Expressive L-derivation


Expressive L-derivations remain a mystery to all morphological frameworks (see Scalise 1988, Stump 1993, Spencer & Zwicky 1996). Expressive derivations include Diminutives, Augmentatives, Pejoratives, forms of Endearment, and Honorifics. They differ from all other types of L-derivation in that they are meaningful (unlike transpositions), and yet the meaning is not consistent (unlike functional derivations and feature switches). Rather than mean, expressive derivations reflect subjective attitudes of the speaker. Thus, a Russian will refer to his son with the Diminutive syn-ok regardless of the son's size. Indeed, size is irrelevant to the references of many Diminutives, e.g. vin-co 'a nice wine', ded-uš-ka 'grandfather'.