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Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases

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Academic Paper


Title: The Morphology of -ly and the Categorial Status of ‘Adverbs’ in English
Author: Heinz J. Giegerich
Institution: University of Edinburgh
Linguistic Field: Morphology
Subject Language: English
Abstract: I argue in this article that adverb-forming -ly, unlike its adjective-forming counterpart, is an inflectional suffix, that therefore adverbs containing -ly are inflected adjectives and that, consequently, adverbs not containing -ly are uninflected adjectives. I demonstrate that in English, the traditional category Adverb is morphologically non-distinct from the category Adjective in that it has no morphology of its own but instead shares all relevant aspects of the morphology of adjectives. I demonstrate moreover that such an analysis explains various aspects of morphological and phonological behaviour on the part of adverbial -ly which differ from the behaviour of adjectival -ly and/or from the behaviour of derivational suffixes. And I argue that contrary to a recent claim, the syntactic behaviour of adverbs presents no obstacle to the single-category analysis of adjectives and adverbs warranted by the morphology.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in English Language and Linguistics Vol. 16, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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