In order to prove this point, Ong
surveys first in precise historical detail texts by early Christian grammarians
whose influence was felt through the Middle Ages (particularly Donatus'
Ars Grammatica) and then texts from the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries (with special emphasis on Ben Jonson's The English Grammar).
He concludes: "Elizabethan and Jacobean theory . . . never cut itself
loose from the traditional view of punctuation as basically a physiological
rather than either an elocutionary or a syntactical (logical) device" (360).
Particularly interesting in this article is Ong's assessment that instead
of having punctuation usage based only on elocution or on syntax, there
existed two "systems" which worked together as well as against each other.
Later in his career, Ong would go on to develop the idea of co-existing
systems further as he explored primary orality and the invention of writing.