Concept

Allophone

Summary
In phonology, an allophone (ˈæləfoʊn; from the Greek ἄλλος, , 'other' and φωνή, , 'voice, sound') is one of multiple possible spoken sounds – or phones – or signs used to pronounce a single phoneme in a particular language. For example, in English, the voiceless plosive t (as in stop [ˈstɒp]) and the aspirated form tʰ (as in top [ˈtʰɒp]) are allophones for the phoneme /t/, while these two are considered to be different phonemes in some languages such as Thai. Similarly, in Spanish, d (as in dolor doˈloɾ) and ð (as in nada ˈnaða) are allophones for the phoneme /d/, while these two are considered to be different phonemes in English (as in the difference between dare and there). The specific allophone selected in a given situation is often predictable from the phonetic context, with such allophones being called positional variants, but some allophones occur in free variation. Replacing a sound by another allophone of the same phoneme usually does not change the me
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