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[ahr-kuh-foh-neem, ahr-kuh-foh-neem] /ˈɑr kəˌfoʊ nim, ˌɑr kəˈfoʊ nim/
noun, Linguistics.
an abstract phonological unit consisting of the distinctive features common to two phonemes that differ only in that one has a distinctive feature lacking in the other. The archiphoneme is said to be realized when in a certain position an otherwise phonemic opposition is neutralized; thus, in German, while p and b are separate phonemes differing only in the distinctive feature of voicing, in final position the voicing or unvoicing of the labial stop is nondistinctive, and the p- sound of leib “body” may be called the realization of the archiphoneme.
such a unit occurring in a position where the contrast between two or more phonemes is neutralized.
Origin of archiphoneme
1935-40; < German Archiphonem or < French archiphonème, term first used by R. Jakobson in 1929; see archi-, phoneme Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for archiphoneme


/ˈɑːkɪˌfəʊniːm; ˌɑːkɪˈfəʊniːm/
(phonetics) an abstract linguistic unit representing two or more phonemes when the distinction between these has been neutralized: conventionally shown by a capital letter within slashes, as /T/ for /t/ and /d/ in German Rat and Rad
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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