The Info List - Acute Accent

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The ACUTE ACCENT ( ´ ) is a diacritic used in many modern written languages with alphabets based on the Latin , Cyrillic , and Greek scripts.


* 1 Uses

* 1.1 History

* 1.2 Pitch

* 1.2.1 Greek

* 1.3 Stress * 1.4 Height

* 1.5 Length

* 1.5.1 Long vowels * 1.5.2 Short vowels

* 1.6 Palatalization * 1.7 Tone * 1.8 Disambiguation * 1.9 Emphasis * 1.10 Letter extension * 1.11 Other uses * 1.12 English

* 2 Technical notes

* 2.1 Microsoft Windows

* 2.1.1 Microsoft Office

* 2.2 Macintosh OS X * 2.3 Keyboards * 2.4 Internet * 2.5 Limitations

* 3 Notes * 4 See also * 5 External links



An early precursor of the acute accent was the apex , used in Latin inscriptions to mark long vowels .



See also: Ancient Greek accent

The acute accent was first used in the polytonic orthography of Ancient Greek , where it indicated a syllable with a high pitch . In Modern Greek, a stress accent has replaced the pitch accent, and the acute marks the stressed syllable of a word. The Greek name of the accented syllable was and is ὀξεῖα (_oxeîa_, Modern Greek _oxía_) "sharp" or "high", which was calqued (loan-translated) into Latin as _acūta_ "sharpened".


The acute accent marks the stressed vowel of a word in several languages:

* Blackfoot uses acute accents to show the place of stress in a word: soyópokistsi "leaves". * Bulgarian : stress, which is variable in Bulgarian, is not usually indicated in Bulgarian except in dictionaries and sometimes in homonyms that are distinguished only by stress. However, Bulgarian usually uses the grave accent to mark the vowel in a stressed syllable, unlike Russian, which uses the acute accent. * Catalan uses it in stressed vowels: _é_, _í_, _ó_, _ú_. * Dutch uses it to mark stress (_vóórkomen_ – _voorkómen_, meaning _occur_ and _prevent_ respectively) or a more closed vowel (_hé_ – _hè_, equivalent to English _hey_ and _heh_) if it is not clear from context. Sometimes, it is simply used for disambiguation, as in _één_ – _een_, meaning "one" and "a(n)". * Galician * Italian The accent is used to indicate the stress in a word, or whether the vowel is "open" or "wide", or "closed", or "narrow". For example, _pèsca_= Peach ("open" or "wide" vowel, = pehscah, as in "pen"); while _pésca_ = fishing ("closed" or "narrow" vowel payscah, as in "pain"). * Irish Called the _Fada_ or _Síneadh fada_ in Irish orthography , here the acute accent is used to denote broad vowels á, é, í, ó and ú. * Lakota . For example, _kákhi_ "in that direction" but _kakhí_ "take something to someone back there". * Leonese uses it for marking stress or disambiguation. * Modern Greek marks the stressed vowel of every polysyllabic word: ά (_á_), έ (_é_), ή (_í_), ί (_í_), ό (_ó_), ύ (_ý_), ώ (_ó_). * Hopi has acute to mark a higher tone. * Navajo where the acute marks a higher tone. * Occitan * Portuguese : _á_, _é_, _í_, _ó_, _ú_. It may also indicate height (see below). * Russian . Stress is irregular in Russian, and in reference and teaching materials (dictionaries and books for children or foreigners), stress is indicated by an acute accent above the stressed vowel. The acute accent can be used both in the Cyrillic and sometimes in the romanised text. * Spanish marks stressed syllables in words that deviate from the standardized stress patterns . It is also used to distinguish minimal pairs such as _el_ (the) and _él_ (he). * Norwegian , Swedish and Danish use the acute accent to indicate that a terminal syllable with the _e_ is stressed and is often omitted if it does not change the meaning: _armen_ (first syllable stressed) means "the arm" while _armé(e)n_ means "the army"; _ide_ (first syllable stressed) means "bear's den" while _idé_ means "idea". Also stress-related are the different spellings of the words en/én and et/ét (the indefinite article and the word "one" in Danish and Norwegian). Then, the acute points out that there is one and only one of the object, which derives from the obsolete spelling(s) een and eet. Some loanwords, mainly from French, are also written with the acute accent, such as Norwegian and Swedish _kafé_ and Danish _café_ (also _cafe_). * Welsh : word stress usually falls on the penultimate syllable, but one way of indicating stress on a final (short) vowel is by the use of the acute accent. In the Welsh orthography , it can be on any vowel: _á_, _é_, _í_, _ó_, _ú_, _ẃ_, or _ý_. Examples: _casáu_ "to hate", _sigarét_ "cigarette", _ymbarél_ "umbrella".


