2

My question is, supposing you know about that sort of freely productive suffix formation of adjectives we use in English, mostly '-y' or '-ish', 'how would you make new words like that in French?'. For example: “It has sort of a raspberry-y, coffee-y taste?”

The choice of appending one of those two suffixes is left to the speaker and he/she can do that with really any noun (such adjectives, then, are not found in the dictionaries). I was wondering if something like that is possible in French?

1

There are various suffixes; however, they are not appended freely, bar exceptions (-issime); for instance you can say "largeot" but not "fortot" or "fortet", whereas there is no problem with "fortissime". Here are some of the most important ones, with a few instances of words in which they occur ;

  • "-eux" is usually derogatory; it's used with nouns;
    farineux, pâteux, sirupeux, anguleux, véreux, …
  • "-ard" is also derogatory; it's used with nouns;
    revanchard, cabochard, paillard, pantouflard, pochard, poissard, roublard, débrouillard, …
  • "-et" connotes smallness, and what can deemed puny as well; ((TLFi) éventuellement avec une valeur péjorative, laudative ou hypocoristique (qui exprime une intention caressante, affectueuse, notamment dans le langage des enfants ou ses imitations)); it's used with adjectives and nouns;
    (adjectives) jaunet, tristouillet, finet, …

  • "-ot" (TLFi) Suff. formateur de subst. et d'adj. auxquels il donne le plus souvent une valeur diminutive.
    (adjectives) ballot, largeot, vieillot, …

  • ''-esque'' (TLFi) [Le mot de base est un adj. qualificatif exprimant souvent une qualité originale ou bizarre que le suff. vient accentuer sinon caricaturer] can be used rather freely
    (adjectives) dévorantesque, maboulesque, magiquesque, sauvagesque
    (ajouté par user Loïc Di Benedstto)

  • "-issime" (from the Italian suffix "-issimo") can be used rather freely;
    (adjectives) élégantissime, énormissime, faiblissime, longuissime, louchissime, pâlissime, radicalissime, grandissime, …
    (proper nouns) béjartissime, godardissime, josephissime, …

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.