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Matt Treyvaud answered my question elsewhere, so I'm posting his answer here. Yes, teki-words are unlike other na-adjectives in that they can modify nouns without a na. The Daijirin definition was incomplete. From the Nihon Kokugo Daijiten: 漢語について、直接、または「な」 をともなって連体修飾語として用いられるほか、形容動詞語幹として使われる。 Contrary to what I proposed above, teki-words seem to ...


When to drop "な" depends on the phrase. 客観的事実 is a very common set phrase, but 印象的事実 is not. You have to usually say "それは印象的な事実(でした)", unless you were a philosopher and ready to give 印象的事実 some definition. 的 is not special; there are several kanji which can connect two nouns and help to make longer compounds without hiragana particles. ~風 (~ style) ...

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