Adverbs: Functional and diachronic aspects by Karin Pittner, Daniela Elsner, Fabian Barteld

By Karin Pittner, Daniela Elsner, Fabian Barteld

Adverbs as a note type are notoriously tough to outline. the quantity offers with the delimitation of this classification, its inner constitution, the morphological makeup of adverbs and their positions in syntactic buildings. a more in-depth examine diachronic advancements sheds mild at the features of adverbial word-formation. taking into consideration adverbs in German, English, Dutch, French and Italian, the contributions to this quantity supply new insights into the features of this heterogeneous and multi-faceted classification and may be of curiosity to linguists operating within the fields of morphology, syntax and language switch.

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Oxford: Clarendon. Taylor, John R. 2003. Linguistic Categorization, 3rd edn. Oxford: OUP. Trager, George L. & Smith, Henry L. 1957.

Gender as an inflectional marker of Modern English nouns is even worse as a criterion because English does not have grammatical gender. Finally, case marks nouns rather rarely because genitive is the only case with an inflectional case marker. In sum then, like the Tékhnē grammatikē, traditional grammars of Modern English describe categories of words as part-of-speech categories mostly based on various morphological and/or semantic properties not shared by all the members of a category. And like the Tékhnē grammatikē, they identify only a small set of seven or eight categories, with the intention to nevertheless assign each word of the language to one of these categories.

As is evident from the above, and anyway well known, the number of part-of-speech categories generally identified fits this requirement. It may be concluded then that it is the function – or the fate – of the part-of-speech adverbs to attract together all those words that do ‘not fit the definitions for other parts of speech’ (cf. 3), the reason for this being that . Alternatively they identify items as prototypical members of the category based on ­frequency of use, leading to a different result.

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