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
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