Talk:Acute accent

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Are we supposed to give phonetics in SAMPA or IPA? IPA should work with all browsers correctly handling Unicode. The WikiPedia renderer could do on-the-fly translation to ASCII for the remaining browsers. David.Monniaux 23:36, 21 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia's policy is to prefer IPA. -- Arthaey 06:41, 27 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Add Irish usage. In Irish is called "fada". hippietrail

Yes - I came to this page looking for information about the effect that the fada has on Irish pronunciation - but there is nothing available Simhedges 08:17, 12 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Remove Polish - there is no acute "a" there...

Dutch vóór (before) & voor (for)[edit]

17:44, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC) I have removed this example because it is incorrect. In this case the accents are only for emphasis. Dutch: "Ik ben vóór democratie, en was dat al vóór de dood van Pim Fortuyn." You can leave out the accents without a semantic change. -- Eric

Thanks for the correction. I've put this example in as an example of using the acute for emphasis. — Hippietrail 03:24, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)


I've now twice had to revert back to my own changes where I removed Icelandic from the Length section and moved it to Other Uses.

The acute accent does NOT mark length in Icelandic as I've explained both in my edit and in the actual text. And yet people keep adding it again.


I vaguely remember Icelandic accents indicating length in Old Icelandic, rather than vowel quality they indicate in modern Icelandic. Is that correct? Ben 04:29, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC) (who has never edited the article about Icelandic)
Yeah, I think that's correct. That all changed a long long time ago though :) You can still often see a correspondence to the old English length-marking as it were (mostly if not only with the 'o') in pairs like bók/book, tók/took, hrókur/rook and so on. Bjornkri 09:38, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Icelandic does not use acute accent to indicate length, for example, a is not the same letter as á, it simply isn't the same sound. Pési 22:12, 8 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article split?[edit]

This article is about two quite different terms. The most common one is of course the one about orthography. There is however the term for the tonal accents of Swedish and Norwegian. I think these terms might need a seperate article, since it's really about phonetics. Any thoughts? Peter Isotalo 20:38, May 5, 2005 (UTC)

In Danish[edit]

In Danish the use of the accesnt acute is the same as in Swedish. So, the text in the article about the Danish use are wrong. I've only seen one author use it like this, Lene Kaaberbøl. rRatón

Palatalization in Polish[edit]

The function of the acute accent/kreska in Polish is completely different to that of the háček. Usually the equivalent of a consonant with a háček is a digraph with the base consonant followed by z, the exception being Ž, which is equivalent to rz and ż. Karol Szafranski 20:25, 21 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sounds like?[edit]

Since this is the English Wikipedia, could we get some examples of what vowels with acute accents sound like? For example, you could say ú sounds like the "u" in "flute." If that's even I said, it's not clear which sound goes with which character. indil 08:06, 25 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ó "used across England"[edit]

In "Other uses", there is the following assertion:

In Dutch, ó is often used to as an alternate to the British "oh." [...] Popularised by Bas Redeker and Jaroslaw Zaba, it is now used across England, particularly in Internet culture.

I find this very dubious, not least because Dutch isn't exactly widely used in England. Hairy Dude 16:24, 17 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What's more, ó is not at all often used in this fashion in Dutch. In fact, I've never seen this. Dutch uses "oh" to show surprise or perhaps disappointment, just like English does. This line was originally added (Feb. 19, 2006, 23.43) by an anonymous user (, who made some small edits to another article and vandalized a third. Not a reliable source, I'd say. I will remove this line. ··· rWd · Talk ··· 12:38, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, in Dutch, oh is an interjection of empathy, compassion, disappointment, pain, etc. In case of surprise, invocation, etc. you're looking for o, without acute accent. Shinobu (talk) 17:09, 28 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In Spanish[edit]

The acute accent is used in the following cases:

1) a) Words stressed in the last syllable take the accent when they finish with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u), with -n or with -s:

                          mamá, camión, inglés

b) Words stressed in the last-but-one syllable take the accent when they do not finish with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u), with -n or with -s.

                          árbol, núbil 

c) Word stressed in the last-but-two syllable always take the accent.

                          matemáticas, pentágono

2) To differenciate between homographs:

                          té (noun)         te (pronoun)
                          sí (adverb)       si (pronoun)
                          sé (verb)         se (pronoun)

3) To break a diphthong

                          geometría         púa

4) In interrogative adverbs and pronouns, in direct and indirect questions and exclamative sentences.

