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5.7 Nouns (used as pronouns) of address

As noted, proper nouns can be converted partially and semantically to function as second person pronouns. As such, they can be used as vocatives. A subset of vocatives can also be used as pronouns of address. The difference between a vocative and a pronoun of address is that the vocative is outside the syntactic structure of the clause, whereas a pronoun of address is part of the syntactic structure. In Saterland Frisian, nouns are not used as pronouns of address inside the clause.


Saterland Frisian uses the second person pronouns to adress the addressee. In West Frisian it is possible to use for example family nouns inside a clause as what is semantically a second person pronoun, though the syntactic agreement is third person. This phenomenon was also found in older coastal dialects of Dutch (with Frisian substrate). In this respect, it resembles reverential (or formal) pronouns of address, which likewise often testify to a mismatch between semantic and syntactic features.

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