Diminutive Interjections in Polish: The Case of (O)Jejku and (O)Jejciu!

Dorota Lockyer


The paper provides a corpus analysis of diminutive interjections based on the National Corpus of Polish (NKJP) and the microblogging site Twitter to compare the collocations and emotional meanings of Polish interjections that contain the diminutive -k- affix, namely (o)jejku (< (o)jej). Diminutive interjections are an understudied area of Polish. Wierzbicka (1992) has labelled forms with -k- affixes as ‘children’s talk’; however, the collected data reveal that these forms may be used in more contexts than has been generally thought. The quantitative and qualitative analysis of frequent collocations and carried out here demonstrates a variety of meanings and pragmatic functions that they have in Polish. The results suggest that although the diminutive and non-diminutive interjections can appear in similar contexts, the diminutive forms display an additional emotional coloring not found in underived interjections, and also sometimes ‘softening’ of a negative emotion or situation. In addition, the results of the present study contribute to a better understanding of the use of less common forms of diminutives in contemporary Polish.

Słowa kluczowe

interjections, diminutives, corpus, qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis, Polish

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