Following a method of Ms Richoux, I did a Google search of the Literature Post site (http://www.literaturepost.com /) on 'I wonder why'. Of course this is just a small subset of possible 'wonder' sentences, but here's what I found:-
Total number of hits: 78
Translations (excluded): 3
Exact string absent (for whatever reason; excluded): 2 Examples with question-marks: 28
Much as I might dislike this result, it does seem to show that the disputed question-mark is in general use among the authors surveyed. They may not all be among the greatest of authors, but they do include Hardy, Dickens, Carroll, D. H. Lawrence, Conrad, and George Eliot. (They also include American authors, though no American greats... could this be a glimmer of evidence for a pondian dichotomy?)

Here are the 28 examples ('/' indicates a new line):

(1) I wonder why the Spanish dagger grows so thick on this hill, Enid? (Willa Cather in One of Ours )
(2) "I wonder why?" asked Dorothy. (L. Frank Baum in The Emerald City of Oz )
(3) "I wonder why you feel like that?" Carl mused. (Willa Cather in O Pioneers! )
(4) "She speaks so little " / "Yes. I wonder why? (Edward Bulwer Lytton in My Novel )
(5) "I wonder why they did that?" mused Dorothy. (LFB in Glinda of Oz )
(6) "'Dear,'" thought Mary to herself; "he hasn't called me that since I was sixteen. I wonder why he does it now? (H. Rider Haggard in Stella Fregelius )
(7) "I spy a peacock's eye / On every feather. I wonder why?" (LFB in Sky Island )
(8) "I wonder why mother didn't wish it?" (Thomas Hardy in The Mayor of Casterbridge )
(9) I wonder why folks get cross when it rains? (LFB in SI ) (10) I wonder WHY it wouldn't do?' thought Alice, as she groped her way among the tables and chairs, for the shop was very dark towards the end. (Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking-Glass ) (11) "I wonder why it is," Eustace Le Neve interposed, to spare Cleer's feelings, "that so many high places, tops of mountains and so forth, seem always to be dedicated to St. Michael in particular? (Allen Grant in Michael's Crag )
(12) "I must see Venn I wish I had known it before," said Clym anxiously. "I wonder why he has not come to tell me?" (13) HARLEY. "All history is, and all women are fond of war and of warriors.
I wonder why?" (EBL in MN )
(14) "Quite so, Baas. He will be angry. I wonder why he did it?" he added
suspiciously, "seeing that he is such a friend of yours." (HRH in She and Allan )
(15) "Prejudice against my poor mother! I always supposed so! I wonder why? The most simple-hearted, inoffensive, affectionate woman." (EBL in What Will He Do With It )
(16) "I wonder why you didn't scream and bite me when I came into your room?" said Mary. (Frances Hodgson Burnett in The Secret Garden ) (17) I wonder why he fixed on me as the musical one? (George Eliot in Daniel Deronda )
(18) I have been unfortunate in my love affairs. I wonder why? (William J. Locke in Simon the Jester )
(19) "I wonder why I have sent for you?" he said at length, with a mirthless laugh. (HRH in When the World Shook )
(20) I wonder why such a love of conquest was put into us? (Louisa May Alcott in An Old Fashioned Girl )
(21) Now I wonder why did she ? (HRH in The Ancient Allan ) (22) "Nearly all, for the queen set the fashion I wonder why she hated him so?" Inez added, looking shrewdly at Peter; (HRH in Fair Margaret )
(23) I suppose we do make more noise than English people," she admitted a second or so later. "I wonder why?" (FHB in The Shuttle ) (24) 'I wonder why you ever fell in love with me?' said Dora, beginning on another button of my coat. (CD in David Copperfield ) (25) He was very irritated. I said innocently: "Are they, sir. I wonder why?" / "Why!" he fumed. (Joseph Conrad in The Shadow Line ) (26) Now, if when I was a youngster I had taken some of those intensely masculine
vacations you go in for I wonder why you didn't invite me sometimes? (Jack London in Smoke Bellew )
(27) "He seems to have given it up," she murmured. / "I wonder why?" (JC in Chance )
(28) "I wonder why nurse didn't come to settle me down?" complained the mother, like a child, wistfully. (D. H. Lawrence in Sons and Lovers )
...g
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Following a method of Ms Richoux, I did a Google search of the Literature Post site (http://www.literaturepost.com /) on 'I wonder ... (They also include American authors, though no American greats... could this be a glimmer of evidence for a pondian dichotomy?)

I snipped your list, but it's available to anyone who wants to look for it. I can't be sure, but it appears that there isn't a single one of your 28 quotations that dates from much later than about
1925. Many of them are from the 19th Century. I wonder if youattach any significance to that. I know I do.
And how many did you find with periods instead of question marks? For all we know, fewer than one percent of all instances of "I wonder why" had question marks following. A ratio of 99/1, if that's what it is, would suggest to me that the one percent were either in error or idiosyncratic. Or both.

