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Punctuation Practice in Two Early Modern English Versions of The Secrets of Alexis (pp. 59-91)

Juan Lorente Sánchez

University of Málaga


Despite being traditionally ignored in most books on historical palaeography, punctuation has received in the last decades a great deal of attention due to the proliferation of studies considering its uses, functions and distribution. Even though it has been extensively addressed in the specific literature, the analysis of punctuation in different formats of identical pieces has been hitherto disregarded, perhaps due to an erroneous assumption that manuscripts employed a lighter and a less consistent repertory than printed books. The present article therefore aims to analyse the use and diffusion of the phenomenon in two Early Modern English versions of Girolamo Ruscelli’s The Secrets of Alexis, in order to shed some light on the contrasts and similarities between scribal and editorial punctuation procedures, if any. This article is then conceived with a twofold objective: to examine the quantitative distribution of the punctuation symbols attested in the documents under scrutiny; and to analyse their role at the different textual levels, i.e. macro-textual, sentence, clause and phrase level.

Keywords: Punctuation, Early Modern English, Handwriting, Printing, The Secrets of Alexis.


Juan Lorente Sánchez graduated in English Studies in 2016 at the University of Málaga, and later he obtained two Master’s degree at the same university: the first in English Teaching English as a Foreign Language (2017), and the second in English Studies, Multilingual and Intercultural Communication (2018). He is currently working on a PhD thesis dealing with the semi-diplomatic edition and philological study of Glasgow, University Library, MS Ferguson 7. His research interests lie within the fields of manuscript studies, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics and corpus linguistics.

e-mail addressjualorsan@uma.es


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