See also: ל and ל־

Yiddish

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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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From Middle High German -el, from Old High German -il, from Old High German -ilī. Compare German -lein, dialectal German -el, -erl, Alemannic German -li.

Pronunciation

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Suffix

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־ל (-ln, plural ־לעך (-lekh)

  1. Forms diminutive nouns when added to a noun, with umlaut where applicable.
  2. Forms fractional numerals when added to the stem of an ordinal numeral.

Usage notes

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  • In general, Yiddish abhors forming ־ל (-l) diminutives with nouns or roots of nouns ending in ־ן (-n). This may be handled one of two ways:
  1. Replace ־ן (-n) with ־ל (-l) with or without formation of umlaut, e.g. ‎קערן (kern) + ‎־ל (-l) → ‎קערל (kerl), or ‎בויגן (boygn) + ‎־ל (-l) → ‎בייגל (beygl).
  2. Insert a consonant between ־ן (-n) and ־ל (-l). This is most commonly ־ד־ (-d-) or ־כ־ (-kh-), e.g. ‎האָן (hon) + ‎־ל (-l) → ‎הענדל (hendl) or ‎באַן (ban) + ‎־ל (-l) → ‎בענכל (benkhl). This also applies when the noun ends in a vowel, but the last consonant of the word is ־נ־ (-n-), e.g. ‎אַפֿענע (afene) + ‎־ל (-l) → ‎אַפֿענדל (afendl). In this case, the plural form becomes ־דלעך (-dlekh) or ־כלעך (-khlekh).
  • Note that some nouns use both forms as diminutives, e.g. ‎קערן (kern) + ‎־ל (-l) → ‎קערל (kerl) or קערנדל (kerndl), albeit often with different senses.

Derived terms

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Descendants

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  • Hebrew: ־לה (-le)

See also

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