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Please help me out, I am not sure about this. Can you add diminutives to Spanish words where this is not traditionally done and create new words that most people would understand? e.g. take a random word - invitacíon. Could you say invitacíoncitas (or invitacíonitas, I think it sounds better, is the "cita after an n" rule strict?) to mean "little invitations"/pequeñas invitacíones? Do native Spanish speakers understand, and more importantly, appreciate "invented" words such as these? Please note that I am referring to an informal written context here.

Thank you.

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1 Answer 1

Yes, you would be understood. However, in most places it would be regarded as baby-speak or informal.

Also, you need to bear in mind that the choice of suffix to construct a diminutive varies from region to region.

In Leon, north-west Spain, the suffices "-in" (dinerín) and "-ina" (galletina) are preferred, and often it's not even regarded as baby-speak.

Other regions such a Aragón, north-east Spain, the suffices "-ico" (dinerico) and "-ica" (galletica) are preferred.

In my experience, in Spain the most neutral choice of suffices is "-ito" (dinerito) and "-ita" (galletita).

As pointed out by pHonda, another possibility are the suffices "-illo" (dinerillo) and "-illa" (galletilla). My impression is that these suffices are more common in the south of Spain.

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This answer is quite complete. However, I would add that it would not only be regarded as baby-speak. It is used to add other connotations, depending on the context: "Te has ganado unos buenos dinerillos" Here, dinerillos is used to mean that it's not a lot of money, but it doesn't have a childish intention to it. –  pHonta Mar 30 at 19:43
    
@pHonta I can't believe I forgot about "-illo" and "-illa". Thanks. I've now updated the answer. –  Nico Mar 30 at 20:46
    
I would like to say that there is a link between closed front unrounded vowels and diminutive communication, but I can't find the facts about it anywhere. es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocal_cerrada_anterior_no_redondeada –  dockeryz Mar 30 at 21:18
    
@ZaneEdwardDockery You can find the full description here in the RAE's "Nueva gramática de la lengua española (2009)". If nobody else writes an answer with the information in that link, I will consider to post another answer. –  Nico Mar 31 at 9:03
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I asked my mother-in-law to explain how she makes arroz al horno, and she went: "Cortas unas patatitas en rodajitas finas y las fríes un poquito en aceite. Luego pones a cocer la carne hecha trocitos y, mientras tanto, haces un sofritito con un tomate cortadito..." etc. etc. Some people obviously find it cute to speak using lots of diminutives. –  Alfonso Villén May 4 at 21:49

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