One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(especially in ancient Greek) having an acute accent on the last syllable.
- ‘This development was perhaps posterior to the substitution of the pronominal ending in the oxytone neuter o-stems because the latter did not affect the u-stems.’
- ‘The general rhythm of the language clips seems to show a preference for oxytone words.’
A word having an acute accent on the last syllable.
- ‘There are also a good many cases in which the French name ends in a weak e and would produce an oxytone.’
- ‘A word bearing the acute upon the ultima is known as an oxytone, one with the acute upon the penult as a paroxytone, one with the acute upon the antepenult as a proparoxytone.’
- ‘Even though they are oxytones, words of one syllable never need an accent, unless the accent is diacritic.’
Mid 18th century: from Greek oxutonos, from oxus ‘sharp’ + tonos ‘tone’.
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