The role of vocative

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Jonathan Robie
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The role of vocative

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 23rd, 2017, 3:51 pm

In our treebanks, we assign a 'role' to the subject, object, indirect object, etc. of a verb. But we don't currently assign a role to a vocative beyond noting its case. This seems inconsistent to me, and caused some formatting I was doing to look weird. I dealt with it by formatting a word in the vocative case the same way I would a word that has one of the roles I just mentioned.

I could call this role 'addressee' of a verb of speech. Is there a better term? In the tree below, I used a 'voc' label. Is there a better one to use?
luke1.3.voc.png
luke1.3.voc.png (28.42 KiB) Viewed 593 times
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

MAubrey
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Re: The role of vocative

Post by MAubrey » February 23rd, 2017, 7:42 pm

Vocatives involve a difference in kind from subjects and objects because they're not part of the proposition of the clause. They are, effectively, interjectives. You could label them that, if you'd like.
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Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

Jonathan Robie
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Re: The role of vocative

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 23rd, 2017, 8:33 pm

MAubrey wrote:Vocatives involve a difference in kind from subjects and objects because they're not part of the proposition of the clause. They are, effectively, interjectives. You could label them that, if you'd like.
voc seems more specific than interjective, any reason not to use voc?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Stephen Hughes
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Re: The role of vocative

Post by Stephen Hughes » February 23rd, 2017, 8:45 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
MAubrey wrote:Vocatives involve a difference in kind from subjects and objects because they're not part of the proposition of the clause. They are, effectively, interjectives. You could label them that, if you'd like.
voc seems more specific than interjective, any reason not to use voc?
In the passages that I have "on demand" to think about, the vocative always occurs together with some other 2nd person element, so it in effect a case that agrees with the number and person (2nd) of the verb or pronoun.

Are there in fact examples of the vocative addressing a person (or God), and bringing to their attention something else, like as in, "Hey, Johnny, the window is open." (Imperatives are usually direct not implied as in English, though, so I wouldn't expect the vocative to imply one, like English often does). Alternatively, something like, "Hey, Johnny, I told Nigel about the fishing trip, and he's busy.", seems more like an interjection.

Is the vocative more limited (specific) in Koine Greek than a general definition could describe?
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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