a1 Indiana University
Over the last several years there has been increased interest in and reliance on the role of phonetics in explaining various aspects of phonology. Such notions as ‘natural rule’ and ‘phonetically explainable’ are commonly equated and are incorporated into arguments over the appropriateness of some given rule formulation or over the range of analyses permitted under alternative theoretical approaches. Those who have made the strongest, most explicit appeal to phonetics in this regard include Stampe (1969, 1973), Ohala (1971, 1972, 1974a, 1974b, 1975, 1978), Schane (1972), Harms (1973), and Hooper (1976). The common thread in these various appeals is the claim that some or all defensible phonological rules are phonetically explainable.
(Received May 08 1979)
 This paper represents a revision of several earlier drafts – some of which were under the same title, e.g. 1978 Summer LSA Meeting, Urbana and the Indiana University Linguistics Club (1978). The earliest version was presented at the XXXI Kentucky Linguistics Conference, Lexington (1978) under the title ‘On phonetic explanation in phonology’. A number of people have afforded me the benefit of extensive discussions and commentary during the preparation of this paper, and I would like to acknowledge with thanks their contribution: Fred Eckman, Kathy Houlihan, Fred Householder, Edith Moravcsik, John Ohala, Bob Port, Gerald Sanders, Linda Schwartz, Tom Walsh, Gary Weismer, and Jessica Wirth. I am especially indebted to John Ohala for his comments, the opportunity for discussion, and the profound interest that his work inspires. Those mentioned above may not, of course, necessarily agree with my positions in this paper.