The synthetic superlative -ÍSSIMUS in Latin survived in Italian, whereas it was borrowed in the Romance languages on the Iberian Peninsula and in French during the Renaissance. This suffix has been very frequent in these languages with the exception of French. In this language it has been accepted merely when used in titles. Condemned by grammarians, the suffix has thus been quite rare in French literature. The present study shows however that in the database Frantext, which comprises mostly literary texts, nearly 1,400 occurrences of words with the suffix -issime are found, rarissime and richissime being the most frequent (apart from titles). But with the emergence of new media, it seems that the suffix has become much more frequent in French. These adjectives are found mainly in areas like politics, sports, travels, adult movies and in comments by web visitors as shown in this study.
Copyright (c) 2019 Anders Nils Bengtsson
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).