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Nominal Adjectives.


Diminutive Adjectives are usually confined to one gender, that of the primitive, and are used as Diminutive Nouns.

They are formed by means of the suffixes -

-ulus (-a, -um), -olus (after a vowel), -culus, -ellus, -illus

rív-ulus, a streamlet;

rívus, a brook.
gladi-olus, a small sword; gladius, a sword.
fíli-olus, a little son; fílius, a son.
fíli-ola, a little daughter; fília, a daughter.
átri-olum, a little hall; átrium, a hall.
homun-culus, a dwarf; homó, a man.
auri-cula, a little ear; auris, an ear.
múnus-culum, a little gift; múnus, N., a gift.
códic-illí, writing-tablets; códex, a block.
mis-ellus, rather wretched; miser, wretched.
lib-ellus, a little book; liber, a book.
aure-olus (-a, -um), golden; aureus (-a, -um), golden.
parv-olus (later parv -ulus), very small; parvus (-a, -um), little.
maius-culus, somewhat larger; maior (old maiós), greater.

NOTE 1: These diminutive endings are all formed by adding -lus to various stems. The formation is the same as that of -ulus in § 251. But these words became settled as diminutives, and retained their connection with nouns. So in English the diminutives whitish, reddish, are of the same formation as bookish and snappish. -culus comes from -lus added to adjectives in -cus formed from stems in n- and s-: as, iuven-cus, Aurun-cus (cf. Aurunculeius), prís-cus, whence the cu becomes a part of the termination, and the whole ending (-culus) is used elsewhere, but mostly with n- and s- stems, in accordance with its origin.

NOTE 2: Diminutives are often used to express affection, pity, or contempt: as, déliciolae, little pet; muliercula, a poor (weak) woman; Graeculus, a miserable Greek

a. -ció, added to stems in n-, has the same diminutive force, but is used with masculines only: as, homun-ció, a dwarf (from homó, a man).