This paper explores the ligament-dependent behaviour of specific work of fracture of polymeric materials using a recently-developed modified EWF model. It is demonstrated that the non-linear relationship between specific work of fracture (wf) and ligament length (l) is a result of specimen boundary influence on the evolution of plastic zone. A transition ligament (l*) is defined, below which, the height of under-developed plastic zone is equal to the ligament length, and as a result, a linear wf-l relation will be observed. The plastic zone will saturate at the transition ligament, and its height will no longer increase when l > l*. This will result in a non-linear wf-l relation. Experimental wf-l data available in the literature are analysed using the modified EWF model and very good agreements are achieved.