ETYMOLOGICAL MODELS OF ENGLISH ADVERBS
The paper focuses on research and reconstruction of etymological models of adverbs in the Old and Middle English periods. Analysis of adverbs and their etymology is directly connected with one of the aspects of general-theoretical problems, i.e. part of speech affiliation of adverbs and a disputable issue of degrees of comparison. It has been hypothesized that the ability of adverbs to form degrees of comparison is presupposed by the fact whether their protoforms had potential to do this. The research is based on top 50 most frequently used adverbs in Present-day English (PDE). This list comprises not only lexical units formed by means of suffix ‘- ly’, which are traditionally characterized by degrees of comparison, but also one- or many component adverbs formed by compounding. The units on the list represent various time samples in Old and Middle English. In the paper 3 basic etymological models of adverb formation – one-, two-, three- and multicomponent models have been reconstructed. In their turn they are divided into 22 subparadigms, 15 of which are actualized in the paper. The most common subparadigms are Adj. + SUF; N. + SUF; Adv. Among 50 lexical units under analysis 19 units are formed on adverbial stem; 14 – adjectival; 9 – nominal; 4 prepositional; 3 – verbal; 1 – pronominal. Among 19 PDE adverbs evolved from an adverbial stem 16 units do not form degrees of comparison, except often, early, soon; among 14 adverbs formed on the basis of an adjectival stem 12 units do not have degrees of comparison, except rather, extremely. PDE adverbs which have developed from other parts of speech are not characterized by degrees of comparison.
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