Term: Diacritic

Definition:


A diacritic is a mark added to a letter to change the pronunciation, and it can appear above or below the letter. Modern English does not use diacritics, though è is used in old poetry to show that -ed is to be pronounced as a syllable . Diacritics used in English today come from other languages, so some people write café, which keeps the original French accent, while others write cafe. Sometimes a diacritic is often maintained even though the pronunciation change is not; many still write Citroën, where the diaeresis indicates that the two vowels should be pronounced separately, though most English speakers pronounce the two vowels as one sound.

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Vocabulary Topic:  General

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