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6 votes

Is there a distinction between the diminutive suffixes -l and -chen?

The diminutive suffixes -l/-el/-le/-li are southern dialect variants of Standard German -lein. The diminutive suffixes -je/-tje/-ke are northern dialect variants of Standard German -chen. Both -lein ...
Janka's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Is there a distinction between the diminutive suffixes -l and -chen?

-l as a diminutive suffix is typical for southern Germany, your example "Mäd(e)l" for "Mädchen" is one of the rare cases where this form is also common in Northern Germany. So, -l ...
Michel's user avatar
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2 votes

Is there a distinction between the diminutive suffixes -l and -chen?

My impression is Mädchen refers to younger girls, at most 8 or 10 years. Meanwhile Mädel refers to tweens (10-12) and teens. Adult women sometimes refer to themselves collectively as Mädel as in ...
RDBury's user avatar
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