Supe r v i s e d By

Dr Ho s ha ng Fa ro o q J a wa d
Collocation in English
Kurdistan Regional Government-Iraq
Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research
Koya University
A Thesis
Submitted to the Council of the Faculty of Humanities and Education-
Koya University in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
English Language and Linguistics
Dlnya Muhammad Ahmad
(B.A./ Koya University /2005)
2011 1432
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_:-:| _:-:| _:-:| _:-:| . .. . 1 - -- - 5

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Ł . †Ğ :ş .Ğ :| Ł . †Ğ :ş .Ğ :| Ł . †Ğ :ş .Ğ :| Ł . †Ğ :ş .Ğ :| 3 ē .ş :ş .Ğ :.Ž , .ĕ : . _Ž „ĕ :| ē .ş :ş .Ğ :.Ž , .ĕ : . _Ž „ĕ :| ē .ş :ş .Ğ :.Ž , .ĕ : . _Ž „ĕ :| ē .ş :ş .Ğ :.Ž , .ĕ : . _Ž „ĕ :| 4 ł .ş :ł - , ł .ş : . . _. Š.ē ,Ğ :| .ĕ : . ł .ş :ł - , ł .ş : . . _. Š.ē ,Ğ :| .ĕ : . ł .ş :ł - , ł .ş : . . _. Š.ē ,Ğ :| .ĕ : . ł .ş :ł - , ł .ş : . . _. Š.ē ,Ğ :| .ĕ : . 5

Dedicated to:

My beloved wife
My dear parents
My brothers
My sister.



In the course of my work with adverb-adjective collocation a number of
people have helped me in various ways.
My principal debts of gratitude are to my supervisor Dr Hosheng Faruq
Jawad. I would like to thank him for the knowledge he has shared with me,
for his constructive and efficient supervision, and for an abundance of
generous advice and encouragement. I consider it an honour to work with
him. I would also like to extend my thanks to Dr Salah Muhammad Salih for
helpful and stimulating discussions on the topic.
It is with immense gratitude that I acknowledge the support and help of
Professor Carita Paradis (from Lund University) who has sent me a number
of interesting articles on degree modification. I also share the credit of my
work with Dr Nadja Nesselhauf (from Heidelberg University) who has sent
me some articles on collocation.
I owe sincere and earnest thankfulness to my friends Bayad Saadi, Ladeh
Sardar, Araz Rzgar, Karwan Sabah, Jamal Anwar, Salih Ibrahim, Hemn
Adil, Aram Nassir, and Macok Aswad who have helped me in various ways.
My final thanks go to my wife and my parents for their constant support and
patience. They have been looking forward to seeing this mission

This study attempts to consider some aspects of adverb-adjective collocation
in English. It explores the semantic properties of some adverbs and their
collocating adjectives recorded in two collocation dictionaries, namely,
Oxford Collocations Dictionary (OCD) and the LTP Dictionary of Selected
Collocations (LTP). The central questions that have guided this analysis are:
what exactly does an adverb do to an adjective in Adverb-Adjective
Collocation? and what are the restrictions on the combinability of the two
lexical items?
This study is comprised of six chapters, including an introduction which
calls attention to the scope of the study, the problem, the aims, the
hypotheses, the procedures and the data of the study. Chapter two is a
preliminary one which gives a general overview of the notion of collocation.
It provides definitions, a historical background and classifications of
collocation. Besides, distinctions are made between collocation and other
types of word combinations.
Degree modification and the semantic feature of gradability in adjectives are
the focus of attention in chapter three. It is also the aim of the chapter to
bring up a semantic model capable of accounting for how both the adjective
and the degree modifier exert semantic pressure on one another. The
semantic category of ‘‘degree’’ is isolated for a detailed investigation in
chapter four. A morphological classification is made between open-class
‘‘degree’’ adverbs and closed-class ‘‘degree’’ adverbs. Besides, The process
of grammaticalization is given special attention in the chapter. Chapter five
is the discussion of other semantic categories of adverbs. The members of

each category are listed with the number of their potential collocating
adjectives. The intensifying force of the adverbs is tested against the
Quirkian scalar categories. In the last chapter, the most outstanding
conclusions are presented. The following are among the most important
ones that are drawn from the study:
In the construction of adverb-adjective collocation, the meaning
expressed by adverbs is grammatical in nature, while the meaning
conveyed by adjectives is semantic in nature. Therefore, it is the
adjective that is more important from a semantic point of view.
The adverbs under study are found to operate along five different
semantic dimensions: ‘’degree’, ‘’modal’’, ‘’evaluative’’,
‘’comparative’’ and ‘’semantic feature copying’’.
The ‘’degree’’ category can be seen as a drain of delexicalization. the
more delexicalized an adverb, the more likely it converges towards
the semantic category of ‘’degree’’.
Finally, the thesis ends with reference lists and abstracts in Kurdish and

List of Abbreviations and Notations

AP Adjective phrase
BBI Benson M., Benson I. and Ilson
CCD Collins Cobuild Dictionary (on CD-Rom)
CCEG Collins Cobuild English Grammar
EA Extreme adjective
LA Limit adjective
LTP The LTP dictionary of Selected Collocations
MED Macmillan English Dictionary (for advanced learners)
NP Noun phrase
OCD Oxford Collocation Dictionary (for students of English)
PP Prepositional phrase
SA Scalar adjective
VP Verb phrase
* Unacceptable combination
? The combination is in a questionable state


List of Tables

Table Title Page
2-1 Collocations vs. Free Word Combinations 21
2-2 Collocations vs. Idioms 23
Totality Modifiers and Scalar Modifiers Combined
with Levels of Degree
3-2 The Typology of Gradable Adjectives 64
‘‘Modal’’ Adverbs and the Number of their
Collocating Adjectives
‘‘Evaluative’’ Adverbs and the Number of their
Collocating Adjectives
‘‘Comparative’’ Adverbs and the Number of their
Collocating Adjectives


List of Figures

Figure Title Page
3-1 Quirkian Scalar System 40
3-2 Warren’s Semantic Model of the Meaning of an
3-3 The Semantic Elements of Nervous 49
3-4 The Conceptualization of the Scalar Adjectives Short
and Long
3-5 The Combined Scale-Hyponymy Relation of Good
and Bad
3-6 The Bidirectionality of Semantic Pressure between
Degree Modifiers and Adjectives
3-7 The Division of Quirkian Scalar Categories
According to ‘‘Boundedness’’ Conception
4-1 The Closed-class ‘’Degree’’ Members 87
4-2 The Open-class ‘‘Degree’’ Members 99
5-1 The Arrangement of ‘‘Modal’’ Category in Keeping
with Quirkian Scalar System and ‘‘Boundedness’’
5-2 Essential classification of ‘‘Evaluative’’ Category 120
5-3 ‘‘Evaluative’’ Category in Relation with Degree
5-4 The Arrangement of ‘‘Comparative’’ Items in
accordance with Quirkian Scalar System and
‘‘Boundedness’’ Notion
5-5 ‘‘Degree’’ Category in Relation with other Semantic


Table of Contents

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND NOTATIONS ............................VI
LIST OF TABLES................................................................................VII
LIST OF FIGURES.............................................................................VIII

1. Introduction
1.1 The Scope of the Study………...…………..……………….…...……1
1.2 The Problem.........................................................................................1
1.3 The Aims of the Study............……………………...…………….......1
1.4 The Hypotheses…………………………………………………..…..2
1.5 The Procedures…………..………………………………………..….2
1.6 The Data of the Study..…………………..….......………………...….3

2. Collocations: A Literature Review
2.0 Introduction……………………………..…..………………….….....4
2.1 Definitions of Collocation................................………………......…..5
2.2 Collocation: A Historical Background...............................……........11
2.3 Collocations vs. Other Types of Word Combinations........................15
2.3.1 Collocations vs. Free Combinations.............................................18
2.3.2 Collocations vs. Idioms................................................................21
2.4 The Nature of Collocational Restrictions...........................................24
2.5 Classifications of Collocations...........................................................27


3. Degree Modification and Gradable Adjectives
3.0 Introduction…………………………………………………..……..31
3.1 Degree Modifiers: An Overview…………….………..................….33
3.2 Earlier Classifications.........................................................................39
3.2.1 Quirk et al. (1985)........................................................................39
3.2.2 Bolinger (1972)............................................................................41
3.2.3 Allerton (1987).............................................................................42
3.2.4 Paradis (1997, 2000a, 2003, 2008)...............................................44
3.3 Adjectives and Gradability.................................................................45
3.4 Classification of Gradable Adjectives................................................50
3.4.1 Scalar Adjectives..........................................................................53
3.4.2 Extreme Adjectives.......................................................................56
3.4.3 Limit Adjectives...........................................................................61
3.5. Contextual Modulation......................................................................64
3.6 Paradis’ Model of Semantic Bidirectionality.....................................67
3.7 Methodological Consideration...........................................................70

4. The Semantic Category ‘‘Degree’’
4.0 Introduction………………………………………..……..………....73
4.1 ‘‘Degree’’ Adverbs.............................................................................76
4.2 Grammaticalization of ‘‘Degree’’ Adverbs........................................80
4.3 A Morphological Classification of ‘‘Degree’’ Adverbs.....................84
4.4 Closed-class ‘‘Degree’’ Adverbs: A Miscellaneous Collection.........86
4.4.1 Very and Much..............................................................................87
4.4.2 Quite between Maximizing and Compromizing Function...........89
4.4.3 Most, So and Indeed.....................................................................90
4.4.4 Too and Well.................................................................................92

4.4.5 Rather and Pretty..........................................................................94
4.4.6 Almost and Somewhat...................................................................95
4.5 Open-class ‘‘Degree’’ Adverbs..........................................................97
4.5.1 –Ly ‘‘Degree’ Maximizers.........................................................100
4.5.2 –Ly ‘‘Degree’’ Approximators...................................................102
4.5.3 –Ly ‘‘Degree’’ Boosters.............................................................102
4.5.4 –Ly ‘‘Degree’’ Compromizers...................................................104
4.5.5 –Ly ‘‘Degree’’ Diminishers.......................................................105
4.5.6 –Ly ‘‘Degree’’ Minimizers........................................................105

