Academic journal article Studia Anglica Posnaniensia: international review of English Studies

English '-Ly' Adverbs: From Subject Orientation to Conversion

Academic journal article Studia Anglica Posnaniensia: international review of English Studies

English '-Ly' Adverbs: From Subject Orientation to Conversion

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

The categorial space between adjectives and adverbs has been the subject of much discussion, among others, on account of their formal, syntactic and semantic proximity. In the frameworks where they are one and the same word-class, this syntactic difference has been interpreted to be enabled by '-ly' as an inflectional mark (for a recent review of this position, and also of the opposite position where adjectives and adverbs are separate categories, cf. Payne et al. 2010; Giegerich 2012 and Hummel 2014). In this view, one and the same category (adjective) has access to two functions: predicative and adverbial. The latter position is not unanimously accepted and adjectives and adverbs are viewed as separate categories with specific syntactic functions more often than not. In fact, the separation has been used as an argument for the word-class model of English as a differentiated system (Hengeveld et al. 2004, cited in Hummel 2014). In the frameworks where they are considered two separate word-classes, their different functional potentials are usually adopted as the distinctive criterion (for a review, cf. Payne et al. 2010). As both categories have access to the general function modifier (here meant as modifier within the phrase and within the clause), the contrast lies in the access of adjectives to the function predicative and the access of adverbs to the function adverbial, but not the other way round. Even in this theoretical position, i.e. viewed as separate word-classes, adjectives and adverbs have a large common ground where their categorial limits are blurred, to use the classical expression (cf. Sapir 1921: 118 et passim, cited in Lipka 1971: 212).

This paper explores a part of that common ground, specifically the area where the most distinctive functions of the categories under study, predicative and adverbial, become blurred. This area comprehends two main types of cases (see section 2.): with and without suffix '-ly'. The former have been researched extensively (cf. Valera 1996; for a more recent review, cf. Giegerich 2012: 349-351). This paper focuses on the latter, i.e. on the so-called subject-oriented ((1) and (2)) and subject-related ((3) and (4)) '-ly' adverbs: (2)

(1) He moved uncomfortably and his chair scraped against the dusty edge of the grate [...]

Adverbial > [He moved in an uncomfortable manner / in an uncomfortable way.]

Predicative > [He was uncomfortable as he moved.]

(2) Before the next Wednesday, Elizabeth carefully made a notice to say that the tea-stall would close.

Adverbial > [Elizabeth made a notice in a careful manner / in a careful way.]

Predicative > [Elizabeth was careful as she made a notice.]

(3) Marcus stared palely at his plate.

Adverbial > *[Marcus stared in a pale manner / in a pale way / to a pale degree.]

> *[It was pale that Marcus stared at his plate.]

Predicative > [Marcus was pale as he stared at his plate.]

(4) The door was tightly laced, and a pressure lamp burned whitely.

Adverbial > *[A lamp burned in a white manner / in a white way / to a white degree.]

> *[It was white that a lamp burned.]

Predicative > [A lamp was white as it burned.]

The paper also examines the consequences of subject-relatedness in morphological description. This is the main objective of the paper, even if the question of word-class identification or, more precisely, whether the units under study belong to a categorial prototype, to a shared categorial space between two classes, or to one or the other class unequivocally underlies the whole paper. In view of this objective, which of the theoretical approaches is used (e.g. with or without categorial relativism, adjectives and adverbs as one or as two categories) is not a central issue and the domain of the paper presented above as categorial space could be replaced by change of word-class or change of syntactic category between two (sub-)classes. …

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