Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 305–344 | Cite as

Embracing edges: syntactic and phono-syntactic edge sensitivity in Nupe



Though well established as grammatical domains within phonology and morphology, edges have recently come to play a central role in both syntactic analysis and explanation within the Minimalist Program. This article adduces further empirical justification for the inclusion of edges in the Minimalist ontology. By way of two case studies, it is demonstrated that reference to edge domains in both the narrow syntax and at the syntax-phonology interface facilitates principled explanations to two unsolved puzzles in Nupe. The first study investigates a peculiar restriction on extraction from perfect domains. The most tenable solution emerges when both phase edges and Edge Features are embraced. New insights into the nature of Edge Features arise as a consequence. The second study concerns the proper characterization of Comp-trace effects in the language. The most tenable characterization emerges when they are viewed through the lens of the syntax-phonology interface. Comp-trace phenomena are shown to exhibit phono-syntactic edge sensitivity. New insights into the syntax-phonology interface arise as a consequence.


Edge Minimalist program Nupe Edge Features Phase Phase impenetrability condition Extraction from perfect domains Comp-trace effect Syntax-phonology interface 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsSwarthmore CollegeSwarthmoreUSA

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