   ¿Dónde vives?                     No sé dónde vives
   ¿Quién es esa muchacha?           Me pregunto quién es esa muchacha
   ¡Qué hermosa pintura!             Observó qué hermosa que era la pintura 00:22, 27 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Acute Consonants[edit]

In phonetics there seems to be a use of the terms 'grave' and 'acute' to distinguish certain kinds of consonants. So, labials are called grave and dentals acute. I find this terminology confusing and turned to Wikipedia for an explanation of it, but there is none. Could it be added here, or could this article link to an article that explained i? Tibetologist 23:58, 14 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I just ran across a definition so have added a new article Acute (phonetic). Tibetologist 01:09, 15 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Ý just links back to the present article. Given that we have articles on most of the other individual letters, that seems like a liability: all it does is make the link misleadingly look like we have an article. - Jmabel | Talk 18:37, 17 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I see a slashed o (ø) with an acute accent in some of the fonts. Which language(s) use this grapheme? (talk) 02:58, 16 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I'm not sure, but I think that acute accent in Portuguese is also used for disambiguation like Spanish in words like "pára" (he stops) and "para" (prep. "for"). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:04, 10 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A more familiar example?[edit]

I'm sure that this has been brought up a few times already, so I suspect that it's already been disagreed upon. But if not, then.... is there any possibility that the word "Pokémon" can be fit into the English use of "é" somewhere? It's not that I'm looking for a way to reference a video game, but I figure that maybe it would be appropriate to make a reference to it as it is an example of "é" that I'm sure more people have encountered the word and are more familiar with it than any other French loan-word. I mean, even I know of it, and I hate the game! (My kid plays it SO much!!... but I won't get into that right now. :P)

But it's just an idea, one I'm sure that maybe it isn't appropriate, but that's up to you guys to think. - (talk) 02:46, 18 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Acute accent for stressed "-ed"[edit]

This article suggests that the acute accent is an option for the adjective learnèd (ˈlɜrn.ɨd) to distinguish from the past tense of learn, learned (ˈlɜrnd). I would have thought that the grave accent was standard, with the acute just being an error or mis-print. I don't want to remove the suggestion from the article without research, so I've just tagged it for now. How does one research this? Dbfirs 08:16, 25 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Ide" in Swedish[edit]

The Swedish word ide does not have stress on both syllables. A speaker of Standard Central Swedish may believe this to be the case, since ide has accent 2 (falling accent). In this variant of Swedish, bisyllabic accent 2 words have a "double peaked accent". Both syllables in ide are pronounced with a falling accent, but the stress is on the first syllable only. Compounds, on the other hand, have accent 2 and secondary stress, such as in the word förskärare ("carving knife"), where the main stress is on the first syllable and secondary stress on the second, since this is a compound of the prefix för and the noun skärare. David ekstrand (talk) 08:20, 16 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Windows accent shortcuts[edit]

Not even the Microsoft website will tell you the keystrokes for french accents [1], although "Microsoft at Home" has an article called, Save time with quick computer shortcuts with a nice-looking young woman blathering on about how she "learned the keystrokes for the French accents that were essential in all of my correspondence." However, they have no link, and a search within Microsoft came up with nothing. Apparently that was an advertising page, not a help page.

I spent the next 1/2 hour trying to find this information, and finally Wikipedia supplies an entire article on the acute accent, with a shortcut. I'd like to make a page or at least a chart, listing all French accented letters, and their Windows shortcuts.

Anyone want to help me? Or tell me Wikipedia is not a (reference source)? --Uncle Ed (talk) 17:13, 21 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

pitch vs. tone[edit]

What is the difference between pitch and tone? Could the two sections be merged?  Andreas  (T) 21:58, 4 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not a terrible lot of a difference, as far as I am aware. As far as I understand – but then I'm not an expert phonologist – the term "pitch accent" typically applies to languages where certain distinctive pitch contours are features only of a single, stressed syllable of a word; whereas the term "tone language" is typically applied to languages where distinctive pitch contours can be found on every syllable. The section about Greek and Croatian deals with the first type, the section on Vietnamese with the second. I'd have no problem with merging the sections, but there seems to be something like an historical progression in the design of the page, with older orthographic systems being treated first, and a merger would not fit in with that too well. Fut.Perf. 13:57, 5 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I noticed it was dropped that /r/ in word-initial & word-final position was always trilled in Basque. This is, however, not the case, as there are no word-initial /r/s in Basque. I removed the "word-initial" comment, but I left the other, as I'm not aware of its validity. -- (talk) 15:32, 10 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"-éd" in English metrical texts (poetry, hymns etc)[edit]

