Diacritics definition/with its types

Diacritics with its types

In this article we will elaborate the definition of Diacritics that are usually considered symbols that are written above or below the letter. They indicate a change in the reading of this letter. In this article, we will describe the Diacritics with its types with an explanation.

Diacritics occurs when existing written signs do not fully correspond to pronunciation (but not always). This happens in two cases:

1-When the established system begins to write down another language. As a rule, in the donor language, the sound composition is different – and there are not enough signs. A good example is Latinized Slavic languages. Here’s a Czech pangram for you.

2-When the original pronunciation of sounds changes. And here the example of the French language is indicative, which has undergone a huge number of phonetic changes. Because of them, beaucoup is read as [boku]], and not [beaucoup], as before. And all the accents come from there. If the same letter is read differently in different positions, there is a desire to somehow fix it in the letter.

The English language also underwent significant phonetic shifts, but, apparently, more regular than in French. Therefore, there was no need for diacritics. However, English has a dieresis (¨). It is needed to show that the word is not read according to the rules: coöperation as [cooperation], not [ku: change], and naïve as [nai: v], not [nave].

Some terms in English have accented letters. Most of the words are borrowed from French, while others are from Spanish, Portuguese, German, or other languages. The apostrophe (`) and the umlaut sign (¨) are the only diacritics found in modern English, but their use is considered largely archaic. Proper nouns are generally not considered English terms unless they are accepted in the language as an eponym, such as the Geiger-Müller tube or the English terms roentgen after Wilhelm Roentgen and biro after Laszlo Biro , in which case any diacritic mark is often lost … … Unlike the languages ​​of continental Europe, English spelling tends to use digraphs (such as “ph”, “sh”, “oo”, and “ea”) rather than diacritics to indicate more sounds that can be placed with letters Latin alphabet. Unlike other systems (such as Spanish spelling), where spelling indicates pronunciation, English spelling varies greatly, and diacritics alone would not be enough to make it reliably phonetic.


The following diacritics in English, although limited, may occur, especially in poetry

1- Stress 

(born) and apostrophe (English poetry markings changed), vowel change, or stress markings.


 (transshipment), borrowed from French.


(Zoe), which indicates the second syllable in two consecutive vowels.


dot is at regular small z and small y, removed when another diacritic is required.


(English labeling poetry, lead pronounced “Lead” rather than “headed”), lengthening vowels, as in Maori; or with a missing n or m (in pre-modern English, both typed and handwritten).


(English labeling poetry, Droll pronounced “drol” rather than “drowle” :), vowel shortening


( über ), changing Germanic vowels


(soupçon), French, Portuguese, and Catalan is a softening, which indicates «s-» not «k-» pronunciation


(senor, João), in Spanish with palatalized n, and Portuguese with nasal a and o (although in Spanish and most source languages, the tilde is not considered a diacritic over the letter n, as part of the distinct letter ñ; in Portuguese, the sound is denoted as “nx”)

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