Syntactic Theory

The Adverb

Tests to identify adverbs

  • semantic test:
    • Adverbs refer to the manner, location, time or frequency of an action
  • morphological test: -
  • syntactic test
    • Adverbs can occur in the following diagnostic environment:
      Pat treats Chris very __

Problems with these tests:

  • Adverbs are a very heterogeneous group. This is already obvious from the way in which the semantic criterion is stated. Kaplan 1989 distinguishes four subclasses (verb-modifying, adjective/adverb-modifying, denominal adverb, sentence adverb).

Kaplan, Jeffrey P. (1989): English Grammar - Principles and Facts (2nd edition). New Jersey.

Categories: Glossary