Syntagmatic and paradigmatic peculiarities of adverbs in English
The adverb in English theoretical grammar. Semantic classification of and lexico-grammatical subdivision of adverbs. Syntagmatic valency of adverbs and its actualization in speech. The use of adverbs of degree with gradable and non-gradable adjectives.
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Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine
Department of English Philology
Syntagmatic and Paradigmatic Peculiarities of Adverbs in English
Lviv - 2010
Chapter 1. The adverb in English theoretical grammar
1.1 Categorial meaning of the adverb
1.2 Formal characteristics of the adverb
1.3 Syntactic functions and positional characteristics of the adverb
Chapter 2. Paradigmatics of adverbs
2.1 Semantic classification of adverbs
2.2 Lexico-grammatical subdivision of adverbs
Chapter 3. Syntagmatic valency of adverbs and its actualization in speech
3.1 Syntactic valency and combinability patterns of adverbs
3.2 Semantic and syntactic properties of adverbs of degree
3.3 The use of adverbs of degree with gradable and non-gradable adjectives
3.4 Semantic preferences of amplifiers
List of References
The diploma paper sets out to explore paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations of adverbs in modern English. The work considers such branches of grammar as morphology and syntax and is concerned with the two levels of word relations.
A word as a part of the language system is considered on two levels:
1) the syntagmatic level;
2) the paradigmatic level.
On the paradigmatic level it is the relationship with other words in the vocabulary system. On the syntagmatic level the semantic structure of a word is analyzed in its linear relationships with neighbouring words.
The differentiation between paradigmatics and syntagmatics is based on recognition of the linguistic planes: 1 - the plane of language; 2 - the plane of speech. Language is a system of means of expression while speech should be understood as the manifestation of the system of language in the process of communication. Language planes are structured paradigmatically, speech planes - syntagmatically.
Paradigmatic relations are relations of contrast. They exist only in the potential and never in an instance. From the viewpoint of the text analyst, they express a contrast between the meaning (and so the form) that was chosen for use in the text and the one or more meanings (and so forms) that might have been chosen (but were not). In other words, paradigmatic relations exist only in the language that is used to produce a text-sentence and not in the sentence itself [23, 134].
Syntagmatic relations are based on the linear character of speech. They enable language to function as a means of communication. When they are brought into play, linguistic elements combine to form information-carrying utterances. They are therefore the functional relations of language [32, 60].
The present research is aimed at investigating the salient features of adverbs in English. The major research focus in the field of syntagmatics is on adverbs of degree as the most syntagmatically active class.
Most of the investigations in the field of morphology deal with other parts of speech, mainly verbs, nouns or adjectives. The adverb due to its ontological status and the categorical meaning defined as that of secondary property, has unjustly fallen out of research focus. The textbooks on theoretical grammar provide only scanty information about adverbs. However, the adverb is liable to present us with a whole bundle of problems. Firstly, there are a lot of borderline cases of transition between adverbs, on the one hand, and prepositions, particles and conjunctions, on the other. Though, a number of fairly plausible viewpoints on the issue have been expressed and the objective criteria have been suggested, they do not yield clear results and, a fully convincing solution to the problem has not been found yet [4; 5; 8; 9]. This calls for the need to consider these cases of grammatical homonymy at some length. Secondly, wrong use of adverbs and adverbial collocations appears to be one of the major errors notoriously common with the students. This determines the topicality of the research, its theoretical and practical value.
The object of investigation is the adverb, including simple, derived, compound and composite. The subject of research is the paradigmatic correlation and syntagmatic peculiarities of adverbs, their combinability patterns. Such methods of investigation, as structural-semantic, distributional and the elements of the quantitative analysis are used in this paper.
The tasks of the diploma paper are:
- to determine the categorial meaning of the adverb and its formal characteristics;
- to carry out the analysis of syntactic functions of the adverb;
- to analyze the main classes of adverbs;
- to compare paradigmatically relevant classifications of the adverb;
- to explore syntactic valency and combinability patterns of adverbs;
- to examine the use of adverbs of degree and to determine their semantic preferences.
According to the spheres of concern the work falls into an Introduction, three chapters, conclusions and the list of references which together with the appendix comprises __ pages. Chapter 1 deals with the analysis of the adverb in accord with the 3-criteria principle of the lexico-grammatical word classification. Chapter 2 is concerned with the paradigmatic relations of adverbs, providing the semantic and lexico-grammatical classifications of the adverb. In Chapter 3 semantic and syntactic valencies of adverbs and their realization in speech are described. Most of the examples presented in this diploma paper are taken form modern English dictionaries.
Chapter 1. The adverb in English theoretical grammar
1.1 Categorial meaning of the adverb
In accord with the 3-criteria principle of the lexico-grammatical word classification (semantic, formal and functional) , parts of speech are discriminated on the basis of:
1) common categorial meaning;
2) common paradigm (morphological form and specific forms of derivation);
3) common syntactic function.
