Author Topic: Quotation marks for terms and definitions  (Read 566 times)

Offline Natalia

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Quotation marks for terms and definitions
« on: February 04, 2017, 06:33:58 AM »
I have noted that when you use words as words in a sentence, you put them in double quotation marks, e.g.:

I personally use "cf." and "inter alia" sometimes, but the others rarely if at all.

What about definitions? If you wanted to say that “ibid.” means, for example,  in the same place, then you would mark it like in (1) or (2)?

1)   The adverb “ibid.” means ‘in the same place’.
2)   The adverb “ibid.” means “in the same place”.

In my notes I often use double quotations marks because they are more visible (and, of course, I cannot use italics), but I wonder how to mark definitions.

Online Daniel

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Re: Quotation marks for terms and definitions
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2017, 08:06:09 AM »
The standards for Linguistics in American English are:
1. Use italics to cite a word, such as word.
2. Use double quotes for a quotation, from another author. Chomsky said "Syntax is about colorless green ideas...."
3. Use single quotes for the meaning/gloss of a word/phrase/sentence: palabra means 'word' in Spanish.

The standards in general in American English are:
1. Use double quotes to indicate non-literal material including words you are referring to, like "word".
2. Use double quotes for quotations.
3. There is no standard use for single quotes (except quotations within quotations).
4. There is no standard use for italics except sometimes emphasis.

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In my notes I often use double quotations marks because they are more visible (and, of course, I cannot use italics), but I wonder how to mark definitions.
Double quotes is normal in this situation.

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1)   The adverb “ibid.” means ‘in the same place’.
2)   The adverb “ibid.” means “in the same place”.
Unless you are doing linguistics in reference to abbreviations (like talking about etymologies and usage in a corpus), then you should use option (2), because that's how we would normally refer to such things in an explanation in normal text.
However, that way of phrasing it seems awkward to me, and informal. I'd try to rephrase some other way to avoid the problem.
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Quotation marks for terms and definitions
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2017, 09:32:47 AM »
So, in American English you use double quotes for explanation in normal text? As in:

E.g. The word "kot" means "cat" in Polish.

Quote
Use double quotes to indicate non-literal material including words you are referring to, like "word".

What do you mean by 'non-literal material'?

Lastly, I would like to ask you about one thing. Here is a passage from a book:

If, for example, black is omitted from the phrase black ugly scary bird, the referent remains the same. If, however, black is omitted from the compound blackbird, the referent is not the same: 'blackbird' is just one of the many specied of bird.

I wonder whether 'blackbird' is put in single quotes, and not italicised?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 10:03:03 AM by Natalia »

Online Daniel

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Re: Quotation marks for terms and definitions
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2017, 10:56:21 AM »
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So, in American English you use double quotes for explanation in normal text? As in:

E.g. The word "kot" means "cat" in Polish.
Yes, in normal writing: not in a linguistics paper. (Like in an email, or an essay about some other topic, unrelated to linguistics.)

If you're talking about Polish and English words in a linguistics paper: The word kot means 'cat' in Polish.

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What do you mean by 'non-literal material'?
Mentioning, rather than using. Talking ABOUT it, rather than saying it.

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I wonder whether 'blackbird' is put in single quotes, and not italicised?
No. Use italics because you are talking about the word in English, not its meaning (in translation). Hint: you would almost never use italics single quotes for a word in the language in which you are writing. So in a paper written in English, you would not use single quotes around English words, unless, of course, they are translations for other languages.

English: blackbird
Spanish: mirlo 'blackbird'
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 06:22:42 PM by Daniel »
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Quotation marks for terms and definitions
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2017, 12:06:02 PM »
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Hint: you would almost never use italics for a word in the language in which you are writing.

I would almsot never use it? But you provided an example below in which blackbird is italicised?

I was thinking about one more thing.

If I use a word as a word, should I put an article before it?

