1. Form and meaning of diminutives in Lithuanian child language

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The aim of this chapter is to discuss the acquisition of diminutives from a quantitative and qualitative perspective. Diminutives in Lithuanian present an interesting case not only in terms of morphopragmatics (a feature which is shared by Lithuanian as well as other languages), but also from a languagespecific point of view. We suggest that the early and frequent use of diminutives by the Lithuanian child is due to the fact that it facilitates the acquisition of declensional noun endings by restricting the number of paradigm patterns to 3 instead of the traditional 12 declension classes.


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