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Academic Paper

Title: Non- ly adverbs in preverbal position: the case of fast
Author: Wojciech Guz
Institution: John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
Linguistic Field: Syntax; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: English adverbs are often classified according to the range of positions that are available to them. One such group includes items which allegedly can only occupy the VP-final position. These are typically non-ly adverbs such as hard, well and fast. However, although counterexamples to this claim can be found in corpora, few attempts have been made to reconsider the distributional characteristics of these adverbs. This article therefore offers a corpus-based analysis of the adverb fast, whose preverbal occurrence has so far been largely ignored. The analysis seeks to establish the extent – expressed quantitatively – to which fast is found in this position. We also explore the typical contexts of preverbal fast and investigate factors which may be responsible for the variation between preverbal and postverbal positions. We show that the nature of these factors may be genre-related, lexico-grammatical, syntactic, semantic or pragmatic, and that adverb position may be determined by a combination of these factors.


This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 18, Issue 1.

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