Two hypotheses concerning the relation between phoneme and syllable categories are contrasted. The phonological hypothesis holds that phoneme categories are perceptually basic, whereas syllable categories are abstract and specify the phonological rules operating on phoneme categories. The integrative routine hypothesis suggests that whereas phoneme categories are basic, syllable categories are not entirely abstract but are represented at least partially on the basis of higher order perceptual information, specifying the dynamics of coarticulating phoneme categories. Three experiments used a primed naming task in which subjects had to name the entire syllable (consonant-vowel and vowel-consonant; Experiment 1), the syllable-initial phoneme category (Experiment 2), or the syllable-final phoneme category (Experiment 3). The results supported the integrative routine hypothesis.