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Expressive Means of Punctuation in Net Texts on the Material of the Tatar, Russian and English Languages

Ayziryak Nailevna Tarasova*

Assistant Professor, English Philology Department, Kazan Federal University, Yelabuga, Russia

*Corresponding Author:
Ayziryak Nailevna Tarasova
Assistant Professor, English Philology Department
Kazan Federal University, Yelabuga, Russia
Tel: +96597601177
[email protected]

Received date: September 08, 2016; Accepted date: September 16, 2016; Published date: September 26, 2016

Citation: Tarasova AN. Expressive Means of Punctuation in Net Texts on the Material of the Tatar, Russian and English Languages. Global Media Journal. 2016, 14:27.

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In this article the authors consider the peculiarities of punctuation in net texts of different-structured languages. One of the main characteristics of punctuation mode in net texts of the Tatar, Russian and English languages are emotive and expressive means of punctuation. In the course of linguistic analysis the author comes to the conclusion that in net texts of the languages under study punctuation marks acquire new functional potential, which is reflected in the transmission of emotions and feelings of the Internet mediated communication participants into the written speech.


Internet-mediated communication; Punctuation; Punctuation mode; Punctuation marks; Expressive means; Emotive function; Net text; The Tatar language; The Russian language; The English language; Intonation; Functional potential.


Over the last two decades or so, the whole world has experienced rapid changes and social transformations. It is closely associated with the emergence of a new technological paradigm, based on information and communication technologies that unevenly diffused around the world. The use of Internet-mediated communication has skyrocketed during the last ten years and it is no wonder that the process of its penetration caused a steady increase in scientific research of every sphere that Internet has influenced: social, politic, economic, linguistic, etc. Many linguists agree that the Net creates an absolutely new cultural institution. Internet dictates new rules of communication and at the same time it offers a big range of new kinds of communicative interaction between people. The term of “net text” was established not long ago: it is connected with penetration of Internet into all layers of the society. In the works of Russian and foreign researchers we find the term “сетевой текст” ("net text"), but still there is no scientifically comprehensive definition [1-3]. Firstly, due to the fact that Internet linguistics as a science was recently formed [4]. Secondly, the term «net text" is closely connected with such concepts as "Internet-communication", "Internet discourse" and "virtual communication". In view of this, a net text is considered merely as a part of these concepts, as their component and, as a consequence, its essence is not sufficiently disclosed. So, for example, M. D. Yurieva in "The Typology and The Modes of Representation of The Spanish Net Text (On The Material Of Chats And Forums)" considers only the typological and communicative features of the Spanish net text. In the study of M. R. Hakhshoeva "The Peculiarities Of Punctuation In Net Texts Of Forums and Blogs (In the English Language)" aims to examine the use of punctuation marks in English net texts and to define new trends in the use of the system of punctuation marks and spelling in the studied texts [5]. In the aforementioned works, the authors investigate the practical issues of this problem, however, we do not find its theoretical understanding. David Crystal in “Language and the Internet” touches upon many aspects of Internet-communication and peculiarities of the-so-called “digital texts” in the English language. The author has worked out the problems of punctuation in net texts, particularly, stating that punctuation marks obtain new functions in the written speech in Internet communication.

Our research purpose consists in studying the state of modern English, Tatar and Russian languages, primarily their written forms, within the frame of network society, identifying the tendencies prevailing in the organization of net texts and the specifics of the use of graphics and punctuation marks in Internet mediated communication.

So, to achieve the goal of our research project, we will have to:

1) Carry out a review of English, Russian and Tatar language punctuation systems;

2) Carry out a classification of punctuation marks

3) Identify the typological and characteristic features of their functioning in Internet communication in the languages under investigation.

Internet communication and its linguistic aspects are as never being scientifically attractive nowadays. Our investigation is based on the research of our native and foreign scientists. The punctuation systems of the languages under analysis were investigated by L.L. Baranova, N.S. Valgina, K. Sabirov, A.M. Peshlovsky, L.V. Tsherba, T. Kane, G. Carey, R. Skelton, etc. Computer linguistics and Internet discourse were investigated by N.D. Artunova, N.G. Asmus, D. Crystal, S. Herring, D, Boyd, etc. [6]

This investigation has a great relevance and validity, firstly, in terms of specifying the features of a net text in different structured languages. For instance, in the Russian and Tatar languages problems connected with this linguistic field are not investigated enough. Secondly, there is a necessity of specifying the functions of punctuation marks in net texts. Thirdly, the role of computer mediated communication is constantly increasing and it definitely influences the language. No matter what language it is-English, a global language, Russian, a federal one, or Tatar, a national one. That is why it is quite relevant to study, depict and compare new linguistic tendencies and transformations under the influence of Internet-communication.

3. The specific nature of our study has determined the range of methods of linguistic investigation. During the study we used such methods as descriptive and comparative methods, the method of contextual and qualitative analysis.

4. The results of our investigation are theoretically and practically significant. The main theoretical contribution is made by a complex presentation of a net text and its characteristic features. Practical significance of the study consists in the possibility to use the materials while delivering lectures in contrastive linguistics, or special courses in expressive syntax and theory of communication.


In our study we focus on specific features of punctuation in net texts, which are in our opinion prone to obtain new tendencies within the already established punctuation system, as well as new ones, penetrating from without. We define a net text as printed coherent speech of one or more people, consisting of words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphemic means that altogether form a wholeness, and used in Internet-mediated communication. It is necessary to mention that our research is based on the results of scientific investigation carried out by D. Crystal, M.D. Yurieva, M.R. Nashkhoeva, but it represents the first attempt to classify the expressive means of punctuation in net texts of Tatar, Russian and English languages [7].

The linguistic analysis of the material, i.e. texts of blogs, social nets, forums, instant messages, etc. showed that the punctuation mode of the Tatar, Russian and English net texts have both restricted and unrestricted character. On the one hand, the use of certain punctuation marks is based on certain grammatical rules and recommendations; on the other hand, punctuation acquires new specific features, appearing in pragmatically justified violation from grammatical norm. Unrestrictedness of punctuation in net texts of these languages consists, firstly, in deviation from the existing grammar rules with the acquisition of new features, manifested in the strengthening of the expressivity of the text, its semantic and emotional plans; secondly, its intonational determination.

The analyzed material has allowed us to assert that there formed a special subsystem of punctuation techniques in net texts. They contribute to explicit expression of emotional and evaluative attitude of the author to a definite statement and help the reader to comprehend some possible suggestive meaning in it. We have identified such techniques as expressive ones. They are the following ones: 1) parcelling, 2) doubting, 3) admiration, 4) synergy of punctuation marks, 5) distancing a punctuation mark from the final letter of the statement, 6) positional and functional modification of punctuation marks. Let us consider each technique in detail on the examples of English, Tatar and Russian net texts [8].


As it’s known, this stylistic device consists in singling out a part of a statement (often a part of a sentence) in order to heighten its expressiveness. Parcelling is also of great interest from the point of view of its corresponding punctuation design. A period (“.”) and an exclamation mark (“!”) can divided the sentence into parts with the aim of emotional and semantic actualization of significant units, such as allocation of parts of the picture, the most important information, expression of semanticogrammatical relations between phrases, etc. For example:

and waiting when she will go to her, and will no longer haunt me! me and my appetite !!! [2]

Gulnaz Gafurova turinda suz bara. Valinen khatini!!!... [5]

I want to laminate a couple of addresses in case my wife needs to take a tax. In the future. [7]

Mina 21 yash. Internetta ber kiz belen tanishtik. 21 iyunda. [6]

I have many relatives, but I have nothing to them do not feel there is a feeling that we native people. I do not understand why is obliged to love them? and to communicate with them. [6]


Doubting is demonstration of doubt when reasoning or choosing words that is accompanied by a question-answering process or rhetorical questions addressed to the author himself or to the recipient of the message. After each part subjected to doubt on the part of the author, comes a question mark. Doubting, in our opinion, is a very effective expressive technique. First, it contributes to the establishment of close contact between the author and the recipient [9]. It seems that he/she enters into a virtual debate with himself or with the imaginary audience. For example:

What creatures are the most dangerous to people and cause the largest number of deaths? Wolves? Tigers? Lions? Sharks? No. The most dangerous are mosquitoes. [6]

Secondly, this technique reflects the typical for Internet communication and net texts principle of creativity; the author by all means tries to draw the reader's attention to his/her statement and to create a favorable virtual image of him/herself, demonstrating the originality of his/her way of thinking. For example:

“Ayfara”nin kizi, zakonsiz khatini bar di, ikenchese malae, zakonli khatini bar dip eite. Kizik, kaisi shunin dores iken? a? mozhet ul uzen shulai piarit iteder?! [5]

And as the FTC, they identified there, "the image of Saint"? Expertise? Beer? Grass? Banal desire somehow to declare itself? [4]

The above mentioned examples show that the expressiveness of this punctuation technic is also reflected in the structure and intonation of the series, which are built in such a way that the last sentence has the highest degree of emotional tension [10].

