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Author: Subject: Zakar, Viktor: The Augmentative in Lower Sorbian
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[*] posted on 10-6-2016 at 10:13 AM
Zakar, Viktor: The Augmentative in Lower Sorbian

Lětopis Abstract 2012 1: Zakar, Viktor: The Augmentative in Lower Sorbian

The present article deals with the morphosemantic and morphonetic features of Lower Sorbian augmentatives. An augmentative is a noun formed by a specific root word and a formant, expressing an exaggeration of the referent’s dimensions or qualities. The Lower Sorbian augmentative formants are: -išćo (-yšćo), -isko (-ysko) and -idło (-ydło). The formant -isko is the most common one, mostly, but not exclusively, creating augmentatives with negative semantics. The formant -išćo, though being far more poly-semic, is less frequent than -isko. It often forms augmentatives from root words with the meaning of ‘PERSON’ or ‘ANIMAL.’ Although its derivatives usually have a negative and even insulting meaning, their semantics can be positive and even hypocoristic, too. Therefore, the context in which derivates are used needs close examination in order to identify their actual meaning and thereby enable them to be classified with certainty as augmentatives. Genuine augmentatives with the formant -idło are very unusual.

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