Full Text

grave accent

Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631214816.1999.x


The accent mark <`> is used in the orthographies of several alphabetically written languages as a diacritic to mark pitch accent, stress or tone, to distinguish sound values and, occasionally, to differentiate words. In ancient Greek, presumably the origin of this and other accent marks, the grave indicated low pitch. In modern languages it is more frequently used to distinguish manner of articulation. For example, in french spelling it indicates an open articulation of <e>, as in père [pɛ:r]. Italian spelling (I talian alphabet ) uses the grave accent whenever a word of more than one syllable stresses the final vowel, as in città . Semantic discrimination is also sometimes achieved, as for example e ‘and’ vs è ‘is’. In the alphabetic orthography of Chinese, pinyin , the grave serves as a tone marker for the fourth, falling tone. This latter usage coincides with the recommendations of the IPA to use the grave as a transcription for a high falling tone. See also accent . ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top