punctuation

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  • Period
    • The period is used as me'o denpa bu and as me'o pi. It is not used for ending sentences, since most sentences begin with .i, which begins with a period.
    • In formal writing, cmevla should be surrounded by periods for convenience of narration. (Alternatively they may be capitalized, but another method (e.g. accent marks) must then be used to mark stress.)
  • Comma
    • The comma is used as me'o slaka bu and sometimes between words. The Flatland translation uses a comma where three terminators have been elided. (Was this done automatically by a parser, or did the translator figure out where this comma would be used? It seems like a difficult criterion to apply. Where can the Flatland translation be found?) Some people use a semicolon for this.Note that if you write a comma between words and a denpa is needed, you must write the period also. Omitting the period, but putting the comma, means that the words are run together in pronunciation.Another possible use is as the equivalent of the hyphen which is written when the end of a line falls in the middle of a word.
  • Semicolon
    • See comma.
  • Question mark
    • Used at the end of a bridi question, or on the question word.
  • Quotation marks
    • Used with lu" ... "li'u, lo'u" ... "le'u, and zoi gy" ... "gy. Pronounced as a denpa.
    • Often «guillemets» are preferred for less visual similarity to the apostrophe. Quote marks may also be used for metalinguistic du'u equations, e.g. lo du'u «ko'a jai gau broda» cu du'u «gau ko'a broda»
  • Hyphen
    • One possible use is to mark abbreviations, e.g. ta kg- li 43. Another possible use is to mark that the end of a line is in the middle of a word.
    • Another possible use is as an allograph to the space, to group closely related words together (similar to cmavo clusters), e.g. se-vecnu, gleki-sai. This is however incompatible with the use above.
  • Parentheses
    • Used with (to ... toi).
  • Tilde
    • Denotes a lengthening of a syllable, when representing spoken conversation. e.g. y~~~~, ii~~~~ (Some people simply reduplicate the vowel e.g. yyyyy, however it is incompatible with parsers, and will break up with letters i or u)
  • Bold (or *asterisks* where bold isn't possible)
    • May be used to emphasize words affected by ba'e/bi'a, or defined by goi and cei. Use for emphasis apart from these is discouraged, but may be used to represent loud spoken conversation.
  • Italics
    • Foreign words, like in la'o/la'oi, mu'oi/me'oi
    • Words defined by the text rather than a dictionary, e.g. words that are affected by za'e / zai'e, or previously defined by cei