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w20c Singular count nouns in vocative phrases can have an article

Definition
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    Singular count nouns in vocative phrases

    To code for all possibilities, and for ease of the task, there are five property definitions for singular count nouns in vocative phrases:

    can be bare, must have an article, can have an article, must have a special vocative marker, can have a special vocative marker


w20c: Singular count nouns in vocative phrases can have an article


This property is set to "yes" if an unmodified morphologically singular count noun in a vocative phrase can:

  1. occur with an “article” (or, if the language doesn’t have article, a phonologically weak, deictically unmarked demonstrative)
  2. (for languages without articles but with classifiers, noun classes, case, adpositional endings…) exhibits no structural alternation with noun phrases containing a definite singular count noun in object position.



Elicitation Contexts

_________ lady! Please, come here!
I am sorry, _________ man, I cannot answer your question.


Additional instructions

  1. The singular count noun must be unmodified (no quantifiers, no adjectives, no possessors, no relative clauses, no adpositional complements ...)
  2. The following classes of nouns should NOT be considered when checking this property:
    1. Proper names (John! Please, come here!)
    2. kinship nouns (mom! Please, come here!)
    3. Names of God(s) used in prayers (bless us, o Lord)
    4. Nouns referring to institutional offices (please, Mr. Presidentcome to South Carolina!)

Examples

1.

Rumanian is “yes” for this property. Singular count vocative nouns can have a definite article.


(i) copile, nu mai striga! (Espinal 2013)
child.VOC no more shout
Child! Don’t shut anymore!


(ii) sefā, ce mai e nou?
boss.the.F.S what more is new
What’s new, boss?


2.

Basque is “no” for this property. Singular count vocative nouns cannot have any article; they must be bare.


(i) bai, jauna!
yes sir-a
yes, sir!


(ii) haika, mutil, jeiki hadi!
rise boy get.up AUX
rise, boy, get up!


The noun jaun, in vocative phrases, cannot occur without the article –a (Artiagoitia 2012: 36, ex 33a).


(iii) *bai, jaun!
yes sir
Intended: yes, sir!


3.

English is “no” for this property. Singular count vocative nouns cannot have any article; they must be bare.


(i) a. lady! Can you please come here?
b. *the/a lady! Can you please come here?

(ii) a. I’m afraid, sir, that my coyote is nibbling on your leg (Schaden 2010)
b. *I’m afraid, the/a sir, that my coyote is nibbling on your leg

(iii) a. come here, boy!
b. * come here, the/a boy!


4.

Italian is “no” for this property. Singular count vocative nouns cannot have any article; they must be bare.


(i) a. signora! Può venire qui, per piacere?
lady! can come here, please?
Lady! Can you please come here?
b. *la/una signora! Può venire qui, per piacere?
the lady! can come here, please?


(ii) a, credo proprio di no, ragazzo
believe.1S really of not, boy
I really don’t believe so, boy
b, *credo proprio di no, il/un ragazzo
believe.1S really of not, the/a boy


(iii) come stai, amico?
how stay.2S friend
how are you, friend?


5.

German is “no” for this property. Singular count vocative nouns are ungrammatical with an article.


(i) *hey der Wikinger runter von meinem Schiff! (Schaden 2010)
hey the viking down from my ship
hey Viking, down from my ship!


6.

Catalan is “no” for this property. Singular count nouns in vocative phrases are ungrammatical with an article (Espinal 2011: 3 ex. 8d/e).

(i) a. *eh el company
VOCPART the guy
Intended:Hey guy!
b. *eh un company
VOCPART a guy
Intended:Hey guy!

Contributed by: Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
Language Value Contributor Comments
   Akan-twi No AUGUSTINA OWUSU
   Basaa No Paul Roger Bassong
   Calabrian (Northern) Yes Giuseppina Silvestri
+ Cantonese (Guangzhou) Yes Zixian Qiu
  Words: nei wai sinsaang, ceng gwolei
  Gloss: this CLF sir please come-here
  Translation: lit. *This/The Sir, please come here.
  Contributor: Zixian Qiu
   Cypriot Greek No Marios Andreou
   Dida Lakota (diéko) No Gohon Fabienne Stéphanie Attéby
   Dutch No Hilda Koopman
   English No the property authors
   French (Ivorian) No Akpoué Josué
   Greek No Dimitris Michelioudakis
   Greek (Calabria) No Cristina Guardiano
   Greek (Cappadocian) No Petros Karatsareas
+ Hebrew (Biblical) Yes Massimo Gargiulo "The person that is addressed (vocative), since it is always determinate, should always have the article; in fact the article is often omitted, especially in poetry or in loft prose" (Muraoka)
  Comment: "The person that is addressed (vocative), since it is always determinate, should always have the article; in fact the article is often omitted, especially in poetry or in loft prose" (Muraoka)
  Contributor: Massimo Gargiulo
   Italian No Cristina Guardiano
   Italian (Reggiano) No Giovanni Roversi
   Korean No Shin-Sook Kim
   Latin No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Oluwanga (Eji) No Ceciliane Odangah
   Portuguese No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Romanian Yes Monica Alexandrina Irimia
   Russian No Nina Radkevich
   Sicilian No Cristina Guardiano
+ Teramano Yes Iara Mantenuto
  Words: la siŋo, kə pu mənə a lu merkatə?
  Gloss: the.SG.F Miss that can come.3SG to the.SG.M market.SG.M
  Translation: ‘Miss, can you come to the market?’
  Comment: It can be used but with irony.
  Contributor: Iara Mantenuto
   Tupi (Ancient) No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Turkish No Sozen Ozkan
   Wuhu Chinese No Zhuo Chen
   Xhosa No Xiujie Ma