Punctuation in English and Kurdish A Contrastive Study

Main Article Content

Elham M. Qadir
Hunar H. Padar


Punctuation, of paramount significance in written discourse analysis, is a highly developed system which modifies linguistic forms on phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic strata in written texts. Nevertheless, until recently, it has not received ample attention due to remaining in the shade of prosody or grammatical relations. In the last few decades, strikingly, it has been established that a genuine conception of the written language is impracticable if punctuation is not taken into consideration. Meanwhile, cross-linguistic studies have been recommended by some scholars (e.g. Little, 1986; Krahn, 2014); thus, though some studies have been conducted comparing the English punctuation system with that of other languages, there is a dearth of studies exploring this crucial aspect of written discourse in English and Kurdish. Therefore, drawing on Krahn's new paradigm (2014) which treats punctuation as an independent linguistic feature of the written modality, the present paper aims to cross-examine the punctuation system in both languages in a quest for outlining any similarities and differences that the two languages uncover in this area. More specifically, the study seeks to answer these questions: how are the punctuation marks different or similar in English and Kurdish? Does the punctuation system exhibit the same level of complexity in both languages? Are all the punctuation marks manifested in English realised in Kurdish either and vice versa? The paper is purely based on a qualitative research approach. The results show that the two languages bear significant similarities and differences in the manifestation and employment of punctuation symbols. Yet, the punctuation system in English is more complex than Kurdish. Punctuation in the static and dynamic axes instantiates an area of considerable divergence between the two languages-though some similarities are predominant.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Qadir, E. M. and Padar , H. H. . (2022) “Punctuation in English and Kurdish: A Contrastive Study”, Koya University Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 5(1), pp. 41-61. doi: 10.14500/kujhss.v5n1y2022.pp41-61.


Alqinai, J. B., 2006. Mediating Punctuation in English and Arabic Translation. Kuait University. Retrieved from https://journals.library.mun.ca/ojs/index.php/LA/article/view/864. Accessed June, 2021.

Baldwin, S. R. and. Coady, J. 1978. Psycholinguistic Approaches to a Theory of Punctuation. Journal of Literacy Research. Pp.10.363-375.

Bayraktar, M., Say, B., and Akman, V., 1998. An analysis of Punctuation: the Special Case of Comma. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/28762309_An_Analysis_of_English_Punctuation_The_Special_Case_of_Commma. Accessed on August 10, 2018.

Brown, K. and Miller, J., 2013. The Cambridge Dictionary of Linguistics. Cambridge: Cup

Casagrande, J., 2014. The Best Punctuation Book, Period: a Comprehensive Guide for Every Writer, Editor, Student, and Businessperson. US: Ten Speed Press.

Crystal, D., 1992. An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Language and Languages. Cambridge: Blackwell.

Crystal, D.1997. A dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. Pp 134-135. Oxford: Blackwell.

Crystal, D. 2010. The Cambridge encyclopedia of language. 3rd Edition. Cambridge: CUP.

Dawkins, John., 2003. Teaching Meaning-based Punctuation. Teaching English

in the two-year college 31. Pp 154-62.

Dizayee, A. M., 2013. Roli Wisha la Runkrdinaway Watada" Lekoleenawayaki Watasazya". Mujalat Al-ustadh , No.206: Univerity of Saladee Pp 641-666. Retrieved from https://www.iasj.net/iasj/download/8c8616d94709c134. Accessed September 10, 2020.

Doran, C.D., 1998. Incorporating Punctuation into the Sentence Grammar: a LexicalizedT Tree Adjoining Grammar Perspective. An Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. University of Penysilviana. Retrieved from http://repository.uppenn.edu./ircs-reports. Accessed 5, July, 2018.

Ehrlich, E., 1992. Theory and Problems of Punctuation, Capitalization, and Spelling[2nd Ed.]. Hong Kong: McGraw-Hill.

Elliot, R., 2006. Painless Grammar (2nd ed). Hauppauge, NY: Barron's.

Fasold, R. and Connor-Linton, J (Eds.)., 2006. An Introduction to Language and Linguistics. Cambridge: CUP.

Garner, A., 2016. The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation. London: The Chicago University Press.

Giardino, V., 2013. Towards a Diagrammatic Classification. The Knowledge Engineering Review 28. pp237-248.

Hashmi, D. 2020 Xalbandi Kurdy. Retrieved from http:// Instagram.com/ diakohashmi. Accessed April 2020.

Hatim, A. 2004. Contrastive Text Linguistics. Cambridge: CUP.

Jaf, Z., K., 2011. Amanj u jorakani xalbandi in Xabat (3771) May 13, 2011: Erbil.

