Why do we have the question mark

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Lordpendragon, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. Lordpendragon

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    :confused:

    I don't know why, but I am struggling to think of circumstances when you wouldn't know that something was a question. Are there any languages that don't have a question mark.
     
  2. crescendo69

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    You are being serious. (That was a question)
     
  3. Lordpendragon

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    It was.
     
  4. crescendo69

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  5. dong20

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    It was hard to tell, there was no question mark at the end.:rolleyes:
     
  6. Lordpendragon

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    So, you only need a ?, if you're not asking a straight question, as it were :biggrin1:
     
  7. Gillette

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    Got milk.

    Got milk?
     
  8. Lordpendragon

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    What sort of question is that :tongue:
     
  9. dong20

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    In spoken speech it's easy. Written less so.

    It's raining or It's raining? or It's raining!

    One's a statement the other a question anf the last an explantion of....happiness or anger or something else, spoken it's easy written it may not be obvious. Same with exclamation marks they fill in the blanks where emphasis of spoken speech is missing.

    That's in simple terms, too early for more and I have a plane to catch....
     
  10. crescendo69

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    That is the only instance (?)
     
  11. kalipygian

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  12. snoozan

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    You wanna fuck me.

    is very different from

    You wanna fuck me?
     
  13. Lordpendragon

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    I must be dim - I could never tell the difference :wink:
     
  14. Big Dreamer

    Big Dreamer New Member

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    YES

    and

    YES
     
  15. snoozan

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    okay now, both of you get in line. or queue, as it were.
     
  16. Lordpendragon

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    Is choice part of evaluation?

    Bloom's Taxonomy of Questions
    • Knowledge
      who, what, when, where, how..? Describe...?
    • Comprehension
      retell...
    • Application
      How is...an example of...?; how is...related to...?; why is...significant?
    • Analysis
      What are the parts or features of...? Classify...according to...;
    • Sythesis
      what would you infer from...? What ideas can you add to...? How would you design a new..? What would happen if you combined...? What solutions would you suggest for...?
    • Evaluation
      do you agree that...? What do you think about?...What is the ost important..? Place the following in order of priority...? How would you decide about...? What criteria would you use to assess...?
     
  17. aristarchus

    aristarchus Member

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    To get right to your question--YES there are languages without question marks. None of the ancient languages--Greek, Latin, Arabic, etc had punctuation at all. The existence of a question was indicated by "interrogative particles"--sometimes question words familiar to us like "why," "what," etc., other times by suffixes often attached to the main verb, or by words untranslatable into English that function simply to alert the reader to a question. For example, in Latin, where there's no word order to help, these suffixes (or "enclitic particles") are important:

    Habes librum (You have a book)

    Habesne librum (You have a book, don't you?)

    But in fact, many times there are no clear markers, why? The issue of reading is probably the key. While the vast majority of language was spoken, when literacy rates were less than 5-10%, such punctuation was unnecessary, because the voice intonation and context clearly identified a question. It is then, with the proliferation of written communication that punctuation--and the question mark--became necessary. Accordingly,
    the earliest use of the question mark I (personally) have seen is in the late Middle Ages--14th century--and its use is sporadic for some time thereafter. Its early form is like a little superscripted angle bracket. It *may* have been intended to indicate the rising vocal intonation that a question would have had if spoken aloud, in which case the form and use may have been adopted from the intonational markings of plainchant.

    If somebody has further experience of this, I wouldn't mind hearing about it.
     
  18. rawbone8

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    Bridgekeeper: What is your quest...
     
  19. rawbone8

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    Bridgekeeper: What... is your quest
     
  20. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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