a big little kitchen

A follow-up to Tyler Schnoebelen’s dissertation abstract, which included a section on the use of little in conversation, this find from Megan O’Neil last July:

[from a friend, talking about the rooms in a household] a big little kitchen

meaning not ‘a room that is big for a little kitchen’, but illustrating a shift from an objective, literally diminutive, sense of little to a subjective, affective sense, indicating emotional evaluation (affection, closeness, etc.) — a shift also seen in the use of diminutive affixes in many languages.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: