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binary opposition

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noun Linguistics.
a relation between the members of a pair of linguistic items, as a pair of distinctive features, such that one is the absence of the other, as voicelessness and voice, or that one is at the opposite pole from the other, as stridency and mellowness.
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Origin of binary opposition

First recorded in 1950–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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