Phonetically Based Phonology




The central difference between PBP and classical OT is the source of the constraint
set. Whereas Prince & Smolensky (1993) assumed that all constraints are universal
and innate, PBP subscribes to neither of those assumptions. In contrast, it is assumed
that the constraints are derived by speakers or learners on the basis of the available
evidence, and of implicit phonetic knowledge, “the speakers’ partial understanding
of the physical conditions under which speech is produced and perceived” (Hayes
and Steriade, p. 1). This knowledge is potentially universal — every human being
can have access to it. But it is not (necessarily) completely innate. Although none
of the articles is very explicit on this, and the term acquisition is regrettably absent
from the index, it is assumed that “Universal Grammar (UG) [is] primarily [. . . ] a
set of abstract analytical predispositions that allow learners to induce grammars from
the raw facts of speech” (cf. Hayes, 1999)….



Bruce P. Hayes  
Robert Kirchner
Donca Steriade


Last Updated 06/11/08