[Lingtyp] Uncertainty over the use of the term "vocative" in this instance

Adam James Ross Tallman ajrtallman at utexas.edu
Tue May 11 09:19:23 UTC 2021

Hey Thomas,

This reminds me of something I overlooked describing in my diss. on
Chacobo. The imperative =wɨ́ can appear on plurals as a type of greeting or
call to attention in meetings.



But, why is it important to have a unified gloss though? In Chacobo
ergative and genitive marking is formally the same - and maybe even
semantically depending on your theory of semantics. Why not just think of
prototype agent marking as the predicate version of prototype possessor
marking? and provide these with some unified gloss... This has always
occurred to me, but I never thought of it as important to provide some
overarching gloss.  Since glossing is just expositional anyways, can't you
just give them separate glosses and then explain their semantic and
distributional affinities in the grammar (and that *perhaps* they could be
treated as one morpheme)? Or is there some interesting theoretical point
that I am missing?



On Mon, May 10, 2021 at 8:11 PM Thomas Diaz <tsdiaz at buffalo.edu> wrote:

> Hello all,
> I am writing a grammatical description of a language called Heyo, a
> Torricelli language spoken in northwestern Papua New Guinea, for my
> dissertation. I have come across a clitic =o that I am not sure what to
> call. I am currently calling/glossing it as a vocative, as it can serve a
> vocative function as in the two following examples.
> boi=o!
> boy=VOC
> 'hey, boy!'
> Tawaks=o!
> tawaks=VOC
> 'hey, Tawaks!'
> However, its distribution is wider than a true vocative insofar as it can
> occur at the end of an indicative clause, like the following example (I am
> simplifying the glosses for the sake of clarity).
> naraha'aiun wat=o! habu darai=o!
> it.strike.me COMPL=VOC FUT run=VOC
> 'It has struck me! I will run away!'
> The example is made up of two clauses that, if one simply deleted the
> "vocative" clitic =o, would be standard indicative clauses. It is clear
> that the clitic serves to make the utterance more sonorous, analogous to
> the lengthening of stressed syllables when calling out in English. But I am
> not certain what would be a term for this form that would not be confusing
> to a reader.
> Thank you ahead of time for any input. I can try to provide more
> information if something needs clarification.
> Respectfully,
> Thomas S. Diaz (He/Him)
> PhD Candidate
> Department of Linguistics
> University at Buffalo (SUNY)
> _______________________________________________
> Lingtyp mailing list
> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp

Adam J.R. Tallman
Post-doctoral Researcher
Friedrich Schiller Universität
Department of English Studies
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