allophone (allophonic): one of the phonetic variants that belong to a single phoneme. For example, the phoneme /p/ of English has two allophones. One, [ph], has a puff of air after the lips open, and occurs at the beginnings of words such as "pit". The other, [p], does not have a puff of air, and occurs after /s/ as in "spit". The difference between [ph] and [p] in English is allophonic because it does not cause contrast, but in other languages (such as many languages of India) the same difference can be phonemic. [Spanish: alófono]
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