Meaning of Augmentative

The augmentative term can be used as an adjective to qualify that which increases (that is, that increases or enlarges). The most common use of the term, however, is specifically linked to a type of affix.

An affix is a linguistic element that can be prepended, inserted or postponed in a lexeme or in a word to produce a modification in its meaning. In the case of augmentatives, they are suffixes: affixes that appear at the end of the lexeme or word.

Augmentatives express an increase in the size, intensity or importance of what they modify. Among the most widely used augmentative are azo, -one, -on, aza, -ota and -ote.

Although these are the elements that are generally used to create augmentatives, there are others. Specifically, although they are not so common, we come across the endings -acho, -acha, -ton, -tona, -rrón or -rona, among others. An example would be the word “big man.”

There are many occasions in which the use of an augmentative is used to show that it is referring to something very important, of great quality. Thus, for example, one can say: “The latest work by director Alejandro Amenábar is a real movie.” In this way, it becomes clear that the film he has made is very good in every way.

Along the same lines of the aforementioned example, there are others like these:
– “Malú is preparing a new album that, according to those who have heard it, is going to be a great album that will sweep sales.”
– “The person in charge of teaching the Contemporary World History subject in the faculty is a great professor.”
– “The match that FC Barcelona and Real Madrid are going to play will be a great match. And it is that it will allow to see the game of some of the best footballers of the world like Messi, Luis Suárez or Cristiano Ronaldo ”.

The way of using augmentatives varies according to the country. In this way, some concepts that are common in one nation may be strange in another.

An example of an augmentative is “problematic”. In this case, the term “problem” is added with the augmentative suffix “azo” to form the notion of “problemazo”: a big problem. Thus, expressions such as “I don’t know how we’re going to solve this issue can be constructed: it’s a great problem!” , “I had a great problem with the documentation of the car but, luckily, I was able to solve it.

“Partidazo”, “bowl”, “big”, “body” and “dog” are other examples of augmentatives that are frequently used in various regions: “Last night Brazil and Germany played a great game that ended with the triumph of the European team”, “Today I had a big bowl of lentils for lunch”, “A big man tried to hit Juan”, “The actress surprised with his great body”, “I dreamed that a dog was chasing me to bite me”.

No less relevant is that, in addition to augmentatives, there are so-called superlatives. What these come to do is increase the meaning of a term but to the greatest degree possible. An example can be established with the adjective grande. The augmentative can be big while the superlative would be huge.