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Capitalization and proper names

Rules for capitalization

Capitalization in Lugamun follows similar rules as in English, but is used somewhat more sparingly. The first word of each sentence is capitalized, as are proper names regardless of where they occur. The period (.), question mark (?), and exclamation mark (!) are normally considered as punctuation that ends a sentence, so the following word will be capitalized. On the other hand, comma (,), semicolon (;), and dash (–) are considered as marks that help to structure a single sentence, hence the next word is not capitalized (unless it is a proper name).

The colon (:) is normally also considered as inner-sentence punctuation, and so followed by a lower-case letter. However, if a complete sentence follows and one prefers it, one can also capitalize the word after the colon. If the sentence after a colon is enclosed in quotation marks, it is always capitalized.

Quoted speech is usually capitalized if the quoted expression is a complete sentence (or several ones), but not when quoting just a word or short expression.

Ya (li) ven: “Ti yau ke?” – He/She asked: “What do you want?”
Ben (li) minta Tina tu “banju” ya, bal ku real ya yau ku sola (money). – Be asked Tina to “help” him, but actually he just wanted money.

Some poets also capitalize the first word of each line in a poem, while most just follow the normal rules of capitalizing proper names and the first word of each sentence. Either style is fine, as long as one uses it consistently.

Section headers and the titles of books, movies, and other works are capitalized just like sentences: the first word is capitalized, while otherwise only proper names are capitalized. When referring to them in running text, they are normally written in italics or surrounded by quotation marks.

Sento nyen de [lonely]nes xi buku ol mas jixibi de Gabriel García Márquez.One Hundred Years of Solitude is Gabriel García Márquez’s best-known book.
Ti li soma Hemingway ki “Yo komonte kom elefan bai” ka? – Did you read Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”?

Proper names

Proper names (also called proper nouns or just names) are always capitalized. These include the names of persons, companies, countries (e.g. Majarorsa ‘Hungary’, Misre ‘Egypt’), continents (e.g. Europa ‘Europe’), cities (e.g. Budapest), and other geographical entities such as rivers (e.g. Amasonas ‘Amazon’).

In contrast to English, the adjectives related to such nouns are not capitalized (e.g. majar ‘Hungarian’, misri ‘Egyptian’), nor are references to the inhabitants of countries and other geographical places (e.g. jen europi '(a) European’).

Religions and other belief systems aren’t capitalized (e.g. budisme / iman budi ‘Buddhism’, islam ‘Islam’, kristisme ‘Christianity’). The names of months (e.g. januar ‘January’) and days of the week (e.g. solden ‘Sunday’) are considered normal nouns and hence not capitalized, again in contrast to English.

The names of planets (such as [?] ‘Mars’) and other celestial bodies are considered proper names and hence capitalized. However, bumi ‘earth/Earth’, luna ‘moon’, and sol ‘sun’ are in typical usage not considered as celestial bodies, but as the place where people live and as things one can see in the sky. As such, they are written in lower case like other generic nouns.

Si den sol bria ku garam. – The sun is shining warmly today.
Tis yau du bi fa ni bumi, kom ni jana. – Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

However, in cases where it matters that these places are indeed celestial bodies, they are generally capitalized.

[Fact] to Bumi [revolve] ni seronde Sol, ba debe bi jixi a kada [student]. – The fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun should be known to every student.
Jen [visit] aval Luna ni 1969. – Humans first visited the Moon in 1969.

Similarly, deva ‘god/God’ is written in lower case when referring to gods in general or to one of conceivably multiple deities. However, in the context of monotheistic religions, Deva is frequently treated as a proper name and hence capitalized.

Some names consist of short phrases in Lugamun. In such cases, the first word is always capitalized. Otherwise, any prepositions and conjunctions are written in lower case, while all other words are capitalized.

Yo Dola Fabi Un de Amerika – (the) United States of America

Sometimes a name is preceded by a generic term that characterizes the entity in question and which may be considered as part of the name, or as a title applied to a person. In such cases, both nouns are usually capitalized when they are used next to each other.

[President] Emmanuel Macron – President Emmanuel Macron
[University] Stanford – Stanford University
[Hotel] Ritz – Hotel Ritz

If used without the specific name, however, the generic part is usually written in lower case.

[President] Macron si den li tiba ni London. Den tali [president visit] maraji. – President Macron arrived in London today. Tomorrow the president will visit the king.

While all parts of the names of persons are normally capitalized, some name parts may be written in lower case according to the conventions of the language of origin. This is preserved in Lugamun as well. (But at the start of sentences, such words are usually capitalized just as any others.)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe li xi nulisja doice ol mas maxuhur. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was the most famous German writer.

en/grammar/capitalization_and_proper_names.txt · Last modified: 2023-02-01 10:30 by christian

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