Re: diagramming vocatives

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Wed Apr 28 1999 - 11:52:31 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.
Micheal W. Palmer wrote:

> 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, ???


You are right about one thing, there is some muddying of the distinction
between semantic and syntactical function in this discussion. However I
am not sure that I am ready to agree with the idea that a vocative with
what several people on the list have called an "appositive" relationship
to a constituent in the clause has no syntactical function in the same
clause. Why relegate the vocative with an appositive function to the
syntactical outer darkness? We do not relegate any other "appositives"
to the outer darkness.

On the other hand there are vocatives which do not bear any clear
relationship to any constituent in any clause. These vocatives should be
relegated to the syntactical outer darkness. A vocative of this sort
calls attention to the addressee, when the addressee is not otherwise
represented in the clause.

There is no way that we are ever going to reach consensus on this list
about syntactical analysis much less semantic analysis. There is too
much diversity. Diagramming is a graphic byproduct of a language model.
Since there are several language models represent on b-greek I would
never expect much in the way of agreement on how to go about

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

--- B-Greek home page: You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [] To unsubscribe, forward this message to To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:25 EDT