Reza Moghaddamkia; Akram Shafiei
The diminutive function is defined as any morphological device that adds the meaning "small" (in size) and some other connotative meanings such as expressing emotions, contempt, imitation, ...
The diminutive function is defined as any morphological device that adds the meaning "small" (in size) and some other connotative meanings such as expressing emotions, contempt, imitation, relation to a linguistic form to provide a language with new concepts, removing the need of coining new words. The study of diminutives has, therefore, been quite attractive in semantic studies and the question addressed here is how to explain the diachronic development of widely varying senses of the diminutive? Jurafsky (1996) proposes that the origins of the diminutives lie in words semantically or pragmatically linked to children/small/ and female gender and different synchronic meanings are extensions of the original meaning derived through such mechanisms as metaphor, abstraction, inference, and Lambda abstraction. Despite the importance of the diminutive function and the fairly rich application of the diminutives in Persian, they have not been the subject of any comprehensive investigation. Researchers and grammarians have confined their treatment of the subject to introducing the types and the literal meanings of the diminutive suffixes in Persian and no reference has been made to the pragmatic and morphological aspects of such linguistic forms. In this paper the morphology and semantics of the diminutive suffix "cheh" in Persian is investigated based on the insights provided by Jurafsky (1996) and Schneider (2003).