5. Other Semantic Categories of Adverbs
5.0 Introduction……………………….…….…………………………107
5.1 The Semantic Category ‘‘Modal’’....................................................109
5.1.1 ‘‘Modal’’ OCD and LTP Data....................................................109
5.1.2 Modality and Intensification: A Semantic Relation...................115
5.2 The Semantic Category ‘‘Evaluative’’.............................................117
5.3 The Semantic Category ‘‘Comparative’’.........................................125
5.4 The Semantic Category ‘‘Semantic Feature Copying’’...................130
5.4.1 Copying conceptual meaning: Enhancing and reducing force...132
5.4.2 Copying (almost) all Features: Intensifying Hendiadys.............135
5.4.3 Copying Collocative Meaning: Emotive Boosters.....................136

6. Summary Conclusions and Suggestions for Further Study
6.0 Introduction......................................................................................139
6.1 Summary Conclusions......................................................................139
6.2 Suggestions for Further Studies........................................................143



Appendix Ia: Closed-class ‘‘Degree’’ Category....................................156
Appendix Ib: Open-class ‘‘Degree’’ Category.......................................164
Appendix II: ‘‘Modal’’ Category...........................................................175
Appendix III: ‘‘Evaluative’’ Category...................................................181
Appendix IV: ‘‘Comparative’’ Category...............................................186
Appendix V: ‘‘Semantic Feature Copying’’ Category...........................188




Chapter One

1.1. The Scope of the Study
Among the different types of collocations identified in scholarly writings,
only one lexical type, namely, adverb-adjective collocation, is the focus of
the present study. Besides, the study recognizes a vital necessity to
concentrate on degree modification as being a direct or indirect outcome of
the resulting phrase. Therefore, the collocation of ‘‘viewpoint’’ adverbs with
adjectives falls outside the scope of the study since they produce a different

1.2. The Problem
There are constraints on the possible combinations of adverbs and
adjectives. It is possible to say absolutely amazing, while ?absolutely nice is
strange. Likewise, quite sufficient is a perfect match, while ?very sufficient is
awkward. Wonderfully refreshing is fine, but ?ridiculously refreshing is
unnatural. The question which arises from this is whether these constraints
are predictable or not. The present study represents an endeavour to trace
these problems and suggests appropriate solutions to them.

1.3. The Aims of the Study
In addition to explaining the combinatorial restrictions governing the choice
of particular lexical items in the construction under consideration, it is also
the principal aim of the study to determine the outcome of adverb-adjective

collocation, i.e. finding out exactly what does the adverb do to the adjective
or to what effect the adjective modification is made. If the effect is degree
modification, the study endeavours to specify by what capacities adverbs
that belong to the semantic fields other than ‘‘degree’’ can achieve this.

1.4. The Hypotheses
This study is mainly based on two testable hypotheses:
1- An analysis of the semantic relation between degree modifiers and
adjectives has something to contribute to some of the combinatorial
restrictions on adverb-adjective collocation at the higher level, i.e. some of
these restrictions are partly explicable in terms of a semantic model of
2- An adverb that has a great number of collocating adjectives is the one that
(a) has become the most delexicalized among others in a particular semantic
field and (b) is an ideal candidate to resign its original semantic membership
and apply for new membership in the semantic category of ‘‘degree’’.

1.5. The Procedures
These are the procedures followed in this study:
1- presenting a semantic classification of adverbs, i.e. recognizing a number
of semantic resources from which adverbs can be taken,
2- compiling an inventory of some outstanding members of each semantic
3- searching for their potential collocating adjectives in collocation
dictionaries and then listing them,

4- describing the functions of the adverbs and testing the intensifying force
in their combination with adjectives, and
5- explaining some of the combinatorial restrictions and testing the model of
‘’semantic bidirectionality’’.

1.6. The Data of the Study
The material used in this study is mainly based on Oxford Collocations
Dictionary (OCD) and LTP Dictionary of Selected Collocations (LTP). In
addition, some citations are drawn from Macmillan English Dictionary
(MED) and Collins Cobuild Dictionary (CCD). For some reasons the study
has preferred to use the collocation dictionaries to any type of corpora.
Collocation dictionaries covers the entire language. Their aim is to give the
full range of collocations – from the fairly weak, e.g. extremely complicated,
through the medium-strength, e.g. highly intelligent, to the strongest and
most restricted, e.g. blindingly obvious – for thousands of headwords.
Totally free combinations are excluded and so are the idioms. The
usefulness of corpus data, on the other hand, is rather limited. Any corpus
should be clearly defined in terms of the variety of language (spoken versus
written), the style (formal versus informal), the subject matter (religious,
political, sport event, etc.), and other factors relating to the speaker or writer
such as age, sex, socio-economic background, education, region, etc. So, the
choice of one corpus rather than another restricts the analysis and makes the
analyst rather unable to make general statements.


Collocations: A Literature


Chapter Two
Collocations: A Literature Review

2.0. Introduction
In natural languages, words are not combined randomly. Although
constrained by grammar and syntax, words also have preferences. Firth
(1957a) named such preferential word combinations as ‘‘collocation’’. For
instance, in English it is proper to say strong tea but not powerful tea. Some
forms are conventionally acceptable and others are not, and this appears to
have arisen arbitrarily in the course of language evolution.
Moreover, different interesting terminologies have been employed to refer to
this lexical phenomenon. Among these we can refer to prefabricated units,
prefabs, phraseological units, lexical chunks, multi-word units, formulaic
sequences, etc.(Nesselhauf 2005, 1). They are all evidences of transcending
the boundaries of individual words and the establishment of numerous
complex units that semantically behave as single units. To some linguists, it
is collocation rather than individual words to be considered as the
fundamental building blocks of a language. According to Bolinger, ‘‘our
language does not expect us to build everything starting with lumber, nails,
and blueprints. Instead it provides us with an incredibly large number of
prefabs.’’ (1979, 96)
The use of these prefabricated units contributes to the precision in conveying
our message as well as facilitating comprehension from the side of the
recipient. Undoubtedly, they play an essential role in bringing about fluency
and producing natural sounding speech and writing. In addition, they can be

used for disambiguation, including both lexical and structural
disambiguation. This task is based on Firth’s principle that one can ‘‘know a
word by the company it keeps’’. For instance, a word in a particular sense
tends to co-occur with a different set of words than when it is used in
another sense. Thus, bank might co-occur with river in one sense and
savings and loan when used in the financial sense.
This chapter gives a general overview of the notion of collocation. Various
definitions of the term ‘‘collocation’’ have been formulated by different
linguists and lexicographers as it can be looked at from different viewpoints.
A lexicographic view might be different from a linguistic or pedagogic view.
Each endeavors to approach the topic from a different angle. With particular
reference to previous works on collocation, this chapter refers to a number of
definitions and uncover similarities and differences of opinions among them.
A historical background to the term is given in a separate section. The
position of collocation among other types of word combinations is another
part of this chapter. Due to the fact that collocation has been utilized in
widely different and fairly vague senses, distinguishing collocation from free
combinations and idioms is of a vital importance. It has something of value
to explain the nature of the collocational restrictions and to devote a separate
section in this chapter. Classification of collocation is the final part.

2.1.Definitions of Collocation.
There seems to be no general consensus as to an exhaustive and uniform
definition of collocation which widely varies from one linguist to another
depending upon one’s orientation and paradigm he/she subscribes to. The
only common denominator to these definitions is the explicit statement of

the syntagmatic relation of words. It makes a good sense to start with the
founder of the British contextualist tradition, namely, J. R. Firth. It is Firth
who is widely credited with having initiated the study of collocation. As part
of his overall theory of meaning, Firth introduces the notion of collocation to
deal with the lexical meaning. He defines collocation as an ‘‘abstraction at
the syntagmatic level and is not directly concerned with the conceptual or
idea approach to the meaning of words’’ (1957b, 196). He commits himself
to a belief that the meaning of a word is determined by the co-occurring
words at the syntagmatic level. A part of the meaning of a word is the fact
that it collocates with another word. Thus, one might not hope to explain the
meaning of a word without incorporating a mention of its possibility to
collocate with the other preferential item. For instance, ‘‘one of the
meanings of night is its collocability with dark and of dark , of course,
collocation with night.’’ (197)
The notion is further developed by Firth’s successors, noticeably, M. A. K.
Halliday and J. M. Sinclair. In his recent work, Halliday (2004, 11) refers to
collocation as ‘‘the tendency of words to keep company with each other, like
fork goes with knife, lend goes with money, theatre goes with play’’. To him
collocation is purely lexical relationship, that is, it is an association between
one word and another irrespective of what they mean. It can be defined
quantitatively as the degree to which the probability of a word Y occurring is
increased by the presence of another word X. For instance, if you meet
injure, you may expect to find pain somewhere around, i.e. given the
presence of the word injure, the probability of the word pain occurring
becomes higher than that determined by its overall frequency in the English
language as a whole.

