uncle (when addressing directly)

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Olympia28

Senior Member
Australia, English
Γεια σας,

I recently came across the note in the word reference dictionary that states when addressing one's uncle directly, we would use θείε and not so much θείο.

But is this strictly always the case? Can I not address my uncle as θείο directly, in conversation? Are both acceptable?

Thank you.
 
  • διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    Γεια σου, Olympia28,

    "θείε" is the vocative form of "θείος" (see the declension table in θείος - Wiktionary ).

    The vocative case is used to "call" someone, as in "Uncle, what do you think about this?" or "Thank you, uncle". I don't know whether there are exceptions, but this is the rule. In many cases, such as most female and neuter nouns, the vocative case does not differ from the nominative case.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I just asked my husband, who is a native speaker. He says that, colloquially (στα χωριά :)) some speakers might use the nominative form rather than the vocative.
     

    dmtrs

    Senior Member
    Greek
    "θείε" is the vocative form of "θείος"
    διαφορετικός is right.

    I understand that sometimes a masculine first name has an -o ending instead of -e in the vocative
    bearded is also right. Sometimes both endings are valid, usually one of them more handy (λύκε + λύκο, θείε + θείο).

    colloquially (στα χωριά :)) some speakers might use the nominative form rather than the vocative.
    "Θείο" is not the nominative (that would be "θείος"); it is a second form for the vocative. It's true that "θείο" is sometimes used in villages, but it is also used everywhere in a playful and/or playfully offensive (I hope this 'term' is clear) way (Σιγά ρε θείο, με ξενύχιασες!) for older people -that are nobody's uncle, really.
     

    learning_greek_siga_siga

    New Member
    Romanian
    I read somewhere that the forms ending in -ο in vocative are used for names ending in -ος which have two syllables (Γιώργος -> Γιώργο, Νίκος -> Νίκο). All the rest of the nouns ending in -ος will have -ε in the vocative, regardless if they are names or common nouns (Μάριος -> Μάριε, θείος -> θείε, Θέος -> Θέε)
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Βρήκα εδώ μία ενδιαφέρουσα απάντηση και την παραθέτω:
    Σε ό,τι αφορά την κλητική αρσενικών επωνύμων με κατάληξη -ος, όταν ο τονισμός είναι στη λήγουσα, τότε η κατάληξη είναι σε –ε, π.χ. κύριος Ξινός-κύριε Ξινέ. Το ζήτημα είναι πιο σύνθετο όταν ο τονισμός είναι στην παραλήγουσα, όπως στην περίπτωση που επικαλείστε. Σύμφωνα με τη γραμματική Τριανταφυλλίδη (σ. 87) και Χατζησσαβίδη (σ. 35), σχηματίζουν την κλητική ενικού σε -ο και όχι σε -ε (μερικά από αυτά και σε –ε):
    Α) τα παροξύτονα βαφτιστικά ονόματα (Αλέκος, Γιώργος, Πέτρος, κλπ., αλλά το Παύλος έχει κλητική Παύλος και Παύλε) και επώνυμα, καθώς και μερικά παροξύτονα κοινά ουσιαστικά (γέρος, διάκος, κλπ., αλλά το καπετάνιος και θείος έχουν την κλητική σε –ο και σε –ε).
    Β) μερικά οξύτονα χαϊδευτικά βαφτιστικά: Γιαννακό, Δημητρό, Μανολιό κ.ά.
    Γ) κάποια παροξύτονα υποκοριστικά και επώνυμα σε -άκος (Παυλάκος, δασκαλάκος)
    Θα μπορούσαμε να πούμε, με βάση τις παραπάνω παρατηρήσεις και σχετικές συζητήσεις, ότι η κατάληξη σε –ε είναι περισσότερο λόγια, ενώ η κατάληξη σε –ο δηλώνει μεγαλύτερη οικειότητα (βλ. παραπάνω το β). Επομένως, το αν θα πει κανείς κύριε Ευαγγελάτε ή Ευαγγελάτο είναι περισσότερο θέμα επιλογής ύφους και όχι τόσο θέμα σωστού / λάθους.
    Β. Αδάμπα
    Κέντρο Ελληνικής Γλώσσας
    Η γραμματική Τριανταφυλλίδη αναφέρει επίσης ότι μερικά παροξύτονα ουσιαστικά έχουν την κλητική σε -ο, π.χ. γέρο, διάκο · το καμαρότος και το καπετάνιος έχουν την κλητική σε -ο και σε .
     

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    dmtrs

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Can you define these cases? (As a rule or as a (hopefully complete) list of examples?)
    Hi διαφορετικέ.
    Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any rules defining these nouns. I believe it's a matter of a sense of the language that's difficult for a non native speaker to acquire. All I can suggest is Perseas' answer in #7 and the following (from Γλωσσική Διδασκαλία (Α Γυμνασίου): Ηλεκτρονικό Βιβλίο):

    a.jpg
     

    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    Thank you for your reply, dmtrs. I am not surprised that there seem to be no such rules, since most rules which do exist (the rules to distinguish the case -ο from -ε vocative ending) are vague: they contain the words "ορισμένα", "μερικά" ...
     

    Olympia28

    Senior Member
    Australia, English
    I just asked my husband, who is a native speaker. He says that, colloquially (στα χωριά :)) some speakers might use the nominative form rather than the vocative.
    Thank you! The context of 'στα χωριά' is especially relevant as the dialogue is from an elderly lady from the countryside. I can see that while strictly θείε is correct, it's not unheard of that θείο might be used.
     

    Librarian44

    Member
    Greek
    I recently came across the note in the word reference dictionary that states when addressing one's uncle directly, we would use θείε and not so much θείο.
    Hi Olympia28!
    You will never be taught at school the vocative that ends in ο, as proven by dmtrs and the grammar book he quotes. I fully agree with velisarius's husband that this is a form that is not used by educated people ("used in the villages") unless in the way that velisarius notes ("in a playful and/or playfully offensive way"). The use of θείος (or θεία/θειά in the case of women) when addressing older people, whom you don't really know, or close friends of the family who are not blood relatives, is influenced by the use in Turkish of amca and teyze in similar situations. Note that the use of μπάρμπας (meaning θείος) is more common than θείος when addressing older people. First names obey their own rules (Παύλο, Γιώργο but always Γεώργιε).
     
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