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Rashi often refers to tzeirei as "kamatz katan" and segol as "patach katan". Why? In what sense are they smaller versions of kamatz and patach?

I understand that kamatz and tzeirei are תנועות גדולות, while patach and segol are תנועות קטנות, which has some consequences for sheva na and dageshim. Rashi's classification is going in a different direction. Does it also have grammatical consequences?

             Tenuah gedola       Tenuah ketana
Rashi big    Kamatz              Patach
Rashi small  Tzeirei             Segol

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