Bob Lieblich
Who prefers to follow 21st Century practice
Following a method of Ms Richoux, I did a Google ... this be a glimmer of evidence for a pondian dichotomy?)

I snipped your list, but it's available to anyone who wants to look for it. I can't be sure, but ... that's what it is, would suggest to me that the one percent were either in error or idiosyncratic. Or both.

Another possible skew factor involves editorial
standards in right- and left-pondian publishing
houses. The punctuation style in a published
book will not necessarily reflect the practice
or the preference of the author.

Michael West
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Following a method of Ms Richoux, I did a Google ... disputed question-mark is in general use among the authors surveyed.

My thanks to Gerald it's an interesting result and I see no problems in the method.
They may not all be among the greatest of authors, ... this be a glimmer of evidence for a pondian dichotomy?)

I snipped your list, but it's available to anyone who wants to look for it. I can't be sure, but ... of them are from the 19th Century. I wonder if you attach any significance to that. I know I do.

Sure - Literaturepost is a collection of public domain literature. On-line books tend to be before 1920 because that's when the right to put them on line is clearest. After that, you're supposed to have the permission of the author or heirs.
See http://www.literaturepost.com for their list of authors. Very 19th century.
And how many did you find with periods instead of question marks? For all we know, fewer than one percent ... that's what it is, would suggest to me that the one percent were either in error or idiosyncratic. Or both.

Bob, I'm sure you can subtract 28 from 78. I can ask my daughter to get out her fancy calculator if you like. Although, if any had exclamation points, would that count?
Have a nice soothing cup of tea. The air is full of jangling vibrations. War has that effect.

Best Donna Richoux
Following a method of Ms Richoux, I did a Google ... this be a glimmer of evidence for a pondian dichotomy?)

I snipped your list, but it's available to anyone who wants to look for it. I can't be sure, but ... that's what it is, would suggest to me that the one percent were either in error or idiosyncratic. Or both.

Isn't it possible that copyright restrictions have skewed the results, date-wise?
Do any punctuation or style manuals explicitly disapprove of this question mark? Trask and Truss don't mention the "wonder" case, for example; it's a pity that we've just missed the opportunity to ask the former about it.
Matti
Matti asked:
Do any punctuation or style manuals explicitly disapprove of this question mark?

Yes. The Chicago Manual of Style, probably the most widely used stylesheet in U.S. academic publishing, recommends against it:
>

>
*Warning! The absence of the article here may confuse native speakers of languages lacking articles. It may even startle native speakers of English.
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Matti asked:

Do any punctuation or style manuals explicitly disapprove of this question mark?

here may confuse native speakers of languages lacking articles. It may even startle native speakers of English.

But these are not related even loosely to "I wonder ...?", which is what we're discussing. So I assume the CMS has no pronouncement to make on it what about any others?
Matti
Following a method of Ms Richoux, I did a Google ... this be a glimmer of evidence for a pondian dichotomy?)

I snipped your list, but it's available to anyone who wants to look for it. I can't be sure, but ... of them are from the 19th Century. I wonder if you attach any significance to that. I know I do.

It may well be significant, but without data for modern authors I can't tell. It's harder to do a quick survey for modern authors but I wouldn't be surprised, now, to find a similar result.
And how many did you find with periods instead of question marks? For all we know, fewer than one percent ... that's what it is, would suggest to me that the one percent were either in error or idiosyncratic. Or both.

The balance (45, excluding translations and inexactly matching strings) had full-stops or exclamation-marks. Thus, more than one-third had question-marks in a field of three punctuation-marks. Had it been less than 1%, I would have discounted them, or used the statistics to bolster my case that the usage is incorrect..g
The balance (45, excluding translations and inexactly matching strings) had full-stops or exclamation-marks. Thus, more than one-third had question-marks in ... than 1%, I would have discounted them, or used the statistics to bolster my case that the usage is incorrect..g

This must surely be a good moment to abandon the appeal to statistics. All we can say is that a skilled writer may sometimes put a question-mark after 'I wonder...', or do whatever else he chooses, for his own good reasons; when he does, it isn't incorrect. A careless or less skilled writer may sometimes use the question-mark for no good reason: and when that happens, it is non-standard.

On the whole, the usage is most likely to occur between quotation-marks or in prose of a conversational kind; in these cases formal rules aren't applied rigorously. Most formal prose, on the other hand, tends to avoid the first person singular, so the question will rarely arise; if I found 'I wonder...' in formal writing, I'd be surprised to see a question-mark, and would probably call it a mistake if I did.
Mike.
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