The acute accent marks the height of some stressed vowels in various Romance languages .

* To mark high vowels:

* Bislama . The acute is used only on _é_, but only in one of the two orthographies. It distinguishes _é_ from _e_ . The orthography after 1995 (which has no diacritics), does not distinguish these sounds. * Catalan . The acute marks the quality of the vowels _é_ (as opposed to _è_ ), and _ó_ (as opposed to _ò_ ). * French . The acute is used only on _é_. It is known as _accent aigu_, in contrast to the _accent grave _ which is the accent sloped the other way. It distinguishes _é_ from _è_ , _ê_ , and _e_ . Unlike other Romance languages, the accent marks do not imply stress in French. * Italian . The acute accent (sometimes called _accento chiuso_, "closed accent" in Italian) is compulsory only in words of more than one syllable stressed on their final vowel (and a few other words). Words ending in stressed -o are never marked with an acute accent (_ó_), but with a grave accent (_ò_). Therefore, only _é_ and _è_ are normally contrasted, typically in words ending in _-ché_, such as _perché_ ("why/because"); in the conjugated copula _è_ ("is"); in ambiguous monosyllables such as _né_ ('neither') _vs._ _ne_ ('of it') and _sé_ ('itself') _vs._ _se_ ('if'); and some verb forms, _e.g._ _poté_ ("he/she/it could" (past tense)). The symbol _ó_ can be used in the body of a word for disambiguation, for instance between _bótte_ ("barrel") and _bòtte_ ("beating"), though this is not mandatory: in fact standard Italian keyboards lack a dedicated _ó_ key. * Occitan . The acute marks the quality of the vowels _é_ (as opposed to _è_ ), _ó_ (as opposed to _ò_ ) and _á_ (as opposed to _à_ ). * Scottish Gaelic (a Celtic rather than Romance language) uses/used a system in which _é_ is contrasted with _è_ and _ó_ with _ò_ . Both the grave and acute indicate stress; _é_/_è_ and _ó_/_ò_ are also contrasted with _e_ , and _o_ , or respectively. For historical reasons _á_ appears in the words _á_ and _ás_ but is otherwise identical to _à_ . The other vowels (_i_ and _u_) only appear either without an accent or with a grave. Since the 1980s the SQA (which sets school standards and thus the _de facto_ standard language) and most publishers have abandoned the acute accent, using grave accents in all situations (analogous to the use of the acute in Irish ). However, universities, some publishers and many speakers continue to use acute accents.

* To mark low vowels:

* Portuguese . The vowels _á_ /a /, _é_ /ɛ / and _ó_ /ɔ / are stressed low vowels, in opposition to _â_ /ɐ /, _ê_ /e / and _ô_ /o / which are stressed high vowels. However, the accent is only used in words whose stressed syllable is in an unpredictable location within the word: where the location of the stressed syllable is predictable, no accent is used, and the height of the stressed vowel cannot then usually be determined solely from the word's spelling.


Long Vowels

* Classical Latin (the apex ) * Czech : _á, é, í, ó, ú, ý_ are the long versions of _a, e, i, o, u, y_. The accent is known as čáRKA. To indicate a long _u_ in the middle or at the end of a word, a _kroužek_ (ring) is used instead, to form _ů_. * Hungarian : _á, é, í, ó, ú_ are the long equivalents of the vowels _a, e, i, o, u_ (the former two also implying a change in quality, see below), and _ő, ű_ (see double acute accent ) are the long equivalents of _ö, ü_. * Irish : _á, é, í, ó, ú_ are the long equivalents of the vowels _a, e, i, o, u_: _Seán_ (sounds like "Shawn"). The accent is known as a SíNEADH FADA /ˌʃiːnʲə ˈfadˠə/ (length accent), usually abbreviated to FADA. * Old Norse : _á, é, í, ó, ú, ý_ are the long versions of _a, e, i, o, u, y_. Sometimes, ⟨ǿ⟩ is used as the long version of ⟨ø⟩, but ⟨œ⟩ is used more often. Sometimes, the short-lived Old Icelandic long ⟨ǫ⟩ (also written ⟨ö⟩) is written using an acute-accented form, ⟨ǫ́⟩, or a version with a macron, ⟨ǭ⟩, but usually it is not distinguished from ⟨á⟩ from which it is derived by u-mutation . * Slovak : the acute accent is called DĺžEň in Slovak. In addition to the long vowels _á, é, í, ó, ú_ and _ý_, dĺžeň is used to mark two syllabic consonants _ŕ_ and _ĺ_, which are the long counterparts of syllabic _r_ and _l_. * Arabic and Persian : _á, í, ú_ were used in western transliteration of Islamic language texts from the 18th to early 20th centuries. Representing the long vowels, they are typically transcribed with a macron today but not in Bahá\'í orthography .

