-inho or -zinho

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Psi-Lord
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-inho or -zinho

Postby Psi-Lord » 2007-01-10, 20:38

Since I believe every student of Portuguese as a second language has called me Marcelinho at least once, I thought this might be a useful article to write about – when to form diminutives using -inho and when to do it using -zinho. These are general general guidelines, though, so no blaming me for exceptions found along the way. :lol:

1. One-syllable words and words stressed on the last syllable add -zinho:

o pé > o pezinho
a mão > a mãozinha
o pão > o pãozinho
o chá > o chazinho
o café > o cafezinho
o avô > o avozinho
a avó > a avozinha
o casal > o casalzinho
o barril > o barrilzinho
Marcel > Marcelzinho

2. Words stressed on the penultimate or antipenultimate syllable that end in , -ão, in a diphthong or a hiatus also add -zinho:

o órfão > o orfãozinho
a órfã > a orfãzinha
o índio > o índiozinho
a lua > a luazinha
a sereia > a sereiazinha

2a. Possible exceptions/alternative forms made common through usage and that work as the words in case 3 (below) exist, though:

a praia > a prainha
o rádio > o radinho
a rua > a ruinha
Emília > Emilinha


3. Words stressed on the penultimate syllable that don’t fall in case 2 drop any possible final vowel they have and add -inho:

o livro > o livrinho
a moça > a mocinha
a parede > a paredinha
o filho > o filhinho
Marcelo > Marcelinho

3a. Exceptions/alternative forms exist, though, and some such words add -zinho when the diminutive form wouldn’t be euphonic or in the literary language:

a ave > a avezinha
a ilha > a ilhazinha
o gole > o golezinho


4. Words ending in -z, -s, or -s + vowel add -inho:

o nariz > o narizinho
a rosa > a rosinha
o português > o portuguesinho
o rapaz > o rapazinho
Luís > Luisinho

5. The plural of words (other than those of cases 3 and 4) above drop the final -s and then add -zinho:

os pés > os pezinhos
as mãos > as mãozinhas
os pães > os pãezinhos
os avós > os avozinhos
os casais > os casaizinhos
os barris > os barrizinhos
as luas > as luazinhas
as aves > as avezinhas
os órfãos > os órfãozinhos

5a. The plural of words of cases 3 and 4 above just add a final -s to the singular diminutive:

os livros > os livrinhos
as paredes > as paredinhas
os narizes > os narizinhos
as rosas > as rosinhas

5b. Some words have popular plural forms that are either colloquial or made valid through usage:

as mulheres > as mulherzinhas
as flores > as florzinhas
as pastoras > as pastorinhas


6. Many words have irregular/erudite diminutives, often stemming from Latin, and sometimes they’re synonyms of the regular ones, add specific different nuances, or form different words altogether (that in turn may have their own diminutives as well):

o rio > o riacho
o fio > o fiapo
a casa > o casebre (gender change)
a mosca > o mosquito (gender change)
o mosquito > o mosquitinho
o jornal > o jornaleco
o lugar > o lugarejo
a chuva > o chuvisco (gender change)
a maçã > a maçaneta
a caixa > o caixote (gender change)
o caixote > o caixotinho

And it’s probably never enough to remember that diminutives no only give the idea of a small/little version of the original word, but may also be used affectionately, derogatorily, to express slow or fast actions (as when used with adverbs), or small quantities, etc.
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Postby Luís » 2007-01-10, 21:02

Nice list! :D

However, many times it's a matter of what sounds good or not.

Quoting Ciberdúvidas:
Papelinho ou papelzinho? Ruinha ou ruazinha? Livrinho ou livrozinho?
Por vezes dá mais jeito acabar em "zinho" – mas não deixa de ser estranho que, visando dar a ideia de pequeno, se complique ainda mais um sufixo já de si tão complicado...
Tenho de dizer a profissão e local de acesso?! Sou um advogadozinho e estou na minha casinha...

