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Thread: Neo-vocative

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    Почётный участник ShakeyX's Avatar
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    Neo-vocative

    Just found this on wikipedia and thought I would share it as it's pretty interested.

    Russian

    Historical vocative

    The historical Slavic vocative has been lost in Russian, and currently can only be found in certain cases of archaic expressions. Few of those expressions, mostly of religious origin, are very common in colloquial Russian: "Боже!" (Bozhe, vocative of "Бог" Bog, "God"), often also used in expression "Боже мой!" (Bozhe moy, "My God!"), and "Господи!" (Gospodi, vocative of "Господь" Gospod', "Lord"), which can also be expressed as "Господи Иисусе!" (Gospodi Iisuse!, Iisuse vocative of "Иисус" Iisus, "Jesus"), vocative is also used in prayers, e.g. "Отче наш!" (Otche nash, "Our Father!"). These expressions are used to express strong emotions (much like English "O my God!"), and are often combined ("Господи, Боже мой"). More examples of historical vocative can be found in other Biblical quotes that are sometimes used as proverbs, e.g. "Врачу, исцелися сам" (Vrachu, istselisya sam, "Physician, heal thyself", cf. nominative "врач", vrach). Vocative forms are also used in modern Church Slavonic. The patriarch and bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church are addressed as "владыко" (vladyko, hegemon, cf. nominative "владыка", vladyka). In the latter case the vocative form is often also incorrectly used as nominative to refer to bishops and the patriarchs.

    Neo-vocative

    In modern colloquial Russian given names and a small family of terms often take a special "shortened" form that some linguists consider to be a reemerging vocative case. This form is applied only to given names and nouns that end in -a and -я, which are optionally dropped in the vocative form: "Лен, где ты?" ("Lena, where are you?"). This is basically equivalent to "Лена, где ты?", the only difference being that the former version suggests a positive personal, emotional bond between the speaker and the person being addressed. Names ending in -я acquire a soft sign in this case: "Оль!" = "Оля!" ("Olga!"). In addition to given names, this form is often used with words like "мама" (mama, mom) and "папа" (papa, dad), which would be respectively "shortened" to "мам" (mam) and "пап" (pap). In plural this form is used with words such as "ребят", "девчат" (nominative: "ребята" "девчата", guys gals).
    Such usage differs from historical vocative (which would be "Лено" in the example above) and is not related[citation needed] to such historical usage.
    So I dunno if this was an error but as I highlighted (underlined in the above quote) it says it is applied to given names AND nouns that end in -a -я... I don't know if they meant NAMES rather than NOUNS but if so... what animate/inanimate objects can you use the vocative in, and how does the vocative work on male names for example my name Джейк!

  2. #2
    Властелин
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    i can't think of any case when this would be used other than when addressing someone (so this should be a person/persons, it even sounds awkward when used with a dog/cat, because this immediately establishes a closer contact, in most cases this shortened form is used to quickly address someone, when attention must be drawn immediately, hence this short form).... There might be some similarity here to when you say Bob! instead of Bobby! instead of Robert... but this is not the exact similarity... I think functionally this is used to address quicker (we always tend to save milliseconds in real communication) and to immediately establish contact.

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShakeyX View Post
    So I dunno if this was an error but as I highlighted (underlined in the above quote) it says it is applied to given names AND nouns that end in -a -я... I don't know if they meant NAMES rather than NOUNS but if so... what animate/inanimate objects can you use the vocative in, and how does the vocative work on male names for example my name Джейк!
    It is appliable to both given names and nouns ending in -а or -я.

    Vocative is used to call someone so it is applicable to animate objects that can (potentially) react to your call. Neo-vocative has no specific form for Джейк, because Джейк does not end in -а or -я.

    Male names:
    (Nominative - Neo-Vocative)
    Данила - Данил
    Витя - Вить
    ...
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsms View Post
    ...it even sounds awkward when used with a dog/cat, because this immediately establishes a closer contact...
    Кис-кис-кис!
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Завсегдатай maxmixiv's Avatar
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    Just remembered an old joke on the Russian TV:

    - Вовк, а Вовк?
    - Ну чё тебе, Коль?

    Normally these phrases should be:
    - Вовка, а Вовка?
    - Ну чего тебе, Коля?
    Or even:
    - Владимир, а Владимир?
    - Ну чего тебе, Николай?
    This neo-vocative still sounds a bit "country", so I more like "normal" names:
    Вовка! За хлебом сбегай, я забыла, а?.. Да, — и макароны захвати.

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