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Punctuation marks are written symbols that do not correspond to either phonemes (sounds) of a spoken language nor to lexemes (words and phrases) of a written language, but which serve to organize or clarify written language. See orthography.

The rules of what punctuation marks should be used in what circumstances vary with language, location and time. 21st century American English is very different to 15th century Italian. The rules are constantly evolving and certain aspects of punctuation are style - the author's choice. An English language bibliograhy may be found at the end of this article.

Some common examples used by English and other languages using the Roman alphabet are listed below (with their Unicode preferred names, where appropriate).

Because of the limited number of characters available in ASCII, many of these punctuation characters have also been given specialized meanings in computer programs composed on ASCII keyboards. The dot and commercial at in e-mail addresses are examples of this kind of use. See the individual articles.

The individual articles include information on use and misuse in English and provide examples.

The following typographical symbols or glyphs are not true punctuation marks: Also related are diacritical marks (or diacritics), which serve to distinguish among similar sounds using the same primary letter symbol, or to clarify emphasis or tone.

Each script, and each language within a script, can have its own set of punctuation marks and usage conventions.

Table of contents
1 East Asian punctuation
2 Other scripts
3 Further reading
4 External links

East Asian punctuation

Chinese and Japanese use a different set of punctuation marks.

Korean, the third member language of CJK, uses Western punctuations currently.

Like Classical Chinese, traditional Mongolian language employed no punctuation at all. But now as it uses the Cyrillic alphabet, its punctuations are similar, if not identical, to Russian.

Other scripts

In ancient forms of Roman script, the interpunct served to separate words.

Further reading

External links