In his previous work in association with Hasan, collocation is referred to as a
cohesive device. Halliday and Hasan (1976, 287) describe collocation as a
‘‘cover term for the kind of cohesion that results from the co-occurrence of
lexical items that are in some way or other typically associated with one
another, because they tend to occur in similar environment’’. Hoey (2005)
comments on their definition by pointing out that the type of the association
discussed in their definition is a psychological one, in which words are
regularly associated in mind because of the way they are regularly
encountered in similar contexts.
Another psychological definition comes from Leech who talks of
‘‘collocative meaning’’ which he says, ‘‘consists of the associations a word
acquires on account of the meanings of words which tend to occur in its
environment’’ (1981, 17). This definition implies that the word acquires
connotation as a result of the words tend to surround it. According to Hoey,
Leech’s definition successfully accounts for the statistical reality and the
psychological reality and, moreover, suggests a causal connection between
the two.
Sinclair (1991, 170) defines collocation as ‘‘the occurrence of two or more
words within a short space of each other in a text’’. A short space, or
‘‘span’’ is usually defined as a distance of around four words to right and
left of the word under investigation, which is called ‘‘node’’. If, for
example, in a given amount of text, the word house is analyzed, and the
word occurs in an environment such as He went back to the house. When he
opened the door, the dog barked. The words went, back, to, the, when, he,
opened, the are all considered to form collocations with the node house,
these words are then called ‘‘collocates’’. This definition of collocation does

not consider the existence of any syntactic link between the words.
According to Partington (1998), Sinclair’s definition is a textual definition.
It is not useful and can result in a woolly confusion of single instances of co-
occurrence with repeated patterns of co-occurrence.
As has been maintained by Hausmann (1984), collocations are recurrent
combinations of two linguistic elements with limited combinatorial capacity
which have a syntactic relationship. One of the elements of the collocation,
called ‘‘base’’ keeps its usual meaning (autosemantic words) while the
other, the ‘‘collocate’’ is dependent on the base (synsemantic words) and
usually has a less transparent meaning. The definition mainly concentrates
on the binary status of collocation as well as semantically unequal status of
the two parts of collocation. The ‘‘base’’ is the prominent element while the
‘‘collocate’’ depends on the base.
A position similar to that of Hausmann is taken up by Heid (1994), stating
that collocations are combinations of exactly two lexemes, realizing two
concepts where the choice of one depends on or is restricted by the other.
According to this definition, collocations are considered as lexicalized
phrases. Thus function words are implicitly excluded in this definition.
Hoey (1991a, 7) provides a statistical definition of collocation by saying that
collocation is the ‘‘relationship a lexical item has with items that appear with
greater than random probability in its context’’
For Manning and Schutze (1999) collocations denote well-formed
expressions representing a conventional way of saying things. Cowie (1978)
defines collocation as the co-occurrence of two or more lexical items as
realization of structural elements within a given syntactic pattern.

Noticeably, this definition calls for the existence of a syntactic relation
between the words typically occurring together and this might be referred to
a significant defining criterion for collocation.
Lewis (2000) defines collocation as a subcategory of multi-word items,
made up of individual words which habitually co-occur and can be found
within a free-fixed collocational continuum. That is, a class of word
combination that lies between totally free, unrestricted combination and
totally fixed, invariable ones .
In his treatment of the problems with pinning down word meaning, Saeed
(2003, 60) refers to collocation as the tendency for words to occur together
repeatedly. He then points out that collocations can undergo fossilization
process until they become fixed and conventional expressions.
Wouden defines collocation as an ‘‘idiosyncratic restriction on the
combinability of lexical items’’ (1997, 5) .The word ‘‘idiosyncratic’’ in this
definition is an indicator of the fact that the restriction is beyond the scope of
semantic and syntactic regularities. That is, it is not understandable why the
distribution of blond is restricted to human hair or why we can have a drink
when we can not have an eat.(Wierzbicka 1982)
Stubbs (2001, 29) looks at collocation as an accompaniment of two or more
words. He agrees with the statistical view that not all types of co-
occurrences are to be considered as collocations. To him collocation is
frequent co-occurrences. Co-occurrence is the number of times a ‘‘node’’ is
accompanied by one or more ‘‘collocates’’. Stubbs provides a more specific
definition of ‘‘collocate’’ when he says that it is a ‘‘word form or lemma
which co-occur with a node in a corpus’’ a lemma is a concept traditionally

referred to by the term ‘‘word’’. For example, a learner who knows the word
want and who can distinguish between want, wants, wanted, and wanting
knows one lemma want, and four word forms. Lemma are abstract classes of
word forms.
To sum up, reading the abovementioned definitions of the term is likely to
raise awareness of the following points:
1. The vagueness of the term and difficulties to define it due to the fact
that it has been utilized with various acceptance in linguistic and
lexicographic literature.
2. Despite their differences in motivation and orientation, they appear to
share one basic feature in common, namely, the reference to the
syntagmatic relation of words at the level of lexis in language.
3. The following are among the significant points that bring the
definitions into conflict :
a The number of the participating elements involved in the
structure of collocation. Some definitions suggest two elements
e.g. (Hausmann, Heid, etc) while others allow more than two
e.g.(Sinclair, Cowie, etc)
b The morphological realization of the elements, that is, whether
the collocability relation is between lexical items (base forms,
lemmas, roots, etc) or between word forms (lexemes,
morphologically derived forms, etc) is a matter of debate. For
instance, a strong argument, he argued strongly, the strength of
the argument, and his argument was strengthened to be
considered as instances of the same collocation or different
collocations is arguable.

c The existence of a syntactic relation between the collocating
members. While some of them consider this as a basic
requirement for defining collocation (such as Cowie’s
definition) others do not suggest such a requirement, for
example, Sinclair’s definition.
d The semantic status of the elements in question, that is, the
equality and inequality of the constituents in terms of meaning
e The inclusion of grammatical collocation , i.e. while some of
them refer to collocation only as lexical collocation, others
expand the term to include grammatical ones as well.
f The basic requirement for combination to be considered as
collocation. For some of them it is frequency which is a
defining criterion for collocation, while others regard
‘‘substitutional restriction’’ and ‘‘fixedness’’ as a basic
requirement. (See section 2.3.)
It should be mentioned that ‘‘collocation’’ in the present study is used to
refer to a bond of varying strength, from fairly weak, e.g. completely
difficult, through the medium-strength, e.g. highly sensitive, to the strongest
and most restricted one, e.g. spotlessly clean, between exactly two words as
realization of structural elements (adverbs and adjectives) within a given
syntactic pattern (AP) . The choice of one depends or is restricted by the

2.2.Collocation: A Historical Background
The first recorded mention of the term collocation in a definitely linguistic
context, as has been stated by Bartsch (2004, 28), listed under the entry for

‘‘collocation’’ in the second edition of Oxford English Dictionary (OED 2
dates back to a quotation by Harris of the year (1750) ‘‘the
modern languages..being subsequent to its verb, in the collocation of the
words. Etymologically, the term goes back to Latin collocat-us, the past
participle of collocare ‘to place side by side’, from col-(con-) ‘together’ +
locare ‘to place’ ’’. What is noticeable in this quotation is that the word
collocation is used in the sense of ‘‘colligation’’, the grammatical
juxtaposition of words in sentences. No mention is made of the strongly
lexical character that is nowadays associated with the concept of collocation
over and above the grammatical relations holding between their constituents.
In the following two quotations by Trager dated 1940 which are also cited in
the same OED 2
entry, the term collocation is used to denote the general
combinatorial properties of linguistic elements. ‘‘Collocation establishes
categories by stating the elements with which the element being studied
enters into possible combinations’’, ‘‘It is now necessary to establish the
collocations of the various forms to see what their functions are’’. This is a
perspective of collocation which is more closely in correspondence with the
semantic and syntactic combinatorial properties attributed to individual word
Trager’s second quotation refers to the fact that it is the individual word
forms rather than the base form of the word that enters into different, distinct
and characteristic collocational relations. Accordingly, different
morphosyntactic instantiations of a word might act differently in
collocational patterns. Thus, each one is an independent linguistic unit which
potentially enters into its own distinct set of collocations within its
individual set of contexts of occurrence. There might be at least some partial

overlaps between individual word forms and the underlying root in terms of
the establishment of the collocational relations, but after all individual word
forms of a given word tend to enter into their own specific set of
collocational relations. Another interesting position in Trager’s second
quotation is the necessity of studying the functional properties of
collocations. In Trager’s day, collocation was a new and by no means well
established linguistic concept, and much less was there consensus regarding
the status of collocations in language system.
Bartsch points out that it is not entirely clear who was the first linguist to use
the term ‘‘collocation’’ in the sense of recurrent, relatively fixed word
combination. In fact, the appearance of quotations like those mentioned
above in linguistic and lexicographic literature might encourage questioning
the validity of regarding Firth to be the father of collocation. Publications of
Tragers and a book by Palmer, A Grammar of English Words (1938), using
the term ‘‘collocation’’ in its subtitle suggest that Firth might not have been
first to use the term in the present sense. There is, indeed, reason to believe
that Jesperson (1917, 21) might have been the first to use the term
collocation ‘‘Little and few are also incomplete negatives: note the frequent
collocation with no : there is little or no danger’’. Nevertheless, it is Firth
who is commonly credited with systematically introducing the concept of
collocation into linguistic theory and is among the first linguists to base a
theory of meaning on the notion of meaning by collocation. The following
quotation might illustrate this position ‘‘I propose to bring forward as a
technical term, meaning by ‘‘collocation’’, and to apply the test of
collocability’’ (Firth 1957b, 197)

In the contextual theory of meaning, Firth’s attention is firmly focused on
the assumption that being meaningful, or having meaning is a matter of
functioning appropriately in context. The meaning of any component at any
level, i.e. phonological, lexicological, grammatical, etc. is described in terms
of its function as an element in the structure of units of the level above. The
structure of the higher level units are the contexts in which the lower level
units function and have meaning (Lyons 1977, 2:612). Along these lines,
Firth’s famous slogan in his modes of meaning (1957) ‘‘you shall know a
word by the company it keeps’’ is reasonably explicable in that the regular
and habitual appearance of words in each others accompaniment at the
syntagmatic level is the context of their occurrence, to say the components
have meaning, they should have functions and their functions are their
contribution to the overall meaning of the combination.
Although Firth uses to be lamentably vague about his precise understanding
of his concept (Evert 2005), nevertheless, he paves the way for a more
detailed exploration and future investigation to deepen the theoretical and
methodological aspect of the phenomenon. His empowering experiences
have significant ramifications for the postulation of more precise and
systematic theories. Consequently, the term was further elaborated and
developed by his successors, often referred to as ‘‘New Ferthian’’, most
noticeably, Halliday and Sinclair. With the development of technology and
electronic devices, a computer-assisted approach has been suggested by
Sinclair in 1970s. This period is described by Hori (2004) as a pilot or
experimental period in the history of the collocational studies. From the
1980s onward, results and achievements of the study of collocation begin to

