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Oriented -<i>ingly</i> adjuncts in Late Modern English

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Abstract

This paper investigates the history of -<i>ingly</i> adjuncts (such as <i>warningly</i> and <i>sneeringly</i>) which are obtained from present participles and which occur mainly with verbs of saying, watching and motion. Such adverbs can be used in two different ways, depending on the content of their verbal bases. They can refer to a subjective evaluation of a perceptual input (e.g. <i>warningly</i>), thus triggering a manner interpretation. Alternatively, they can describe an independent event which is simultaneous with the main clause event (e.g. <i>sneeringly</i>). In either case, such -<i>ingly</i> adjuncts are classifiable as oriented adverbs since they can be predicated (through their verbal bases) of the main clause subject (in active sentences). On the basis of corpus evidence drawn from the Helsinki Corpus, ARCHER, CLMETEV and the LOB family corpora, it is shown that, although -<i>ingly</i> adjuncts in general became common in the Early Modern English period, the specific verb-based, oriented typed investigated here increased dramatically in fiction writing in the first half of the 19th century and has remained relatively constant since then. Finally, the rise of -<i>ingly</i> adjuncts is related to Swan&#8217;s adverbialization process.

References

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