A Pragma-Syntactic Study of Vocative in Selected English Novels

Abstract

AbstractThis paper attempts to investigate the syntactic-pragmatic relationship associated with vocative use in two English novels–namely, Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813) and Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (1926). Leech (1999) is adopted as a model for the analysis of vocative in the selected novels. Three hundred vocatives are quantitatively analysed according to the model of analysis adopted in this study. These 300 vocatives (150 vocatives from each novel) are randomly selected from all over the novels as a representative sample of them. The results have verified all of the study hypotheses and proved the applicability of Leech’s (1999) model. In both novels, the most frequently used function of vocative is the address function whereas the least common one is emotive function. The functions that are most likely to be simultaneously combined (by bifunctional vocatives) are the call and addressee-identifying functions on one hand, and the addressee-identifying and address functions on the other hand. Besides, the syntactic position of vocative in the sentence in which it occurs matters in the sense that it is conspicuously related to its pragmatic functions. Keywords: vocative, syntactic position, pragmatic function, syntactic-pragmatic.