Short Vowels

* Ligurian : in the official orthography, _é_ is used for short , and _ó_ is used for short .


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_ "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 Serbo-Croatian , as in Polish, the letter _ć_ is used to represent a palatalized _t_.

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 /ɡʲ/ and /kʲ/.


In the Quốc Ngữ system for Vietnamese , the Yale romanization for Cantonese and the Pinyin romanization for Mandarin Chinese , the acute accent indicates a rising tone . In Mandarin, the alternative to the acute accent is the number 2 after the syllable: lái = lai2. In Cantonese Yale, the acute accent is either tone 2, or tone 5 if the vowel(s) are followed by 'h' (if the number form is used, 'h' is omitted): má = ma2, máh - ma5.

In African languages and Athabaskan languages , it frequently marks a high tone, e.g., Yoruba _apá_ 'arm', Nobiin _féntí_ 'sweet date', Ekoti _kaláwa_ 'boat', Navajo _t’áá_ 'just'.

The acute accent is used in Serbo-Croatian dictionaries and linguistic publications to indicate a high-rising accent. It is not used in everyday writing.


The acute accent is used to disambiguate certain words which would otherwise be homographs in the following languages:

* Catalan. Examples: _són_ "they are" vs. _son_ "tiredness", _més_ "more" vs. _mes_ "month". * Danish . Examples: _én_ "one" vs. _en_ "a/an"; _fór_ "went" vs. _for_ "for"; _véd_ "know(s)" vs. _ved_ "by"; _gǿr_ "bark(s)" vs. _gør_ "do(es)"; _dǿr_ "die(s)" vs. _dør_ "door"; _allé_ "alley" vs. _alle_ "everybody". Furthermore, it is also used for the imperative form of verbs ending in _-ere_, which lose their final _e_ and might be mistaken for plurals of a noun (which most often end in _-er_): _analysér_ is the imperative form of _at analysere_ "to analyse", _analyser_ is "analyses", plural of the noun _analyse_ "analysis". Using an acute accent is always optional, never required. * Modern Greek . Although all polysyllabic words have an acute accent on the stressed syllable, in monosyllabic words the presence or absence of an accent may disambiguate. The most common case is η, the feminine definite article ("the"), versus ή, meaning "or". Other cases include που ("who"/"which") versus πού ("where") and πως ("that", as in "he told me _that_...") versus πώς ("how"). * Norwegian . It is used to indicate stress on a vowel otherwise not expected to have stress. Most words are stressed on the first syllable and diacritical marks are rarely used. Although incorrect, it is frequently used to mark the imperative form of verbs ending in _-ere_ as it is in Danish: _kontrollér_ is the imperative form of "to control", _kontroller_ is the noun "controls". The simple past of the verb _å fare_, "to travel", can optionally be written _fór_, to distinguish it from _for_ (preposition "for" as in English), _fôr_ "feed" _n._/"lining", or _fòr_ (only in Nynorsk ) "narrow ditch, trail by plow _(all the diacritics in these examples are optional. )_ * Portuguese . Examples: _vô_ "grandfather" vs. _vó_ "grandmother", _nós_ "subject pronoun _we_" vs. _nos_ "oblique case". * Spanish . Covers various question word / relative pronoun pairs where the first is stressed and the second is a clitic , such as _cómo_ (interrogative "how") and _como_ (non-interrogative "how", comparative "like", "I eat" ), differentiates _qué_ (what) from _que_ (that), _dónde_ and _donde_ "where", and some other words such as _tú_ "you" and _tu_ "your," _té_ "tea" and _te_ "you" (direct/indirect object), _él_ "he/him" and _el_ ("the", masculine), _sólo_ "only" (as in "solamente") and _solo_ "alone". This usage of the acute accent is called _tilde diacrítica_. * Russian . Acute accents (technically, stress marks ) are used in dictionaries to indicate the stressed syllable. They may also be optionally used to disambiguate both between minimal pairs , such as за́мок (read as zámak, means "castle") and замо́к (read as zamók, means "lock"), and between question words and relative pronouns such as что ("what", stressed, or "that", unstressed), similarly to Spanish. This is rare, however, as usually meaning is determined by context and no stress mark is written. The same rules apply to Ukrainian , Rusyn , Belarusian and Bulgarian .


