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How to deal with diminutives? » answer
by wdconinc (BE/US), 2009-10-11, 03:11  Spam?  
I've encountered a couple of diminutive entries for review, and I don't really know what to do with them.  They are of course correct, but if we were to treat them as individual entries it would almost double the number of noun entries.  On the other hand, the diminutive can be tricky (bloem -> bloemetje, bloempje; or even: piano -> pianootje) and should be included somehow.

Would it make sense to put the diminutives in the inflections together with the plural? I.e.: de forel | het forelletje | forellen.  Does anyone have another suggestion?

wdconinc  #467511
by muhamed (BA/AT), 2009-10-11, 05:01  Spam?  
Hello Wouter,

I see no problem in treating diminutives as individual entries. They are, after all, individual words, they are nouns, and it is a principle that all entries, particularly those which in their form correspond to lemmata (i.e. singular and nominative where applicable), should be entered into the dictionary.

The tricky bit though is whether we want to link the diminutives with their "parent" words, if at all. We could, for example, provide a [dim.] tag (or an appropriate Dutch tag - [verkl.] perhaps?) on the Dutch side, with no link to the "mother" entry; the user would then just have to look up the English translation provided. That, however, only works if the English word has no diminutive of its own (technically, think leaf and leaflet). We could also "tag" the mother word in...
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by wdconinc (BE/US), 2009-10-11, 06:36  Spam?  
You make some very good points.  Diminutives should definitely show up when searched for on the main page.  I looked up a couple of words in the German-English dict (Bällchen, Häuschen, Röschen, Kindchen) and they all are just translated as 'little [ ]' or 'small [ ]' without any special mention of [dim.] or link to the mother entry.

Most diminutives in Dutch are quite regular (if you know the rules ;-) ), but there are 5 different endings that can be used (-je, -tje, -pje, -etje, -kje) depending on the ending consonant or vowel.  All nouns technically have a diminutive, even if it doesn't make sense to use one.  I think just having verkleinwoordje {het} [verkl.] or verkleinwoordje {het} [dim.] should be enough to deduce the mother entry, except for a small number of pathological cases (little lamp = lampje, but naively lamb = lam would also get the -pje diminutive, although in this case it becomes lammetje).

Diminutives are useful.  #467595
by Don (NZ/GB), 2009-10-11, 18:39  Spam?  
In some cases they can be more common than the basic word - I have been looking at luciferdoosje, which is much more common than luciferdoos.
Why are they not treated as in German the 4 diffenent time in a site box?  #467605
by ORY (NL), 2009-10-11, 20:20  Spam?  
Michelin-mannetje  #467635
by Don (NZ/GB), 2009-10-11, 23:09  Spam?  
The Michelin man is an interesting one.
Proposal  #467703
by muhamed (BA/AT), 2009-10-12, 11:44  Spam?  
So here's a proposal: we'll enter the deminutives as 'normal' entries into the dictionary, add a [verkl.] (verkleinwoord) tag to the guidelines, and tag the Dutch side of the entry with {het} [verkl.] - with no special connection to the 'mother' (non-diminutive) word. And when it comes to entering diminutives into the vocabulary, we should maybe start with some of the more common irregular ones.

If nobody objects, we'll go on to add the [verkl.] tag, so that all existing diminutive entries may be appropriately updated.

4;Ory: I'm not sure I really understood your question - but if you're referring to the boxes below the search results (with the inflections, synonims etc.), these will probably be updated/changed/removed sometime soon - that's up to Paul though.
I don't think it is that complicated.  #467814
by pike (NL/PE), Last modified: 2009-10-12, 23:46  Spam?  
Some English words must be translated with a Dutch diminutive (meisje/girl, watje/piece of cotton wool, luciferdoosje/matchbox, pakje sigaretten/pack of cigarettes, waterijsje/ice lolly, etc.) In those cases there are no non-diminutive alternatives.

Other Dutch diminutive words which are commonly used can be entered the regular way. Like dorpje/hamlet or small village, biertje/glass of beer, puppy/puppy, uitstapje/break, etc.

It is absolutely not true that all Dutch nouns can be turned into a diminutive. In the German-Dutch dictionary, I saw suggested entries such as zomertje (small summer) en wintertje (small winter). Complete nonsense, nobody in Holland or Flanders ever uses these words.

Wouter, one question: in the south of the Netherlands and in Flanders most people use another diminutive form: pakske sigaretten, mooi/schoon meiske, pilske. Are those endings considered regional colloquial language or rather variations on standard Dutch?
pike: -ske  #467822
by wdconinc (BE/US), 2009-10-12, 19:56  Spam?  
I would consider the -ske diminutives as regional colloquial (or even dialect).  It is unlikely that you will ever encounter those forms in the written press in Flanders (google returns top hits for 'pakske' on youtube and facebook, etc...).

Re: zomertje.  Grammatically there is nothing wrong with this, but it doesn't make sense indeed.  As wiktionary suggests this can be used for comic effect ('reusje'), but not in regular language use.
True, but...  #467830
by pike (NL/PE), Last modified: 2009-10-14, 06:55  Spam?  
even flatgebouwtje (small apartment building) or oceaantje (little ocean) are probably correct in terms of grammar, but, of course, such words have no place in a dictionary.

Re -ske diminutives: Thanks for the answer. Although these diminutives are more common than the standard Dutch versions in a large part of the Dutch language area, we should perhaps refrain from listing them.
pike  #467875
by muhamed (BA/AT), 2009-10-13, 07:39  Spam?  
While I do follow your argument, I don't think we should refrain from listing any words, as long as they are gramatically correct Dutch. Words which are uncommon, used only for comic effect or only in certain areas of the Dutch-speaking world should nevertheless be introduced into the dictionary - and can be, as need dictates, appropriately tagged. Whether anyone looks up these words or uses them in any context is then completely up to the users. :)
Muhamed  #468282
by pike (NL/PE), Last modified: 2009-10-14, 18:40  Spam?  
My previous posting referred to two different kinds of diminutives.

- Okay, the -ske endings (or -ke endings such as in menneke) would be acceptable indeed as long as they will be tagged as regional dialect.

- Diminutive words that are never-ever used, but that are (theoretically) grammatically correct have no business here. I don't think there's something comical about giraffetje, deurmatje or kastanjeboompje, and it doesn't help anybody either. Well, it's a free world, and one can enter whatever he/she wants to, but I would never give it my vote.
diminutives  #501201
by ChrisEli (DE), 2010-03-02, 18:39  Spam?  
I agree with Muhamed: "I see no problem in treating diminutives as individual entries. They are, after all, individual words, they are nouns, and it is a principle that all entries, particularly those which in their form correspond to lemmata (i.e. singular and nominative where applicable), should be entered into the dictionary." - of course, not necessarily for every noun ...
After all, the Guidelines expressly list "[verkl.]" (= verkleinwoord.
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