2.3.Collocations vs. Other Types of Word Combinations
Kelly and Stone (1975) have noted that our psychological lexicon contains
large numbers of multi-word units – stock phrases of various sorts. Their
number is probably as many as that of single words, but not significantly
more. Quigley (2005) defines a multi-word unit as a string of two or more
words which acts as a single unit.
To explain the way in which language texts are produced and interpreted,
Sinclair (1991, 109) advances two different principles, that is, ‘‘open-choice
principle’’ and ‘‘idiom-principle’’. The first one, is also sometimes referred
to as ‘’slot and filler model’’, uses grammaticality as the only constraint in
language production. Idiom principle, on the other hand, assumes that
language users have available to them a large number of ‘‘semi-
preconstructed’’ phrases that constitute single choices. In his later work
Sinclair (2000) renames idiom principle by calling it ‘‘co-selection
principle’’. The main idea behind the so called ‘‘co-selection principle’’ is
that the choice of certain words is affected by the choice of others in their
vicinity. In fact, collocation is a concept which works on the co-selection
Given the fact that the existence of these pre-constructed and ready made
chunks is not deniable, various attempts have been made to distinguish
between different types of word combinations. Since these phraseological
units are not clearly delimitable, they form a continuum, a position held by
most of, if not all, the lexicographers working in this area. Kjellmer (1990)
claims that English words are scattered across a continuum which extends
from those items whose contextual company is entirely predictable to those
whose contextual company is entirely unpredictable. According to the

results of his researches, most words tend to appear towards the beginning of
the continuum. Then it extends from totally free , unrestricted combination
to totally fixed and invariable ones.
Benson, Benson and IIson (1986, 252) distinguish five major types of lexical
combinations on the basis of their degree of cohesion: ‘‘free combinations’’,
‘‘idioms’’, ‘‘collocations’’, ‘‘transitional combinations’’ and ‘‘compounds’’.
Lewis (2000) maintains that languages consist of chunks which are ‘‘fixed’’
and ‘‘semi-fixed prefabricated’’ items, and that language chunks are of
different types: ‘‘words’’, ‘‘collocations’’, ‘‘fixed expressions’’ and ‘‘semi-
fixed expressions’’. For him fixed expressions encompass ‘‘institutionalized
expressions’’ and ‘‘idioms’’. Institutionalized expressions are ‘‘sentence-
like units’’ with a primarily pragmatic function, e.g. How are you?, Good
morning, etc. Semi-fixed expressions, like fixed expressions, are sentence-
like units but they differ from fixed expressions in their degree of fixedness,
e.g. I haven’t seen you + time expressions, etc.
Hausmann (1984) first distinguishes ‘‘fixed’’ from ‘‘non-fixed
expressions’’. For him fixed combinations are ‘‘idioms’’, ‘‘compounds’’,
etc. Non-fixed expressions are subdivided into three types : ‘‘co-creation’’,
‘‘collocation’’ and ‘‘counter creation’’. By co-creations, he means free
combinations that are creatively combined by the speaker, e.g. a pleasant
home, while counter-creations refer to unusual collocations that are mainly
found in literature and advertisement. Mel'čuk (1998) makes a distinction
between sentence– and word-like units. He refers to word like units as
‘‘semantic phrasemes’’ ( as opposed to ‘‘pragmatic phrasemes’’) and
subdivides them into: ‘‘full phrasemes’’ (idioms), ‘‘quasi- phrasemes’’
(quasi-idioms) and ‘‘semi phrasemes’’ (collocations).

Cowie (1994) divides word combinations into two main types: ‘‘composite’’
and ‘‘formulae’’. Formulae refers to the institutionalized expressions.
Collocations belong to the group of composites. The distinction in the group
of composites are made on the basis of two criteria, that is, the criterion of
(transparency) and the criterion of (commutability). Thus, he distinguishes
four types of combinations: ‘‘free combinations’’, ‘‘restricted collocations’’,
‘‘figurative idioms’’ and ‘‘pure idioms’’.
So far, different classifications of word combinations have been presented so
as to draw a phraseological sketch. An attempt is made here to differentiate
three types of word combinations, that is, free combinations, collocations
and idioms. In accordance with a number of criteria that have been
suggested for this purpose, and with reference to the works that have been
conducted in this area by different scholars, collocations would be
distinguished from free combination then from idioms.
It should not be forgotten that the borderline between them is not remarkably
straightforward. They are seen as establishing a phraseological continuum. A
widely held view among scholars concerning the continuum is that: at the
one end of the continuum, one can imagine completely free associations of
words where any meaningful concatenation may occur, the other end would
be that most invariable sequence of words, frozen idioms. The middle
ground between the two extremes is a murky territory where one can find
collocations. The point that seems to bring the scholars into divergences is
their inclinations towards the suggesting procedure and criteria for dealing
with such demarcation. Among the most reliable criteria are : ‘‘fixedness’’
including restrictions on both syntactic and lexical variability, ‘‘semantic

transparency’’ or ‘‘semantic compositionality’’, ‘‘frequency’’ of co-
occurrence, and ‘‘restricted sense’’.

2.3.1 Collocations vs. Free Combinations
In line with Sinclair’s ‘‘open choice principle’’, free combinations can be
defined as sequences of words that adhere to the grammatical and syntactic
rules of a given language. With particular reference to the abovementioned
criteria, free combinations can be characterized as non- fixed combinations
whose elements are freely substitutable. This is not to be taken as a denial of
any restriction on the substitutability of the elements in question. The
restriction is semantically motivated, i.e. it is due to the semantic properties
of the elements of the combination. This type of restriction is often referred
to as ‘‘selectional restriction’’ in generative grammar. For instance, in the
combination read a newspaper, the reason that *drink a newspaper and
*read water are not possible is that read selects a noun which is
semantically restricted to a property of ‘containing written language’
(Nesselhauf 2003, 225) .
Free combinations are semantically transparent, i.e. the meaning of the
whole combination can easily be arrived at through our prior understanding
of the meaning of the constituent parts. To put it another way, the elements
are used in their literal senses, e.g. heavy bag, heavy basket, heavy stone, and
beautiful flower, yellow flower, red flower (Maurer-Stroh 2004, 26) . The
notion of semantic transparency is in correspondence with the ‘‘semantic
compositionality’’ discussed by Cruse (2000, 67). According to him, ‘‘the
meaning of a grammatically complex form is a compositional function of the
meaning of its grammatical constituents’’. Van der Linden (1993) takes both

aspects of free word combinations into consideration, i.e. production
(encoding) and comprehension (decoding). According to him the meaning of
free word combinations is compositional both for encoding and decoding.
Accordingly, collocations are recognizable as loosely fixed, semantically
transparent, arbitrary, conventionalized and recurrent combinations of words
in a language. Two points should be discussed with respect to loose
fixedness of collocations. The first point is about the restriction on syntactic
variability which is not so strict. For instance, heavy rain vs. rain heavily,
strong argument vs. argue strongly, are possible collocations. The second
point is about the restriction on the substitutability or lexical variability.
Here, the restriction is not semantically motivated, i.e. due to the semantic
properties of the constituents involved, but rather it is an arbitrary restriction.
Thus substitution is admissible but is arbitrarily limited. The following
example illustrates this. In the context of solar eclipse, one can talk about
total eclipse, or full eclipse, while combinations with absolute, complete,
entire, or whole are usually not acceptable.(Maurer-Stroh 2004, 26). This
example serves as an indicator that the link between the constituent parts is
lexical rather than semantic. This has also been pointed out by Sinclair
Concerning the semantic transparency of collocation, while it is indisputable
that the meaning of the whole construction is semantically transparent, but it
is not always the case that all the constituent parts involved in collocation
are used in their literal senses. According to Cowie (1998), at least one
element of collocation should have a literal meaning and at least one
element should be used in its non-literal sense. Van der Linden concludes

that the meaning of collocations is compositional for encoding and non-
compositional for decoding.
According to Benson (1985), the most reliable criteria to discriminate
collocations from free combinations are ‘‘restricted commutability’’ and
‘‘frequency’’ of co-occurrence. Thus , to commit murder differs from free
combinations such as to analyze / boast of / condemn / describe murder in
two ways. Firstly the synonymy of the verb is restricted. In this instance the
only synonym seems to be to perpetrate . Secondly, the combination to
commit murder is used frequently; it springs readily to mind; it is
psychologically salient. (Wouden 1997, 9)
Nesselhauf (2003, 225) has attractively proposed the notion of ‘‘restricted
sense’’ for delimitations of different types of word combinations. According
to this notion, the sense of a word is said to be restricted if it satisfies one of
the following criteria:
1. Its sense is so specific that its combinability is limited to a small
number of words.
2. It can not be used in this sense with all words that are syntactically
and semantically possible.
For example, the sense of the word want is considered unrestricted since it
can combine with a great number of words such as toys, a child, a drink, a
car, truth , etc. While dial is considered as having restricted sense as it can
only combine with one (or at most very few ) words, e.g. number.
Consequently, she distinguishes between collocations and free word
combinations, saying that the component elements of free combinations are
used in their unrestricted sense, while at least one of the participating

constituents of collocations should be used in restricted sense, e.g. take a
picture / *take a film.
All the aforementioned points can be recapitulated in the table below

Table 2-1 Collocations vs. Free Word Combinations.
2.3.2 Collocations vs. Idioms
Idioms are sequences of words which are semantically and syntactically
restricted, so that they function as single units (Crystal 2003, 226).
Free Combination
e.g. heavy bag
e.g. heavy rain
1-The syntactic and morphological
variability of the elements is
admissible but determined by the
grammar of the given language, e.g.
heavy bags, the heaviest bag.
1-They are loosely fixed which
indicates that there is a place for
syntactic and morphological
variability, e.g. heavy rain, rain
2-The restriction on the
substitutability is semantically
2-The restriction on the
substitutability is arbitrary.
3-The component elements involved
are used in their literal senses.
3-At least one of the elements should
be used in literal sense and one is
used in non-literal sense.
4-The constituents do not have
restricted senses.
4-At least one of the elements is used
in restricted sense and one is used in
non-restricted sense.
5-Their meanings are compositional
both for encoding and decoding.
5-Their meanings are compositional
for encoding but non-compositional
for decoding.