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), as in _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".


* In Faroese , the acute accent is used on five of the vowels (a, i, o, u and y), but these letters, á, í, ó, ú and ý are considered separate letters with separate pronunciations. á: long , short and before : í/ý: long , short ó: long , or , short: , except Suðuroy: When ó is followed by the skerping -gv, it is pronounced , except in Suðuroy where it is ú: long , short When ú is followed by the skerping -gv, it is pronounced * In Hungarian , the acute accent marks a difference in quality on two vowels, apart from vowel length: The (short) vowel _a_ is open back rounded (ɒ) , but _á_ is open front unrounded (a) (and long). Similarly, the (short) vowel _e_ is open-mid front unrounded (ɛ) , while (long) _é_ is close-mid front unrounded (e) . Despite this difference, these two pairs are arranged as equal in collation , just like the other pairs (see above) that only differ in length. * In Icelandic the acute accent is used on all 6 of the vowels (a, e, i, o, u and y), and, like in Faroese, these are considered separate letters. _ A sample extract of Icelandic . á: é: long , short í/ý: ó: ú: All can be either short or long, but note that the pronunciation of é_ is not the same short and long. Etymologically, vowels with an acute accent in these languages correspond to their Old Norse counterparts, which were long vowels but in many cases have become diphthongs . The only exception is é, which in Faroese has become æ . * In Kashubian and Polish , the acute on "ó" indicates a pronunciation change into , and historically it was used to indicate a long vowel. * In Turkmen , the letter _ý_ is a consonant: .


* In Emilian-Romagnol , _é ó_ denote both length and height. In Romagnol they represent , while in Emilian they represent . * Many Norwegian words of French origin retain an acute accent, such as _allé_, _kafé_, _idé_, _komité_. Popular usage can be sketchy and often neglects the accent, or results in the grave accent erroneously being used in its place. Likewise, in Swedish , the acute accent is used only for the letter _e_, mostly in words of French origin and in some names. It is used both to indicate a change in vowel quantity as well as quality and that the stress should be on this, normally unstressed, syllable. Examples include _café_ ("café") and _resumé_ ("résumé", noun). There are two pairs of homographs that are differentiated only by the accent: _armé_ ("army") versus _arme_ ("poor; pitiful", masculine gender) and _idé_ ("idea") versus _ide_ ("winter quarters"). * _Ǵǵ_ and _Źź_ are used in Pashto in the Latin alphabet, equivalent to ږ and ځ, respectively. * In Northern Sámi , an acute accent was placed over the corresponding Latin letter to represent the letters peculiar to this language (_Áá, Čč, Đđ, Ŋŋ, Šš, Ŧŧ, Žž_) when typing when there was no way of entering these letters correctly otherwise. * In transliterating texts written in Cuneiform , an acute accent over the vowel indicates that the original sign is the second representing that value in the canonical lists. Thus _su_ is used to transliterate the first sign with the phonetic value /su/, while _sú_ transliterates the second sign with the value /su/. * In some Basque texts predating Standard Basque , the letters R and L carry acute accents (an invention by Sabino Arana ), which are otherwise indicated by double letters. In such cases, _ŕ_ is used to represent _RR_ (a trilled r, this spelling is used even at the end of a syllable, to differentiate from -_R_-, an alveolar tap–in Basque /r/ in word-final positions is always trilled) and _ĺ_ for _LL_ (a palatalized /l/). * In Indonesian dictionaries, _é_ is used to represent /e/, while _E_ is used to represent /ə/.


