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Punctuation in Context – Past and Present Perspectives

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Edited By Claudia Claridge and Merja Kytö

Punctuation is an integral element in writing and has been so for centuries. The present volume brings together approaches in linguistics, stylistics and other fields to highlight the rich repertoire of issues involved in the study of punctuation. The contributions to the book discuss the grammatical, pragmatic, rhetorical and stylistic functions of punctuation, such as encoding emotion, metalinguistic marking, foregrounding and paralinguistic indication. They also highlight the sensibility of punctuation to genre and the speech-writing continuum, as well as the important role punctuation plays for reader interpretation. They further demonstrate how punctuation conventions change in time. The data is drawn from English, with one investigation devoted to German.

Claudia Claridge is Professor of English linguistics at the University of Augsburg. Her research interests include the history of English with a focus on early and late Modern English, historical discourse studies, diachronic and synchronic pragmatics as well as corpus linguistics.

Merja Kytö is Professor of English Language at Uppsala University, specializing in English historical linguistics, corpus linguistics, historical pragmatics, and manuscript studies. She has published extensively on Early and Late Modern English, with particular interest in speech-related texts.