Assuming a generative principle of description for speech utterances, in particular a syllable-based phonological representation and the C/D model of phonetic implementation of uterrances, the basic question is discussed: how abstract phonetic representations as an optimal symbolic description of speech utterances should be. Several examples from a variety of languages in the world, including Kaingang (a Je language spoken by some indiginous Barazilians), which requires a phonological specification of oral syllables, as opposed to the default nasal syllables, are discussed. The advantage of using syllabic features and their implementations for concise phonetic description for particular languages is advocated. Index Terms: syllable features, C/D model
Bibliographic reference. Fujimura, Osamu (2010): "How abstract is phonetics?", In INTERSPEECH-2010, 1568-1571.