Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1606-822X
  • E-ISSN: 2309-5067



This paper investigates the licensing condition of the [Num(eral)-Cl(assifier)-Mod(ifier)--N(oun)] / [Mod--Num-Cl‑N] variation in Mandarin Chinese. It is observed that this variation represents a complex interface phenomenon in the nominal domain, which is subject to the semantic condition concerning the i(ndividual)-level/​s(tage)-level nature of the modifier contained on the one hand, and the discourse-related condition concerning () on the other. Based on this, at the syntax-semantics interface level, this paper proposes a division of the syntactic domain of adnominal modification to account for the discrepancy between i‑level and s‑level modifiers in terms of their capability in forming [Mod--Num-Cl‑N] in the neutral context. In the meanwhile, at the syntax-discourse interface level, in light of the interface-induced analysis pursued by Neeleman & Van de Koot (2008) and Horvath (2010), it is claimed that the word order of [Mod--Num-Cl‑N] could be adopted as a linguistic device to encode within the nominal domain in Mandarin Chinese, in which case the ordering of [Mod--Num-Cl‑N] is licensed for the purpose of establishing a transparent mapping between syntactic configuration and information structure.

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