Semantically speaking, they are characterized as having meanings not
deducible from those of the individual words. Thus, their meanings, as has
been stated by Van der Linden, are non-compositional both for encoding and
decoding. The criterion of ‘’semantic opacity’’ of idioms is defined by
Sweet: ‘’the meaning of each idiom is an isolated fact which cannot be
inferred from the meaning of the words of which the idiom is made up.’’
(1900, 140). To give somebody a red carpet , to borrow Maurer-Stroh’s
examples, does not actually mean handing over a red carpet, but rather give
them a special welcome; and similarly, when someone makes heavy weather
of something, this has nothing to do with an atmospheric condition, but they
make things more complicated than they need to be. (2004, 27)
From a syntactic perspective, the words often do not permit the usual
variability they display in other contexts. For instance, it is raining cats and
dogs can not undergo any syntactic operations such as postposition or pre-
position, etc. nor can it allow for any morphological variability. Thus, *it is
raining a cat and a dog/ dogs and cats, etc. are not admissible. (Crystal
2003, 226)
A point which has attracted considerable discussions is the extent to which
degrees and kinds of idiomaticness can be established. Some idioms do
permit a degree of internal change, and are somewhat more literal than
others, e.g. it’s worth her while / the job will be worth my while, etc. Cowie
(1994) distinguishes between ‘‘figurative idioms’’ such as do a U-turn and
‘‘pure idioms’’ such as blow the gaff. According to him, figurative idioms
preserve a current literal interpretation. Substitution of their elements are
seldom possible. Pure idioms are those which have a purely figurative
meaning and do not preserve the current literal interpretation, and

substitution of the elements is impossible. Nesselhauf (2003) points out that
all the elements of the idioms are used in restricted senses and their
substitution is either impossible or at least very limited. Below is a table that
briefly makes a distinction between idioms and collocations according to
their defining criteria:

e.g. heavy weather
e.g. heavy rain
1-Often the elements involved in
idioms are syntactically and
morphologically invariable, variation
is only permissible within a limited
scope of idiomaticity.
1-The restriction on variability is not
as strict as that of idioms. They are
loosely fixed.
2-The substitution of the elements is
either impossible or extremely
2-The substitution of the elements is
arbitrarily restricted.
3-All the component elements are
used in non-literal senses, i.e. they
are semantically not transparent.
3-Only one of the component
elements is used in non-literal sense.
4-All the component elements have
restricted senses.
4-Only one of the elements is used in
restricted sense.
5-Their meanings are non-
compositional both for encoding and
5-Their meanings are compositional
for encoding and non-compositional
for decoding.

Table 2-2 Collocations vs. Idioms


2.4.The Nature of Collocational Restrictions
It has already been pointed out that collocation as a lexical phenomenon can
be perceived as the tendency for words to occur together repeatedly. On the
one hand, this tendency leads to combinatorial predictability and semantic
dependency of the constituent elements of collocation. On the other hand, it
can successfully contribute to the establishment of collocational restrictions.
This interestingly raises an important question: what is the nature of the
collocational restrictions? To offer an appropriate answer to this question, it
might be useful to consider other types of restrictions discussed in some
linguistic theories.
Within the framework of Chomsky’s generative grammar, two types of
restrictions have been identified that govern the relationship between heads
and complements, namely, ‘’categorical restrictions’’ also known as
‘’subcategorization’’, and semantic or ‘’selectional restrictions’’. In addition
to the phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic information,
there is also information about categorical restrictions and selectional
restrictions. They are altogether associated with any lexical entry in the
speaker’s lexicon. Lexicon is the native speaker’s intuition. It simply means
mental dictionary. Subcategorization restrictions are purely syntactic in
nature. They hold between given lexical items (predicates) and their
complements. Syntactically, cook is a verb which subcategorizes an NP as a
direct object for its complement, that is, it is to be followed by an NP. While
subcategorization is syntactic in nature, selectional restriction is semantic or
pragmatic in nature. For instance, it is the semantic property of the verb
convince that its object is presupposed to be a rational being (mind
possessing), but the degree to which a particular individual accepts a

sentence like I convinced my computer as a well formed sentence depends
on pragmatic factor, i.e. the individual’s beliefs. Selectional restrictions hold
between given items (predicates) and their participants (arguments). To say
that a verb like cook subcategorizes an NP for its complement does not
imply that the NP can be any NP. It should not violate the semantic
agreement it holds with its predicate, hence, it must be cookable (Chomsky
There is no way to consider collocational restriction as a type of selectional
restrictions or subcategorizations, since they are sharply distinguishable.
Collocational restrictions typically deal with the restrictions between heads
and complements at the individual level, whereas in cases of syntactic and
semantic restrictions, any member of the syntactic and semantic class or
category will do to satisfy the restriction (Wouden 1997). It is for a
collocational reason a native speaker rejects a combination like *quick food
and favours fast food, although quick and fast belong to the same syntactic
category and semantic field.
An interesting aspect of the collocational restrictions is the semantic
dependency or ‘‘semantic tailoring’’ (Allerton 1984). The case of adjective-
noun collocation might best illustrate the point. Consider the following
a. heavy rain ‘a lot of‘
b. heavy schedule ‘busy’
c. heavy furniture ‘large and solid’
d. heavy sigh ‘loud and deep’
e. heavy soil ‘wet and sticky’

The meaning of heavy is interpreted relative to the noun it modifies. Thus,
heavy is semantically tailored to the nouns, i.e. it is the noun that decides on
the semantic interpretation of the adjective heavy (Maurer-Stroh 2004,
26).This example serves as an evidence for the collocation’s context
sensitivity as the contribution of heavy is different from context to context.
The incapability of making general statements about the collocational
behaviour seems to be another aspect of collocations. If it happens to find an
appropriate syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, etc. explanation for a particular
collocation, it will be unworkable to convert it into a more general statement
about collocation as a whole. For example, if the collocability of deep and
sleep is easily explainable in terms of conventional metaphor in the sense of
Lakoff and Johnson (1980) that sleep is a pit in which one can fall, from
which one can rise, etc. For many other intensifiers the case is not clear.
To go back to the previous question: what is the nature of the collocational
restrictions? If the restrictions are neither interpretable in terms of syntax nor
of semantics, then what are they? Wouden (1997, 54) uses the word
‘‘idiosyncratic’’ to describe the nature of the collocational restrictions. The
use of this adjective is justifiable on the ground of unavailability of general
syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, etc. statements about collocational
behaviour: ‘’‘collocation’ turned out to refer to that part of the junkyard of
linguistics where all relationships between lexical items that do not fit
elsewhere in the theory are thrown, never to be looked at by most linguists’’.
It seems that the most comfortable accommodation for collocation is the
speaker’s mental lexicon.


2.5.Classifications of Collocations
Various classifications of collocations are approachable through
investigations of different criteria which form basis for the classifications. In
his study of collocation, Firth (1957b) includes not only ‘‘usual
collocations’’ but also ‘‘unusual collocations’’. This classification seems to
be based on the frequency of co-occurrence since usual collocations are
more frequent and can be utilized in various fields while unusual
collocations are more restricted technical or personal collocations. Sinclair
(1991, 115) uses the same criterion as he makes a distinction between
‘‘significant’’ and ‘‘casual’’ collocations. According to him, a collocation is
said to be ‘’significant’’ if the probability of co-occurrence is in a higher
degree than that of what he calls ‘’casual’’ collocations. The words dog and
bark would very likely to constitute a significant collocation since bark is
expectedly to be found near the word dog. He is inclined to exclude those
items that are very frequent in all kinds of texts - noticeably grammatical
words - to be participating members of significant collocations. Perhaps this
inclination is based on his commitment to a view that lexis is a separate and
independent level of grammar.
Later on Sinclair slightly changes his attitude and forms an integrated
approach by which both lexical and grammatical aspects of collocations are
taken into consideration. As a result, he divides collocations into two
categories : ‘‘upward’’ and ‘‘downward’’ collocations. The first group
consist of words which habitually collocate with those items that are more
frequently used than the words themselves, e.g. back collocates with
at/down/from/into/on all of which are more frequent words than back .
likewise, the ‘’downward’’ collocations are words which habitually

collocate with those items that are less frequent than the words themselves,
e.g. arrive and bring are less frequently occurring collocates of back. He
makes a sharp distinctions between those two categories claiming that the
elements of ‘’upward’’ collocations (mostly prepositions, adverbs,
conjunctions, pronouns) tend to form grammatical frames while the elements
of the ‘’downward’’ collocations (mostly nouns and verbs) by contrast give
a semantic analysis of a word.
Benson, Benson and IIson (1990) advocate the view of non-separability of
lexis and grammar. They divide collocations into grammatical (G) and
lexical (L) collocations. Grammatical collocations usually consist of the
main words (a noun, an adjective or a verb) plus a preposition or
grammatical structure such as ‘to-infinitive’ or ‘that-clause’, and is
characterized by eight basic types of collocations, the types are designated
by G1, G2, etc.
G1 : Noun + Preposition: e.g. blockade against, apathy towards.
G2 : Noun + to-infinitive: e.g. it was a pleasure to do it. They felt a
compulsion to do it
G3 : Noun + that-clause: e.g. we reached an agreement that she
would represent us in court. He took an oath that he would do
his duty.
G4 : Preposition + Noun: e.g. by accident, in advance.
G5 : Adjective + Preposition: e.g. fond of children , hungry for
G6 : Adjective + to-infinitive: e.g. it was necessary to work. She is
ready to go.
G7 : Adjective + that-clause: e.g. she was afraid that she would fail

the examination. It is necessary that he be replaced
G8 : Consists of nineteen English verb patterns, e.g. (Verb + to-
infinitive) they began to speak., (Verb + bare infinitive ) we
must work and others.
Lexical collocations, in contrast to grammatical collocations, normally do
not contain prepositions, infinitives, or clauses, but consist of nouns,
adjectives, verbs, and adverbs. There are seven types of them designated by
L1, L2, etc.
L1: Verb (denoting creation and /or activation) + Noun/ pronoun
or prepositional phrase, e.g. make an impression , set an alarm.
L2: Verb (denoting eradication and/or nullification) + Noun. e.g.
lift a blockade, withdraw an offer.
L3: Adjective + Noun or (Noun used attributively + Noun) e.g. a
chronic alcohol, land reform .
L4: Noun + Verb (the verb names an action characteristic of the
person or thing designated by the noun) e.g. blood
circulates, bomb explode.
L5: Quantifier + Noun. e.g. a colony of bees, an article of
L6: Adverb + Adjective . e.g. deeply absorbed,
hopelessly addicted.
L7: Verb + Adverb. e.g. anchor firmly, amuse thoroughly.


