The clitic morpheme de in Mandarin Chinese has various uses. Typically, it is cliticized to a phrase whether the phrase is nominal or adjectival; it can also occur between two noun phrases when there is no relation of semantic modification. The constructions that involve the latter use of de, known as fake modification constructions, have been theoretically characterized many a time. In the existing characterizations, the morpheme is treated either as a mysteriously inserted lexical item, a modification marker, or a genitive morpheme. The existing accounts suffer from a variety of theoretical and empirical problems. Evidence is presented that in some other constructions and in fake modification constructions, de, while having no lexical semantic content of its own, occupies a position that is otherwise occupied by a two-place predicate. Based on this observation, a partially unitary theoretical account of fake modification constructions is formulated from a parsing perspective in the framework of Dynamic Syntax. In this account, four de-morphemes in fake modification constructions are recognized with different syntactic distributions; however, they all contribute a semantically underspecified predicate that is updated by syntactically constrained or context-based inference.