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This chapter discusses a set of lexical elements that are normally referred to as adverbs. We will adopt the view that the notion of adverb does not denote a set of entities with a certain categorial status, as do the notions verb, noun, adjective and preposition; it denotes instead a set of lexical elements that can perform a certain syntactic function in the clause, more specifically that of an adverbial phrase. Our use of the term adverb should therefore be seen as shorthand for “adverbially used adjective". For many adverbs, their adjectival status can be readily established given that they can also be used attributively or predicatively in other contexts, or exhibit typical syntactic or morphological properties such as those given in (2).

a. Modification by zeer/ heel'very'
b. Comparative and superlative formation
c. On- prefixation
d. Having an adjectivizing suffix

Despite the fact that we do not acknowledge the existence of a lexical category of adverbs, it cannot be denied that there are certain adverbs, like the intensifiers zeer'very' and heel'very' mentioned in (2a), for which there is no direct syntactic or morphological evidence that they are adjectival in nature. However, the fact that they cannot be inflected for tense and agreement shows that they are not verbs, and the fact that they can neither be preceded by a determiner nor appear in argument position strongly suggests that they are not nouns either. Therefore, we provisionally conclude that they must be adjectives, which is supported by the fact that they share the semantic property with certain adjectives of being able to modify an adjective.
      This chapter is organized as follows. Section 8.1 starts with a somewhat more extensive discussion of the adjectival properties of the adverbs discussed. Sections 8.2 to 8.5 will discuss the use of adverbs within the clausal domain as well as adjectival, adpositional and nominal phrases. These discussions will be relatively short given that more extensive and more general discussions of adverbial modification can be found elsewhere; adverbial modification of APs, for example, is discussed in Chapter 3.

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