Lewis (2000, 63) lays down the criterion of ‘‘collocational strength’’ to
classify collocations. His classification is pedagogically motivated. For him
collocations are of four types: ‘‘unique collocations’’, ‘‘strong
collocations’’, ‘‘medium strength collocations’’ and ‘‘weak collocations’’.
In a unique collocation like foot the bills we can not imagine footing the
invoice or footing the coffee. This shows the uniqueness of foot in the
collocation. Similarly, we shrug our shoulders but not other parts of our
anatomy. Examples of strong collocations are trenchant criticism or rancid
butter. Although this does not mean that other things cannot be trenchant or
rancid, the collocational bond is too strong. In his view the medium strength
collocations are of the prime importance in expanding learners mental
lexicons. Make a mistake and significantly different are examples of medium
strong collocations. A white shirt and red wine represent weak collocations.
Although many things can be white or red but there is something more
predictable and so more collocational about these examples.

Degree Modification and
Gradable Adjectives


Chapter Three
Degree Modification and Gradable Adjectives

3.0. Introduction
This chapter endeavours to make a number of general points which will be
taken for granted in all that follows. The first point concerns the question of
degree modification. The rationale for having degree modification and
making it the focus of attention in this chapter is that: in the context of
adverb-adjective collocation, most adverbs tend to modify the degree or
extent of adjectival qualities they apply to. Bolinger’s dictum might best
illustrate the point as he states that ‘’Investigation will probably reveal that
virtually any adverb modifying an adjective tends to have or to develop an
intensifying meaning. Ordinarily these...limit a quality in some way, the
process of limitation itself tending to augment or reduce the scope of the
quality: ...One who is innately good is one who is more than ordinarily good;
one who is coldly polite is less than ordinarily polite’’ (1972, 23). Another
quotation taken this time from Allerton serves to make the point clearer.
Allerton (1987, 17) gives examples like cautiously optimistic, clearly visible
and easily accessible and he points out that ‘’although they express the
manner of display of the adjectival quality, the manner in this adjectival
context implies a particular degree of the adjectival quality: thus cautiously
optimistic means something like ‘’slightly optimistic’’, and easily accessible
is close to ‘very accessible’. Like many semantic divisions, the one between
manner and degree intensifiers therefore has an uncertain border area’’.


The present study assumes that an analysis of the semantic relation between
degree modifiers and adjectives contributes, to a certain extent, to the
combinatorial restrictions on adverb-adjective collocations at a higher level.
Therefore, a good account of degree modification becomes a primary
concern of this chapter. Meanwhile, it should be mentioned that, naturally,
not all adjective modifiers function to modify degree. Adverbs which are
semantically classed as ‘‘viewpoint’’ or ‘‘respect’’ (Quirk et al. 1985) do not
have intensifying force, but rather restrict the application of adjectival
qualities, e.g. politically balanced, emotionally unstable, etc. However, in
some less clear-cut cases, the merest elements of degree modification is felt.
For instance, theoretically in theoretically possible can be said to have a
somewhat reducing effect on the adjective; theoretically possible is slightly
less possible than unmarked possible (Lorenz 1999, 123).
Having considered the adverb’s functional tendency to modify degree, this
chapter gives a significant portion to a discussion of degree modifiers and
their categorization. The second point relates to the semantic feature of
gradability. Due to the fact that degree modifiers are concerned with an
assessment of a gradable constituent, any discussion of degree modification
would be incomplete without some detailed considerations of the question of
gradability. Therefore, gradability in adjectives should undergo a serious
scrutiny and takes up a greater part of this chapter. Finally, it is part of the
interest of the chapter to bring up a semantic model capable of accounting
for how both the adjective and the degree modifier exert semantic pressure
on one another. If such a model can successfully bring together the semantic
features of degree modifiers and adjectives which characterize their
combinatorial aspects, then it will be assumed that it can be applied in the

same way for all adverb-adjective combinations in which the adverb is
interpreted as having degree reading plus something else, e.g. undoubtedly
true, breathtakingly beautiful, comparatively easy, heavily overweight, etc.

3.1.Degree Modifiers : An Overview
Degree modifiers can be defined as elements which modify another element
with respect to degree (Paradis 1997, 19). They are used to alter the intensity
of the word they modify, making it more or less extreme, without
qualitatively altering the meaning. By definition, they express the semantic
role of degree, that is, they scale a property already present in their predicate
(i.e. head) either upward or downward from an assumed norm. (Quirk et al.
1985). Therefore , the use of the term ‘‘intensifier’’ by scholars such as
Bolinger, Quirk et al, etc. is fully justifiable on the ground that
intensification does not only imply ‘‘reinforcement’’ but also ‘‘attenuation’’
(to use Paradis’ terms). Bolinger states ‘‘I use the term intensifier for any
device that scales a quality, whether up or down or somewhere between the
two’’ (1972, 17). The use of ‘‘any device’’ in Bolinger’s definition draws
attention to the fact that apart from lexical means of intensification, there are
also syntactic and prosodic means. For instance, repetition is used to
strengthen the force of an expression. Terribly, terribly difficult is more
difficult than just terribly difficult (Paradis 1997, 10). Even the use of
stereotyped syntactic constructions is clearly evident, e.g. Was I pleased or
was I? (Kastovsky 1976, 378). Besides, prosodic means such as intonation
and emphatic stress play a significant part in signalling intensification. This
is particularly evident in spoken language. However, it is only the lexical
device which is of the primary concern of this study.

At this point it makes perfectly good sense to refer to what is being
described as ‘‘semantic differential scale’’ by Osgood, Suci and
Tannenbaum (1957). It is, in fact, a graphic means of recognizing an
intensifying element. In their attempt to measure meaning, Osgood, Suci and
Tannenbaum set up a liner scale in relation to some specific concept. They
place polar opposite adjectives which can in some way be applied to a
concept at each end of this liner scale and designate a specific number of
positions along the line between them:

Polar term X ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- Polar term Y
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
The scale positions are then defined as follows :
(1) extremely X (7) extremely Y
(2) quite X (6) quite Y
(3) slightly X (5) slightly Y
(4) neither X nor Y , equally X and equally Y

They assume that the terms ‘‘extremely’’, ‘‘quite’’, and ‘‘slightly’’ are more
or less equal degrees of intensity of whatever representational process (X or
Y) happen to be elicited. Thus, They try to represent graphically the
‘‘semantic differential’’ of a given expression and they actually specify the
degree of intensity that the expression inherently possesses. On the very
positions which they name on the scale, they recognize that intensifiers have
varying degrees of force. Their ‘‘semantic differential scale’’ illustrates the
departure from neutral position. Accordingly, degree modifiers are scalar
devices, that is, they place the entities they apply to on a scale of intensity.

Before going any further, two distinctions need to be made. First, a line has
to be drawn between degree modification and ‘‘quantification’’. Both
notions have measurement in common (Paradis 1997) but they differ in
respect of precision. Furthermore, Jackendoff (1977) specifically points out
that adjectives can not take ‘‘quantifiers’’, whereas nouns can. Adjectives
can only take degree words. Quirk et al (1985), too, restrict the term
‘‘quantifier’’ to modification of nominal, e.g. many pigs, much doubt. It is in
order now to consider the second distinction which has to do with syntactic
functions, namely, phrase-level degree modification versus clause-level
degree modification. Syntactically, degree modifiers function either (a)
inside a clause element, chiefly as premodifiers of adjectives very (funny),
and adverbs perfectly (well), but occasionally of determiners absolutely (no
reason), pronouns absolutely (nothing), and prepositional phrases quite (at
ease), or (b) as adverbial ‘‘subjuncts’’ intensifying a predicate or part of a
predicate entirely (agree) (Altenberg 1991, 128).
This study is primarily a descriptive account of modification of adjectives at
phrase level. Therefore, the exclusion of clause-level modification is fully
justifiable. In addition to this, degree modification is a functional category
which can be realized for the most part by adverbs, but sometimes also by
phrasal items such as noun phrases a little, prepositional phrases to a certain
extent, modality hedges kind of, pseudo-equatives as good as, pseudo-
comparatives more than, even the use of single word items other than
adverbs is evident such as adjectives real good, nouns crystal clear, and
verbs participles bleeding fool (Lorenz 1999). Some of them are marked as
colloquial usage especially taboo and euphemistic words which are mostly
used by teenagers, such as damned, blinding, ruddy, etc. They are more

evident in informal spoken language than in formal or written language.
However, the present study is concerned with degree modification only
when it is realized by adverbs which are inherently or even by implication
capable of doing so. From what has been mentioned so far, it should be clear
that this study treats an adverb as a degree modifier when it fills the
grammatical slot preceding an adjective and when it functions within this
slot to modify the degree of the word following it.
It remains now to consider briefly some characteristics of degree modifiers
and some terminological problems. Degree modifiers are best known for :
1. ‘‘Subjectivity’’, that is, they are particular markers of subjectivity.
Apart from projecting scalarity to the items they apply to, they show
involvement on the part of the speaker/writer. In this respect they add
to the emotive and subjective dimension of the discourse. This
illustrates the potential polyfunctionality of degree manifestation
(Athanasiadou 2007).
2. ‘‘Versatility’’ and ‘‘colour’’, which Bolinger refers to as the result of
‘‘fevered invention’’ (1972). A quotation taken from Partington may
serve to illustrate versatility. To him degree modifiers are perceived as
‘‘...a vehicle for impressing, praising, persuading, insulting and
generally influencing the listener’s reception of the message’’ (1993,
3. Their capacity for rapid change and recycling of different forms. (Ito
& Tagliamote 2003)
More remains to be said later about the details and other features
characterizing degree modifiers in chapter four. It seems appropriate now

to devote some attention to the terminological problems associated with
the category of degree modifiers. There seems to be no consensus
regarding the labelling of the lexical items which serve the function of
degree modification. Various terms are encountered in the literature. The
difficulties associated with labelling of these items are due to the
complexity and fuzziness that characterize them (Paradis 1997). Halliday
(1985, 27) points out that ‘‘there are in principle two significant ways of
labelling a linguistic unit. One is to assign it to a morphological class; the
other is to assign function to it’’.
From the standpoint of formal class, degree modifiers are not easily
definable. They exhibit various forms, for example, while completely is
an adverb derived from an adjective, quite is clearly non-derived, at least
from a synchronic point of view, and as has already been stated, there are
phrasal items and even single word items other than adverbs which can
denote the degree, proportion, or extent of some property of the words
they apply to. Therefore, it is not morphologically possible to assign
degree modifiers to a particular word class category. Also, from a
syntactic point of view, they cause problems in that they can modify
different phrasal types. As it has been seen earlier, some degree modifiers
go with a whole range of different phrases, consider the following

