|1.||any of several speech sounds that are regarded as contextual or environmental variants of the same phoneme. In English the aspirated initial (p) in pot and the unaspirated (p) in spot are allophones of the phoneme /p/|
|2.||(Canadian) a Canadian whose native language is neither French nor English|
|a calculus or concretion found in the stomach or intestines of certain animals, esp. ruminants, formerly reputed to be an effective remedy for poison.|
|a screen or mat covered with a dark material for shielding a camera lens from excess light or glare.|
one of the phonetically distinct variants of a phoneme (q.v.). The occurrence of one allophone rather than another is usually determined by its position in the word (initial, final, medial, etc.) or by its phonetic environment. Speakers of a language often have difficulty in hearing the phonetic differences between allophones of the same phoneme, because these differences do not serve to distinguish one word from another. In English the t sounds in the words "hit," "tip," and "little" are allophones; phonemically they are considered to be the same sound although they are different phonetically in terms of aspiration, voicing, and point of articulation. In Japanese and some dialects of Chinese, the sounds f and h are allophones.
Learn more about allophone with a free trial on Britannica.com.