Well done Thomas!— how would you analyse that grammatically?
In this structure there don’t seem to be any other possibilities for the first slot, well. The only other possibility in second place seems to be played. The third slot can be a proper name or some other NP. It can also be a prepositional phrase with to.
Well played Tendulkar!
Well done London!
Well done me!
Well done the cast!
Well done to everyone involved.
Although the syntactic structure appears to be elliptical, it is not clear what has been ellipted. It would be ungrammatical, in modern English at least, to say *You have well done. The only permitted word order is You have done well. Even That was a job well done has an unusual word order.
That problem aside, what is the syntactic role of the final NP here? If it is a personal name, then you might think that it was a vocative.
Well played, Thomas!
There are two difficulties with calling it a vocative (except in the last example).
1. You can use this structure even if the person designated by the NP is not present. You can comment Well done Thomas even if Thomas is not in earshot. And the me of Well done me! can hardly be a vocative: you can say this while talking (boasting) to someone else.
He faced them down, so well done Obama, I say.
He won the vote, so well done the Prime Minister.
Well done me, don’t you think? (= Don’t you think I’ve done well?!)
2. In intonation, final vocatives are usually not accented.
ˈWell \played, Thomas!
But more usually in this structure the final NP is accented. (This is also shown by the absence of a comma before the NP in the written versions.)
ˈWell ˈplayed \Thomas!
ˈWell ˈdone \London.
ˈWell ˈdone \me, | ˌdon’t you /think?
In the current issue of the satirical fortnightly Private Eye there’s a spoof of Cameron’s conference speech (blog, 6 October). Each paragraph ends well done me. If you read it aloud, the only plausible intonation is with the nuclear accent on me each time.