Thursday, November 7, 2019
Italian Diacritical Accent Marks
Italian Diacritical Accent Marks Segni diacritici. Punti diacritici. Segnaccento (or segno daccento, or accento scritto). However you refer to them in Italian, accent marks (also referred to as diacritical marks) are added or attached to a letter to distinguish it from another of similar form, to give it a particular phonetic value, or to indicate stress. Note that in this discussion, the term accent does not refer to the pronunciation characteristic of a given region or geographical location (for example, a Neapolitan accent or Venetian accent) but rather to orthographic marks. The Big Four in Accent Marks In Italian ortografia (spelling) there are four accent marks: accento acuto (acute accent) [Ã ´] accento grave (grave accent)  accento circonflesso (circumflex accent) [Ãâ ] dieresi (diaresis) [Ã ¨] In contemporary Italian, the acute and grave accents are the most commonly encountered. The circumflex accent is rare and the diaresis (also referred to as an umlaut) is usually only found in poetic or literary texts. Italian accent marks can be divided into three categories: mandatory, optional, and incorrect. Required accent marks are those that, if not used, constitute a spelling error; facultative accent marks are those a writer uses to avoid ambiguity of meaning or reading; wrong accent marks are those that are written without any purpose and, even in the best of cases, only serve to weigh down the text. When Accent Marks Are Needed In Italian, the accent mark is obligatory: With all words of two or more syllables that end with a vowel that is stressed: libert, perchÃ ©, finÃ ¬, abbandonÃ ², laggiÃ ¹ (the word ventitrÃ © also requires an accent);With monosyllables ending in two vowels, of which the second has a truncated sound: chiÃ ¹, ciÃ ², diÃ ¨, gi, giÃ ¹, piÃ ¨, piÃ ¹, puÃ ², sci. One exception to this rule are the words qui and qua;With the following monosyllables in order to distinguish them from other monosyllables of identical spelling, which have a different meaning when unaccented: - chÃ ©, in the sense of poichÃ ©, perchÃ ©, causal conjunction (Andiamo chÃ © si fa tardi) to distinguish it from the conjunction or pronoun che (Sapevo che eri malato, Can che abbaia non morde); - d, the present indicative of dare (Non mi d retta) to distinguish it from the preposition da, and from daÃ¢â¬â¢, the imperative form of dare (Viene da Roma, DaÃ¢â¬â¢ retta, non partire); - dÃ ¬, when meaning day (Lavora tutto il dÃ ¬) to distinguish it from the preposition di (ÃË lÃ¢â¬â¢ora di alzarsi) and diÃ¢â¬â¢, the imperative form of dire (DiÃ¢â¬â¢ che ti piace); - Ã ¨, verb (Ã¢â¬Å"Non Ã ¨ veroÃ¢â¬ ) to distinguish it from the conjunction e (Io e lui); - l, adverb of place (ÃË andato l) to distinguish it from the article, pronoun, or musical note la (Dammi la penna, La vidi, Dare il la allÃ¢â¬â¢orchestra); - lÃ ¬, adverb of place (Guarda lÃ ¬ dentro) to distinguish it from the pronoun li (Li ho visti); - nÃ ©, conjunction (NÃ © io nÃ © Mario) to distinguish it from the pronoun or adverb ne (Ne ho visti parecchi, Me ne vado subito, Ne vengo proprio ora); - sÃ ©, stressed personal pronoun (Lo prese con sÃ ©) to distinguish it from the unstressed pronoun se or the conjunction se (Se ne prese la met, Se lo sapesse); - sÃ ¬, adverb of afirmation or to express the sentiment cosÃ ¬ (SÃ ¬, vengo, SÃ ¬ bello e sÃ ¬ caro) to distinguish it from the pronoun si (Si Ã ¨ ucciso); - tÃ ¨, plant and drink (Piantagione di tÃ ¨, Una tazza di tÃ ¨Ã¢â¬ ) to distinguish it from te (closed sound) pronoun (Vengo con te). When Accents Are Optional The accent mark is optional: With a, that is, stressed on the third-to-last syllable, so as not to be confused with the identically spelled word that is pronounced with the accent on the penultimate syllable. For example, nÃ ¨ttare and nettare, cÃ ³mpito and compito, sÃ ºbito and subito, cpitano and capitano, bitino and abitino, ltero and altero, mbito and ambito, uguri and auguri, bcino and bacino, circÃ ¹ito and circuito, frÃ ºstino and frustino, intÃ ºito and intuito, malÃ ¨dico and maledico, mÃ ¨ndico and mendico, nÃ ²cciolo and nocciolo, rÃ ¨tina and retina, rÃ ºbino and rubino, sÃ ©guito and seguito, vÃ ola and viola, vitÃ ¹peri and vituperi.When it signals the vocal stress on words ending in -io, -Ã a, -Ã i, -Ã e, such as fruscÃ o, tarsÃ a, fruscÃ i, tarsÃ e, as well as lavorÃ o, leccornÃ a, gridÃ o, albagÃ a, godÃ o, brillÃ o, codardÃ a, and many other instances. A more important reason is when the term, with a different pronunciation, would change meaning, for example: balÃ a and balia, bacÃ o and bacio, gorgheggÃ o and gorgheggio, regÃ a and regia. Then there are those optional accents that might be referred to as phonic because they signal the correct pronunciation of the vowels e and o within a word; an open e or o has one meaning while a closed e or o has another: fÃ ³ro (hole, opening), fÃ ²ro (piazza, square); tÃ ©ma (fear, dread), tÃ ¨ma (theme, topic); mÃ ¨ta (ending, conclusion), mÃ ©ta (dung, excrement); cÃ ²lto (from the verb cogliere), cÃ ³lto (educated, learned, cultured); rÃ ²cca (fortress), rÃ ³cca, (spinning tool). But beware: these phonetic accents are beneficial only if the speaker understands the difference between the acute and grave accent; otherwise disregard the accent mark, since it is not mandatory. When Accents Are Wrong The accent mark is wrong: First and foremost, when it is incorrect: there should be no accent on the words qui and qua, according to the exception noted;and when it is completely useless. It is a mistake to write dieci anni f, accenting the verbal form fa, which would never be confused with the musical note fa; as it would be a mistake to write non lo sÃ ² or cosÃ ¬ non v accenting without reason so and va.