(1) Their lifestyle is quite healthy. (AP)
(2) It was quite a different job. (NP)
(3) That had been quite at the beginning of the war. (PP)
(4) I quite agree with you.(VP)

On the other hand, the use of items such as very, pretty, fairly is more
restricted since they are specialized in the role of modifiers of adjectives.
Consequently, different terminologies have been used to refer to the
category of degree modifiers. The traditional term ‘‘adverb of degree’’
has long been employed as an umbrella term to refer to that special group
of adverbs which serve the function of degree specification in general. It
has been utilized by Allerton (1987) to refer to the kinship between
degree modification of adjectival and degree modification of verbs.
Terms like ‘‘mood adjuncts’’ and ‘‘subjuncts’’ are function labels found
in works of Halliday (1985) and Quirk et al. (1985) respectively to refer
to degree modifiers as clause element adverbials.
The use of the term ‘‘intensifier’’ by Quirk et al. (1985) can be attributed
to the influence of Bolinger (1972). As it has been pointed out by Lorenz
(1999), the use of this term has given rise to frequent misunderstanding,
referring, as it does, to an adverbial class which not only comprises of
‘‘amplifiers’’ such as strongly, completely, or infinitely, but also
‘‘downtoners’’ such as rather, slightly or scarcely. The latter, of course,
tend to have a lowering, mitigating effect on the meaning of their focus
which is not really inferred, at the first sight, from the category label
‘‘intensifier’’. Thus, the Quirkian term ‘‘intensifier’’ has been employed
as an umbrella term to refer to all kinds of degree words except
quantifiers, that is, any items capable of indicating a point on an intensity
scale, and the point indicated may be relatively low or relatively high.
‘‘Degree modifier’’ is a preferred terminology in this study, borrowed
from Paradis to label all lexical items which select a degree of the

adjectival qualities they apply to. It is, however, semantically equivalent
to Quirkian terminology ‘‘intensifier’’ in that it does not only refer to the
lexical items whereby an increase in intensification is expressed. Rather,
degree modifiers indicate a point on a scale. Therefore the two terms
‘‘degree modifiers’’ and ‘‘intensifiers’’ can safely be used

3.2. Earlier Classifications
With an eye on the similarities and differences among the members of the
category of degree modifiers, various attempts have been made to
categorize them by scholars working in this area of language. The
members of this category are similar in that they all indicate a certain
graded value of the item they apply to. The differences among them arise
out of the differences in their grading function, that is, they indicate
different values of some feature of the item they modify. Therefore, this
section is particularly devoted to the purpose of their categorization. Here
is a discussion of a number of scholars’ view in this respect:

3.2.1.Quirk et al. (1985)
Among the taxonomies suggested in previous treatments of degree
modification, Quirkian scalar system seems to be the most
comprehensive one. Quirk et al. (1985: 445) divide degree modifiers into
two distinct groups, namely, ‘‘amplifiers’’ and ‘‘downtoners’’. While
amplifiers ‘‘scale upwards from an assumed norm’’, downtoners ‘‘have a
lowering effect, usually scaling downwards from an assumed norm’’.
Then a more delicate subdivision of amplifiers and downtoners is made

into ‘‘maximizers’’, and ‘‘boosters’’ on the one hand, and
‘‘approximators’’, ‘‘compromizers’’, ‘‘diminishers’’, and ‘‘minimizers’’
on the other. Thus, the six functional categories are meant to represent
different ranges of a scale, each grade the meaning of their focus to the
respective degree, from the bare minimum ‘‘minimizers’’ to the perfect
or full extent ‘‘maximizers’’(See Figure 3-1) :

AMPLIFIERS Maximizers (e.g. completely, entirely, etc)
Booster (e.g. very, terribly, etc.)

DOWNTONERS Approximators (e.g. almost, nearly, etc.)
Compromizers (e.g. quite, rather, etc.)
Diminishers (e.g. partly, slightly, etc.)
Minimizers (e.g. hardly, scarcely, etc.)

Figure 3-1 Quirkian scalar system.
According to their system, ‘‘maximizers’’ can denote the upper extreme
on the scale, and ‘‘boosters’’ denote a high degree, a high point on the
scale. ‘‘Approximators’’ serve to indicate that the item which the degree
modifier applies to express more than is relevant. ‘‘Compromizers’’ have
only a slightly lowering effect and tend to call in question the
appropriateness of the item concerned. ‘‘Diminishers’’ scale downwards
and roughly mean ‘‘to a small extent’’. Finally, ‘‘minimizers’’, according
to their view, are negative maximizers meaning ‘‘(not) to any extent’’.
Despite the fact that no reason for different treatment of degree modifiers
of adjectives is felt, Quirkian system is particularly designed for degree
modifiers in their capacity as ‘‘subjuncts’’, that is, such adverbials which

have the clause level function of degree modification of verbs. In their
discussion of adjective modification, Quirk et al. (1985) only make a
very general distinction between ‘‘amplifiers’’ and ‘‘downtoners’’
without subdivisions. Research in this area has demonstrated the full
applicability of Quirkian system to modification of adjectives (cf. Lorenz
1999). Admittedly, Quirkian system is the most exhaustive one which has
been proved to be very useful for the identification of various degrees on
the scale. Therefore, it is this system that the present study employs to
test the intensifying force of the adverbs collocating with adjectives.

3.2.2. Bolinger (1972)
It is interesting to note that Bolinger (1972) had already applied the same
logic of classification and indeed distinguishes four functional categories,
namely, ‘‘boosters’’, ‘‘compromizers’’, ‘‘diminishers’’ and
‘‘minimizers’’, this is according to the place they occupy on the scale of
intensity (upper or lower part) and the direction in which they point
(upwards or downwards). The four categories, as can be noted, are all
part of the Quirkian taxonomy. Restricting himself to these four
categories, Bolinger passes over ‘‘maximizers’’ and ‘‘approximator’’. In
view of his analysis, this omission can hardly have been a matter of near
neglect. It is far more likely that Bolinger purposely avoids these two
categories due to his programmatic interest in degree words only.
Strictly speaking, the members of the two sets – ‘‘approximators’’ in
particular - do not scale the meaning of their focus. Corpus based
investigations in this respect have demonstrated their tendency to
collocate with adjectives which are not even scalable (cf. Altenberg 1991;

Paradis 1997; Lorenz 1999; Kamoen et al. 2011). Lorenz explains ‘‘If
something is almost impossible, almost indestructible, or nearly equal , it
is not ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ on a scale of possibility, destructibility or
equality, and if someone is almost dead or almost omnipotent, they are
likewise not ‘more’ or ‘less’ so’’ (1999, 90). In all these cases the
adjectives are in effect negated, but with the added information that what
is being described is close to reaching the adjectival quality. Therefore,
someone who is referred to as almost dead is in fact not dead but only
‘barely alive’. He also asserts that ‘‘maximizers’’, in much the same way,
do not really grade the meaning of their focus, but only assert their ‘full’
value. The collocates of maximizers are typically non-scalar, e.g.
completely innocent, entirely truthful, totally perfect, etc. Due to the fact
that the present study is concerned with all aspects of adverb-adjective
collocations, it cannot afford to make such an exclusion.

3.2.3.Allerton (1987)
Allerton (1987), like most researchers in this area, recognizes the basic
dichotomy between modifiers which point out an increasing value and
modifiers which point out a decreasing value. His contribution to the
discussion of degree modifiers is a classification where four subgroups
are distinguished according to the gradable feature involved. His
classification can be summarised as follows:

1. Scalar Modifiers indicate different parts of a mental scale of
degree which ranges from immeasurably high to zero, e.g.
extremely, very, pretty, rather, fairly, somewhat, slightly, not at all.

Within this group Allerton distinguishes ‘‘boosters’’,
‘‘moderators’’, ‘‘diminishers’’ and ‘‘zeroisers’’ which correspond
to Quirk et al’s subgroups except for their ‘‘maximizers’’.
2. Telic Modifiers relate the actual degree of the modified item to the
degree required for some purpose and place it above or below that
mark, e.g. easily, just, hardly, virtually, nearly.
3. Absolutive Modifiers indicate that the degree of the modified item
is ‘‘superlative’’, e.g. absolutely, utterly, totally, entirely, etc.
Absolutive modifiers, according to Allerton’s analysis, combine
with ‘‘superlative’’ types of adjectives. This group corresponds to
the category of ‘‘maximizers’’ in Quirkian system.
4. Differential Modifiers indicate the difference of degree between
the item being described and some reference point. They include
far, much, a lot, marginally, slightly, a bit, etc. in combination with
Two points need to be made with regard to Allerton’s classification.
First, he is basically concerned with the description of degree modifiers
of adjectives. Therefore, his classification is particularly projected for
this purpose. Second, what seems to form a basis for his classification is
the semantic features that correspond to the name of the groups.
Consequently, a number of differences can be found between his
classification and others. However, to economise on laborious detail, the
differences are not incorporated here.


