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The use of Raman spectroscopy for strain characterization of materials often requires scattering configurations in which the optical phonon wavevector does not coincide with any of the strain-modified phonon eigenvectors. It is shown that the optical phonon frequencies in strained zincblende crystals exhibit angular dispersion similar to that of optical phonons in unstrained biaxial and uniaxial crystals. The entire formalism is developed on the basis of the relative magnitude of the longitudinal-transverse frequency splittings and the strain-induced frequency splittings. The shifts produced at grazing incidence are above the usual spectroscopic limits of accuracy and can influence the interpretation of data in terms of strain relaxation or defects. The model is applied to diamond- as well as zincblende-type structures. Specific examples are worked out in detail for scattering geometries under grazing incidence in  and  strained heterojunctions. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.