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Turkish Language
Diminutives

Showing affection with loving diminutives
In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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Using Diminutives to show affection

There's also a way to demonstrate affection for someone (or something) by attaching the diminutive '-ciğim' [or '-cığım', with undotted ı (or, even -cuğum or -cüğüm)] -- as a suffix to the given name of the dear one (or thing) you are addressing. [The pronunciation of the suffix is something like jee-im for the dotted i version and jih-im for the undotted ı version -- and ju-um and ju-oom.]

You just need to remember to add the suffix according to the rule of vowel harmony.

So, when you add ciğim (or cığım, etc.) it gives the meaning of 'my dear [little]...'
as in:
anneciğim; my dear [little] mom (mommy) or
babacığım; my dear [little] dad (daddy) or
evciğim; my dear [little] home or
Phillipacığım; my dear [little] Phillipa (Pippa)

As a point of interest, the diminutive of George is not Georgeciğim, as you might expect -- according to the vowel harmony rule. No...The affectionate form of George is Georgecuğum; my dear [little] George (Georgie). That's because the final 'e' vowel in George is silent -- so, in order to achieve vowel harmony, we have to key off the sounded-vowel 'o'. And therefore, according to the harmony rule for the letter 'o', the only possible suffix of affection for poor ole George is cuğum !


And you can achieve almost the same effect with the shorter suffix '-im' [or 'ım', with undotted ı (and also, um or üm)].

So that, Jimim would mean 'my [dear] Jim' and Fatmam would mean 'my [dear] Fatma...oops!

Oops is right! Where'd the undotted ı go -- from that last example?! Well, it so happens that...if you attach the 'ım' suffix (with undotted ı) to a word that already ends in a vowel, then the undotted ı disappears! Gone. Outtahere...

And the same thing is true for the dotted i version of the suffix (and for um and üm, also). That is, it would be Bellem, not Belleim to mean 'my [dear] Belle'...

This points up one of those almost-truisms about Turkish...In general, you don't see two vowels together, but if you do...then it's almost always in a foreign-word borrowing.
Based on an idea from JY, April 1997
In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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