Izvestiya of Saratov University.

Philology. Journalism

ISSN 1817-7115 (Print)
ISSN 2541-898X (Online)

For citation:

Plisenko A. A., Ageeva G. A. On the polyfunctionality of punctuation marks in modern German (on the example of the dash). Journal Izvestiya of Saratov University. Philology. Journalism, 2023, vol. 23, iss. 3, pp. 240-246. DOI: 10.18500/1817-7115-2023-23-3-240-246, EDN: IYVOQN

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On the polyfunctionality of punctuation marks in modern German (on the example of the dash)

Plisenko Alevtina Anatolievna, Irkutsk National Research Technical University
Ageeva Galina Alexandrovna, Irkutsk National Research Technical University

The article analyzes the functions of the dash in literary German-language texts. The purpose of the study is to clarify and describe the various functions of the dash, to determine its role in the transmission of the communicative intention of the author of the written text. It is established that the dash is a multifunctional punctuation mark which complicates and specifies its functions depending on the contextual conditions of its use and the communicative situation. Two main groups of functions were identified and described: structural-semantic and expressive. Within the framework of structural and semantic functions, the dash is an indicator of logical relations in an utterance – causal and contrast ones. Being a means of a written text division, the dash performs compositional functions: it signals the transition from one type of speech transmission to another, to a new microtheme, a change of the addressee-addresser of speech. The dash is a graphic means of creating expressiveness, marking expressive syntactic constructions (inserts, separations, introductory structures, attachments, parentheses), pauses in a character’s speech, contributing to the compression of the utterance, the effect of emotional tension, the incompleteness of the utterance. The dash is one of those punctuation marks that have a vivid stylistic potential and are widely used by the authors in order to create a special artistic effect. This applies both to cases where the current punctuation rules allow one to choose between a dash and another character, and when the rules do not require any character at all. The choice of the dash depends on the author’s communicative intention and can be explained based on the context, or by the predominant use of the dash, which is one of the elements of the author’s style.


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