A term used in PHONOLOGY referring to a way of handling the problem of NEUTRALIZATION (i.e. when the CONTRAST between PHONEMES is lost in certain positions in a WORD). In such cases as PLOSIVES following initial /s-/, where there is no OPPOSITION (e.g. there is no *sgin to contrast with skin), the problem for the phonologist is how to analyze the second element of these words. To choose either the voiceless TRANSCRIPTION /skIn/ or the voiced one /sgIn/ would be to attribute to the element a contrastive status it does not possess. The solution suggested by the PRAGUE SCHOOL phonologist Nikolai Trubetskoy (1890–1939) was to set up a new category for such cases, which he called an archiphoneme, and to transcribe it with a different symbol. A capital letter is sometimes used, e.g. /sKIn/. Alternative ways of analyzing the problem have been suggested, as in MORPHOPHONEMIC approaches.