Chapter published in:Exploring Intensification: Synchronic, diachronic and cross-linguistic perspectives
Edited by Maria Napoli and Miriam Ravetto
[Studies in Language Companion Series 189] 2017
► pp. 127–146
Diminutives in Ancient Greek
Intensification and subjectivity
This work analyzes diminutives in three Ancient Greek comedies by Aristophanes. Although this work may not be strictly defined as morphopragmatic in the very specific sense of the term provided by Dressler & Merlini Barbaresi (1994: 56–7), many considerations emerged within this theoretical framework. Ancient Greek diminutives were usually considered as related to gender: Fögen (2004: 228) refers to diminutives only as markers of emotion, with a “general tendency of women to be more affective or emotional than men”. However, data emerging from the analysis of Aristophanes’ three female comedies do not justify this claim. Another interpretation may be advanced: diminutives could be seen as markers of subjectivity, since they fulfill the function of indexing a speaker’s perspective, viewpoint and attitude (Athanasiadou 2007: 554), and also of affecting the addressee’s positive and negative faces (Brown & Levinson 1987).
Keywords: diminutives, Ancient Greek, Aristophanes, subjectivity
Published online: 30 September 2017
Austin, Colin & Olson, Douglas
Brown, Penelope & Levinson, Stephen C.
Dressler, Wolfang U. & Merlini Barbaresi, Lavinia
Gilleland, Michael E.
Hernández-Campoy, Juan Manuel & Conde Silvestre, Juan Camilo
Placencia, Maria Elena
Sommerstein, Alan H.
Cited by 1 other publications
Redondo Moyano, María Elena
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