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DELTA: Documentação de Estudos em Lingüística Teórica e Aplicada

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ROCHA, Iúta Lerche Vieira. Punctuation in the Western Writing System. DELTA [online]. 1997, vol.13, n.1, pp. 83-118. ISSN 1678-460X.

This overview article undertakes a survey of the punctuation system in the West from both diachronic and synchronic points of view. Punctuation is defined as the system of graphic signs developed through the centuries as complementary to the writing system properly speaking. An attempt is made to trace the early development to the Greeks and Latins. With invention of the printing in the Middle Ages, the diffusion of the complementary system received an additional impetus whose impact is felt even today. An examination of the Portuguese graphic system is followed by a discussion of its complexity as well as its internal contradictions. The graphic-spatial aspects of punctuation are also discussed, alongside the problem of pagination.

Keywords : Punctuation; Writing; Punctuation system; Punctuation history; Punctuation sign.

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