never scold hardly

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Re: never scold hardly

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:18 pm

At is a longer list of what the authors refer to as limiting modifiers:

almost, even, hardly, just, merely, nearly, only, scarcely, and simply

They give an example where a different meaning ensues from each different position of only within a specimen sentence.

Re: never scold hardly

Post by dante » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:16 pm

I guess that I'll have to agree with you Phil Hunt :)
I'd just like to go back to a point that Dante made about badly being an adverb of manner. This is often the case but not always. Compare:

1) He drove the car badly.

2) He broke his leg badly.

Could it be said that they are both adverbs of manner?
In response to your post Phil I answered yes and I was wrong :) I remembered your question when I came across the heading about adverbs of manner on page 672 of Cambridge Grammar. "Badly" is an adverb of manner in 1 and adverb of degree in 2, according to the semantic classification of adjuncts given by the authors.

Sure that many other attempts of catch-all semantic classifications of adjuncts (which include adverbs, prepositional phrases or noun phrases formally) can be found in different grammars , but the one given in CG is great. I've read one given in Longman grammar by Biber et al. but it didn't seem as satisfactory to me as one given in CG.

A thorough classification of these semantic categories is given in the chapter "Adjuncts", meaning that the analysis is given for the level of the sentence, as the most prominent use of these expressions is on the level of sentences as adjuncts , where these expressions appear as either "clause-level" adjuncts or "verb-phrase adjuncts". Of course, the authors stress the fact that the same words or expressions are used on the level of phrase, as modifiers, modifying adjectives, nouns or other adverbs. In that regard, they note also that by far most frequently used of these semantic categories on the level of phrase are expressions of "degree".

Re: never scold hardly

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:26 pm

Of course, Cambridge scholars would be obsessed with degrees.

Re: never scold hardly

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:18 pm

Phil wrote some time ago:

'Hardly' is one of those words, like 'just', which, for me at least, carries a conceptual idea that is universal in all the cases it is used, while not being easily pigeon-holed into one category.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, has:


adv.1.a. In a plain and unadorned way: dresses simply.
b. In an unambiguous way; clearly: explained the concept simply.

2. Not wisely or sensibly; foolishly.

3. Merely; only: It is simply a matter of time. simply explained the concept. (limiting modifier??)

4. Absolutely; altogether: (a) simply delicious. (degree modifier)
(b) simply can't find the time. (limiting modifier??/intensifier)

5. Frankly; candidly: You are, quite simply, the best candidate for the job. (sentence modifier)

(examples in blue and re-classifications in green mine)

Simply carries conceptual ideas that are quite wide-ranging, as well as being a multi-faceted modifier.

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