An investigation was performed to determine whether the scaling of F0 maxima is sensitive to syntactic properties of sentences. Seventy sentences were read aloud by a professional speaker. They all had the same basic structure: NP–VP. Variations of the basic scheme were obtained by adding lexical material to the NP and VP, and by permuting the constituent order in the VP. It was found that successive F0 maxima in the NP were subject to evidence lowering (also known as downstep). The results for the VP were more heterogeneous. Here, the occurrence of the downstep pattern was apparently blocked by two factors: the presence of an accent preceding the prosodic head of a constituent, or a deviation from the canonical order of constituents. It is concluded that these factors influence the division of the utterance into prosodic domains, which, in turn, affects the scaling of F0 maxima.