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complementary distribution Syllabification: com·ple·men·ta·ry dis·tri·bu·tion
Pronunciation: /ˌkämpləˈmen(t)ərē/ /ˌkämpləˈmentrē ˌdistrəˈbyo͞oSHən/

Definition of complementary distribution in English:


The occurrence of speech sounds in mutually exclusive contexts.
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:
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