Recent experiments in some polymer melts quenched below the melting temperature have reported spinodal kinetics in small-angle x-ray scattering before the emergence of a crystalline structure. To explain these observations we propose that the coupling between density and chain conformation induces a liquid-liquid binodal within the equilibrium liquid-crystalline solid coexistence region. A simple phenomenological theory is developed to illustrate this idea, and several experimentally testable consequences are discussed. Shear is shown to enhance the kinetic role of the hidden binodal
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