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 ...
... 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 ... the difference is due to different environments (post-initial a or non-a) and the sets are complementary ...
Famous quotes containing the word distribution:
“Classical and romantic: private language of a family quarrel, a dead dispute over the distribution of emphasis between man and nature.”
—Cyril Connolly (19031974)