ACCENT (Lat. accentus, from ad, to -} cantos, singing, chant). A special stress laid upon one syllable of a word, by which it is made more prominent than the rest. In the Indo European languages two kinds of accent are found, varying in quality—the musical and the expiratory. The first is found in Sanskrit and Greek, the second in Latin and Teutonic. The accent may also be distinguished by its position, as free, in Greek and primitive Teutonic, and fixed, in later Teutonic. In English the general tendency is to throw the accent hack. In com pound words the accent is usually on the first part, as in courtyard, highway. When the first part is a prefix it receives the accent if the word be a noun or adjective; the root is accented if the word be a verb. This rule applies also to some other words, as pres'ent and present'. Bor rowed words usually adopt• the English accent. as orator, presence: but some recently borrowed French words retain the original accentuation, as parole, caprice. The absence of stress on final inflectional syllables has played an important part in the leveling of intleetions. (See ENGLISH LANGUAGE.) Besides word-accents, there is a sentence-accent, by which some word in the sen tence is given greater stress than the others. This is always a free accent, the position of the accent depending upon the meaning. Jr. the sen
tence, "Where is hc?" three different meanings can be given by shifting the position of the ac cent. The effect of sentence accent is often seen in the development of doublets, or words with a common origin, but a different form and mean ing, as to—too, of—off. (See PHONETIC LAWS.) Accent is also the essential principle of modern verse. (See VERSIFICATION.) For the primitive Indo-European accent and its effect in connection with conjugation, see PHILOLOGY.
IN Music, the term is analogous to accent in language, the stress or emphasis given to cer tain notes or parts of bars in a composition. It may be of three kinds: grammatical, rhyth mical, and rhetorical or :esthetic. The first al ways falls on the first part of a bar, long or compound measures of time usually having additional or subordinate accents—only slightly marked. The rhythmical accent is applied to the larger component parts of a composition, such as phrases, themes, motives, etc., and marks their entrance, climax, end. The rhetorical ac cent is irregular, and depends on taste and feel ing, exactly as do the accent and emphasis used in oratory. In vocal music well adapted to words, the words serve as a guide to the right use of the rhetorical accent. See SYNCOPATION; RAGTIME.