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For example, Chinese, Indian,.. did they use something like dot mark to separate sentences? If not, how can they know something is an object of the first sentence or the subject of the latter sentence?

I.e "I love you and Ann and Bruce and Charlie don't love you" is two sentences with two meanings based on different positions of dot mark

I love you and Anna. And Bruce and Charlie don't love you

I love you. And Anna and Bruce and Charlie don't love you

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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, though their uses tend to be sporadic and/or inconsistent.

Ancient Chinese texts also used as both a full-stop and a comma, or a - for pauses. However, there's a great deal of variation and inconsistency. Often they are omitted and readers are expected to work it out from context, or sentence structures especially if the document is written with a fixed style.

enter image description here

-- A copy of the Tao Te Ching excavated from the Han Dynasty burial site King Ma's Mound. Some of the punctuation marks, which seem to be analogous to a modern comma, are circled in blue.

Classical Greek also had punctuations that are largely shared with Latin. Here's some with their modern European counterparts:

  • Fullstop: .
  • Comma: ,
  • Colon: ·
  • Semicolon: ·

The question mark in Greek developed much later, but was apparently ;

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