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The first sentence on the Mac OS X article on the Japanese version of Wikipedia reads:

Mac OS X(マック オーエス テン)は、アップルが[開発]{かいはつ}・[販売]{はんばい}する、Macintoshコンピュータ[用]{よう}の[現行]{げんこう}オペレーティングシステム (OS) である。

Now, in between the words 開発 and 販売 there happens to be a nakaguro. In this context what does it mean? Is it simply a short hand listing for する verbs? (similar to an & sign?) or perhaps it is used to build some special type of compound verbs? Also how would that be read (e.g. pronounced)? Considering that this is an encyclopedia article, is this convention formal or informal?

Thanks in advance! :)

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2  
This was already a good question, but I love the fact that you also asked how it would be pronounced. I never even thought of that! –  atlantiza Jun 13 '12 at 19:41

2 Answers 2

up vote 16 down vote accepted

中点 is used to express listing. In English, it would be expressed with a comma and the word and.

A・B・C   (Japanese)
A, B, and C  (English)

Japanese has a counterpart to the comma, that is 読点 , but its use is different from a comma. Some people use 読点 for listing things like this:

A、B、C

but it is not standard. In horizontal writing, some people use the English punctuation , and .. In that case, the comma , can be used for listing.

It is a good point that you recognized that する is not repeated. If you wanted to, the non-final ones will become し(て), and 読点 would be used instead of 中点.

開発・販売する
開発し、販売する

This indicates that 中点 is used for connecting noun phrases that are not syntactically connected. When the listed items are connected syntactically as in the latter example above, 読点 is used.

中点 is not usually pronounced, but if you want to, or may work in some cases.

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1  
As well as listing, I had read that it was also used to separate transcribed foreign words (written in katakana). –  Chris Harris Jun 14 '12 at 1:40
    
@Chris That is right. –  user458 Jun 14 '12 at 1:55

Now, in between the words 開発 and 販売 there happens to be a nakaguro. In this context what does it mean? Is it simply a short hand listing for する verbs? (similar to an & sign?) or perhaps it is used to build some special type of compound verbs?

According to the Japanese Wikipedia article on 「・」, this mark is mainly used as a divider in compound words. It would therefore not mean anything here per se, but rather function to make it clear that this is a compound word composed of 開発 and 販売.

Also how would that be read (e.g. pronounced)?

「・」 is not usually pronounced. However, てん, ぽつ, or ぽち is sometimes spoken to indicate this character when the need arises.

This YouTube video contains a transcript specifically containing 開発・販売. If you listen to the dialogue, you will not hear any pause between 開発 and 販売.

Considering that this is an encyclopedia article, is this convention formal or informal?

Since it's main purpose is to indicate a division in a compound word, I suspect it could be used in any formal or informal situation warranting this precision.

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5  
This is not correct. –  user458 Jun 14 '12 at 0:24
6  
In fact, your Wikipedia link does not list such usage. Moreover, 開発販売 (or 開発・販売) is not a compound (noun). –  user458 Jun 14 '12 at 0:58

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