An Examination of Second-Level Punctuation: Koldo Mitxelena's Punctuation of Parenthetical Statements
Agurtzane Azpeitia, Elixabete Perez


This study analyzes the second-level punctuation marks used by Koldo Mitxelena to demarcate the parenthetical statements that are so characteristic of his prose. The punctuation marks examined are commas, dashes and parentheses.

As a sample for analysis, we have taken the criticism and commentaries on books and movies published by Mitxelena in Basque in order to determine whether there are significant differences in his selection of one type of punctuation or another as an element that demarcates the statement. We have also tried to determine the criteria that lead him to select one type of punctuation over another in any given case.

Rather than specific or strict rules, we observed significant tendencies in demarcating the borders of parenthetical statements. The typology of the parenthetical statements and their morphosyntactic configuration suggest pertinent criteria that reflect and clarify Mitxelena''s use of punctuation in his critical prose.