Classical Quarterly 11 (3-4):209-238 (1961)

Abstract
I. By Ictus we mean in this paper the sounds emphasized in the pattern of an utterance in the given language under discussion. So in languages like Chinese which depend on variation of tone we mean that the high notes in the intonation tune of a sentence or the rhythmic scheme of a verse carry an ictus; while in a language based, like English, on speech stress, we mean that the syllables uttered most loudly and clearly bear the ictus. Again, some languages, such as Italian, emphasize a syllable by a combination of stress and raised pitch, so in these languages we say that the syllables so emphasized receive the ictus. Lastly, in a language like ancient Greek or Vedic Sanskrit where quantity is decisive in utterance, the syllables which receive emphasis are the long ones, and thus it is these which have an ictus.
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DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0009838800015536
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