Publication details [#63981]

Hamawand, Zeki. 2018. The status of punctuation marks in Cognitive Grammar. Cognitive Linguistic Studies 5 (2) : 189–207.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This paper seeks to provide a new analysis of punctuation marks in English. To do so, it substantiates two claims of Cognitive Grammar. One claim is that the meaning of a linguistic expression is best understood in terms of the domain to which it belongs. In light of this claim, the paper argues that punctuation marks form sets in which they highlight similarities in general but differences in specifics. The other claim is that the use of a linguistic expression is governed by the particular construal imposed on its content. In view of this claim, the paper argues that the use of a punctuation mark stems from the particular construal the speaker chooses to describe a situation. The occurrence of two or more punctuation marks gives rise to semantic contrast, in which each mark represents a different construal, and so a different meaning. The aim of the analysis is to emphasise the roles which punctuation marks play in the interpretation of sentences, namely in conveying meaning.