Re: diagramming vocatives

From: Micheal Palmer (
Date: Tue Apr 27 1999 - 22:29:40 EDT

At 2:23 PM -0400 4/27/99, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:

>> And what syntactical function does a vocative perform within any clause? I
>> would have said that a vocative is not within a clause at all--that it's
>> simply a direct address to a person: "Psst, hey you!"
>> Carl W. Conrad
>Always? Without exception?
>Back to Luke 1:3 and QEOFILE. It looks like QEOFILE has a function
>within the clause. It limits or defines defines addressee in the pronoun
>SOI. I think this question needs to be answered on a case by case basis.

Here we seem to have a slight difference in the meaning of "function within
the clause." Syntactically, the vocative is as Carl states, "not within a
clause at all". That is, it does not have a syntactic function such as
subject, object, adverbial, etc. Semantically, however, vocatives are
quite often coreferential with some noun phrase or pronoun which IS
syntactically a part of the clause (as is SOI in Clayton's example). SOI in
Luke 1:3 is the indirect object of the infinitive GRAYAI (expressing the
RECIPIENT argument of that infinitive), and the vocative KRATISTE QEOFILE
does refer to the same person as SOI, though its case assignment marks it
as not having the same *syntactic* function as SOI.

SOI and KRATISTE QEOFILE have the same semantic role (we can call it
RECIPIENT) but a different syntactic function (indirect object for SOI, ???

Micheal W. Palmer
North Carolina State University
Philosophy and Religion (New Testament)
Foreign Languages (Ancient Greek)

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