Definitions for pitch accent
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word pitch accent
tonic accent, pitch accent(noun)
emphasis that results from pitch rather than loudness
A term of convenience for a variety of restricted tone systems that use variations in pitch to give prominence to a syllable or mora within a word. The placement of this tone or the way it is realized can give different meanings to otherwise similar words.
Pitch accent is a linguistic term of convenience for a variety of restricted tone systems that use variations in pitch to give prominence to a syllable or mora within a word. The placement of this tone or the way it is realized can give different meanings to otherwise similar words. The term has been used to describe certain Scandinavian and South Slavic languages, Ancient Greek, Vedic Sanskrit, Japanese, Korean, Hiaki and Shanghainese. Although it has been claimed that "pitch accent" is not a coherently defined term, it is commonly understood to refer to a language that uses phonemic tone, but where only one or two syllables in a word can be phonemically marked for tone, and many words are not marked for tone at all. In such languages, the syllable with phonemic tone typically is acoustically prominent, in a similar fashion to the dynamic stress of languages such as English or Spanish. Pitch-accented languages may have a more complex accentual system than stress-accented languages, in that in some cases they have more than a binary distinction, but are less complex than fully tonal languages such as Chinese or Yoruba which assign a separate tone to each syllable. For example, in Japanese short nouns may have a drop in pitch after any one mora, but more frequently on none at all, so that in disyllabic words there are three-way minimal contrasts such as "oyster" vs. "fence" vs. "persimmon"; Ancient Greek in contrast had obligatory tone on one of three final syllables, so that if the tonic syllable had a long vowel or diphthong, it had either a rising or a falling tone. In addition, the mapping between phonemic and phonetic tone may be more involved than the simple one-to-one mapping between stress and dynamic intensity in stress-accented languages.
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"pitch accent." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/pitch accent>.