if a phoneme appears twice in a english word, it will be pronounced as the same allophone both times; ie, two different phoneme of two different allophones of the same phoneme cannot be used in a single word.

is this right?

  • To add to user6726's answer: Words are pretty weak units phonologically. They're hard to define and don't have much distinct behaviour (rules that make reference to word boundaries instead of other overlapping boundaries), to my knowledge. Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 14:03
  • I think the question should have been "can two allophones of one phoneme appear in one word?" - short answer to that is "yes" (there are more allophones than phonemes, and they depend on phonemic context, not semantics).
    – amI
    Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 23:34

1 Answer 1


If a phoneme appears twice in a word, it will be pronounced the same if and only if the tokens of the phonemes appear in the same context (as defined by the allophonic rule). The phoneme /t/ is aspirated foot-initially, and it is glottalized syllable-finally after a vocoid: "tout" is pronounced [tʰæʊt˺]. It is non-aspirated and non-glottalized elsewhere, as in "stacked" [stækt], or "statistician" [stæ̀ɾəstɪ́ʃn̩] (where two of the t's are in the same environment and have the same allophone, and the third on in the middle is in a different context as has the allophone appropriate for foot-medial intervocalic position).

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