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Although the etymology of the diminutive suffix -y, -ie most certainly will remain controversial, the plausibility of the hypothesis presented here is enhanced because of its basis in contemporary typological and psycholinguistic investigation.
54) I propose that the use of the adjective ambasa to modify saisa is a conscious attempt to convey the meaning of the Chinese diminutive suffix zi.
The diminutive suffix functions here as an endearment suffix; it expresses a positive attitude towards things that can be smoked.