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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.

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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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