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Re: What do you call it

From:Muke Tever <mktvr@...>
Date:Thursday, February 27, 2003, 13:38
From: "Sarah Marie Parker-Allen" <lloannna@...>
> When a single word has two alternate pronunciations, amongst the same > population (that is, each and every person would say it either way, freely), > depending on context or a desire to make it rhyme?
They're allomorphs. If they are freely and absolutely interchangeable, then they're said to be in free variation, not otherwise. (The same applies to "allophones" for phonemes, BTW...) The allomorphs of "the" aren't in free variation. The default form is /Di:/, which is used for emphasis and everywhere except before consonants (including [?]), when the reduced form /D@/ is used. (Some dialects, I think especially those affected by AAVE, actually do use /D@/ exclusively.) *Muke! --