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Seven- to nine-year-olds’ understandings of speech marks: some issues and problems

Hall, Nigel and Sing, Sue (2011) Seven- to nine-year-olds’ understandings of speech marks: some issues and problems. ISSN 0022-2224

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Abstract

At first sight the speech mark would seem to be one of the easiest to use of all punctuation marks. After all, all one has to do is take the piece of speech or written language and surround it with the appropriately shaped marks. But, are speech marks as easy to understand and use as suggested above, especially for young children beginning their punctuation careers? Some readers may well at this point be asking, ‘But what is a speech mark?’ It is a good question, firstly, because outside of the UK the term is hardly ever used and secondly, because the term is extremely recent. The speech mark is simply an alternative title for those punctuation marks used to frame speech or quotation in written language and it is the latest in a long line of terms used to name them.

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