Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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This paper is a study in the framework of Construction Grammar that seeks for how much information grammatical units like noun classifier constructions in Thai can reveal and why such information must be presented as distinctive grammatical properties. The findings show that noun classifiers, occurring in nominal phrases, have a large number of grammatical functions not restricted to syntax but encompassing semantics and pragmatics, as well. They function syntactically by constituting numeric phrases, standing for head nouns, substituting for nouns, acting as the heads of modifier constructions, acting as noun modifiers and disambiguating constructions. Semantic-ally, they are divided into generic and perceptual main types, which evince different syntactic behaviors. Finally, they pragmatically function by unitizing nouns, referring to particular entities, individuating items, and indicating the numeral ?€?one?€?. It is these pragmatic functions that motivate their forms/structures. Therefore, information types such as semantic and/or pragmatic properties need to be included in the explanation and viewed as a cluster of information, rather than autonomous syntax.

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