The categorical meaning of the adverb is secondary property which implies qualitative, quantitative, or circumstantial characteristics of actions, states, qualities.
The adverb is usually defined as a word expressing either property of an action, or property of another property, or circumstances in which an action occurs [22, 146]. From this definition it is difficult to define adverbs as a class, because they comprise a most heterogeneous group of words, and there is considerable overlap between the class and other word classes. They have many kinds of form, meaning and function.
Alongside such undoubtful adverbs as here, now, often, seldom, always, there are many others which also function as words of other classes. Such words which are different in their lexical meaning and also in their grammatical category (part of speech) but identical in their form are interparadigmatic homonyms (lexical-grammatical) [17, 118]. Thus, adverbs like dead (dead tired), clear (to get clear away), clean (I've clean forgotten), slow, easy (he would say that slow and easy) coincide with corresponding adjectives (a dead body, clear waters, clean hands). Adverbs like past, above, in, up, down, about, since, before, over are homonymous with prepositions. There is also a special group of pronominal adverbs when, where, how, why used either as interrogative words or as connectives to introduce subordinate clauses [3, 87]:
Where would you like to go? (an interrogative pronominal adverb)
We'll go where you want. (a conjunctive pronominal adverb)
Some adverbs may be used rather like a verb, as in “Up. Jenkins! Down, Peter!”, where the first word is like an imperative [25, 92].
There are three adverbs connected with numerals: once, twice, and thrice (the latter being archaic). They denote measure or frequency:
She went there once a week .
I saw him twice last month .
Twice is also used in the structure twice as long, etc. [22, 92].
He is twice as tall as his brother .
She is twice as clever .
Beginning with three the idea of frequency or repetition is expressed by the phrases three times, four times [25, 92]:
He went there four times.
He is four times as bigger.
She is ten times cleverer. [25, 92]
In many cases the border-line between adverbs and words of the other classes is defined syntactically:
I called out to him as he ran past . (adverb)
I called out to him as he ran past the house . (preposition)
We were locked in . (adverb)
We were locked in the warehouse . (preposition)
He did everything slowly but surely . (adverb)
Surely you know him . (modal word)
The definition of adverb presented above, though certainly informative and instructive, also fails to directly point out the relation between the adverb and the adjective as the primary qualifying part of speech.
In an attempt to overcome this drawback, M. Y. Blokh defines the adverb as a notional word expressing a non-substantive property, that is, a property of a non-substantive referent [13, 221]. This formula immediately shows the actual correlation between the adverb and the adjective, since the adjective is a word expressing a substantive property.
Properties may be of a more particular, "organic" order and, a more general and detached, "inorganic" order [13, 221]. Of the organic properties, the adverb denotes those characterising processes and other properties. Of the inorganic properties, the adverb denotes various circumstantial characteristics of processes or whole situations built around processes.
The above definition, approaching the adverb as a word of the secondary qualifying order, presents the entire class of adverbial words as the least self-dependent of all the four notional parts of speech. Indeed, the truly complete nominative value is inherent only in the noun, which is the name of substances . The verb comes next in its self-dependent nominative force, expressing processes as dynamic relations of substances, i.e. their dynamic relational properties in the broad sense. After that follow qualifying parts of speech -- first the adjective denoting qualifications of substances, and then the adverb denoting qualifications of non-substantive phenomena which find themselves within the range of notional signification.
The adverb is characterised by its own, specific nominative value, providing for its inalienable status in the system of the parts of speech. Hence, the complaints of some linguists that the adverb is not rigorously defined and in fact presents something like a "dump" for those words which have been rejected by other parts of speech can hardly be taken as fully justified [13, 221]. On the other hand, since the adverb does denote qualifications of the second order, not of the first one like the adjective, it includes a great number of semantically weakened words which are in fact intermediate between notional and functional lexemes by their status and often display features of pronominal nature.
1.2 Formal characteristics of the adverb
In terms of the formal criterion the adverb is characterized by the following features [13, 39]:
1) the forms of the degrees of comparison for qualitative adverbs;
2) the specific suffixal forms of derivation.
The only pattern of morphological change for adverbs is the same as for adjectives, the degrees of comparison [25, 94]. With regard to the category of the degrees of comparison adverbs (like adjectives) fall into comparables and non-comparables. The number of non-comparables is much greater among adverbs than among adjectives. Only adverbs of manner and certain adverbs of time and place can form degrees of comparison. The three grades are called positive, comparative, and superlative degrees.