Thus, doubting is quite an effective expressive technique contributing to the establishment of close contact with the reader and encouraging him to a certain response.


This technique involves the demonstration of rapture and elation by the author that is encoded by an exclamation mark in the printed speech. In Tatar, Russian and English net texts this technique is widely used among users of social nets, blogs and forums:

Great pictures !! And they are really cool !!! Well done !! Guys, be as happy as in the photo !!;) [6]

The example makes it obvious that the author of this message is in a state of euphoria. It is as well shown by expressive lexical means, such as "супер" (“super”)," Well done " (“Good job!”), etc.

Admiration leads to expression of positive emotions of the writer and, subsequently, has an emotional impact on the reader, motivating him to a specific response:

Our grandfathers, great-grandfathers shed blood is not for us to be enemies! Our people - great! We should be proud that we are Slavs! [11].

I just can’t thank them enough! Bottom line is I really enjoyed after the ceremony part! I got to talk to my guests and went to do the videotaping part, and guess what! My favorite part: WE TOOK TONS OF PICS! :D YES!!!! Now I have LOTS of good memories! Woohoo! [3]

Text Keefleregez Shepp! Elmaep, Colin, Sagit borchularni drafted kuep selamet bekhetle country yashegez !!! Ata-analarigiznin balalarigiznin igelegen sang yashegez shower !!!! Gas yasherge end Donji !!! [6]

Synergy of Punctuation Marks

This technique consists in creating a summing effect of the interaction of various punctuation marks, which greatly exceeds the effectiveness of the marks in the case of separate use of each of them [12]. The synergistic effect of the following punctuation marks should be recognized as the most productive in increasing the expressiveness of a net text:

a) Synergy of question marks. Along with the separative and distinctive functions, the question mark in net texts can also perform an expressive function, particularly in the case of its repeated usage [13]. Synergy of question marks is intended to express strong feelings of surprise, curiosity and, with it, the emotional and evaluative attitude of the author to the expressed thought. For example:

Anin bashi jugari bulip bezge ni faida da, bash jugari bulmasa ni faida?????????? [3]

kem shulai dip eite?????? [3]

You hear me??? [1]

Such number of question marks in the above examples leads to the expression of strong emotional tension and encourages the reader to consequent respond.

b) Synergy of exclamation marks. Multiple exclamation marks arranged in a row, visually highlight a certain part of the text and express a wide range of emotional reactions [14]. In the examples below, two, three and four exclamation marks correspond to emotions such as fascination "!!", surprise "!!!" and delight "!!!!", moreover, the expressiveness in these sentences is achieved not only through the use of exclamation marks, but also due to introduction of additional connotations of "praise", "wish" and "adoration".

Melikene de arttirip bii!! Molodec!! [5]


Aww!!! So special.. my girl!!!! [1]

In the example Summer!!!!! I'm in love with you! Never leave me!!!!! [3] the fullness of the writer’s senses has no boundaries, he feels strong emotions, which he expresses in multiple use of “!” mark. It is important to note that using such marks, the writer does not think about their number, and, most likely, his choice is guided by the rule "the more marks, the more emotions". Such sentences are expressive not only due to the transmission of various intonations to speech, but also their graphic arrangement capable of attracting the attention of even a casual reader. So, in texts of forums often repeated use of exclamation mark speaks of the intention of the author to demonstrate the scale of his/her problem in order to get the answer as quickly as possible [15]. For example:

HELP !!!! PLIZ tried to make the right ... [6]

Thus, the analysis showed that the more exclamation marks are involved in the technique, the stronger is the expressive nature of the printed speech.

c) Synergy of question and exclamation marks. In some cases, a combination of multiple question marks is used in cooperation with exclamation marks to make the speech in net texts more expressive and emotional. Let us consider several examples in which such punctuation combinations have a high degree of expressiveness thanks to the expression of various feelings and emotions.