"éd" is quite often used as a stress mark in English metrical texts to show a voice instead of silent E, e.g. "blesséd" two syllables. I am not sure how relevant this is to this article, so I don't want to add it. I was tempted to do so under "stress", but it is not really stress as it changes the pronunciation from silent to voiced E. Comments? Si Trew (talk) 07:31, 18 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's actually already covered in the English section. — Eru·tuon 19:25, 18 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Letter list links[edit]

Why do the letters in the intro list have links when they all appear to re-direct to the same page? Myoglobin (talk) 01:56, 9 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Turns out some of the letters have unique pages; I will remove the links that are redundant though. Myoglobin (talk) 01:56, 9 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It looks like the list table was imported from somewhere else, so I'm not sure I can edit those.
The links that need to be removed are for the following letters:
Ǽ Ḉ Ḗ J́ Ĺ Ṕ Q́ Ẃ X́ Myoglobin (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 02:19, 9 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


It would enhanced the article to add an actual reference where caléndar is used, or rather a different example. --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:47, 12 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Currently this article only mentions the acute accent being used in French on the e vowel. That's not complete at all though. They are used on other vowels as well. E.g. au delà, où, âge, hôtel, epître, mûr, ... Tvx1 00:25, 18 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Those are not acute accents: see French orthography#Diacritics. --Macrakis (talk) 02:55, 18 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Shape and stroke direction[edit]

At this point the article lacks a section on the shape the acute accent takes in different typographic traditions. — In French, and in Western typographic and calligraphic traditions generally, all accents are written from top to bottom so that the shortest definition in French dictionaries (see is that the acute is the accent "qui va de droite à gauche" ("which goes from right to left"), meaning that it descends from top right to lower left. By contrast, in the Chinese Pinyin and Bopomofo systems the acute is iconic of a rise in tone (=the 2nd tone of Standard Chinese) and is therefore written from low to high in the left-to-right writing direction. In both traditions the stroke is tapering because it is finished by lifting the writing utensil (pen or brush). — The Type has a comparatively well-written article by Eric Q. Liu on the typographic features of Pinyin entitled Wǒ ài pīnyīn! ("I love Pinyin!"), see especially their section 声调造型 ("tone accent model") which also has two illustrations of ⟨i í ì lì jí⟩ in Western vs. Chinese fonts. (Click the dots below the images to switch between them.) Love —LiliCharlie (talk) 07:59, 13 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@LiliCharlie: Section added with my own picture depicting Western acute accent, Polish kreska accent and Pinyin. NFSL2001 (talk) 15:55, 15 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@NFSL2001: Thanks a million, this looks all very nice and well-written. I also like your graphic, and the fact that it is a vector graphic. I think the only graphic I ever created for Pinyin was File:The five pinyin tones marks.svg which also shows a rising acute. (The dot for light tone is codified in section 7.3 of the GB/T 16159-2012 national standard and is only used in reference works like the Xiàndài Hànyǔ Cídiǎn.) We could also illustrate the fact that right-to-left direction is the crucial criterion in French typography with an image like File:1 franc commémoratif charles De Gaulle 1988 (B).jpg which shows the French national motto liberté, égalité, fraternité written with almost horizontal acute accents on a one French franc coin issued in 1988. What do you think? Love —LiliCharlie (talk) 00:14, 16 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you. I don't know how to describe what you said so maybe you can try to add it on yourself after the Western acute paragraph. The acute did seem very horizontal. P/S: I'm afraid that the site you visited for GB/T 16159-2012 is unreliable as the notes section are all incorrectly modified. The original document can be viewed here or here. NFSL2001 (talk) 06:49, 16 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would be a bit cautious about drawing any conclusions from the typography of a coin, since the space is so constrained. If you compare that with Le Monde's front page headline today: Coronavirus : la situation épidémique est « extrêmement grave » à Pékin, où les voyages « non essentiels » hors de la ville sont déconseillés, the strokes of grave and accute are 45° or so, both wider at the top than at the bottom. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 19:00, 16 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@John Maynard Friedman: Nobody is drawing conclusions from the typography of a coin. This is only to illustrate a conclusion drawn from French dictionary definitions of the acute accent, which mention nothing but the accent's horizontal direction. Of course we can also illustrate this using logos like Nestlé's, or, perhaps better, using examples from contemporary typefaces like Adolfo Rojas' Adolphus Serif. And we should always bear in mind that we are talking about what is taken for granted, what is crucial, and what is indispensible in Western typeface design rather than about good typography. The limits, if you like.
And yes, Le Monde switched from a headline typeface by Jean-François Porchez to one by Lucas De Groot to Carter's Fenway. All highly legible ones with accents that can be distinguished from a distance. Love —LiliCharlie (talk) 21:20, 16 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]