In linguistics, an allophone is one of two or more variations of the sound of the same phoneme. (A phoneme is a perceptually distinct unit of sound in a specified language that distinguishes one word from another.) In a language, a phoneme might be the sound of the letter /d/ as it is pronounced in the word “dog.”When do you use a different allophone for a phoneme?
If a specific allophone from a set of allophones that correspond to a phoneme must be selected in a given context, and using a different allophone for a phoneme would cause confusion or make the speaker sound non-native, the allophones are said to be complementary.Which is an allophone of the phoneme Todd?
That means we can say that in American English [ɾ] is an allophone of the phoneme /t/. But sometimes the /t/ phoneme does use a [t] sound like in the name Todd: With these examples, we can see that the phoneme /t/ has at least two allophones: [tʰ] and [ɾ].What are some areas of research on allophones?
Additional areas of research for more understanding of allophones might include allophonic rule, allomorphs, linguistic alternation, phonemes, complementary distribution, free variation, and positional variants.