It is well known that syntax matters to phonology, but does phonology matter to syntax? This question is controversial, partly because judging whether a phenomenon is syntactic or phonological is not always straightforward, and partly because the relevant data (e.g., well-formedness judgments) are often noncategorical, yet grammatically structured in ways that elude performance explanations. This review discusses examples of phonologically constrained syntactic variation and shows how they can be understood in terms of the variation + filtering theory of syntax–phonology interaction. This theory has the following key properties: () Phonology refers to syntax, but syntax does not refer to phonology; () syntax predicts variation by admitting alternative linearizations as well as alternative choices among constituents; and () phonology acts as a filter by evaluating the phonological well-formedness of the variants. I conclude that phonological effects on syntactic variation are limited, but real.


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