Chapter 7: Latin Diminutives
If you think back to Chapter 5 (Turning Latin Nouns into Latin Adjectives), you will recall that any noun-base ending in L used the adjectival suffix -aris, rather than -alis (§35). As we have seen, every diminutive noun in Latin has a base that ends in L. Accordingly, if one wishes to derive a Latin adjective from a Latin diminutive, it will always end in -aris, and its English derivative will regularly end in -ar. These examples should make that situation clear:
|L||circus||> L dimin. noun||circ-ulus||> L adj.||circul-aris||> E adj.||circular|
Notice that the English adjective derivatives circular, particular, and muscular reflect the original Latin source-words more precisely than their corresponding noun derivatives, circle, particle, and muscle.