Punctuation and quotes [058]


Transcription of punctuation in relation to quotation marks and the <q> and <quote> elements


This entry deals with the relationship between punctuation and quotation marks. For further aspects of this issue, see also 006 on punctuation and elements and 059 on punctuation and font.

1. In texts where there are quotation marks present around quoted material, we will transcribe any other punctuation associated with the quoted material where it occurs (inside the <q> or <quote> element if it is inside the quotation marks and vice versa).

2. In texts where quotation marks are generally used, but where there are also examples of quoted material which do not have quotation marks, in those cases we will place punctuation relative to elements following the consistent or predominant practice of the rest of the text. So if the text usually puts punctuation inside the quotation marks, we will put punctuation inside the <q> element, and vice versa, in those cases where there are no quotation marks to guide us.

3. In texts where quotation marks are totally absent, we will place punctuation outside the <q> or <quote> element except where the punctuation is clearly part of the quoted material. In cases where the quoted material concludes with a full sentence, the final punctuation for the sentence should always be included in the <q> or <quote> element. The clearest examples of this are in cases where the final punctuation is only meaningful within the quoted sentence (e.g. a question mark or an exclamation point: I thought I heard her ask <q>Where’s the bakery?</q>. But any full sentence that’s fully contained by the quotation should follow the same rule, particularly in dialogue: <q part="I">Well well</q>, said she, <q part="F">I never even saw the bakery.</q> Commas and other punctuation which set off interjected phrases like “she said” should be placed outside the <q> or <quote> element, since they are occasioned by the interjection.

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