La Punteggiatura tra restrizioni e creatività

Journal title CADMO
Author/s Marco Svolacchia
Publishing Year 2007 Issue 2007/2
Language Italian Pages 30 P. 41-70 File size 391 KB
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The paper argues that punctuation far from being a rule of thumb operation (a) relies heavily on syntactic awareness, and (b) either permits or requires a creative usage. As a general background to the discussion, two principles are proposed which underlie the rules and practice of punctuation (Parsing Criterion, and ‘Consistency Criterion’). Some critical cases are examined, which lead to the notion of cognitive opacity in syntax. Some other cases are brought to attention which illustrate to what extent syntactic awareness is in order to produce good punctuation. Finally, some aspects are discussed which demand a genuinely creative usage of punctuation, either related to stylistic variation (tempo of reading) or to some domains of syntax which are apart from any known dogma or practice. As for the educational implications, evidence from punctuation strongly confirms that written language is not learnt as spontaneously as spoken language is, and that improvement in (and therefore the teaching of) linguistic awareness is a key requirement for good writing. Keywords written language, punctuation, parsing, consistency, creativity

Marco Svolacchia, La Punteggiatura tra restrizioni e creatività in "CADMO" 2/2007, pp 41-70, DOI: