Hello ! I would like to ask for a complete definition of allophone . I have a test next week and I have a small definition of it , so ... I if you can help me ...I would be greatful . Thanks .
phoneme = contrastive/distinctive sound within a particular language (notation: /…/) Phoneme cause a change in meaning; e.g., bit sit
allophone (also variant) = sound which counts as an alternative way of saying a phoneme in a particular language (notation: […]) Allophones do not cause a change in meaning; e.g., Banff is pronounced Ba[m]ff. The rule that is working there: /n/ is pronounced as [m], a labial, before the labial sound [f]. The rule is called Regressive Assimilation. [m] doesn't change the meaning of the word Ba[m]ff. It just changes the sound. Allophones are phonetic; they have to do with sounds changing while speech is in progress.
See also What is an allophone?
From Allophone | Teaching English | British Council | BBC
Allophones are phonetic variations - different pronunciations - of the same phoneme. Using a different allophone does not change meaning.
The /l/ sound is pronounced differently in ‘love' and in ‘wool'. These two words contain allophones of the phoneme /l/.
In the classroom
It is important to be aware of what allophones and phonemes exist in other languages, as these can cause problems when learning the sounds of English. For example, the /b/ and /v/ phonemes in English are only allophones in Spanish and Spanish learners often have difficulty recognizing the difference. Discrimination activities on minimal pairs of words, distinguished only by the phonemes concerned, can help with this.