This study investigates the analytic and synthetic diminutives of the English language. It is based on three assumptions. First, diminutives are not an exclusively morphological category. Second, to understand the specific nature of diminutives, both formal and functional aspects must be examined, as well as the interaction between them. And third, diminutives must be studied empirically and in context. Against this background, an integrative approach is developed which combines grammatical and pragmatic perspectives. This approach can be adopted in the analysis of diminutives of any language.
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