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Quotation marks for terminology

 
 
Nat093
 
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 02:38 am
If I talk about standard terms in linguistics, as in the example:

"This affix is often called a linking element, an interfix or an intermorph"

Can I just leave the terms as they are, without using quotation marks?Or I should put them in quotation marks? Is it optional?

(By contrast: This affix is often called a 'linking element', an 'interfix' or an 'allomorph')
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dupre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 03:13 am
@Nat093,
When you use a word as a word in a sentence you would usually style it in quotation marks (Chicago Manual of Style would have you use double, not single quotation marks as you have indicated in your last sentence) or in italics. This is just to aid in clarity. If there is no chance of misunderstanding, then the special treatment with quotation marks or italics is not obligatory.

Without a comma after "interfix" it is unclear whether "interfix" and "intermorph" are two types of "linking elements," and thereby acting as appositives of the term "linking element," or whether there are three words that an affix might be called.

So because there might be some confusion, I would either employ a comma after the word "interfix" or style the three terms in a special treatment of quotation marks or italics.

Or both.
Nat093
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 03:32 am
@dupre,
Thank you for clarifying this.
May I ask you which of the two options would you choose? Which would be MORE appropriate?

1) This affix is often called a 'linking element', an 'interfix', or an 'allomorph'.
2) This affix is often called a linking element, an interfix, or an allomorph.


dupre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 03:42 am
@Nat093,
I like the second one best.

But I would like to ask you about the first one. May I ask what style guide you are using? Because Chicago Manual of Style would definitely have those words in double quotation marks, the commas inside the quotation mark, and the period inside the last quotation mark, like this:

This affix is often called a "linking element," an "interfix," or an "allomorph."

But I know some style guides differ on that point, especially regarding styling a word as a word and placement of commas and periods while using quotation marks.
Nat093
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 04:22 am
@dupre,
Actually, I have been taught by my mentor to use inverted commas for terms and double quotation marks for quotations. That is what I know.
I have also been told that if I mention standard terms I do not need to use inverted commas.
Sometimes I just do not know whether to put a term in quotes or not.

For example, in the following passage from my thesis I used quotes for empahsis:

[In literature the term ‘phrasal verbs’ is alternatively used with a variety of other terms, including ‘compound verbs’, ‘particle verbs’, ‘phrasal and prepositional verbs’, ‘two-word verbal idioms’, and ‘constructional idioms’ (compare Quirk and Greenbaum, 1973; Fraser, 1976; Benson et al., 1986; Johnson, 1991; Jackendoff, 1997). ]

Is it OK to do this?
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 04:29 am
@Nat093,
Looks great. Well done!

Instead of inverted commas, we call them single quotation marks.

And you've used them perfectly here as far as I can tell, according to your mentor.
Nat093
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 04:33 am
@dupre,
Thank you.
So isn't it that if I used single quotation mark for the terms I have just showed you, I should also use them for the terms in the example:

1) This affix is often called a 'linking element', an 'interfix', or an 'allomorph'.

dupre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 04:44 am
@Nat093,
You can or you don't have to.

In this particular sentence, the terms are mostly single words, not compound words, and the one that is compound is using a participle that clearly modifies element, that is 'linking element', so there's no chance of misreading.

The other sentence is far more complicated and I believe does warrant the special treatment with the single quotation marks to clarify.

Nat093
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 04:55 am
@dupre,
So, just to make it clear - What does it actually depend on whether I should use quotes for terms or not?
0 Replies
 
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 05:06 am
RE: I have also been told that if I mention standard terms I do not need to use inverted commas.

I'm not sure what your mentor means regarding a standard term versus a non standard term. I would think that by definition a term for something is a standard term and not something that was just made up.

I can't help you there, sorry.

To me it's more about whether the word you are using is being used as a word in the sentence.

For example:

Phrasal nouns frequently occur in English.

versus

The term 'phrasal noun' can refer to several types of phrases.

See the difference?

It's subtle.

Here's another example of a word used as a word in a sentence.

He wrote the essay using 'fat' instead of 'grease'.

I can tell you, he did not use fat or grease to write the essay, as in smearing fat or grease all over his paper.

'Fat' and 'grease' in the sentence are referring to the words 'fat' and 'grease'.
Nat093
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 05:33 am
@dupre,
But I guess 'linking element', 'interfix', and 'intermorph' are also used as words in my sentence, and you suggest using them without quotes. Am I right?
Nat093
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 05:45 am
@dupre,
When it comes to 'standard' vs. 'non-standard' terms, I understand it that way:

a 'standard' term is a word/phrase that is widely accepted in a given field
a 'non-standard' term is one that is, for example, made up by an author and used only by him (for example, the linguist Otto Jespersen uses "stump-words" for compounds)
0 Replies
 
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 06:00 am
@Nat093,
You can use the single quotations marks or not use them. Consider the needs of the reader.

