Диминутивные существительные женского рода в македонском языке
Macedonian possesses a rich system of affixes, some of them are considered to be completely synonymous. This is the case for diminutive suffixes serving to build diminutives from feminine nouns: there are four suffixes, three of them are of protoslavonic origin (namely, suffixes -ka, -ca, -ica) and one - -ichka - is considered to be of a more recent descent. As those suffixes have virtually the same range of meanings, a question arises as to their rivalry. Our research revealed that not all of the suffixes in question have the potential to combine with all the stem types. Their combinability is restrained by their morphonological properties and these constraints form a system of suffixal distribution. Having studied a corpus of over 500 diminutives, we came to the conclusion that suffix -ka primarily serves as a substitute suffix in the cases where other suffixes cannot combine, suffix -ca can solely combine with a single stem type (stems of feminine nouns ending with a consonant, former i-stems), and suffixes -ichka and -ica, possessing similar properties, are engaged in a rivalry which apparently is settled in favour of the former.