On the adjective/adverb interface: subject-related -ly

  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
Subject-relatedness is a term used to define subject-oriented -ly adverbs that are not liable to convey adverbial meaning and only retain the predicative function (Díaz-Negrillo 2014, Valera 2014). Previous corpus evidence of subject-relatedness has been found in colour adjectives (Valera 2014), which seems to restrict subject-relatedness to this narrow semantic class but, as colour adjectives are central members of this word-class (cf. Dixon 1977), the relevance of these subject-related adverbs may be higher than presumed. The present paper presents results of a systematic corpus search of 17,460 BNC bigrams containing verbs followed by subject-related -ly adverbs. The results show subject-relatedness beyond colour adjectives alone and in a wide range of combinations. The interpretations of the mismatch between the suffix -ly and the categorial meaning associated with this suffix or with the structures where they appear are manifold and could make an impact on the classification of adjectives and adverbs.
  • This paper has been supported by the Spanish State Research Agency (SRA, Ministry of Science and Innovation) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (Ref. PID2020-119851GB-I00-AEI-10.13039-501100011033).
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