• Daniel C. O’Connell
  • Sabine Kowal
Part of the Cognition and Language: A Series in Psycholinguistics book series (CALS)

Chapter Prospectus

Chapter 9, Punctuation, emphasizes both the historic and current importance of punctuation for understanding written discourse in silent reading and for the reading aloud thereof. What was originally used to signal breath breaks in reading aloud has in the course of time come to signal for the most part division into structural units in both silent reading and reading aloud, thus serving to disambiguate meaning and provide clues for coherence of the written. Punctuation in the written is not an adequate substitute for prosody in spontaneous spoken discourse; punctuation has, therefore, only a remote relationship to prosody. However, in the case of reading aloud, the relationship is much closer. And even in the case of written texts themselves, punctuation can be used rhetorically to simulate spontaneous spoken discourse (e.g., “What the hell!”). As we have discussed in Chapter 4, conventional punctuation marks are frequently used in notation systems for...


Write Text Quotation Mark Silent Reading Pause Duration Syntactic Function 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel C. O’Connell
    • 1
  • Sabine Kowal
    • 2
  1. 1.Georgetown UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Technische Universität Institut für Sprache und KommunikationGermany

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