For instance, irritation:

Well, that's where in an empty room can take mosquitoes? !!! [2]

Anda sinin eshen barmi son ???? !!! [5]

- Fear: No "I voted" stickers!?! Don't bother voting - this is a scam.

and in general where are you ??? !!! [6]

- anger: And whose fault is that 10% of those who have even a queue already in 1700 !! ?? [6] Kem son monad director, kem “jirchi”??! [5]

The analysis of the material showed that this technique in Tatar and Russian net texts expresses, for the most part, negative emotions. Positive emotions are encoded by a question mark and a closing parenthesis “)”. In English, this function is performed by the question mark in combination with an emoticon [16].

d) Synergy of dots and a question mark. Often in net texts dots act in combination with the characters "?" and "!", complicating their implicit semantic connotations and emotional load. Consider the following example:

Your husband "goes to work", but what he's busy, if no orders? Strolling through the office? ../Your husband “leaves for work", but what is he busy with, if there are no orders? Roams about in the office?.. [8]

In both sentences the question mark expresses a request for information. In the second sentence it is accompanied by dots, which likely encode a pause of silence. This pause acts as a kind of indicator of doubt the author expresses, however, he/she, for unknown reasons, prefers to keep his thoughts to himself [17].

Let us look at another example:

Kaida, kichan, kem belen besga izmenili?..)) (Where, when, whom were we cheated by?..) [6]

In this example, the expressivity of the question mark is supplemented by the expressiveness of the dots, transmitting a pause of reflection. The dots here suggest a subtext of "mistrust" and "irony": it can be seen by the dual use of brackets, which, in Russian and Tatar net texts acquire a new function – expression of a "smile" or "laughter". Probably, the author expresses his attitude to the preceding statement which our example was a response to: it seems absurd and ridiculous to him [18].

Thus, the analyzed examples suggest that the synergy of a question mark and dots contributes not only to the expression of a question, but of a hidden suggestive meaning as well.

e) Synergy of dots and an exclamation mark. The main use of this method is associated with expression of mixed emotions. Thus, in the following example the exclamation mark conveys contempt for "soulless" people and the dots complement it by semantic connotation of "despair" which is characterized by a pause of silence (most likely, the author used to be in such a situation, but he/she doesn't want to talk about it):

Nothing can be worse than callousness !!!!!! ........ / There's nothing worse than soullessness !!!!!! ........ [6]

The synergistic effect of these two characters can be ambivalent, i.e. create and express contrary emotive states in/of the reader and writer. For example: Happy Birthday!!.. you have such wonderful weather, so I hope you are out enjoying this awesome sunshine. [1] Some time it's better why should anyone stay in an unlove relationship!!.. [1]

So, it becomes apparent that such combination of punctuation marks in the examples, though the same in graphical form, is not in its functionality. In the first sentence the exclamation mark transmits positive emotional enthusiasm and inspiration of the author (on the occasion of congratulations on his birthday), and the dots complement this connotation by a short pause, which encodes the incompleteness of the statement and its possible continuation (traditionally, with wishes of health, happiness, love and so on). In the second sentence the exclamation mark conveys the author's feeling of "resistance", which is complemented by a pause of silence encoded by dots in writing. The pause here, probably expresses the uncertainty of the author of the expressed statement, allowing the reader to interpret it in his/her own way. As a result of interaction of these emotions the author manages to express his/her feeling of "reluctant resistance" [19].

Thus, the synergy of punctuation marks is an effective method of transmission of emotional state of communicants, which is able to convey the hidden meanings and implications incomprehensible to communicants in case of absence of one of the components of the synergistic composition.

Distancing of the Punctuation Mark from the Final Letter of the Statement

Distancing of the punctuation mark from the final letter of the statement is separation of the former from the latter by a space. It is important to note that this phenomenon can hardly be called a misprint, as in the analysis of practical material we have found out that it has a pragmatic function. Let us consider several examples in which authors distance the punctuation mark from the statement (its final letter), which is a violation from Tatar, Russian, and English grammatical rules. However, in net texts this technique is used to express a specific intonation and various connotations. For example:

Love is not a toy from my childhood! [7]

I love this cartoon! [6]

Honey courts are clear from the cuts. [6]

Tatarlar dimessen uzegezne ... urislar da bu chakli sugenmi! [5]

There is a rule: no matter how many guys do not laugh at girls fasting itself vanilla sayings and pictures, no matter how much they were laughing over their love fotkatsya in the mirror (especially the toilet) - they are still there is such! [6]

This is for my 3 grandaughters. [1]

In these examples the authors might use this technique to make the statement more categorical. The categorical character of the utterance is achieved by the gap, which, in our opinion, encodes a short pause for reflection and allows the reader to read and understand the meaning of the message, and then see the emotional and evaluative attitude of the author to the statement.