Pedro Ponce de Leão Paulouro
Portugal


Não é fácil dar regras sobre o emprego de -inho ou de -zinho. E não é, porque a linguagem não é somente para ser compreendida; é também – e às vezes, tanto! – para ser sentida. Por isso dizemos assim:
«O Dr. Ponce de Leão é um advogadozinho!... como não há outro.»
Quem sentir bem, e profundamente a língua, não diz «advogadinho».
E mais: o preferirmos advogadozinho tem que ver (e não «tem a ver», como desensinam a TV, os periódicos, etc.) com a mais sonoridade e maior extensão de advogadozinho. Noutros casos, preferir-se-á advogadinho.
Sinta-se verdadeiramente a língua (ou melhor, a Língua), e a correcção virá – em muitos casos.


Psi-Lord wrote:Since I believe every student of Portuguese as a second language has called me Marcelinho at least once


It seems they're obsessed with using diminutives to start with. I have never been called Luisinho anywhere else but on Unilang! :lol:
Quot linguas calles, tot homines vales

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2007-01-10, 21:35

Papelinho was indeed an example that popped out in my mind when I was writing that, but since Houaiss pointed it as irregular (and jocular), I put it aside or else I’d give up trying to compile such a list. :lol: I can’t indeed imagine myself saying advogadinho, and for no reason I can think of. :? On the other hand, the reason why I wouldn’t say e.g. medicozinho is probably quite obvious. :twisted:

And I guess I’ve never been called Marcelzinho anywhere else but in Unilang as well (though a few friends do call me Celzinho).
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Postby ego » 2007-01-11, 18:31

Very useful Psizinho, thanks a lot. Are there any differences between EP and BP?

I like calling you using -inho simply because it sounds so funny to me. I never encountered such a funny diminutive ending in any language. It makes you sound like Brazilian football players :P

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Re: -inho or -zinho

Postby kibo » 2007-01-11, 18:46

Psi-Lord wrote:Since I believe every student of Portuguese as a second language has called me Marcelinho at least once,


I don't remember. :pff:

Frankly it sounds like a name of a circus troop. :P

P.S. You can put this on the wiki :)
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Postby Luís » 2007-01-11, 19:45

ego wrote:I like calling you using -inho simply because it sounds so funny to me. I never encountered such a funny diminutive ending in any language.


It doesn't sound funny, it sounds cute :razz:

And I can't believe that is coming from someone whose diminutive is Sakis... :dimwit:

Anyway, what are you doing in Athens? Shouldn't you be working hard in Nicosia by now?
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Postby Psi-Lord » 2007-01-11, 19:51

Luís wrote:And I can't believe that is coming from someone whose diminutive is Sakis... :dimwit:

Saco de quem? :twisted:
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Postby ego » 2007-01-11, 20:05

Luís wrote:
ego wrote:I like calling you using -inho simply because it sounds so funny to me. I never encountered such a funny diminutive ending in any language.


It doesn't sound funny, it sounds cute :razz:

And I can't believe that is coming from someone whose diminutive is Sakis... :dimwit:

Anyway, what are you doing in Athens? Shouldn't you be working hard in Nicosia by now?


Foda-se.. Esperava que te esquecesses deste nome :? . Tens razao que soa tao feio mas entretanto ha muita gente que o usa :vomit: .
Vou ficar em Atenas por 2-3 semanas como enfermeiro sob treino, num hospital militar. Voo para Chipre no dia 5 de Fevereiro

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Postby HaggenKennedy » 2007-01-12, 16:40

Luís wrote:And I can't believe that is coming from someone whose diminutive is Sakis... :

Psi-Lord wrote:Saco de quem? :twisted:

ego wrote:Tens razao que soa tao feio mas entretanto ha muita gente que o usa

Actually I don't think "Sakis" is weird. What really had me going ":shock:" was "Pano" the first time I heard it. I asked it twice just to make sure I had heard it correctly. :lol:

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Re: -inho or -zinho

Postby Formiguinha » 2009-11-12, 16:36

São interessantes as considerações sobre os diminutivos -inho e -zito, mas... não as restantes opções não devem ser esquecidas.
É também útil lembrar que a escolha de determinados diminutivos tem a ver com a intenção do emissor.
Por exemplo:
um rapazinho - este sufixo pode denotar estima ou pequenez;
um rapazito - este sufixo pode denotar desprezo ou pequenez;
um rapazico (mais frequente o uso regional) - este sufixo pode denotar desprezo ou pequenez;
um rapazola - evidente o sentido pejorativo;
...
"A minha pátria é a Língua Portuguesa." F.P.


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