Adverbs that are identical in form with adjectives take inflections following the same spelling and phonetic rules as for adjectives:
hard -- harder -- hardest
soon -- sooner -- soonest
early -- earlier -- earliest
Several adverbs ending in -ly (quickly, loudly) form comparatives according to the same pattern, dropping their adverb-forming suffix. These adverbs acquired the form in -ly only recently and retained the older forms of the comparative and superlative:
quickly - quicker - quickest
loudly - louder - loudest
However most disyllabic adverbs in -ly and all polysyllabic ones form the comparative and superlative analytically, by means of more and most:
beautifully -- more beautifully -- most beautifully
cleverly -- more cleverly -- most cleverly
As with adjectives, there is a small group of adverbs with comparatives and superlatives formed from different stems (suppletive forms). These comparatives and superlatives are identical with those for the corresponding adjectives and can be differentiated from the latter only syntactically:
well -- better -- best
badly -- worse -- worst
much -- more -- most
little -- less -- least
All the problems connected with the adjectival degrees of comparison retain their force for the adverbial degrees of comparison. Some grammarians do not admit forms like more quickly, most quickly to be analytical degrees of comparison . They distinguish only two types of degrees of comparison in adverbs:
· the suffix type (quickly - quicker - quickest)
· the suppletive type (well -- better -- best)
Adverbs vary in their structure. In accord with their word-building structure adverbs may be simple, derived, compound and composite .
Simple adverbs are rather few, and nearly all of them display functional semantics, mostly of pronominal character: here, there, now, then, so, quite, why, how, where, when.
Derived adverbs may be classified in several groups [30, 164]. The two largest groups are those formed from adjectives and participles by adding the suffix -ly, e. g.: hopefully, physically, strangely, falsely, occasionally, lately, immediately, constantly, purely, slowly, charmingly, etc.
There has been a marked discrepancy of opinion concerning deadjectival adverbs in terms of two mutually exclusive types of morphological derivation - inflection and word-formation . Two views have been put forward, according to which adverbs are treated as either the inflectional paradigmatic form of a parent adjective or its derivative . The former view can be refuted if we proceed from the notion of symmetry/asymmetry of the semantic structures. The structures are considered symmetric if they are characterized by both quantitative and qualitative convergence of their sense components; conversely, the parent and the resultant semantic structures are considered asymmetric if they diverge either in the number or in the character of the meanings conveyed .
According to Garipova N.D., adjectival and adverbial forms are asymmetric; the process of deriving adverbs from adjectives involves the semantic shift that yields two possibilities: the adverb may develop new meanings, or, more often, the semantic structure of the motivated adverb turns out to be more simplified and narrower in comparison with that of the motivating adjective . For example, the adverb roughly retains only 3 meanings out of 17, inherent in the semantic structure of the adjective rough. All this leads to conclude that adverbs cannot be regarded as inflectional forms of adjectives.
The third group consists of those that are formed by means of the derivational prefix -a (phonemically [э]) to nouns, adjectives or verbs. Of about sixty of them in more or less common use nearly half are formed from nouns: aboard, aside, away, ahead, apart, across etc. The rest are about equally divided among those formed from verbs, e. g.: amiss, astir; from adjectives -- anew, abroad.
In traditional grammars such words are generally classed as both adjectives and adverbs and they are so listed in most dictionaries, which seems hardly justified since from the structural point of view none of them can fit the basic adjective position between determiner and noun (We cannot say the aloud voice or the adrift boat) [30, 164].
The fourth group of derived adverbs originally very small, but in present-day English exhibiting signs of rapid growth includes those formed by adding the derivational suffix -wise to nouns. A few adverbs of this type are well-established words like clockwise, otherwise, likewise; others are recent coinages or nonce-words like crabwise and actor-wise. In American English the suffix -wise is most active and can be more freely attached to many nouns to create adverbs like personnel-wise. Such forms are recognised in writing by the use of the hyphen.
Then comes a smaller group of adverbs formed by the addition of the derivational suffix -ward(s) to a limited group of nouns; home- ward(s), forward(s), backward(s). Most adverbs of this group have two forms, one with the final -s and one without, variously distributed. The forms without -s are homonymous with adjectives: the backward child, he looked backward.
The less common suffixes are the following:
Compound adverbs are formed of two stems: sometimes, somewhere, somehow, someplace, nowhere, everywhere, anyway, downstairs, etc. There are fewer than twenty of these in common use.
Composite phrasal adverbs consist of two or more word-forms, as a great deal, a little bit, far enough, now and then, from time to time, sort of, kind of, a hell of, a lot of, a great deal of, at least, at most, at last, to and fro, upside down. Such adverbs are lexically and grammatically indivisible and form a single idea.
Considered in their structure, composite phrasal adverbs may be classified as follows [30, 164]:
1) preposition + noun: at hand, at home, by heart, on horseback, on foot, in turn, to date;
2) noun + preposition + noun: arm in arm, day by day, day after day, day to day, face to face, word for word, year by year;
3) preposition + substantivised adjective: at last, at first, at large, in large, in full, in quiet, in short, in vain, of late, of old;
4) preposition + verbal noun made through conversion: at a guess, at a run, in a rush, on the move, on the run;
5) preposition + numeral: at first, at once, at one, by twos;
6) coordinate adverbs: by and by, on and off (= off and on), on and on;
7) pronoun + adjective (or participle): all right, all told, O. K. (all correct);
8) preposition + pronoun: after all, in all, at all.
