English adverbs of essence and their equivalents in Dutch and French

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The adverbs basically, essentially and fundamentally are here referred to as ‘adverbs of essence’. Butler (2008a, 2008b, 2008c) has studied these adverbs and their formal equivalents in four Romance languages in monolingual corpora. This article takes a translation perspective and zooms in on the English adverbs and their equivalents in French and in Dutch. By focusing on the translation equivalents the study is able to examine Butler’s findings from a different and complementary perspective. The results confirm Butler’s claim that from the point of view of pragmatic development and in particular from the point of view of intersubjectification, basically has advanced furthest, fundamentally least, and essentially takes a middle position.


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