For example, in the sentence you just wrote:
But I guess 'linking element', 'interfix', and 'intermorph' are also used as words in my sentence, and you suggest using them without quotes.

It's wonderful for me as the reader that you immediately put the words in single quotations, because without them I may have read 'linking element' as a linking element and not as a word and then I continue reading the sentence with a wrong impression. When I get along further in the sentence, I see 'used as words' and so now I have to go back and reinterpret what I read and start over.

But consider the original sentence,

This affix is often called a linking element, an interfix, or an allomorph.

You clearly and early indicate that what follows the word 'called' will be words or phrases that can clarify 'this affix'.

I don't have to go back and later figure out that you were using these words as words, because you already indicated that before you used the words.

Yes, I know that in the more complicated sentence you did the same, but those phrases are quite long and so the single quotation marks help the reader.

You are using the punctuation and quotation marks to help the reader. If your sentence clearly does that already, then they might not be necessary.

Do you need them in the sentence about 'fat' and 'grease'? Yes, you do. Otherwise the reader may misread the sentence.

Is there anyway the reader can misread your first sentence without the single quotation marks? I don't think so. It's a very short, simple sentence.

Is there anyway the reader can misread your more complicated sentence without the single quotation marks?

In literature the term phrasal verbs is alternatively used with a variety of other terms, including compound verbs, particle verbs, phrasal and prepositional verbs, two-word verbal idioms, and constructional idioms (compare Quirk and Greenbaum, 1973; Fraser, 1976; Benson et al., 1986; Johnson, 1991; Jackendoff, 1997).

To me, the possible misreading occurs here: 'phrasal and prepositional verbs'.

Is the correct term 'phrasal and prepositional verbs' or did you combine two different terms--'phrasal verbs' and 'prepositional verbs' to invent a new single term (do not invent a term) encompassing two different terms? Without the quotation marks, it would be difficult for your reader to know which is the correct phrase.

With the single quotation mark, you are clearly indicating that the accepted term as listed in the references you are citing is exactly 'phrasal and prepositional verbs'.

If that's not the term, then you need to change it to read 'phrasal verbs', 'prepositional verbs', and so forth.

If you do have to change the sentence and list both terms separately, then I can't see that there would be a chance for your reader to misread the terms without quotation marks.

Conversely, if the correct term is 'phrasal and prepositional verbs', then you should keep the single quotation marks for clarity for the reader.










Nat093
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 02:19 pm
@dupre,
Thank you for clarifying this. I understand it now.

I would like to ask you just one more question.

Let's say that an author discusses some linguistic issue in their book, and as an example provides a sentence in which a specific word is used. This word is written in bold.

And now, if I want to cite this sentence in my work, can I, for example, italicise the word instead of using bold?
Can I make such small stylistic changes?
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 02:56 pm
@Nat093,
Yes, depending on the circumstances, in my humble opinion. Perhaps. Why are you changing the way the word was originally styled in bold to italics?
Nat093
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 03:23 pm
@dupre,
It is just an example. I just wanted to ask if I can make such changes.

I will give you another example.
The linguist Rochelle Lieber in her book "Introducing Morphology" discusses types of compound words according to their syntactic category, some of the examples are:

Compound elements: Compound category: Examples:
N + N N dog bed, file cabinetpie
N + A A sky blue, stone cold

If I want to use this table in my work, can I, for example, write "Noun", "Adjective", etc. instead of "N", "A", as in:

Compound elements: Compound category: Examples:
N + N Noun dog bed, file cabinet
N + A Adjective sky blue, stone cold

Or I have to take it as it is?


dupre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 03:35 pm
@Nat093,
Yes. There is some leniency with tables if you do not change the meaning. In fact, there is some leniency in written sentences, also, if you do not change the author's meaning. Yes, you can change bold to italics or to no special treatment, at times.

I'm more concerned with your use of the colon here. According to "The Chicago Manual of Style," one should never separate the verb from the content with a colon.

And titles of books are in italics, which I don't care to learn how to do on this system at present.

Also, Rochelle is usually a female name. Why are you using "their"?

Regarding the colon, a more correct approach follows:

The linguist Rochelle Lieber in her book "Introducing Morphology" discusses types of compound words according to their syntactic category. Here are some examples:

Nat093
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 03:41 pm
@dupre,
I am sorry, first I wanted to write "If a linguist dicusses..." and then I did not correct it.

So, it will be OK if I use "Noun", "Adjective", "Verb" etc. instead of "N", "A", "V", as it is in Lieber's book?

The reason why I would like to use the whole terms is purely stylistic.
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 04:01 pm
@Nat093,
I believe it would be perfectly fine.
Nat093
 
  2  
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 04:34 pm
@dupre,
Thank you very much for your helpful comments.
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