Adverbs as a linguistic category (?)

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The main purpose of this paper is to show what kind of category adverbs form. It is demonstrated that the words of a language are in general categorized in two different ways, based on different properties and serving different purposes. First, they form a small set of part-of-speech categories which are prototypical in nature, serve the cognitive structuring of the lexical inventory of a language, but as such have no single grammatical function. Second, they form numerous syntactic distributional categories whose members share a fixed set of syntactically relevant properties that determine their distribution. It is argued that adverbs are also subject to both types of categorization, though with particular properties that explain their often-stated heterogeneity.


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