In point of fact most adverbs of that kind may be reasonably referred to as grammatical idioms [30, 165]. This can be seen, for instance, in the unusual absence of the article before their noun components and specialised use of the noun in its singular form only: on foot (but not on the foot, or on feet which may occur in free prepositional word-groups), in fact (but not in the fact), at first (but not at the first), etc.
There is a miscellaneous class of adverbs that have no formal signals at all to distinguish them in isolation; we know them as adverbs because of their positions in utterances, in which the other parts of speech are clearly identifiable. Many adverbs in this group are fairly frequent in occurrence: always, now, then, here, there, often, seldom, still, even. Others in this group are words which may also appear as other parts of speech, such as: downstairs, home, late, little, fast, stow, early, far, hard, near:
My friend is the world's fastest runner . (adjective)
The water was rising very fast . (adverb)
It is hard to believe that she's only nine . (adjective)
He was still breathing hard after his run . (adverb)
Formations of the type from outside, till now, before then, etc. cannot be included in the word-building sets of adverbs [13, 223]. It is not difficult to see that such formations differ in principle from the ones cited above. The difference consists in the fact that their parts are semantically not blended into an indivisible lexemic unity and present combinations of a preposition with a peculiar adverbial substantive -- a word occupying an intermediary lexico-grammatical status between the noun and the adverb. This is most clearly seen on ready examples liberally offered by English texts of every stylistic standing:
The pale moon looked at me from above [13, 223].
By now Sophie must have received the letter and very soon we shall hear from her [13, 223].
The departure of the delegation is planned for later this week .
The freely converted adverbial substantives in prepositional collocations belong to one of the idiomatic characteristics of English, and may be likened, with due alteration of details, to partially substantivised adjectives of the adjectivid type. On this analogy the adverbial substantives in question may be called "adverbids" [13, 223].
Furthermore, there are in English some other peculiar structural types of adverbs which are derivationally connected with the words of non-adverbial lexemic classes by conversion [13, 223]. Conversion consist in making a new word from some existing word by changing the category of a part of speech, the morphemic shape of the original word remaining unchanged [17, 118]. To adverbs coined by conversion belong both adverbs of full notional value and adverbs of half-notional value.
A peculiar set of converted notional adverbs is formed by adjective-stem conversives, such as fast, late, hard, high, close, loud, tight, etc. The peculiar feature of these adverbs consists in the fact that practically all of them have a parallel form in -ly, the two component units of each pair often differentiated in meaning or connotation: to work hard -- hardly to work at all; to fall flat into the water -- to refuse flatly; to speak loud -- to criticise loudly; to fly high over the lake -- to raise a highly theoretical question.
Among the adjective-stem converted adverbs there are a few words with the non-specific -ly originally in-built in the adjective (daily, weekly, lively, timely):
Invoices are signed on a daily basis . (adjective)
The machines are inspected twice daily . (adverb)
The purely positional nature of the conversion in question, i.e. its having no support in any differentiated categorial paradigms, can be reflected by the term "fluctuant conversives"  which is proposed to use as the name of such formations.
As for the fluctuant conversives of weakened pronominal semantics, very characteristic of English are the adverbs that positionally interchange with prepositions and conjunctive words (before, after, round, within): never before -- never before our meeting; somewhere round -- round the corner; not to be found within -- within a minute.
Among the various types of adverbs, those formed from adjectives by means of the suffix -ly not only occupy the most representative place but also pose a special problem.
The problem is introduced by the very regularity of their derivation, the rule of which can be formulated quite simply: each qualitative adjective has a parallel adverb in -ly [13, 226]: silent -- silently, slow -- slowly, tolerable -- tolerably, pious -- piously, sufficient -- sufficiently, tired -- tiredly, explosive -- explosively, etc.
This regularity of formation accompanied by the general qualitative character of semantics gave cause to A. I. Smirnitsky to advance the view that both sets of words belong to the same part of speech, the qualitative adverbs in -ly being in fact adjectives of specific combinability [9, 174-175].
The strong point of the adjectival interpretation of qualitative adverbs in -ly is the demonstration of the actual similarity between the two lexemic sets in their broader evaluative function, which fact provides for the near-identity of the adjectival and adverbial grammatical categories of comparison. On the whole, however, the theory in question is hardly acceptable for the mere reason that derivative relations in general are not at all relations of lexico-grammatical identity; for that matter, they are rather relations of non-identity, since they actually constitute a system of production of one type of lexical units from another type of lexical units [13, 227]. As for the types of units belonging to the same or different lexemic classes, this is a question of their actual status in the system of lexicon, i. e. in the lexemic paradigm of nomination reflecting the fundamental correlations between the lexemic sets of language. Since the English lexicon does distinguish adjectives and adverbs; since adjectives are substantive-qualifying words in distinction to adverbs, which are non-substantive qualifying words; since, finally, adverbs in -ly do preserve this fundamental nonsubstantive-qualification character -- there can't be any question of their being "adjectives" in any rationally conceivable way. As for the regularity or irregularity of derivation, it is absolutely irrelevant to the identification of their class-lexemic nature [13, 228].
