from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The set of allowed arrangements or sequences of speech sounds in a given language. A word beginning with the consonant cluster (zv), for example, violates the phonotactics of English, but not of Russian.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A branch of phonology that deals with the restrictions a language applies to combinations of phonemes.


phono- + tactics, arrangement of linguistic units; see tactics.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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