The acute accent first appeared with this name in the polytonic orthography of Ancient Greek, where it indicated a syllable with a high pitch. Modern Greek has a stress accent instead of a pitch accent, so the diacritic is now used to mark the stressed vowel of a word.
The acute accent marks the stressed vowel of a word in several languages:
The acute accent marks long vowels in several languages:
A graphically similar, but not identical, mark is indicative of a palatalized sound in several languages.
In Polish, such a mark is known as a kreska (English: stroke) and is an integral part of several letters: four consonants and one vowel. When appearing in consonants, it indicates palatalization, similar to the use of the háček in Czech and other Slavic languages (e.g. sześć [ˈʂɛɕt͡ɕ] "six"). However, in contrast to the háček which is usually used for postalveolar consonants, the kreska denotes alveolo-palatal consonants. In traditional Polish typography, the kreska is more nearly vertical than the acute accent, and placed slightly right of center. A similar rule applies to the Belarusian Latin alphabet Lacinka. However, for computer use, Unicode conflates the codepoints for these letters with those of the accented Latin letters of similar appearance.
In the romanization of Macedonian, ǵ and ḱ represent the Cyrillic letters Ѓ and Ќ, which stand for palatal or alveolo-palatal consonants, though gj and kj (or đ and ć) are more commonly used for this purpose. The same two letters are used to transcribe the postulated Proto-Indo-European phonemes /gʲ/ and /kʲ/.
In some tonal languages written with the Latin alphabet, such as Vietnamese written in the standard Quốc Ngữ system, and Mandarin Chinese written in the Pinyin romanization, the acute accent is used to indicate a rising (or second) tone, the alternative for the acute accent in Mandarin is number 2 after the syllable, e.g. lái = lai2.
The acute accent is used to disambiguate certain words which would otherwise be homographs in the following languages:
In Dutch, the acute accent can also be used to emphasize an individual word within a sentence. For example, "Dit is ónze auto, niet die van jullie," "This is our car, not yours." In this example, ónze is merely an emphasized form of onze. Also in family names like Piét, Piél, Plusjé, Hofsté.
In Danish, the acute accent can also be used for emphasis, especially on the word der (there), ex. "Der kan ikke være mange mennesker dér," meaning "There can't be many people there" or "Dér skal vi hen" meaning "That's where we're going".
smooth breathing / spiritus lenis ( ᾿ )
|Marks sometimes used as diacritics|
titlo ( ҃ )
As with other diacritical marks, a number of loanwords are sometimes spelled in English with an acute accent used in the original language: these include café, fiancé, fiancée, passé, roué, sauté, and touché. Retention of the accent is common only in the French ending é or ée, as in these examples, where its absence would tend to suggest a different pronunciation. Thus the French word résumé is commonly seen in English as resumé, with only one accent (but also with both or none).
Acute accents are sometimes added to loanwords where a final e is not silent, for example, maté from Spanish mate, saké, and the Maldivian capital Malé, the last two from languages which do not use the Roman alphabet, and where transcriptions do not normally use acute accents.
For foreign terms used in English that have not been assimilated into English or are not in general English usage, italics are generally used with the appropriate accents: for example, coup d'état, pièce de résistance, crème brûlée and ancien régime.
Accents are sometimes also used for poetic purposes, to indicate an unusual pronunciation: for example, spelling the word picked (normally [pɪkt]) as pickéd to indicate the pronunciation ['pɪkɪd]. The grave accent is more usually used for this purpose.
The ISO-8859-1 and Windows-1252 character encoding include the letters á, é, í, ó, ú, ý, and their respective capital forms. Dozens more letters with the acute accent are available in Unicode. Unicode also provides the acute accent as a separate character U+00B4 and a combining character, U+0301.
On Windows computers, letters with acute accents can be created by holding down the alt key and typing in a three-number code on the number pad to the right of the keyboard before releasing the alt key. Before the appearance of Spanish keyboards, Spanish speakers had to learn these codes if they wanted to be able to write acute accents, though some preferred using the Microsoft Word spell checker to add the accent for them. Some young computer users got in the habit of not writing accented letters at all. The codes (which come from the IBM PC encoding) are:
The concept of dead key, a key that modified the meaning of the next key press, was developed to overcome this problem. This acute accent key was already present on typewriters where it typed the accent without moving the carriage, so a normal letter could be written on the same place.
On a UK Keyboard layout, these letters can also be made by holding Ctrl+Alt (or Alt Gr) and the desired letter. Some sites, such as Wikipedia or the Alta Vista automatic translator allow inserting such symbols by clicking on a link in a box.
On a Macintosh, an acute accent is placed on a vowel by pressing Option-e and then the vowel, which can also be capitalised; for example, á is formed by pressing Option-e and then 'a', and Á is formed by pressing Option-e and then Shift-a.
|The Basic modern Latin alphabet|
Letters using acute accent
|Basic Latin alphabet|
The letter L is derived from the Phoenician crook or goad which stood for /l/. This originally may have been based on an Egyptian hieroglyph that was adapted by Semites for alphabetic purposes. The Greek letter Lambda Λ (upper case) or λ (lower case), as well as the equivalent Etruscan and Latin letters, represent the same sound as the Semitic letter.
|Egyptian hieroglyph `wt||Proto-Semitic L||Phoenician L||Etruscan L||Greek Lambda|
In English, L can have several values, depending on whether it occurs before or after a vowel. The alveolar lateral approximant (the sound which the IPA uses the lowercase [l] to represent) occurs before a vowel, as in lip or please, while the velarized alveolar lateral approximant (IPA [ɫ]) occurs in bell and milk (see Dark L). This velarization does not occur in many European languages that use L; it is also a factor making the pronunciation of L difficult for users of languages that either lack, or have different values, for L, such as Japanese or some southern dialects of Chinese.
L can occur before almost any plosive, fricative, or affricate in English. Common digraphs include LL, which has a value identical to L in English, but has the separate value voiceless alveolar lateral fricative (IPA /ɬ/) in Welsh, where it can appear in an initial position.
In English writing, L is often silent in such words as walk or could (its presence modifies other letters' sounds, i.e. 'wak' might be more likely to be pronounced such that it would rhyme with 'back').
In Unicode the capital L is codepoint U+004C and the lowercase l is U+006C. In some fonts, a lowercase l may be difficult to distinguish from a 1(one) or an uppercase letter I(i). A more stylized version based on the handwritten ℓ is sometimes used - this is often used as a suffix on a number to represent litres. Its codepoint is U+2113 and its numeric character reference is "ℓ". Capital I(i) can also be hard to distinguish from a lowercase l(L), as many fonts use a vertical bar for both of these characters. In recent times, many new fonts have curved the lowercase form to the right and is increasingly common, especially on European road signs and advertisements.
The EBCDIC code for capital L is 211 and for lowercase l is 147.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: L|
|The Basic modern Latin alphabet|
Letter L with diacritics
|The Latin alphabet|
Here are sentences from other pages on Town, which are similar to those in the above article.