circumflex(redirected from circumflex accents)
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a mark used over a vowel to indicate a falling-rising or rising-falling tone. The circumflex is a variant of musical accent (pitch accent) and is in opposition to the acute accent and the grave accent. In ancient Greek the tilde is sometimes used as an alternate form of the circumflex. The circumflex is also called a circumflex syllabic intonation or a rising-falling tone.
In the history of the Slavic languages a distinction is made between the old circumflex, which occurred in syllables with a short diphthong, and the new circumflex, which gradually replaced the former acute accent. The circumflex occurs in ancient Greek, in Lithuanian, and in Serbo-Croatian in syllables with a long vowel.