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The object of the thesis is three punctuation marks: comma, dash, hyphen and their usage in the English and Lithuanian languages. These three punctuation marks are analysed in the context of historical development of punctuation distinguishing two main trends: rhetorical and grammatical, which influenced the changes of a text presentation in English and Lithuanian languages.
Motivational basis of the research. While reading and writing in English and Lithuanian, the differences in the sentence structure and the usage of punctuation marks (comma, dash, and hyphen) were noticed. The texts, especially their translations (in Lithuanian, or visa versus, in English), showed the specific word orders and the use of marks, which might change meaning of a part or the whole sentence. The difference of punctuating the relative clauses attracted attention for the analysis of the punctuation, and formed the motivation basis of the research.
The aim of the research paper is to provide the analysis of the use of three punctuation marks (comma, dash and hyphen) and their functions in different functional styles (scientific and belles-lettres) best reflecting the grammatical and rhetoric trends of punctuation development and to identify similarities and differences of their use in English and Lithuanian.
The main tasks for attaining the aim are:
to review the process of punctuation development and the rise of two trends: traditional (rhetorical) and modern (grammatical);
to study the semantic influence of punctuation marks (comma, dash, hyphen) punctuating the sentences and texts. ( Äia norÄ-jau pasakyti, jog viena iÅ¡ uÅ¾duoÄiÅ³; patyrinÄ-ti, kaip ne vietoje padÄ-tas skyrybos Å¾enklas, gali pakeisti dalies ar viso sakinio reikÅ¡mÄ™.)
to analyse the functions and the distribution of comma, dash and hyphen used in the texts of scientific and belles-lettres styles of English and Lithuanian languages;
For this thesis, the analytical, interpretative, and comparative methods are used. The analytical method is used for the introduction of scientific literature sources related to the punctuation, its development, and the functions of punctuation marks. The application of interpretative method shows the variation of punctuation marks; their influence on the meaning of a sentence and functions in the fields of rhetoric and syntax. The comparative method is used for the analysis of punctuation marks (comma, dash, and hyphen) in the original (English) and translated (Lithuanian) texts, of scientific and belles-lettres styles.
Literature review: The historical development of punctuation, namely English punctuation, can be dated at the end of the sixteenth century. (Lithuanian punctuation started to be used at the early beginning of eighteenth century.) The growing need of written (biblical) texts influenced the scientists to develop a particular system of symbols that could carry the same or, at least, similar intonational and emotional load, which was produced in the oral language by the help of supra-segmental units (intonation, tone, pitch, pauses). The history of the development of punctuation was best presented in the works of eighteenth century. The scientists, such as Walker (1829) Wilson, (1856), Hewings (1995) ValeckienÄ-, (1989),Å arÄeviÄ‡ (1997) analysed the punctuation from historical perspective.
The historical development of grammar provided a possibility to analyse punctuation from two different trends: traditional (rhetorical) and modern (grammatical). These two trends and their characteristics were dealt with in the works by the English and Lithuanian scientists and grammarians. The punctuation from rhetorical perspective was analysed by Walker (1829), Wilson (1856), Meiklejohn (1915), Hewings(1995) Nolan (2006), Tredinnick (2008)(English scientists); and by BalkeviÄius (1963), Å½uperka (2001), NauckÅ«naitÄ- (2002) (Lithuanian scientists.) They saw as a system of principles that arose" from nature of the living voice, from the perception of harmony in the ear, and from a certain super addition to the sense of language, of which grammar took no account." (Walker, 1829:40) Rhetorical punctuation was of oral manner; a listener could hear the pauses, or specific variation of tone, but he could not see the symbols, which were used in the written form of presentation. The punctuation from grammatical perspective was analysed by Wiliams, Halt (1919), Firbas( 1992), Å arÄeviÄ‡ 1997) Review (2001) Peterson (2003), Truss (2003), Alexander (2005), Austey (2005), Strauss (2007), Wiliams (2009) (English grammarians); and by Kondratas (1996), LKE (1999), TuomaitÄ- (2002), Labutis (2002), AbaraviÄius (2002), Drukteinis (2006) (Lithuania grammarians). The scientists of both languages agreed that punctuation from grammatical point of view was "a device of the communication and the expression of thoughts, presented in the form of colloquial language or written text". (Labutis, 2002: 7) Punctuation (especially, the marks) separated or combined particular parts of a sentence, or the whole units, marked the beginning or the end of a sentence, showed it functional meaning (i.e. the writers intention to ask, command, or plead). The style of written text also influenced the choice of punctuation.
Analysing the use and functions of punctuation marks (comma, dash and hyphen), it was noticed that English punctuation became more strict; i.e. the liberty of the choosing punctuation marks was lost at the beginning of twentieth century. The Lithuanian punctuation, on the contrary, from the strict system of rules, recently became more liberal; i.e. apart from the required punctuation, liberty for the author to choose the marks according his intention to specify the emotional weight of a sentence was provided.
The empirical data of the research. For the analysis of punctuation and comparison of its use in English and Lithuania, two works (originals and translations) representing different functional styles were chosen: Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics by J. Lyons and The Forsyte Saga by J. Galsworthy as examples of scientific style and the belles-lettres style, respectively. The scientific style is believed to follow the grammatical tradition of punctuation, and the belles-lettres style, the rhetorical tradition. Two hundred examples (one hundred for each style) were chosen with the aim of identifying similarities and differences of punctuation in different functional styles in English and Lithuanian
The structure of the research: the thesis consists of an introduction, two main chapters, conclusions, and the list of references to the literature used in this analysis. The first chapter of the thesis presents a theoretical introduction to the history of punctuation development and the two trends of punctuation usage in English and Lithuanian: traditional (rhetorical) and modern (grammatical). For the analysis, three punctuation marks are chosen: comma, dash, and hyphen. Their grammatical functions and equivalents in rhetoric (intonation, pitch, and tone) are analysed in the first chapter of the thesis.
The second chapter of the thesis presents the practical analysis of punctuation marks. For the purpose, two functional styles are chosen: scientific and belles-lettres. This chapter analyses the grammatical functions of comma, dash, and hyphen in the sentences of the original (English) texts and their translations into Lithuanian, as well as the similarities and differences of their use in the compared languages.