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Omission of Punctuation Marks in Learning Chinese Language for Korean Overseas Students

As one the organic components of language, punctuation marks are also the important contents of learning Chinese language. So far, there has not been special teaching about punctuation marks and most students don’t pay attention to the use of punctuation marks when they are learning Chinese language.

Because academic fields haven’t focused on the errors of punctuation marks, the research achievements are quite few. Here we had a research among 30 Korean overseas students who are learning Mandarin in China and found that there are usually three patterns of misusing punctuation marks: (1) error of written form; (2) error of written patterns; (3) error of using function.

These 30 Korean students who are learning Mandarin in China were found that they would leave out full stop, comma and colon in using punctuation marks.

Omission of full stops: this phenomenon will occur in one-member sentence, inverted sentence and greeting messages. Sentences which leave out full stops are usually quite brief and appear at the end of articles or paragraphs. Such as,
1) 今天先写到这儿吧,再见(one-member sentence)
2) 再见,老师!再见,绍兴(inverted sentence)
3) 祝老师保重身体(greeting message)

Omission of commas: it always includes patterns behind complex adverbial modifier, behind parenthesis and in a sentence of two or more clauses.

When complex-structured adverbial modifiers like time, place or cause are put in the beginning of sentence, in order to allow readers to stop and take a breath for the large vocabulary and long sentence, we should use commas to cut off the sentence. But these overseas students will leave out the commas when they are learning Chinese language. For example,

4) 多亏了老师和朋友的帮助我愉快地度过了四个月难忘的留学生涯。
When parenthesis is put in the beginning of sentence, we should use comma to make a pause or to express a stop of tone or a kind of prompt. The omissions of commas made by students who are learning Chinese language are: one is to leave out commas directly; the other one is to use blank space behind an adverbial modifier to replace with tone stop.

5) 我看这就是人们吧郑人叫做愚人的原因吧。

6) 比如说 我知道怎么学习汉语,所以现在能了解中国的情况。
Omission of comma in a sentence with two or more clauses will occur in fluent sentence with consecutive semantics in learning Chinese language. For instance,

7) 我一个人第一次离开家到很远的地方来不时想家孤苦伶仃。
This indicates that overseas students can’t grasp the stop tones in Chinese flow of language sense in the process of learning Chinese language. In addition to this, omission of comma in a sentence with two or more clauses will also occur in sentence with pairs of conjunctive words. For example,

8) 太阳渐渐落山了因为路上暗坛子又有点儿重所以拿不回家。
Sentence with two or more clauses governed by pairs of conjunctive words whose meanings of clauses are tightly connected to be a unity will be ignored overseas students. Sometimes they dare not to pause the two clauses which lead to the omission of commas. This is also one of common misusing phenomenon of learning Chinese language for Korean overseas students.
Omission of colons: it mainly includes the omission of colon in front of the left quotation mark in direct speech and the omission of colon behind suggestive gesture. For example,

9) 中国朋友看到我着急的样子, 常常劝告我“不要紧的,放松一点吧。”

10) 虽然同在一个文化圈,但是我察觉到了中国和韩国文化的不同,情况大致如下
By paying attention to these common phenomena of punctuation marks omission, students can improve their written Chinese effectively.

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