Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

(17) Adverbs.

(Formal, Semantic and Functional Properties; Typical Adverbial Suffixes, Adverbs Derived from Adjectives, Adverbs Identical in Form with Adjectives; Differences in Spelling, Gradation; Subcategorisation of Adverbs; Syntactic Roles of Adverbials, Adjuncts, Disjuncts, Subjuncts, Conjuncts).

(17.1) Semantic Classification of Adverbs

(1) ADV of manner

- formed by -ly: carefully, wisely, easily

- formed by -wards/-wise: backwards, clockwise

- formed by -fashion/-style /-ways: Indian-fashion, American-style, lengthways

- N + PREP idioms: by heart, head over heels, by chance

(2) ADV of place

- ADV only: abroad, anywhere, upstairs

- ADV homonymous with PREP: above, below, beneath

- combinations: far away, over there, down below

(3) ADV of time

- before, recently, yesterday

- PREP phrases: at present, in July, on November 17th

(4) ADV of frequency

- always, regularly, occasionally

- phrases: every day, from time to time, hardly ever

(5) ADV of degree

- almost, hardly, quite

(17.2) Morphological Properties of Adverbs

(17.2.1) Derivational Morphology

( Derivation

(1) ADJ + suffix –ly

- ADJ ending in -y > change into -i: noisy > noisily, gay > gaily

- x monosyllabic ADJ with the stressed -y > no change: shy > shyly, sly > slyly

- ADJ ending in -ll > the ending -y: full > fully, dull > dully

- ADJ ending in -ic > the suffix -ically: economic > economically

- x exception: public > publicly

- ADJ ending in the unstressed -e > deletion: true > truly, due > duly

- x exceptional spelling: whole > wholly

- + good > the suppletive form well

(a) ADV identical with ADJ in form/meaning

- mostly ADV of time: hourly, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, bimonthly, quarterly

- also: early, leisurely, deadly

(b) ADV doublets

- one form identical with an adjectival form x the other derived with -ly with a shift of meaning

- deeply [hluboce], hardly [stěží], highly [vysoce], lately [nedávno], nearly [téměř]

(2) other affixes

- the suffix -wise > adverbial of manner: clockwise, crosswise, otherwise

- the suffix -wards (AmE: -ward) > adverbial of direction: towards, backwards, downwards

- the affix a-: abroad, asleep, awake

( Null Derivation > Primary ADV

- of place: here, there, away, abroad, outdoors

- of time: now, then, soon, often, yet, already

- of measure: very, too, enough, quite, rather, almost

- homonymous with ADJ: fast, ill, little, long, low, straight, short, sharp, free, cheap, loud

- homonymous with PREP: about, above, below, beyond, off, on, past, round, etc. (walk about the town x there was no one about; above the average x as was stated above; below sea level x from the hilltop we saw the ocean below)

( Composing

- there + PREP = PREP + that: therefore, therein, thereupon

- here + PREP = PREP + this: hereafter, hereby, herewith

- -fashion: Indian-fashion

- -style: American-style

- -ways: lengthways

(17.2.2) Inflectional Morphology

- gradation of ADV <> gradation of ADJ

- gradable only ADV with gradable meaning

- synthetic form: -er/-est

- analytic form: more/most x less/least

- periphrastic phrase: in a...way/manner

- constructions with comparison:

- comparison with the PREP like: with a nominal element (you look like a ghost)

- comparison with the CONJ as: with a finite verb form (do as you like)

( Irregular Grading of Adverbs

- well > better > best

- badly/ill > worse > worst

- little > less > least

- much > more > most

- far > farther/further > farthest/furthest

(17.3) Syntactic Functions of Adverbs

- types of syntactic function (Quirk)

(1) adverbial

(2) modifier of adjective or adverb

(17.3.1) Adverbial

(a) adjuncts = verbal adverbial, optional complementation of verbs > regular syntagmatic sentence member (external wrt V + complement)

(b) disjuncts = sentential adverbial > superior / superordinated role wrt the whole sentence (external to the clausal modality) (frankly,...; fortunately,...; probably,...)

(c) conjuncts = have a connective function > conjoin two utterances / parts of utterances (yet, though, nevertheless)

(d) + subjuncts = short adverbial, modifies verb > subordinated role wrt the whole sentence (just, really, only, fully, still, often)

(17.3.2) Modifier

(a) modifies verbs (he runs quickly)

(b) modifies adjectives (it is very hot today)

(c) modifies adverbs (they are smoking very heavily)


Dušková, Libuše, et al. Mluvnice současné angličtiny na pozadí češtiny. Praha: Academia, 2003.

Svoboda, Aleš, and Mária Opělová Károlyová. A Brief Survey of the English Morphology. Ostrava: Ostravská univerzita, 1993.

Other Sources

Veselovská, Ludmila. Přednášky a semináře: Morfologie 2. ZS 2003/04.

Veselovská, Ludmila. Přednášky a semináře: Syntax 1 a 2. ZS a LS 2003/04.


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