Definition of complementary distribution in English:

complementary distribution

Line breaks: com|ple|men¦tary dis¦tri|bu¦tion

noun

[mass noun]
The occurrence of phenomena such as speech sounds in mutually exclusive contexts: bilabials were in complementary distribution with labiodentals
More example sentences
  • Next, given the standard formulation of binding conditions A and B, it is predicted that anaphors and pronominals be in strict complementary distribution, that is, anaphors can occur only where pronominals cannot, and vice versa.
  • These two sounds do not occur in the same environment; they are in complementary distribution.
  • These lexical pairs tend to be in complementary distribution.

Definition of complementary distribution in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day jaunty
Pronunciation: ˈdʒɔːnti
adjective
having a lively, cheerful, and self-confident manner...