One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The occurrence of speech sounds in mutually exclusive contexts.
- ‘These lexical pairs tend to be in complementary distribution.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘In more prestigious varieties of Spanish, the clitic and object noun phrase are in complementary distribution (La vi or Vi a la mujer).’
- ‘These two sounds do not occur in the same environment; they are in complementary distribution.’
complementary distribution/ˌkämpləˌmen(t)ərē ˌdistrəˈbyo͞oSHən/
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