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Ok so firstly I take the sentence as a whole to mean.

The missing is accumulating in my heart (i.e. I'm missing you more and more).

Provided I've got that correct, what function does 只 perform here. Is it superfluous and just added as emphasis?

This is from the lyrics of 思想

If it's at all relevant the preceding line is

为何你一去便无消息

只把思念积压在我心头

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1  
It means "just". I think it is used here for emphasis mainly. –  songyuanyao Mar 26 at 12:38

6 Answers 6

Here, I thinks 只 is short for 只能, so it actually means since you leave without a message, 我只能把思念压在我心头.

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Ave's answer is incorrect.
"只 is short for 只能" is normally correct. But here 只 is short for 只是.

"我只能把思念压在我心头" is again, a normally correct interpretation. But here you need to put it in context. it means "你只是把思念压在我心头". YOU, not I.
为何你一去便无消息
只把思念积压在我心头

You need to interpret these two sentences together.

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"只" means "but only".

you can understand it like this: "why you gone, I can't find you, touch you, hear you.You disappear in my world totally. I tried but can't get any message of you, only the endless missing on my heart".

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You got the general meaning right, but because some details are left out, it is harder to understand the meaning of “只” here. And the context does affect the interpretation.

Basically, "只" here means only, which could be interpreted as the only thing you do since the first part says there isn't even a word/news from you after you left.

To better illustrate it:

为何你一去便无消息

Why (I) never heard from you after you left?

只把思念积压在我心头

(You) only left memories accumulating in my heart.

OR: The only (thing you left) are memories that accumulate at the bottom of my heart.

Here "思念"(the feeling of missing someone) is translated as "memory" for connivence although they are not exactly the same.

So if I have to put the two parts in one sentence, it would be something like:

"Why did you leave without a word except letting memories accumulate in my heart."

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Here "只" means "can do nothing but",

为何你一去便无消息 只把思念积压在我心头

is to say "I can do nothing but miss you"

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Wrong. See my answer. YOU not I. –  Allen Zhang Mar 29 at 7:07

The meaning of "只" is only. only the thought in my mind backlog.

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Can you explain what you mean by "backlog"? Perhaps you mean "remains". –  Don Kirkby Apr 2 at 5:46
    
keep long in your mind. –  code_free Apr 8 at 6:15

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