What is vocative?

To begin to establish the meaning of the vocative term, the first thing we are going to do is determine its etymological origin. In this case, we have to say that it comes from Latin, specifically, it emanates from “vocativus” which can be translated as “relating to vocation”.

The notion is used in the field of grammar to refer to the case used for invoking or identifying an individual. It should be remembered that grammatical cases assign a morphosyntactic mark to a given speech element, according to its function in the verbal predicate. The vocative case allows you to name the person directly or call their attention.

Let’s take the case of the expression “Clean your room, Andrés”. In this sentence, “Andrés” is the vocative that specifies to whom the sender of the message is addressed. In other words, with this vocative it is clear that “Andrés” is the recipient of the order. The vocative can also be an interjection that allows you to emphasize the message or initiate communication. This is what happens with “che”, a term widely used in South American countries. For example: “Che, Ricardo, you have to deliver the report before four o’clock. ” In this case, “che” and “Ricardo” function as vocatives. As you can see, it would even be possible to dispense with “Ricardo”, although the receiver specification was eliminated: “Che, you have to deliver the report before four o’clock. ” In addition to the above, it is worth knowing other curiosities about the vocative, among which we can highlight the following:

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-In Romani, which is the language of the gypsies, there is a word that indicates the vocative. We are referring to “chabuk”, which means “boy”.

-In Valencian, on the other hand, this function of indicating the vocative is developed through the word “che”.

-In Arabic, this same task, that of coming to make the vocative clear, is carried out through the term “already”.

-In Old Castilian, for example, specifically during the Middle Ages, the word “hya” was used in this sense. In the past, certain interjections that functioned as vocatives made it possible to initiate a conversation or open up the possibility of a dialogue. If a person entered a house not knowing if anyone was inside the property, he might exclaim, “Ah de la casa!” . It is important to keep in mind that vocatives appear in languages ​​other than Spanish, although with particular characteristics in each case. It is important to note that in Latin the vocative assumes special importance. Because? Basically because that’s what one of his cases of decline is called. Specifically, in this language there are several declension models and they are none other than the following:

– Dominant case, which is responsible for marking what the subject is.

– Accusative case, which determines the object.

– Dative case, which indicates the indirect object of a noun.

-Locative case, which expresses the place.

– Vocative case, marks the being to which it is addressed.

-Genitive case, which determines the complement of the name of a noun.

– Ablative case, which indicates what circumstantial complements are.

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