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Original scientific paper

Linguistic functions of the vocative as a morphological, syntactic and pragmatic-semantic category

Maja Glušac orcid id ; University of Osijek
Ana Mikić Čolić ; University of Osijek

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The vocative as a pragmatic-semantic category, i.e. vocativeness as an appellative category, is a means of expressing many linguistic functions. From the functional point of view, vocative expressions are never monosemic, i.e. they do not serve only a conative function, as explicitly defined in the literature, but they very frequently perform other linguistic functions as well – especially the emotive function (expressing speaker’s feelings, personal attitude towards the interlocutor) and the poetic one. As a means of establishing and maintaining communication, i.e. checking the functioning of the communication channel, vocative expressions perform a phatic function as well. The referential function of vocative expressions is confined to the subject and predicative role in the language of folk poetry, and this paper shows that such a role in the contemporary Croatian language can also be performed by vocative expressions in the role of predicate adjuncts and adverbials with certain verbs.


linguistic functions, the vocative, appellativeness, conativeness, expressiveness

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Article data in other languages: croatian

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