Edited by Isabel Molina Martos, Florentino Paredes García and Ana M. Cestero Mancera
[Spanish in Context 17:2] 2020
► pp. 317–340
Convergences and divergences in the use of the diminutive in Medellin, Caracas and Madrid
This article analyzes the differences and coincidences in the uses of the diminutive found in three varieties of Spanish. Based on the classification of the pragmatic functions of the diminutive by Reynoso (2003), and the analysis of 5355 cases of non-lexicalized diminutives, it may be observed that the three varieties converge greatly in the production of the diminutive forms of -ito. There is some divergence in the variety of lexical bases that support the diminutive since the people of Madrid use (and listen to) more diminutives than Americans, but they use (and listen to) them in a smaller number of different words. The social factors contained in the sample have shown a reduced effect on the functions of the suffix, and a partially differentiating behavior among the three communities: in Caracas, age has a strong influence on the functions while, in Madrid and Medellin, the level of education is the factor that exerts more influence on these functions.