Jarvie, G., 1992. Chambers Punctuation Guide. Edinburgh: Chambers.

Kayumuva, A., 2015. Cross-linguistic Influence on Punctuation: The English and Russian Dash in Contact. Journal of International Scientific publications. Vol. 9. Pp154-166. Retrieved from www.scientific.publications.net. Accessed on August 22, 2020.

Khursheed, S. [ed]., 2014. Renusi Kurdi[e-book]. Zanstparwarani Kurd. Retrieved from.

https://www.slideshare.net/SarchiaKhursheed/renusi-kurdi. Accessed on August 20, 2020.

Krahn, A. E., 2014. A New Paradigm for Punctuation. An unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Wisconsin: Milwaukee.

Kurdish Academy., 2009. Towards a Unified Kurdish Alphabet: Conference Recommendations. Erbil : Kurdish Academy Press.

Lennard, John., 2011. In/visible Punctuation. Visible Language 45. Pp121-138.

Limaye, Mohan R. 1983. Approaching Punctuation as a System. The ABCA Bulletin . Pp46.28-33.

Little, G., 1986. Punctuation as a Linguistic Phenomenon: Research Issues. SECOL. 10, Pp, 69-91.

Mala Karim, H. A. [Translator]., 2019. Hawsargiriyaki Nimunayi u Lektegayshtin la Xzanda. Renma Publishing House: Sulaimaniya.

Mann, N., 2003. Point-Counterpoint: Teaching Punctuation as Information. College Composition and Communication 54. (3), Pp 359 –93.

Markov, I., Nastase, V. and Strapparava, C., 2018. Punctuation as Native Language Interface in Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics.USA. Pp3456-3466.

Meyers, A., 2009. Writing with Confidence: Writing Effective Sentences and Paragraphs [ 9th edition]. New York: Vango.

Meyers, C.F., 1987. A Linguistic Study of American Punctuation. New York: Peter Lang Publishing co.

Mogahed, M., 2012. Punctuation Marks Make a Difference in Translation: Practical examples. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/287327224_Punctuation_Marks_Make_a_Difference_in_Translation_Practical_Examples. Accessed June 25, 2021.

Muhammad, H. [Trans.]., 2008. Ba Kamarany Bizhi u Chezh la Zhyan Warbigra. By Edward, H. Erbil: Haji Qadri Koyee.

Nigraftar, K., 2005. Xalbandi le Nusini Kurdida. Slemani: Ministry of culture Publication.

Ong, Walter J., 1992. Writing is a Technology that Restructures Thought. The Linguistics of Literacy,[ed]. By Pamela Downing; Susan D. Lima; and Michael Noonan, 293-319. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Parkes, M. B., 1993. Pause and effect: An Introduction to the History of Punctuation in the West. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Peters, Pam., 2004. The Cambridge Guide to English Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ra'uf, S. [Trans.]., 2019. Wek Keséki Serkewtu řeftatr Bike, Wek Keséki Serkewtu Birbikawa. By Harby, S.. Sulaimany: Golden book.

Rutten, M. K., 2012. Developing Composition Skills: Academic Writing and Grammar 3rd edition. Australia: Collins.

Samir, H.[Trans.]., 2009. Baweřbexobu:n be šéweyeki Kari:ger. By Makana, P. Sulaimany: Renma.

Sanchez-Stockhammer, C., 2016. Punctuation as an Indication of Register. In Snachez-Stockhammer, C. and Schubert, C. [eds] Introduction to Vibrational Text Linguistics: Revisiting Register in English [Vol9]. Germany: De Grunter Mouton.

Shimojima, A., 2001. The graphic Linguistic Distinction. Artificial Intelligence Review. Pp 15.5-27.

Slewa, H., 2019. Tutiaki Zheer (A smart parrot): Chirok be MindalaniTtaman 6-12 Salan (Stories for Children between 6-12). Hawler: Rozhalat Press.

Spector, S., 2017. The Quotable Guide to Punctuation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Straus, J., 2008. The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation: an Easy-to-use Guide with Clear Rules, Real-World Examples, and Reproducible Quizzes [10th Ed.]. San Francisco: Jossey Bass

Townsend, D., and Bever, D. J., 2001. Sentence Comprehension: The Integration of Habits and Rules. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

Trask, R. L., 1997. The Penguin Guide to Punctuation. USA: Macmillan.

Waller, R., H., W., 1982. Text as Diagram: Using Typography to Improve Access and Understanding. The Technology of text, ed. by D. Jonassen, Pp.137-166. New Jersey: Educational Technology Publications.

Xoshnaw, N., 2016. Renus u Xalbandi [1st ed]. Erbil: Awer publishing Centre.