from Karl, a name) or Häusle or Häusele (from Haus, meaning "house"); a back vowel in the root is normally subjected to umlaut, i.e. shift from u, o, a to ü, ö, ä respectively (e.g. Hund → Hündchen, Arm → Ärmchen, Holz → Hölzchen).
    • a similar form, -etto/-etta, in Interlingua.
    • the usual hypocoristic endings in Dutch are in both words and personal names alike: -tje, -ke. When the name ends in a t or a d the ending is then a -je (e.g. Bert → Bertje). If the final consonant of a name is m, the ending is then -pje (e.g. Bram → Brampje), -metje (Bram → Brammetje) or -mie (Bram → Brammie). For the other consonants the hypocoristic form is -tje. In the southern parts of the Netherlands the hypocoristic form is often -ke (e.g. Peer → Peerke). Also in Frisian the usual hypocoristic ending is -ke (e.g. Ype → Ypke). But this form, and others like -ske and -tsje, often makes the name feminine (e.g. Jetse → Jetske) as they do in Dutch (e.g. Jan → Jantje, Hans → Hansje). There is another productive hypocoristic ending: in the eastern part of the Netherlands (mostly in the province Drenthe), the female form is -chien Examples are Anne → Annechien, Lammert→ Lammechien.
    • a parallel construction in Portuguese, with -(z)inho/-(z)inha, as in Aninha from Ana and Joãozinho from João.
    • same in Italian and Italian regional languages, with -ino/-ina and -etto/-etta as in Paolino/Paoletto and Paolina/Paoletta from Paolo and Paola. There are also -ello/-ella, as in Donatello/Donatella from Donato and Donata, -uccio/-uccia, as in Guiduccio from Guido and -etto/-etta, as in Giulietta from Giulia. The forms -uzzo/-uzza, as in Santuzza from Santa, are typical of Sicilian.
    • -ĉj- and -nj- affixes (for males and females respectively) in Esperanto; these replace the last consonant (or consonant cluster) of the root, thus patro → paĉjo (father), patrino → panjo (mother).
    • -chan, -tan, or -pi in Japanese, such as Kana-chan from Kana and Aki-chan from Akihiro. Gemination (doubling) of the consonant or lengthening of the vowel before the -chan to provide two moras is common, such as Settchan from Setsuko and Hii-chan from Hiroki.
  • reduplication in various languages, such as John-John or Didi.
  • in Cantonese and related dialects, the addition of a word-final very high tone, or changed tone sometimes in combination with the addition of the prefix A before the name. The A syllable is also used in other dialects originating in southern China as a term of endearment or closeness.
  • -ulus/-ula in Latin, most famously in the case of the Roman emperor Caligula, whose nickname means "little boot". He received the name from soldiers in reference to the small army sandals (caligae, singular caliga) he wore when he was young. Likewise the name Ursula is derived from ursa (bear) and means "little she-bear".
  • -eleh/-leh in Yiddish. An example is Leah → Leahleh.
  • a combination of multiple methods from those described above. For example, in Romanian, Ileana becomes Ilenuța by addition of a diminutive suffix, and Ilenuța becomes Nuți by contraction.
  • In the Anglo-Saxon language, hypocoristic forms were made by truncating the name and adding '-a' (genitive '-an'); if that '-a' is preceded by a short vowel and then one consonant, that one consonant was doubled; sometimes assimilation happened, e.g. Cēomma for Cēolmǣr. These hypocoristic names are often the first component of a placename, for example Badby, which is recorded in 944 as Baddanbyrig (dative case) = (at/to) "Badda's fort".

As evident from the above-mentioned examples, hypocorisms frequently demonstrate (indirectly) a phonological linguistic universal (or tendency) for high-pitched sounds to be used for smaller creatures and objects (here as more "cute" or less imposing names). Higher-pitched sounds are associated with smaller creatures because smaller creatures can only make such high frequency sounds given their smaller larynxes.

The word "hypocorism" is the noun form in English; "hypocoristic" is the adjective form. Some other languages{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Which |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[which?] }} prefer to use the original Greek word "hypocoristicon" as a noun.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} The noun "hypocoristicon" seems to be rarely used in English.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}


Hypocorism sections
Intro  Derivation   Examples    References   

Derivation
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