Why does un cuartito de hora last longer than un cuarto de hora? Expressive values and functions of diminutives in Spanish
The formation of diminutives in Spanish and its expressive value is without doubt one of the most interesting issues of the Spanish morphology and contemporary style. The diminutive formation is a highly productive and creative process in the Spanish language that appears to be regulated culturally and allows the speaker to create innovative and idiosyncratic contexts. The diminutives are an important pragmatic phenomenon in the everyday communication in which the speaker encodes his communicative intentions. Moreover, the diminutives are linguistic resources that allow the speaker to express his own conception of the event. We will distinguish socio-contextual and expressive values of the Spanish diminutives. We will base on the assumption that it is women who use the diminutives more. The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the abundant use of the diminutive in present Spanish and distinguish some functions of its use.