The usual way of referring to the first ELEMENT in a LINGUISTIC UNIT, especially in PHONOLOGY. For example, the PHONEME /k/ occurs ‘in initial position’ (or ‘initially’) in the word cat; the word the occurs in initial position in the PHRASE the big house. Other positions are referred to as MEDIAL and FINAL. Other linguistic features which occur in this position are sometimes labelled accordingly, e.g. ‘initial STRESS’ (i.e. stress on the first SYLLABLE in a WORD).