THE CORRECT USE OF THE QUOTATION MARKS IN THE MACEDONIAN LANGUAGE – A REQUIREMENT FOR THE STABILITY OF THE LANGUAGE NORM
The research refers to the third developmental period of the primary education in Republic of Macedonia and it has three goals. First, to explore the Macedonian language-teaching curriculum regarding the use of the quotation marks. Then, to analyze the orthographic content dedicated to the quotation marks in Macedonian language textbooks regarding their preciseness and correctness. Finally, to examine whether the use of quotation marks in Macedonian language textbooks as well as in the textbooks for other teaching subject is correct or not. The research has qualitative paradigm (analysis of content) and descriptive design. The sample is consisted of Macedonian language textbooks and textbook for other teaching subjects. Analysis, comparison and synthesis are the methods used for processing the data and conclusions. The research shows that the Macedonian language-teaching curriculum anticipates small number of teaching hours dedicated to the quotation marks, thus the number of the content related to the quotation marks in Macedonian language textbooks is also small and there are almost no explanations. The research indicates that the quotation marks are used the most in Macedonian language textbooks, as we expected and less in the textbooks for other teaching subjects. Finally, the research suggests that although the quotation marks are used correctly in many examples, their use refer to small number of orthographic rules. In addition, there are inconsistencies in the use of quotation marks in many examples, and they are used in a wrong way. Therefore, there is a need of revision of the existent Macedonian language-teaching curriculum as well as of the textbooks, because the quality of the learning material is a crucial requirement for correct knowledge of the quotation marks’ orthographic norm, and this affects the stability of the standard language norm. The research also shows that the current orthography should be supplemented with new rules for usage of quotation marks, regarding the needs of written practice.