Thus, the whole problem is not a problem of part-of-speech identity; it is a problem of inter-class connections, in particular, of inter-class systemic division of functions, and, certainly, of the correlative status of the compared units in the lexical paradigm of nomination.
But worthy of attention is the relation of the adverbs in question to adverbs of other types and varieties, i. e. their intra-class correlations. As a matter of fact, the derivational features of other adverbs, in sharp contrast to the ly-adverbs, are devoid of uniformity to such an extent that practically all of them fall into a multitude of minor non-productive derivational groups . Besides, the bulk of notional qualitative adverbs of other than ly-derivation have ly-correlatives (both of similar and dissimilar meanings and connotations). These facts cannot but show that adverbs in -ly should be looked upon as the standard type of the English adverb as a whole [13, 229].
1.3 Syntactic functions and positional characteristics of the adverb
Adverbs may perform different functions, modifying different types of words, phrases, sentences. Some adverbs are restricted in their combinability whereas others may modify different words, for instance enough, which may be used in to work enough, not quickly enough, quick enough. The most typical function of the adverb is that of adverbial modifier .
Adverbs may function as adverbial modifiers of manner, place, time, degree to a finite or non-finite form of the verb:
He started his career in St Petersburg - or Leningrad as it then was .
The south should remain dry, but everywhere else will have heavy rain.
Adam obviously adored his wife . (manner)
I rather suspect we're making a mistake . (degree)
Some adverbs of time though synonymous, are used in different syntactic patterns. Thus, already is used in affirmative sentences, and yet - in interrogative and negative sentences:
Tim has already come back from his trip .
I haven't finished my report yet .
Have you finished yet ?
However, already may occur in interrogative and negative sentences when there is an element of surprise or the question is suggestive, that is the speaker expects an affirmative answer:
Have they finished already ?
Adverbs may function as adverbial modifiers to an adjective or another adverb . Usually the modifying adverb is an intensifier (very, rather, awfully, so, terribly, extremely, most, utterly, unusually, delightfully, unbelievably, amazingly, strikingly, highly, that, etc.) The same applies to composite adverbs, such as (kind of, sort of, a good bit of, a lot of, a hell of, a great deal of, etc.):
It is terribly important for parents to be consistent .
This new program is unbelievably good .
It made me feel kind of awkward .
Some adverbs - still, yet, far, much, any combine with comparative adjectives (much worse, not any better, still greater, etc.)
Adverbs of degree can modify certain kinds of prepositional phrases:
They lived nearly on the top of the hill .
His remarks were not quite to the point .
Comparative adverbs are used in clauses of proportional agreement, that is, parallel clauses in which qualities or actions denoted in them increase or decrease at an equal rate [25, 177]:
The longer I think about it the less I understand your reasons .
To express the idea that a quality or action decreases or increases at an even rate the comparative may be repeated, the two identical forms being connected by and:
He cried louder and louder [25, 177].
There are some adverbs which may modify nouns or words of nominal character, functioning as attribute, as in: the way ahead, the trip abroad, the journey home, his return home, the sentence above (below), the day before. A few adverbs can premodify nouns without losing their adverbial character: the then president, in after years, the above sentence, the now generation.
As adverbs modify words of different classes, they accordingly occupy different positions in the sentence. In comparison with other words, adverbs may be considered as the most movable words. However, adverbs are not identical in their ability to be moved to another position in the structure. There are generally four possible positions for adverbs in the sentence [18, 397]:
1) at the head of the sentence;
2) between the subject and predicate or, if the predicate is a complicated form, the adverb appears after the first auxiliary verb, link-verb or a modal verb;
3) before the word the adverb modifies;
4) at the end of the sentence.
Different semantic groups of adverbs tend to appear in different positions. Thus, many adverbs of time and frequency prefer Position 2:
A good strong cup of coffee is just what I need right now .
He is always in time for meals .
They sometimes stay up all night .
However, some of time adverbs appear in Position 4:
He came eventually .
The telephone rang, and he answered it immediately .
She hasn't finished her breakfast yet .
If any adverbs of time and frequency are found in positions other than those characteristic of them, it means that these adverbs are intended for special emphasis [21, 399]:
They usually are very punctual. (common)
Usually they are very punctual. (emphatic)
Adverbs of place and direction usually occur in Position 4:
I looked for it everywhere .
