The phonology–syntax interface:
In this article I investigate the proper domain of the application of phrasal syncope in Makkan Arabic using Selkirk’s Edge-Based theory of the syntax-phonology interface as well as McCarthy and Prince’s theories of Correspondence and Generalized Alignment. I show that both word-level and phrasal syncope result from the interaction of the same syllable structure constraints. The alignment of the right edge of the prosodic constituent (the phonological phrase) with the right edge of a maximal projection in syntactic structure accounts conspicuously for the under-application of phrasal syncope. The present analysis captures significant generalizations about syncope. It demonstrates that the domain of phrasal syncope is internal to the phonological phrase with the plausible consequence of substituting the traditional reference to right-hand and left-hand syncope with the application versus under-application of the process. In addition, it provides evidence that Makkan Arabic is among the languages that exhibit right-edge effects.