In our opinion, the distanced question mark is significantly more expressive, because in oral speech it corresponds to a longer pause at the end of the utterance. Therefore, when reading such a sentence, the recipient gets the opportunity to "linger" on the statement and get deeper to the point.

Functional and Positional Modification of Punctuation Marks

Our research has showed that in a net text punctuation marks can be subjected to various modifications, as a result of which they acquire new functional features. One of these modifications is a qualitatively new feature of parentheses in Tatar and Russian net texts. Firstly, this mark ceases functioning as a pair one, and secondly, it gains a revolutionary new emotive function. The parenthesis depending on whether a closing or opening one, can express different emotions and feelings.

For example:

(1)Steep vascheeee songs)))) with such [6]

(2) kunelne kuterer ochen video at Karachi zhiti))))))))) [6]

(3) I have nothing lost everything in place, so I did not win ((((( [6]

In the first two examples, the authors express their positive emotional state. It should be noted that the more characters used in the sentence, the more expressivity the author reaches. We also assume that the parenthesis in oral speech is equivalent to a smile, and in the presence of a large number of them to a laughter.

In the third example, the author by using an opening parenthesis, obviously, expresses a feeling of frustration and despair.

Positional modification of punctuation is the purposeful change of a position of a punctuation mark (usually a question and exclamation marks), which is in accordance with the grammatical norm should be used at the end of sentences or expressions to indicate its boundaries. This technique enhances the emotional colouring of the text and the convergence of oral speech to written, which gives the text a high degree of expressiveness and increases the efficiency of its perception. For instance:

??? Do Canadian Colleges accept ACT score ??? [3]

As you can see, the author of this sentence puts his/her statement into the question marks on both sides. In feature or publicistic texts putting a punctuation mark into the beginning almost does not occur, as this is an evident violation from the grammatical norm. However, in the net texts where spelling and punctuation are not restricted, this technique is quite possible. In our opinion, such arrangement of marks is a means of graphic emphasis, thanks to which the statement stands out against a graphically neutral text, and means of actualization of the semantic significance of the statement. In this example, using the technique of positional modification of a question mark, the author demonstrates the importance of his/her question and the answer to it.


We've outlined the basic expressive punctuation techniques used in Tatar, Russian and English net texts and came to the conclusion that being a completely new way of presenting information, they cause an increase in functional capacity of punctuation marks. Thus, parcelling constructions in net texts have an huge artistic and expressive potential. They are able to convey subtle shades of meaning and express feelings and emotions of the author and at the same time they enable the reader to be emotionally impressed. Such a technic as doubting can primarily be regarded as a compositional one but we assume that doubting is also a punctuation technic for it is accompanied by repeating question marks. We conclude that it is rather effective in net texts. Firstly, it contributes to the establishment of close contact between the author and the recipient and secondly, it draws the reader’s attention and encourages him to a certain response. Admiration actualizes the emotive function of speech and reflects its the intonation and semantic sides. The synergy of punctuation marks is an effective method of transmission of emotional state of communicants, which is able to convey the suggestive meanings and implications incomprehensible to communicants in case of absence of one of the components of the synergistic composition. Distancing of the punctuation mark from the final letter of the statement also performs an expressive function. Positional modification of different punctuation marks is a means of graphic and semantic emphasis, thanks to which the statement becomes more expressive.

Thus, the analyzed material suggests that in net texts a special system of punctuation techniques is established. They contribute to the effectiveness of the perception of printed speech, its emotional, intonational and semantic content. Some of the reviewed techniques are spread in other types of texts as well but most of them are formed exclusively in net texts that is an indisputable proof of their uniqueness. All the linguistic phenomena described in this article are open for further interpretations of researchers all over the world as we are convinced that there is quite a big number of languages influenced by the Internet. There is no doubt that net texts should be investigated because the changes and transformations in the written language in net texts create an objective picture of dynamic development of any language.


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