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distinctive feature

noun, Linguistics
a feature of the sound system of a language that serves as the crucial distinguishing mark between two phonemes, as the distinctive feature of voicing, which distinguishes b from p in English, or nasality, which distinguishes m from b and p.
any of a set of phonetic properties, as coronal, nasal, or strident, serving as a basic unit of phonological analysis by which the sounds that are significant in a language can be characterized and distinguished from one another.
a component or phonetic feature characterizing a phoneme.
Origin of distinctive feature
1925-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for distinctive feature
  • The distinctive feature of the poem is the beauty and vigour with which martial scenes are depicted.
  • The first endeavor of the psychiatrist is to characterize the symptom by some distinctive feature.
  • One distinctive feature of a college education is that you can't buy it.
  • Its distinctive feature is the way it organises the replies.
  • Use some distinctive feature of the place you are visiting as a silhouette against a rising or setting sun.
  • The hotel logo incorporates swan boats, a distinctive feature of the park when the hotel was constructed.
  • The authors wrote that the distinctive feature of the human faculty of language, narrowly defined, is recursion.
  • The key distinctive feature of electric drive is the instantaneous response of the motor.

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