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diacritic

Line breaks: dia|crit¦ic
Pronunciation: /ˌdʌɪəˈkrɪtɪk
 
/

Definition of diacritic in English:

noun

A sign, such as an accent or cedilla, which when written above or below a letter indicates a difference in pronunciation from the same letter when unmarked or differently marked.
Example sentences
  • Admittedly a lot of those are basic Roman characters with diacritics but the exact positioning of the diacritic can be tricky - and it can sometimes modify the basic character shape.
  • Accuracy is thus particularly relevant when testing reading in a pointed orthography, which involves attention to both letters and diacritics in different linguistic contexts.
  • The other three vowels are represented by diacritics, which are super- or sub-scripted to the letters in a word.

adjective

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(Of a mark or sign) indicating a difference in pronunciation.
Example sentences
  • But it has now lost its appeal largely because a total of 136 syllables require additional phonetic signs or diacritic marks, making it a fairly cumbersome system for printing and typing.
  • They all contain numerous diacritic marks for which musical equivalents could be deduced.
  • Even pinyin using diacritic marks has problems.

Origin

late 17th century: from Greek diakritikos, from diakrinein 'distinguish', from dia- 'through' + krinein 'to separate'.

Derivatives

diacritical

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • The present orthographic system was introduced in the fourteenth century by the religious reformer Jan Hus, who instituted a system of diacritical markings to eliminate consonant clusters.
  • Slovak, like other Slavic languages, has diacritical marks that govern the pronunciation of both consonants and vowels.
  • In modern written Vietnamese, which uses the romanized system of writing introduced by European missionaries, the tones are indicated by diacritical marks, or marks written above and below the vowel in each syllable.

diacritically

2
adverb
Example sentences
  • The key thing that you need to remember is that you can't search for diacritically marked words by simple roman input.
  • But it would be very inconvenient to insist on such an encoding for Turkish, in which diacritically marked letters have their own separate positions in the alphabet.
  • The Scandinavian languages, by contrast, treat the diacritics as new and separate letters of the alphabet, and sort them after z. Other languages treat diacritically marked letters as variants of the underlying letter, but alphabetize them following the unmarked letter.

Definition of diacritic in:

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