Punctuation marks: Procedural and conceptual uses

Esther Borochovsky Bar-Aba*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This paper concerns the shift of punctuation marks from signs in the written mode of language to the use of their names as lexical items in the spoken variety. The lexical use of these items in Modern Hebrew is shown to either display the original procedural function, whether organizational or attitudinal, or a conceptual semantic role in addition to, or instead of, their original procedural function. A correlation between form and function is demonstrated whereby the entities fulfilling a procedural function tend to be morpho-syntactically frozen and more loosely connected to the syntactic construction with which they co-occur, while the lexical entities functioning conceptually display a fuller syntactic and morpho-syntactic integration and show the expected productivity associated with the relevant central syntactic units.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1031-1048
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2003


  • Conceptual (meaning)
  • Discourse (markers)
  • Hebrew
  • Procedural (meaning)
  • Punctuation
  • Spoken (and written language)


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