The young people were enjoying themselves outside .
Adverbs of manner commonly appear in Position 4, after the predicate verb:
He gave her the money reluctantly .
She looked at me suspiciously .
Some adverbs of manner may occasionally be found in Position 2:
She carefully picked up all the bits of broken glass .
They secretly decided to leave the town .
Occasionally adverbs of manner may be found in Position 1. In that case the adverb does not only modify the predicative verb, but also the subject:
Angrily he denied that he had stolen the documents . (= he was angry when he denied that he had stolen the documents)
Adverbs of degree (or intensifiers) are usually placed in Position 3, before the word they modify:
It's absolutely the best museum in the country .
I definitely saw him crossing the street .
The adverb enough, when it modifies an adjective or an adverb, is placed in post-position to them:
You can go to school when you're old enough .
He didn't work quickly enough .
However, adverbs of degree (intensifiers), if they modify verbs, may also be found in Position 4, at the end of the sentence:
The only way Glass could overcome this irreconcilable difference was by doing away with the bar lines completely .
But if the plea can be supported by a finding of guilt alone, a defendant might escape punishment altogether .
When occupying the initial position in the sentence, altogether is used parenthetically as a conjunctive adverb (= on the whole):
Latin America is a world where primitive ways of life exist near ultra-modern cities. Altogether, it is a continent full of vitality .
Chapter 2. Paradigmatics of adverbs
2.1 Semantic classification of adverbs
The adverb in English undergoes two paradigmatically relevant classifications:
Semantic classification is based on the meaning of adverbs. According to their meaning, adverbs fall into the following groups [18, 393]:
1. Adverbs of time: afterwards, already, at once, eventually,
immediately, lately, now, presently, soon, suddenly, then, when, yesterday, yet, etc.:
Our class is going to London tomorrow [36, 55].
It's been two weeks now since she called home .
2. Adverbs of frequency: always, constantly, hardly ever, never, occasionally, often, seldom, sometimes, three times, twice, etc.:
There is always somebody at home in the evenings .
They sometimes stay up all night .
3. Adverbs of place or direction: abroad, ashore, backwards, below, downstairs, everywhere, far, here, inside, outside, seaward(s), there, to and fro, where, etc.:
We'll have to eat here - everywhere else is full [36, 54].
He was famous, both at home and abroad .
A dog began to bark somewhere inside .
I was now far behind the others and I knew I couldn't catch up .
The use of somewhere, anywhere and nowhere in different kinds of sentences is similar to the use of the corresponding indefinite pronouns some, any and no.
4. Adverbs of manner: badly, clearly, deeply, fast, how, quickly, sideways, sincerely, somehow, well, willingly, etc.:
His campaign was not going well .
The economic crisis reflects badly on the government's policies .
We are sincerely grateful for your help .
Adverbs of manner saying how an action is performed can freely occur with dynamic verbs, but not with stative verbs:
He looked into the problem carefully .
He walked upstairs quietly .
The boy blushed violently [36, 52].
5. Adverbs of degree or intensifiers can be used before adjectives, verbs, or other adverbs to give information about the extent or level of something: completely, enough, extremely, highly, muck, nearly, perfectly, pretty, quite, rather, really, so, somewhat, terribly, too, unusually, very, etc.:
Sometimes the UK seems completely isolated from the main stream of European culture .
The ambassador made a brief statement, saying that the talks had been very productive .
Myers said that two year prison sentence for rape was totally unacceptable and inadequate .
Adverbs of degree or intensifiers may be subdivided into three semantic groups:
1) emphasizers (emphasizing the truth of the communication): actually, at all, clearly, definitely, indeed, just, literally, plainly, really, simply, etc.:
What do you really think about it ?
When I told you to `get lost' I didn't expect to be taken literally .
Fame is often simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time
I just can't understand it [36, 60].
You haven't done it well at all .
2) amplifiers (expressing a high degree): absolutely, altogether, badly, bitterly, completely, deeply, downright, entirely, extremely, (by) far, fully, greatly, heartily, much, perfectly, pointblank, quite, terribly, thoroughly, utterly, very, etc.:
Each panel member should ensure that he or she thoroughly tests the case presented for project approval .
Artists are terribly difficult people for us ordinary mortals to deal with .
Because of the language barrier and culture shock, such insights are far too rare .
I told Fred pointblank that he had made a mistake .
He said the diesel costs Ј16,600, which is downright preposterous .
Local residents are deeply concerned about the threat to health posed by the power station .
For many years, the benefits of the expensive system greatly outweighed the disadvantages .
3) downtoners (lowering the effect): a bit, almost, barely, enough, hardly, kind of, (a) little, moderately, more or less, nearly, partly, quite, rather, scarcely, slightly, somewhat, sort of, sufficiently, etc.:
We took a slightly more direct root .
He was only partly responsible for the accident .
I kind of disapprove of such methods .
