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On Mon, Aug 15, 2011 at 10:27 AM, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On 15 August 2011 16:59, Jim Henry <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > On Mon, Aug 15, 2011 at 10:01 AM, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
> > <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > > My problem with "parolātre" is that the -ātre suffix often has a
> negative
> > > (or at least dismissive) connotation that the English -ish lacks.
> >
> > Somehow I'd never picked up on that.  Is the pejorativeness of  -ātre
> > a recent development (like, within the last 100 years)?
>
>
> No. As far as I know, the Latin suffix -ASTER the French -âtre comes from
> generally meant "similar but not exactly the same" with an undercurrent of
> "and therefore inferior", and that undercurrent has always been present in
> some form (although in Old French it wasn't as strong as now). Terms like
> "marâtre" were already pejorative in the 17th century (although they
> started
> to refer to a bad mother in addition to a bad stepmother only in the 19th).
> Adjectives like "jaunâtre" have always been somewhat dismissive, although
> they are not quite as strongly pejorative as a construction like
> "jaunasse".
>
> So it's not a recent development. But since in many cases they are really
> dismissive rather than frankly derogatory, it's not difficult to miss it if
> you're not a native speaker.
>
>
> >  As I think I
> > mentioned before, the majority of my French reading is in authors from
> > the 19th century and earlier.
> >
> >
> By that time the -âtre suffix was already dismissive for all words, and
> downright pejorative for some words.
>  --
>

-ish can have something of the same feel at times.

That's not really blue. It's just blue-ish.
I wouldn't call it an antique, just old-ish.

The feeling of downgrading the object is especilly strong, for me, in the
second example.  But I don't really thing the derogatory or "dismissive"
quality is a *necessary* part of the English suffix.  However, *parolish
just sounds bizzarre.  I mean is he out of jail or not? :-p

Adam