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This paper will examine some of the pragmatic and sociolinguistic factors that inform the poet's choice of (vocative) forms of address for characters in the Iliad in light of the Parry-Lord theory of oral composition and its claims of "economy of form" and the "essential idea." I will look specifically at two types of address: the given-name vs. the patronymic. From a sociolinguistic standpoint, the distribution of these forms is constrained by the relative social standing of the speaker and the addressee. Sociolinguistic factors such as degree of social distance and relative position within the social hierarchy combine with specific situational pragmatic factors to place constraints on the appropriateness of competing forms of address. In other words, the choice of form of address is affected by important matters of social hierarchy and the practical movement of the plot.