I think you're a bit too young to be watching this [36, 62].
Almost nothing was done to improve the situation .
6. Focusing adverbs draw attention to the most important part of utterance. They can be of two kinds:
1) restrictive: alone, exactly, just, merely, only, precisely, purely, simply, especially, etc.:
Some students lose marks simply because they don't read the question properly .
It's important to write these goals down, rather than merely think about them .
2) additive: again, also, either, equally, even, too, etc.
She stayed and nursed him back to health again .
You must have a good education, but practical training is equally important .
7. Viewpoint adverbs are used to make clear what viewpoint the speaker is speaking from; that is, identifying what features of something are being talked about (economically, morally, politically, scientifically, weather-wise, financially, ideologically, industrially, environmentally, logically, medically, outwardly, technically, visually, etc.):
Financially, the accident has been a disaster for the owners of the tunnel [21, 156].
Geographically and linguistically, these islands are closer to the mainland than to the neighboring islands [21, 156].
Economically, the project is bound to fail .
The brothers may be alike physically, but they have very different personalities .
A number of phrases are used in a similar way (politically speaking, in political terms, in terms of politics, from a political point of view, as far as politics are concerned):
Politically/In political terms, this summer is a crucial time for the government [21, 156].
Financially/From a financial point of view, it is a good investment [21, 156].
8. Attitudinal adverbs which express the speaker's comment on the content of what he is saying. Such adverbs can be of two kinds:
1) adverbs expressing a comment on the truth-value of what is
being said, indicating the extent to which the speaker believes
what he is saying is true: admittedly, allegedly, apparently, certainly, decidedly, definitely, doubtless, maybe, obviously, perhaps, possibly, presumably, probably, quite likely, supposedly, surely, undoubtedly, etc.:
Few women, presumably, would want to return to the assumptions on which the old system was based .
He was supposedly delivering some papers to her but I think it was just an excuse to see her .
The impact, occurring shortly before midnight, apparently knocked out all communications before warning could be given .
Perhaps the public does not have much choice in the matter .
Certainly, he had very little reason to fear anyone .
2) adverbs expressing some attitude towards what is being
said: amazingly, cleverly, (in)correctly, curiously, foolishly, (un)fortunately, funnily enough, (un)happily, incredibly, ironically, (un)justly, (un)luckily, oddly, preferably, reasonably, regrettably, remarkably, sensibly, significantly, strangely, tragically, typically, unexpectedly, etc.:
He is wisely staying at home tonight .
Naturally we were extremely annoyed when we received the letter .
Attempts to denigrate his playing simply because of his popularity are misplaced but regrettably widespread .
9. Conjunctive adverbs: above all, accordingly, alternatively, anyhow, anyway, as a result, at any rate, besides, by the way, consequently, finally, first(ly), for all that, for example, further, furthermore, hence, however, incidentally, in other words, in spite of that, instead, in that case, lastly, likewise, meantime, mean while, namely, nevertheless, next, on the contrary, on the one (other) hand, otherwise, rather, secondly, similarly, so, still, that is, then, therefore, though, thus, too, yet, etc.:
I'd like you to do two things for me. First, phone the office
and tell them I'll be late. Secondly, order a taxi to be here
in about half an hour [18, 394].
Incidentally, he left you a message. It is on your desk .
I didn't like the food there. However, I didn't complain about it .
He has been working very hard. He looks fit, though .
10. Formulaic adverbs (markers of courtesy): cordially, kindly, please, etc.:
Will you kindly help me with the parcel ?
We cordially invite you to our party .
Let me have a look at the picture, please .
The adverbs when, where, how and why belonging to different semantic groups mentioned above have one point in common -- they serve to form questions and introduce some kinds of subordinate clauses . In the former case, owing to their auxiliary function, they are called interrogative adverbs (a). In the latter case, also owing to their auxiliary function, they are called conjunctive adverbs (b). In both cases they perform different adverbial functions in the sentence:
a) When did you see him last? (adverbial modifier of time)
Where are you going? (adverbial modifier of place)
How did you manage it? (adverbial modifier of manner)
Why didn't you tell me about it? (adverbial modifier of cause)
b) Sunday was the day when he was least busy.
(adverbial modifier of time)
The thing to find out was where he was then.
(adverbial modifier of place)
How it was done remains a mystery to me.
(adverbial modifier of manner)
I wanted to know why he had left us so abruptly.
(adverbial modifier of cause)
As is seen from the above examples, the conjunctive adverbs
can introduce attributive, predicative, subject and object clauses.
The adverb how, in addition to the above functions, can also
be placed at the head of an exclamatory sentence. In this case it is
often followed by an adjective or an adverb but it may also be
used alone. This how is sometimes called the exclamatory how [18, 395]:
How unfair grown-ups are!
