summary: Humorous Antonymic Nicknames

jess tauber phonosemantics at EARTHLINK.NET
Tue Dec 1 14:48:35 UTC 2009

I would be interested in knowing whether such usage correlated in any way with whether a language differentiated diminutives and augmentatives into both positive and negative types. IIRC, with phonological shifting for rendering these, there is a developmental hierarchy, with hypercoristics first, then pejoratives, usually matched to dim., aug. respectively. Does further development then mix and match the evaluative components? Or is the heirarchy really the reverse, an attrition leaving only diminutives as survivors, coming out of a more robust system that originally was openly combinatoric, as one sees with other closed class sets? Any morphosyntactic correlations with such a typological cline?

Jess Tauber
phonosemantics at

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