The last post dealt with the name of the current month, agosto/August, and with the Latin adjective augustus that we’ve carried over as augusto/august do. If we go back farther than Latin augustus, we find that it’s one of several words that arose from the Indo-European root *aug- that meant ‘increase.’ That original sense persisted in Latin augmentare, which we’ve borrowed as augmentar/augment. The corresponding noun in Spanish is aumento, but that has been augmented by a second noun, aumentación, which finds its counterpart in English augmentation.

From the root of Latin augmentare we also have aumentativo/augmentative, which as a noun is a grammatical term for ‘a suffix or word that adds force or magnitude to the meaning of another.’ Common Spanish augmentative suffixes are -azo and –ón. English usually adds a particle, as in chew up rather than just chew.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. shoreacres
    Aug 05, 2012 @ 21:35:14

    I couldn’t find a single way to augment your comments, so with aught to gain by pressing on, I’ll just take my suffixes and go home. 😉


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©2011–2016 Steven Schwartzman
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