I've been trying to find an answer to this question for some time, and have finally decided to... well, buck up some courage and ask.
In sentences like these two
"Hello, Mary, how are you?"
"Don't touch that, John, it'll explode!"
is the comma after the name (Mary, John) a comma splice or not? I can understand that for instances like the following
"I can't believe, Howard, that you've put the duck in there."
the name is technically parenthetical, but it feels to me like the first two are clearly not. In the first two cases, I'd be much happier if the latter was replaced by a period or had a suitable conjunction added in. It feels to me, here, like the vocative is being used to justify attaching two independent clauses together in a similar manner to a comma splice, and is thus an error.
Any thoughts/information on this? I'll appreciate any answers anyone could give me on this, even if they are just 'Duh, that's obvious'. It's been bugging me for a while.