On Sunday 18 September 2016 17:51, Terry Reedy wrote: > On 9/18/2016 2:45 AM, Steven D'Aprano wrote: > >> It doesn't matter whether you call them "accent" like most people do, or >> "diacritics" as linguists do. > > I am a native born American and I have never before heard or seen > non-accent diacritic marks called 'accents'. Accents indicate stress. > Other diacritics indicate other pronunciation changes. It is > counterproductive to confuse the two groups. Spanish, for instance, has > vowel accents that change which syllable gets stressed.
Then you're better educated than most people I've met. Most folks I know call any of those "funny dots and squiggles" on letters "accents". > A tilda is not > an accent; rather, it softens the pronunciation of 'n' to 'ny', as in > 'canyon'. Hmmm. I'm not a Spanish speaker, but to me, 'canyon' is pronounced can-yen and the n is pronounced no differently from the n in 'can', 'man', 'men', 'pan', 'panel', 'moon', 'nut', etc. (P.S. it's tilde. Tilda is short for Matilda, as in Tilda Swinton the actor.) But what do I know? My missus says I have a tin-ear, and I'm no linguist. But I can read Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diacritic and it makes it clear that diacritics including accents can have many different effects on pronunciation, including none at all. E.g. French là ("there") versus la ("the") are both pronounced /la/. In English the diaereses found in naïve, Noël, Zoë, coöperate etc. is used to show that the marked vowel is pronounced separately from the preceding vowel (e.g. co- operate rather than coop-erate), and accents used to indicate that a vowel which normally isn't pronounced at all should be, as in saké or Moist von Lipwig's wingèd hat. Make of that what you will.  A running gag from "Going Postal", one of the Discworld series. -- Steven git gets easier once you get the basic idea that branches are homeomorphic endofunctors mapping submanifolds of a Hilbert space. -- https://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list