Oh, how the baby cries! [18, 395]
2.2 Lexico-grammatical subdivision of adverbs
syntagmatic paradigmatic peculiarities adverbs english
Adverbs may be divided into three lexico-grammatical subclasses: qualitative, quantitative, and circumstantial [13; 13].
Qualitative adverbs show the quality of an action or state much in the same way as a qualitative adjective shows the quality of some substance (walks quickly and a quick walk, speaks loudly and a loud speech, etc). The connection between qualitative adverbs and adjectives is obvious. In most cases the adverb is derived from the adjective with the help of the most productive adverb-forming suffix -ly.
Qualitative adverbs, with or without -ly, are a subclass of adverbs with peculiar lexico-grammatical features. According to their meaning, the include adverbs of manner (well, badly, fast, quickly, clearly, suddenly, deeply, sincerely, willingly, sideways, somehow, how, etc.).
Qualitative adverbs usually modify verbs or statives. As they characterize the quality of an action or state, they are inwardly bound with a verb or stative and are usually placed as close as possible to the verb or stative they modify:
Tony and the daughter of the Polish governor catch one glimpse of each other and are madly aflame .
Table 1: Characteristic features of qualitative adverbs
1. Lexico-grammatical meaning
Show the quality of an action or state
2. Typical stem-building affixes
3. Morphological categories
Subclass of adverbs
4. Typical patterns of combinability
Are placed to the verb or stative they modify
5. Syntactic functions
Modify verbs or statives
Here is the list of qualitative adverbs which describe the way in which is done [16, 291]:
Quantitative adverbs show the degree, measure, quantity of an action, quality, state (very, rather, too, nearly, greatly, hardly, fully, quite, utterly, twofold, etc.). In traditional grammar they are referred to as adverbs of degree. They may be subdivided into several clearly pronounced sets [13, 224]:
1) adverbs of high degree. These adverbs are sometimes classed as "intensifiers": very, quite, entirely, utterly, highly, greatly, perfectly, absolutely, strongly, considerably, pretty, much;
2) adverbs of excessive degree (direct and reverse) also belonging to the broader subclass of intensifiers: too, awfully, tremendously, dreadfully, terrifically;
3) adverbs of unexpected degree: surprisingly, astonishingly, amazingly;
4) adverbs of moderate degree: fairly, comparatively, relatively, moderately, rather;
5) adverbs of low degree: slightly, a little, a bit;
6) adverbs of approximate degree: almost, nearly;
7) adverbs of optimal degree: enough, sufficiently, adequately;
8) adverbs of inadequate degree: insufficiently, intolerably, unbearably, ridiculously;
9) adverbs of under-degree: hardly, scarcely.
Many adverbs of degree are restricted to a small set of lexical items, e.g. deeply anxious, highly intelligent, strikingly handsome, sharply critical.
Some degree adverbs tend to be distinguished in terms of positive and negative attitude. Fairly, quite, entirely suggest a positive meaning:
I'm fairly certain I can do the job .
He plays quite well .
I entirely agree with you .
Rather, completely, utterly suggest a negative meaning:
The instructions were rather complicated .
The explosion completely destroyed the building .
She utterly failed to convince them .
The combinability of quantitative adverbs is more extensive than that of qualitative adverbs. Besides verbs and statives, quantitative adverbs modify adjectives, adverbs, indefinite pronouns, numerals, modals, and even nouns:
I quite like opera .
He had become fully aware of her .
Rather disconsolate she wandered out into the cathedral .
She knew it only too well .
Very probably he won't budge .
Nearly everybody came to our party .
It was nearly ten .
He is wholly master of the situation .
The combinability of some adverbs of this class can be rather narrow. The adverb very (frightfully, awfully, etc.), for instance, mostly precedes those adjectives and adverbs which have opposites of comparison. It does not, as a rule, modify verbs or numerals. The combinability of nearly or almost, on the other hand, is so extensive, that these words are close to particles.
According to M. Y. Blokh, the degree adverbs, though usually described under the heading of "quantitative", in reality constitute a specific variety of qualitative words, or rather some sort of intermediate qualitative-quantitative words, in so far as they are used as quality evaluators [13, 224]. In this function they are distinctly different from genuine quantitative adverbs which are directly related to numerals and thereby form sets of words of pronominal order. Such are numerical-pronominal adverbs like twice, thrice, four times, etc.; twofold, threefold, many fold, etc. Thus, the first general subclass of adverbs is formed by qualitative adverbs which are subdivided into qualitative adverbs of full notional value and degree adverbs -- specific functional words.
Circumstantial adverbs do not characterize the action itself but name certain circumstances attending the action described in the sentence and usually referring to the situation as a whole. Therefore circumstantial adverbs can be used in a sentence in which the only verb is a link-verb, that is, where no action is described:
He will be ten tomorrow.
This accounts for the fact that, unlike qualitative and quantitative adverbs, circumstantial adverbs are not necessarily placed near the verb, they may occupy different places in the sentence:
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