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In Linguistics, markedness refers to the distinguishing feature of one of the units in a pair of words (typically verbs or adjectives) or phonemes. We thus refer to them being "marked" or "unmarked".[1]

In phonology, for example, of the two phonemes /d/ and /t/, the /d/ is marked because it is voiced.[2]


  1. de Swart, Henriëtte (2010). Expression and Interpretation of Negation, p. 2. Springer
  2. "marked" Collins English Dictionary

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