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in speech, emphasis given a particular sound, called prosodic systems in linguistics. There are three basic accentual methods: stress, tone, and length. In English each word has at least one primary stressed syllable, as in weath`er; words of several syllables may also have secondary stress as in el`e-va'tor. In English, vowels in unaccented syllables are often pronounced as ə regardless of the orthographic letter. Thus, the vowels of the second syllables in cir`cus, na`tion, ther`mos, eas`ily, saun`a, and sor`rel are all pronounced the same. Sentence stress, known as intonation or contour, includes three basic patterns: the statement, It's a dog, where the pitchpitch,
in music, the position of a tone in the musical scale, today designated by a letter name and determined by the frequency of vibration of the source of the tone. Pitch is an attribute of every musical tone; the fundamental, or first harmonic, of any tone is perceived as
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 pattern is level-high-low; the yes/no question, Is it a dog? where the pattern is level-high pitch; and the command, Catch him! which begins high and ends low. Both word stress and sentence stress occur in English. However, emphasis of certain words within a sentence is optional. Tonal languages, such as Chinese and Swedish, have a system of high:low and/or rising:falling tones. Duration or length of sounds (quantity) is used in some languages to create systematic differences. No language uses all three types of accentual systems. In writing, accent is also used to show syllable stress as in Spanish María (acute accent) and Italian pietà (grave accent). Such written symbols, misleadingly termed accents, are often used only to signal specific pronunciation rather than stress, as in French élève. The word accent in English is also understood to mean the pronunciation and speech patterns that are typical of a speech community; it also denotes the particular manner of uttered expression that lends a special shade of meaning, as when one speaks in harsh or gentle accents. See also ablautablaut
[Ger.,=off-sound], in inflection, vowel variation (as in English sing, sang, sung, song) caused by former differences in syllabic accent. In a prehistoric period the corresponding inflected forms of the language (known through internal reconstruction) had
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 and phoneticsphonetics
, study of the sounds of languages from three basic points of view. Phonetics studies speech sounds according to their production in the vocal organs (articulatory phonetics), their physical properties (acoustic phonetics), or their effect on the ear (auditory
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1. Music
a. stress placed on certain notes in a piece of music, indicated by a symbol printed over the note concerned
b. the rhythmic pulse of a piece or passage, usually represented as the stress on the first beat of each bar
2. Maths either of two superscript symbols indicating a specific unit, such as feet (ʹ), inches (ʺ), minutes of arc (ʹ), or seconds of arc (ʺ)


A very high level interpreted language from CaseWare, Inc. with strings and tables. It is strongly typed and has remote function calls.