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Acute accent

The acute accent is a diacritic mark used in written French, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic and other languages.

Examples: á é í ó ú έ ή

In Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, and Greek the acute accent is used to mark the stressed vowel of a written word that would normally be stressed on another syllable. Stress is contrastive in those languages. E.g. in Spanish ánimo ['animo] ("cheer up!"), animo [a'nimo] ("I am cheering"), and animó [ani'mo] ("he cheered") are three different words.

In Hungarian or Icelandic the acute accent is used to mark the quantity or length of the base vowel. This is the same contrast that diferentiated long and short vowels in classical Latin, or that nowadays diferentiate simple and double vowels in written Finnish.

In French, the acute accent is used only on the letter e, where it changes the vowel sound: [e], and e [@].

The most common English word taking an accent is probably "résumé", borrowed from French.



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