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Re: -chan [was Re: Is "ma" Proto-World?]

From:Garth Wallace <gwalla@...>
Date:Thursday, January 23, 2003, 19:29
Nik Taylor wrote:
> Garth Wallace wrote: > >>Technically, "-chan" is a diminuitive suffix. > > > I wouldn't call it diminutive. You can't just attach it to a word to > make "little" of that, like, you can't say *honchan for "little book".
True, the usage is restricted. It is still a suffix for proper names. I've frequently seen it translated as "little" or "li'l". It carries the connotation of "small and cute, like a child".
>>It can indicate affection, but does not necessarily. It can be >>insulting. > > > I understand the insulting usages to be a condescending use of -chan.
"-chan" really gets used for small children, pets, one's significant other, and girls one's own age with whom one is on a familiar basis. Calling your good buddy Ryuunosuke "Ryuu-chan", when you're a guy, would either get you a funny look, or be interpreted as a playful taunt.