Festschrift für Prof. Andrzej Kątny zum 65. Geburtstag
Edited By Katarzyna Lukas and Izabela Olszewska
i-Bildungen im Deutschen: Heinz Vater
i-Bildungen im Deutschen
The suffix -i in German. – The article concerns derivations with the suffix -i in German, which have an interesting history: the old suffix -în (which was inherited from Indo-European) developed to a diminutive suffix in Old High German; it was especially used to form terms of endearment derived from male and female first names: Greti (from Margarete; cf. Engl. Margie), Hansi (from Johannes; cf. Engl. Johnny), as well as derivations from kinship nouns: Mutti from Mutter (cf. mommy) and Vati from Vater (cf. daddy). The original suffix -în was shortened to -i (or -en in adjectives like irden, derived from Erde). The suffix -i forming a small “niche” in the vocabulary of German was revived in the 20th century, when the word nazi, a term of endearment formed from the name Ignaz – that was especially popular in Bavaria, where it was also used as a pejorative term meaning ‘clumsy guy’ – was applied as a pejorative term for a National Socialist; in this new meaning, it was also taken over to other languages like English. Thus, it contributed – along with Sozi (for Social Democrat) – to the rise of a new pattern of -i-derivations, mainly in the political field; cf. Sympi for Sympathisant (of the Bader-Meinhof-circle in the sixties) or Kommi for Kommunist, later also including non-political designations like Knasti (derived from colloquial Knast ‘prison’) and even designations of things like Compi (from computer). All these formations have...
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