The Usage of Diminutives by Children in Polish as the Example of Imitating Mother’s Speech
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The aim of this paper is a review of most common situations in which children use diminutive forms in Polish, excluding the reference to the smallness of an object being pointed at, illustrated with the examples of the usage of diminutives, collected by the author of this paper. The examples are taken from everyday conversations of children aged 2-10. It is claimed that children imitate adult speech and borrow certain features, such as the usage of diminutive forms, as they shape their language mainly following the example of relatives. As the review shows, children use diminutives in various contexts, from establishing emotional contact with other children or their toys, familiarizing themselves with the reality and everyday life, or diminishing their fault to even flattering or buttering up the hearer.
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