Complementary distribution in linguistics is the relationship between two different elements, where one element is found in a particular environment and the other element is found in the opposite environment. It often indicates that two superficially different elements are in fact the same linguistic unit at a deeper level. In some instances, more than two elements can be in complementary distribution with one another.
Other articles related to "complementary distribution, distribution, complementary":
... The concept of complementary distribution is applied in the analysis of word forms (morphology) ... The "distribution" (usage according to environments) of the forms an and a is "complementary" because of three factors --- (1) an is used where a is not used (2) a is used where an is ...
... would have been unreconstructable, had not the original distribution of e and a been recoverable from the evidence of other Indo-European languages ... If two (or more) sets apply in complementary distribution, they can be assumed to reflect a single original phoneme "some sound changes, particularly conditioned sound changes, can result in a proto-sound ... is due to different environments (post-initial a or non-a) and the sets are complementary ...
Famous quotes containing the word distribution:
“In this distribution of functions, the scholar is the delegated intellect. In the right state, he is, Man Thinking. In the degenerate state, when the victim of society, he tends to become a mere thinker, or, still worse, the parrot of other mens thinking.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)