complemen'tary distribu'tion

a relation such that the members of a pair or set of phones, morphs, or other linguistic units have no environment in common, as aspirated “p” and unaspirated “p” in English, the first occurring only in positions where the second does not. Also called complementation. Cf. free variation.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

complementary colorcomplementary strand
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