That is, should I say marble museum or a marble museum? As in:

1. Context and the pragmatic conditions under which a construction is pronounced can also affect the placement of stress. For instance, marble museum as ‘a museum built with marble’ will be uttered with stress on the head, but with the meaning ‘a museum where marble objects are displayed’, it will receive stress on the modifier

2. Context and the pragmatic conditions under which a construction is pronounced can also affect the placement of stress. For instance, a marble museum as ‘a museum built with marble’ will be uttered with stress on the head, but with the meaning ‘a museum where marble objects are displayed’, it will receive stress on the modifier.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 03:43:16 PM by Natalia »

Online Daniel

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Re: Quotation marks for terms and definitions
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2017, 06:27:22 PM »
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I would almsot never use it? But you provided an example below in which blackbird is italicised?
Sorry! I meant single quotes. Edited to fix that.

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If I use a word as a word, should I put an article before it?
It's actually hard to answer that. It depends on what sounds awkward. In your particular example, both would work for my ears, I think. They have slightly different nuances: the first one is more like mentioning it, and the second one is more like using it. So maybe I'd use the first one? But it doesn't really matter. It's like a quotation, so it doesn't need to be fully integrated syntactically. If it's in another context where it does need to be integrated, then you'd need to change it.

Compare:
"If I say a marble museum, I am probably referring to a...."
"If I saw a marble museum, then it would be a..."
Your example sentence is ambiguous between those types of usage.
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Quotation marks for terms and definitions
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2017, 02:33:13 AM »
Thank you. When I wrote the sentence for the first time, I used 'marble museum' without the article, so I will probably stick to it.

However, I am in doubt about using articles before 'museum', as in 'a museum built with marble' and 'a museum where marble objects are displayed'. Should I leave them or should I omit them?

1) For instance, marble museum as ‘a museum built with marble’ will be uttered with stress on the head...
2) For instance, marble museum as ‘museum built with marble’ will be uttered with stress on the head...

Online Daniel

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Re: Quotation marks for terms and definitions
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2017, 06:30:25 AM »
Either one, for the same reasons as above:
1) sounds smoother
2) sounds more like a definition
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Quotation marks for terms and definitions
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2017, 06:40:43 AM »
I know I have to decide by myself, but I would really appreicate your guidance. If (1) sounds smoother, should I choose this one? I just mention the compound 'marble museum' and its possible readings.

Online Daniel

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Re: Quotation marks for terms and definitions
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2017, 06:44:29 AM »
It's a style question, so neither one is right or wrong.

I would personally write something like this:
Quote
1) For instance, if we refer to a museum built with marble as a marble museum, the phrase will be stressed on the head...
But what you have is fine, either way.
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Quotation marks for terms and definitions
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2017, 01:56:40 AM »
OK, thank you.

Coming back to your previous post, you said that in linguistic papaers, you normally use italics to cite a word, whereas in normal text, you use double quotes. What about sentences? How do you mark them in both cases?

I have noted that in linguistics, sentences that are incorporated withing the text are often italicised; when they are used out of the text (as examples), they are left unmarked.

Online Daniel

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Re: Quotation marks for terms and definitions
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2017, 02:02:59 AM »
Similarly to words or if they are long or would interrupt the paragraph too much as a separate example on its own line.
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Quotation marks for terms and definitions
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2017, 02:52:37 AM »
Talking about punctuation, I wonder whether I need a period at the end of the sentences in parentheses (i.e. after 'blood-pooling' and 'situation' )? Is it necessary or optional?

Authors X find a few convincing neologisms of this kind, including blood pooling (The make-up man is surely up for some technical prizes for the quality of his lesions and blood-pooling) and consumer-choice (It is supposed to help us make up our minds in a tricky consumer-choice situation).

Online Daniel

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Re: Quotation marks for terms and definitions
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2017, 03:04:09 AM »
Either way, but probably not because it would make the overall sentence confusing to read. If you start to need punctuation or long sentences as examples, offset them on their own lines.
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Quotation marks for terms and definitions
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2017, 03:09:56 AM »
OK. Thank you.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 02:28:25 AM by Natalia »