Los diminutivos latinos y su género gramatical
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Since agreement in gender with the base was characteristic of Latin diminutives, grammatical gender can occasionally be considered an important morphological factor for distinguishing diminutives from any other type of deiivational suffixes. Exceptions to this rule are but a few, and can be traced back to the beginnings of Latin grammar. Most of them have to do with the changes in gender that affected the base, but in some cases, such as the vocabulagl used for instruments, the fi-equenty of the neuter may be due to a confusion with the mediative or instrumental suffix *-bulo-, *-culo-. The anomalous gender can also be the result of a specification of meaníng, a role which suits the diminutive well.