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Summary Details

Query:   Quotation marks
Author:  Stig W Joergensen
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Writing Systems
Ling & Literature

Summary:   Dear Linglist Subscribers,

Recently I posted a query asking for references to non-prescriptive
studies of the various uses of quotation marks. I have been happy to
receive many encouring messages supporting my view that this is an
interesting research subject for a linguist. In my posting, I supplied a
few examples of presumably non-orthodox uses, such as quotation marks
used to express that the writer is not sure about his or her choice of
words. I would like to stress that these were only meant as informal
examples of the sort of thing I'm looking for; however, several people
sent me interesting examples of uses I had not considered in the

Laura L. Koenig <>, Mai Kuha <>
and Daniel Collins <> all mentioned quotation marks
used for pure emphasis, particularly in signs:



I am not familiar with this use, which may be the same as the stylistic
usage mentioned in the Polish reference below (Luczynski 1999). I would
interested to know if anyone has observed this usage in other languages
(or in other English-speaking countries than the U.S.).

References were supplied by Emily Bender <bender@csli.Stanford.EDU>,
Lucja Biel <>, Daniel Collins
<>, Bart Geurts <>, Caroline
Leathem <>, Mike Maxwell <>,
Marc Picard <> (many references from the MLA
database), Carlos Rodr?guez <> (who also
provided a copy of the Kenyon 1994 paper), Diana Maria de Sousa Marques
Pinto dos Santos <>, J L Speranza
<> and Ulla Tuomarla <>.

Some of the references concern the history of quotation marks, the
treatment of quotations in the philosophy of language, linguistic
treatments of punctuation in generel, and other related topics. Of
course, I have not had the time to find and read all these papers, so I
just present the list alphabetically, with a few comments.

J Authier: "Paroles tenues a distance" Colloque des 24, 25, 26 avril
1980, Univ. Paris X - Nanterre

J Authier-Revuz : Ces mots qui ne vont pas de soi (Larousse 1995, 2
tomes). (metalanguage, quotation marks, etc.)

R Baudusch: "Einige Ausfuhrungen zu den Anfuhrungszeichen" Sprachpflege:
Zeitschrift fur Gutes Deutsch, New York, NY. 1983 Apr., 32:4, 49-53

B Buky: "What Do Quotation-Marks Reveal?/Qu'est-ce que revelent les
guillemets?" Proc. of IVth Internat. Cong./Actes du IVe Cong. Mondial,
Internat. Assn. for Semiotic Studies/Assn. Internat. de Semiotique, 1989

S Fiedler: "Citiloj: Cu nur iloj por citi?" Der Esperantist 1988, 24:5
(151), 104-106

J Findra: "Stylistika uvodzoviek" Slovenska Rec: Casopis Pre Vyskum
Slovenskeho Jazyka, Munich, Germany (SlRec). 1987, 52:6, 335-345

I Fonagy, "Reported speech in French and Hungarian," in Direct and
indirect speech, ed. Florian Coulmas, 255-309 (Berlin, 1986)

M Ishenko: "Translating Quotation Marks: Punctuating and Formatting
Issues in English-Russian Translation". In Macfarlane-Ann-G.
(compilation and preface). Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of
the American Translators Association, 1998

D Kaplan: "Quantifying In", "Synthese". (an intensional approach that
could be applied to quotations)

R Kenyon: "On the Use of Quotation Marks" A Review of General Semantics
1994. Spring, 51:1, 47-50

H Kluge: "Uber die Funktionen der Anfuhrungszeichen im 17. Jahrhundert"
In S G Andersson &
J K Hyldgaard Sprachgermanistik in Skandinavien. Goteborg, Sweden :

R Lakoff: "Some of my favorite writers are literate: The mingling of
oral and literate strategies in written communication," in Spoken and
written language: Exploring orality and literacy, ed. Deborah Tannen,
239-260 (Norwood, New Jersey, 1982)

C Leathem: "The prosody of quotation marks used in electronic
communication" (MSc dissertation, includes a bibliography)

J Lennard: "Punctuation: and--" (or something like that) in Historical
Pragmatics, ed. Andreas Jucker (Amsterdam, 1996).

J Lemke. (1998) "Multiplying meaning: visual and verbal semiotics in
scientific text." en
Reading Science: Critical and functional perspective on discourses of
science. ed. Martin,
J.R. & Robert Veel, Routledge

E Luczynski (1999): Wspolczesna Interpunkcja Polska. Gdansk: Wydawnictwo
Uniwersytetu Gdanskiego. (contemporary Polish punctuation. Chapter on
quotation marks, including stylistic usage, ironic usage and
metaphorical usage)

E Minarova & J Chloupek: "Vyrazy v publicistickem textu oznacene
uvozovkami" Nase-Rec 1983 Mar., 66:1, 14-22

G Nunberg: The Linguistics of Punctuation. Stanford, CA: CSLI
Publications. 1990.

E Pascual & M-P P?ry-Woodley (1997) "Mod?les de texte pour la
d?finition". Actas de Journ?es
Scientifiques et Techniques du R?seau Francophone de l'Ing?nierie de la
Langue, 15-16 abril,

M D Platts: Ways of Meaning: An Introduction to A Philosophy of Language
(London: RKP)

The Punctuation Project. Homepage includes bibliographies:

C. Rodriguez: Terminology and Knowledge Engineering 99 proceedings.
"Explicit metalinguistic
operations in specialised texts: the construction of lexical meaning".
Innsbruk august 1999

B Say: a number of publications on the semantic and discourse aspects of
punctuation marks, within the framework of Kamp and Reyle's Discourse
Representation Theory and Asher's extension to it, with computational
implications for NLP systems. List of publications and full copy of PhD
available at

T P Sadokhina: "Kavychki kak pokazatel' kontekstnogo znacheniia slova"
Russkii Iazyk v Shkole: Metodicheskii Zhurnal, Moscow, Russia (RJS).
1987 Jan.-Feb., 1, 56-59

D Santos: "Punctuation and multilinguality: Reflections from a language
engineering perspective". In Working Papers in Applied Linguistics 4/98,
redigert av Jo Terje Ydstie og Anne C. Wolleb?k. Oslo: Department of
linguistics, Faculty of Arts, University of Oslo, pp.138-60, available
from (RTF
format) or (PS
format) -- includes references

M Seymour: Indirect discourse and quotation. Philosophical Studies 74:
1-38, 1994

T Storel: "Sind 'Gansefusschen' eine Modeerscheinung?" Sprachpflege:
Zeitschrift fur Gutes Deutsch, New York, NY. 1988 Sept., 37:9, 128-131

C Washington: Quotation. The Journal of Philosophy 89: 582-605, 1992.

I wish to thank you all for your help and interest!



Stig W. Jorgensen, Assistant Research Professor
Dept. of Computational Linguistics,
Copenhagen Business School
Bernhard Bangs Alle 17B, DK-2000 Frederiksberg
phone: +45 38 15 31 30, email:

LL Issue: 10.1576
Date Posted: 21-Oct-1999
Original Query: Read original query


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