A new depth-averaged model of debris-flow motion describes simultaneous evolution of flow velocity and depth, solid and fluid volume fractions, and pore-fluid pressure. Non-hydrostatic pore-fluid pressure is produced by dilatancy, a state-dependent property that links the depth-averaged shear rate and volumetric strain rate of the granular phase. Pore-pressure changes caused by shearing allow the model to exhibit rate-dependent flow resistance, despite the fact that the basal shear traction involves only rate-independent Coulomb friction. An analytical solution of simplified model equations shows that the onset of downslope motion can be accelerated or retarded by pore-pressure change, contingent on whether dilatancy is positive or negative. A different analytical solution shows that such effects will likely be muted if downslope motion continues long enough, because dilatancy then evolves toward zero, and volume fractions and pore pressure concurrently evolve toward steady states. ?? 2009 American Institute of Physics.