As with other diacritical marks, a number of (usually French ) loanwords are sometimes spelled in English with an acute accent as used in the original language: these include _attaché_, _blasé_, _canapé_, _cliché_, _communiqué_, _café_, _décor_, _déjà vu_, _détente_, _élite_, _entrée_, _exposé_, _mêlée_, _fiancé_, _fiancée_, _papier-mâché_, _passé_, _pâté_, _piqué_, _plié_, _repoussé_, _résumé_, _risqué_, _sauté_, _roué_, _séance_, _naïveté_, _toupée_ 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,_ the Maldivian capital _ Malé ,_ _saké ,_ and _ Pokémon _ from the Japanese compound for _pocket monster,_ the last three 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 _.

The acute accent is sometimes (though rarely) used for poetic purposes:

* It can mark stress on an unusual syllable: for example, _caléndar_ to indicate (rather than the standard ). * It can disambiguate stress where the distinction is metrically important: for example, _rébel_ (as opposed to _rebél_), or _áll trádes_, to show that the phrase is pronounced as a spondee , rather than the more natural iamb . * It can indicate the sounding of an ordinarily silent letter: for example, _pickéd_ to indicate the pronunciation , rather than standard (the grave accent is more common for this last purpose).

The layout of some European PC keyboards, combined with problematic keyboard-driver semantics, causes some users to use an acute accent or a grave accent instead of an apostrophe when typing in English (e.g. typing John`s or John´s instead of John's).



acute above ◌́ combining , accent U+0301

◌́ combining, tone U+0341

´ spacing, symbol U+00B4

ˊ spacing, letter U+02CA

double acute ◌̋ combining U+030B

˝ spacing, top U+02DD

˶ spacing, middle U+02F6

acute below ◌̗ combining U+0317

ˏ spacing, letter U+02CF

additional diacritic LATIN

Á á U+00C1 U+00E1

Ǽ ǽ U+01FC U+01FD

Ć ć U+0106 U+0107

É é U+00C9 U+00E9

Ǵ ǵ U+01F4 U+01F5

Í í U+00CD U+00ED

ḱ U+1E30 U+1E31

Ĺ ĺ U+0139 U+013A

ḿ U+1E3E U+1E3F

Ń ń U+0143 U+0144

Ó ó U+00D3 U+00F3

Ǿ ǿ U+01FE U+01FF

Ṕ ṕ U+1E54 U+1E55

Ŕ ŕ U+0154 U+0155

Ś ś U+015A U+015B

Ú ú U+00DA U+00FA

ẃ U+1E82 U+1E83

Ý ý U+00DD U+00FD

Ź ź U+0179 U+017A

double acute Ő ő U+0150 U+0151

Ű ű U+0170 U+0171


Ǘ ǘ U+01D7 U+01D8

RING Ǻ ǻ U+01FA U+01FB

CEDILLA Ḉ ḉ U+1E08 U+1E09

MACRON Ḗ ḗ U+1E16 U+1E17

Ṓ ṓ U+1E52 U+1E53


Ṹ ṹ U+1E78 U+1E79

DOT Ṥ ṥ U+1E64 U+1E65



Ố ố U+1ED0 U+1ED1



ứ U+1EE8 U+1EE9


Ά ά U+0386 U+03AC

Έ έ U+0388 U+03AD

Ή ή U+0389 U+03AE

Ί ί U+038A U+03AF

Ό ό U+038C U+03CC

Ύ ύ ϓ U+038E U+03CD U+03D3

Ώ ώ U+038F U+03CE

DIAERESIS ◌̈́ combining dialytika and tonos U+0344

΅ spacing dialytika and tonos U+0385

— ΐ — U+0390 —

— ΰ — U+03B0 —


Ѓ ѓ U+0403 U+0453

Ќ ќ U+040C U+045C

Ӳ ӳ U+04F2 U+04F3

The ISO-8859-1 and Windows-1252 character encodings 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 .


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:

* 160 for á * 130 for é * 161 for í * 162 for ó * 163 for ú

On some non-US keyboard layouts (e.g. Hiberno-English), these letters can also be made by holding Ctrl+Alt (or Alt Gr) and the desired letter.

Microsoft Office

To input an accented letter in a Microsoft Office software (Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Access, etc.), hold the Ctrl key, press the apostrophe (') key once, release the Ctrl key, and then press the desired letter.


On a Macintosh computer , 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.


Because keyboards have only a limited number of keys, English keyboards do not have keys for accented characters. 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.


Some sites, such as Wikipedia or the Alta Vista automatic translator allow inserting such symbols by clicking on