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Phonetics-Phonology interface(s), regularities, and realisations

Submission deadline : Decembre 15th 2022

The phonetics/phonology interface is a central subject when it comes to studying spoken language. The definition of these two concepts is still at stake in debates and discussions between linguists of different fields, which motivated an Anglophonia issue about this crucial question. The definitions here are but a simple approach to these concepts and their challenge is more than welcome.

According to Troubetzkoy (1939), phonology is the study of sounds related to the system of language, while phonetics is the study of sounds related to the system of speech. For Cohn & Huffman (2013), phonology corresponds to the cognitive aspects of sound structures and patterns, while phonetics is seen as the physical implementation of these structures and patterns. 

While theoretically phonology is easily distinguished from phonetics, the two fields can hardly be separated in practice, and it is often difficult to state categorically that a realisation is phonetic or phonological. 

The next issue of Anglophonia (to be published early 2023) will thus deal with the broad issue of the interface between phonetics and phonology, whether in terms of the regularities and irregularities that can be observed between the two systems, or in terms of the phenomena themselves, which will imply an analysis of these two linguistic fields in relation to each other. 

Phenomena such as (de)rhoticisation, (de)voicing, accentuation (or non-accentuation), emphasis, length variation, terminal rising tones, rhythmic variation, and many others can be studied from a phonetic and / or phonological point of view, with constant interest and questioning towards the other field. 

Contributions dealing with phonetics and phonology, from a segmental and/or suprasegmental point of view, and questioning the permanent back-and-forth between these two fields will be welcome. 

Here are some of the questions and issues that could be addressed in the contributions (non-exhaustive list): 

  • Is it possible to disconnect phonetics and phonology, or is one inextricably linked to the other? Can we do phonology without phonetics and vice versa?

  • What consequences can the Optimality Theory have on the modelling of the phonology / phonetics interface?

  • What is the place of prosody in the relationship between phonology and phonetics?

  • How can phonetics and phonology be linked from a didactic point of     view?

  • What methods can be used to link phonetic irregularities and indices of     variation?

  • How are sociological and identity-related elements reflected through     phonetic variation?

  • The "phonologisation" of phonetic elements which, becoming     salient, are integrated into phonology.

  • The point of separation between phonetics and phonology (Kingston 2007) which shows that the two fields are intimately linked. "How one can reliably separate the phonetic from the phonological is an important question (Keyser and Stevens 2006). Are the links and ruptures related to other factors, such as grammar? (Flynn 2011)

  • The influence of a substrate in the phonetic and / or phonological, segmental and / or suprasegmental forms of one or more varieties of English.

When can we talk about phonological processes? When can we talk about irregularities and change, and when is it variation? What is the boundary, if any, between the two areas?

Contributions may focus on one or more varieties of English, on loanwords, on English L1 but also on English L2. Proposals on any type of discourse and on any period are welcome. 

Fully written paper proposals should be sent to Julia Bongiorno (, Laura Goudet ( et Henri Le Prieult ( before Decembre 15th 2022.

Please follow the guidelines for submission available on the following page:


Cohn, A.C., & Huffman, M.K. (2013). “Phonology-phonetics interface” – to appear in Oxford Bibliographies in Linguistics , 8 / 13 1 INTERFACE BETWEEN PHONOLOGY.

Flynn, J. E. (2011). The Language of Power: Beyond the Grammar Workbook. The English Journal, 100(4), 27–30.

Keyser, S J. and Stevens K. N. (2006). “Enhancement and overlap in the speech chain”. Language 82:33-63.

Kingston, J. (2007) "The phonetics–phonology interface."  in Lacy, P. (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Phonology (pp. 401-434). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Troubetzkoy, N. (1939). Grundzüge der Phonologie. Travaux du Cercle Linguistique de Prague, TCLP VII: Prague 

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