The present paper seeks to define the way one should proceed in order to make headway in phonological theory and phonological research. The main direction of potential progress is seen in turning the various approaches of that discipline more 'reality-oriented', primarily by restoring its close connection with phonetics. - Three maxims are presented and their enforcement illustrated. 1. The phonological description of a natural language should possibly encompass all varieties and registers of use of that language and, furthermore, should arrive at generalisations across the partial descriptions thus obtained. - 2. Description should stick to the principle of a unified code and be carried out on a procedural basis, that is, by exploring the mechanisms of operation of the phonological system. It should be formulated such that both its principled point of departure and its practial output be a non-homogeneous but common-ground phonological code of the given language (as is fully the case in Hungarian). - 3. The items of description should be confirmed by independent evidence, that is, by a strictly phonetically-based confirmation of the facts of language use. Sources of data or that confirmation may include not-quite-normative areas of language use, such as child language, slips of the tongue or linguistic deviations as in aphasia. (The present paper discusses some aspects of the lastmentioned area.)
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