vocative or nominative

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Rethliopuks, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Rethliopuks Member

    Shenzhen, PRC
    Some times you'll exclaim something like this:
    Or perhaps what is being addressed is not whom you're talking to:
    ---Oh my god, a bike!
    ---Bruce! He can tell them the answer.
    Or sometimes you'll want to stress a specific part:
    ---It's green. Green! I hate green.
    ---That man was/you are tall!
    Or, when cheering:
    ---Roger! Roger!

    So here is the question: which case should be respectively applied if a Roman was actually going to do so? Vocative or nominative?
  2. dubitans Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria
    German - Austria
    The vocative is used for addressing persons, animals and things. Yes, you can address animals and things. Note: for addressing, and for addressing only. None of your cases seems to live up to this criterion.
    Example: Francisce, velisne mecum ambulare? - Francis, do you want to take a walk with me?
  3. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member


    Most of the examples cited by Rethliopuks are defined by grammarians as "exclamations".

    Latin has various means, more or less polite, of expressing such things.

    Perhaps most commonly, by insertion of an exclamatory word:

    mehercle! velocipedem! ("By heavens! a bicycle!")

    Alternatively by the simple single word - in the case demanded by the context:

    Brutus! scit ille sane quid faciamus. ("Bruce! Of course he will know what we should do")

    viridem togam comparavi. ("I have acquired a green toga")
    VIRIDEM? ("A green one?!")

    In other words there is no single Latin method of covering the kinds of instance cited - not least because there are different tones of voice implied even in the English, and different social postures, and it is certainly not a simple choice between Nominative and Vocative or any other case.

    bene volens


Share This Page