3.2.4. Paradis (1997, 2000a, 2003, 2008)
In her treatment of the category of degree modifiers of adjectives, Paradis
(1997, 2000a, 2003, 2008) postulates that degree modifiers form five
different paradigms, namely, ‘‘maximizers’, ‘‘boosters’’,
‘‘approximators’’, ‘‘moderators’’ and ‘‘diminishers’’, the members of
which express more or less the same degree. The employment of such
terms indicates that she is strongly influenced by Quirk et al’s and
Allerton’s classifications. Apparently, she prefers the terms
‘‘reinforcers’’ and ‘‘attenuators’’ to Quirk et al’s ‘‘amplifiers’’ and
‘‘downtoners’’. She maintains that the grading force expressed by the
members of the five paradigms form a scale, or rather a cline, ranging
from strongly reinforcing modifiers to strongly attenuating modifiers.
The modifiers are conceived of as occupying different positions on this
continuum. ‘‘Maximizers’’ exhibit the strongest degree of reinforcement
followed by ‘‘boosters’’. ‘‘Approximators’’ and ‘‘moderators’’ are just
slightly attenuating, whereas ‘‘diminishers’’ have a stronger attenuating
Taking into consideration the type of grading involved in the different
paradigms of the category of degree modifiers, she rightly asserts that
they fall into two subsets. One subset involves grading in terms of
‘‘totality’’, i.e. (either-or), and the other subset involves scaling, i.e.
(more-or-less). Both among ‘‘scalar degree modifiers’’ and ‘‘totality
modifiers’’ there are those that reinforce and those that attenuate some
value of the adjective in question (see Table 3-1). It is important to note
that this basic difference is missing in all the three classifications
described in this section.

REINFORCER maximizer completely (full) booster very (tired)
ATTENUATOR approximators almost (full) moderator rather (tired)
diminisher slightly (tired)

Table 3-1 Totality modifiers and scalar modifiers combined with levels of degree

Paradis’ distinction between ‘‘scalar modifiers’’ and ‘‘totality modifiers’’
inevitably draws attention to certain semantic features of adjectives in
question. The most relevant semantic feature which seems to be involved
in this respect is gradablility. Completely dead but not *very dead is
perfectly explainable by stating that while certain adjectives can be
graded in terms of ‘‘either-or’’ others can not. Therefore, the next section
is a particular account of adjectives and gradability with the aim of
finding out to what extent semantic features of adjectives contribute to
the restrictions on adverb-adjective collocation.

3.3.Adjectives and Gradability
In discussing the question of gradability, it is desirable to incorporate
some descriptions of the class of adjectives in the literature. Quirk et al.
(1985, 403) describe the class of adjectives in terms of typicality. They
propose four main ‘‘criteria for adjectives’’:
(a) Occurrence in attributive function
(b) Occurrence in predicative function
(c) Premodification by the intensifier very
(d) Occurrence in comparative and superlative forms
(inflectional or periphrastic)

Most adjectives, the so-called ‘‘central’’ ones, will satisfy both criteria
(a) and (b). But there are, of course, ‘‘peripheral’’ adjectives that only
occur attributively; compare utter in utter fool or medical in medical
student. Others only occur in predicative position, such as afraid, or call
for complementation, e.g. glad(that) or subject (to) (Bolinger 1967a). For
the reasons that both types clearly convey adjectival qualities and behave
almost the same way with respect to degree modification, ‘‘central’’ and
‘‘peripheral’’ adjectives are of the same interest for this study. Criteria
(c) and (d) have to do with gradability. In this case, it is only gradable
adjectives which can be premodified by very, and can occur in
comparative and superlative form. These two characteristics are both
evidence of the fact that there is a scalar feature in the adjective.
As gradability is a constitutive principle of (c) and (d), one can argue that
the latter is a special case of the former, to put it in another way, they
represent two sides of the same coin. If an adjective can be modified by
very, it can also undergo comparison, and vice versa. Lorenz (1999)
states that comparatives and superlatives are grammatical ways of scaling
upwards or downwards from a given point of reference, namely, the basis
of comparison. To say that something is very important amounts to
saying that it is more important than just ‘important’. In Lorenz’s view,
criterion (d) is technically redundant.
According to Collins Cobuild English Grammar (CCEG) (2005, 65) the
most important things to notice about an English adjective are:
1. what structure it is in, that is, before a noun or after a linking verb
2. what type of adjective it is, that is, ‘‘qualitative’’ or ‘‘classifying’’

While the first point obviously corresponds to attributive and predicative
positions of adjectives discussed earlier by Quirk et al., the second point
merits attention. The division of adjectives into ‘‘qualitative’’ and
‘‘classifying’’ is closely related to the question of gradability. In their
function to identify qualities which someone or something has,
‘‘qualitative adjectives’’ are gradable, which means that the person or
thing referred to can have more or less of the quality mentioned. Such as
sad in a sad story, pretty in a pretty girl, small in a small child. Like
Quirk et al., (CCEG) identifies a gradable adjective by the possibility of
‘‘submodification’’ by very and rather, and by the possibility of these
adjectives to occur in the comparative and the superlative. ‘‘Classifying
adjectives’’, on the other hand, are said to identify the class that
something belongs to. Financial in the case of financial help is used as an
example of classifying adjective. Financial has the function of
classifying help, which is to say that, there are various kinds of help and
financial help is one of them. As they place something in a class,
classifying adjectives are not gradable in the way that qualitative
adjectives are. Things are either in a particular class or not. Therefore,
classifying adjectives do not have comparatives and superlatives and are
not normally used with degree modifiers such as very or rather.
It is also pointed out in (CCEG) that there are many adjectives which are
polysemous between being qualitative and classifying, and accordingly,
they vary with respect to gradability. For instance, in the phrase the
emotional needs of children, emotional is classifying and nongradable. It
can neither undergo comparison, nor be modified by a degree modifier.
However, in the phrase an emotional person, emotional is qualitative and

gradable. It has a comparative and superlative form, and it can be used
with very. A person can be very emotional or more emotional than
somebody else. This example suggests that what makes the reading of the
adjective gradable or nongradable depends on the noun it modifies.
At this point it has something of value to refer to a model which is
capable of explaining what constitutes ‘‘polysemy’’ of such adjectives. In
her study on adjectives, Warren (1984) presents a model of the
relationship between the adjective and the noun to which it applies. She
states that to uncover the nature of the adjective, one must be familiar
with both the denotation of the adjective and with its relation to the noun
it qualifies. Her semantic analysis involves two components, ‘‘referential
content’’ and ‘‘relator’’ (See Figure 3-2).

a sad girl

referential content relator
‘‘sadness’’ ‘‘experiencing’’
Figure 3-2 Warren’s semantic model of the meaning of an adjective

The meaning of sad in a sad girl is analyzed in two components and spelled
out as ‘‘X experiences sadness’’. In the following examples, it is the relator
which seems to be responsible for constituting the polysemy of the
adjectives: nervous breakdown versus nervous man, criminal court versus
criminal assault and musical instrument versus musical child. Consider the
elements of nervous in nervous breakdown and nervous man in Figure 3-3

a nervous breakdown a nervous man

‘‘nerves/nervousness’’ ‘‘caused by’’ ‘‘nervousness’’ ‘‘experiencing’’

Figure 3-3 The semantic elements of nervous

A nervous breakdown can be spelled out as ‘‘X is caused by nerve’’ and a
nervous man as ‘‘X experiences nervousness’’. Warren states that nervous in
nervous breakdown is ‘‘classifying’’ in that it restricts the application of
breakdown. A nervous breakdown is a breakdown among other types of
breakdown. While nervous in a nervous man is ‘‘qualitative’’ in that it
qualifies the person in question. She points out that when nervous combines
with man, it has a ‘‘relator’’ which allows grading, but when nervous
combines with breakdown, it has a ‘‘relator’’ which is not compatible with
gradability and so is resistant to modification of degree. Thus, polysemy in
an adjective can be said to be due to the differences in at least one of the two
main semantic components of adjectives, i.e. in the ‘‘referential content’’
and/or in the ‘‘relator’’.
According to Paradis, even in the case of ‘‘monosemy’’, some adjectives
which are typically classifying in their right contexts can acquire a gradable
reading. For instance, the adjective Russian in the man is Russian is
classifying and nongradable, in other words, it has a bias towards
nongradability. However, it can be coerced into a gradable reading, and the
presence of a degree modifier may serve to confirm this, e.g. the man is very
Russian, which is to be interpreted as ‘‘Russian style’’. The reason for
promoting such a reading is that Russian can take a relator involving

resemblance, which is compatible with grading (1997, 46). At this point it
has been shown that nervous is polysemous between a gradable/qualitative
and nongradable/classifying meaning. While Russian is monosemous and
basically nongradable but can undergo ‘‘contextual modulation’’. Problems
of this nature will be discussed later in this chapter.
Returning now to the question of establishing criteria for gradability in
adjectives. Admittedly, the traditional criteria for gradability, namely,
(comparability) and (possibility to be modified by very), are of a limited
value since there are many adjectives which do not occur in the comparative
or the superlative but nevertheless occur with degree modifiers, although not
with the degree modifiers of the type very. Paradis (1997, 47) gives the
example of identical to illustrate the case in point. Identical can be modified
with respect to ‘‘totality’’ by means of maximizing and approximating
modifiers such as absolutely and almost. Identical, is thus not gradable in the
sense that good is, since it can not be compared (*more identical, most
identical) and since it is restricted to certain degree modifiers. Writing along
the same line, Lorenz suggests a rephrasing to Quirk et al’s third criterion,
namely, premodification by very, and he reasonably recommends
‘‘premodification by very or absolutely’’ (1999, 40).

3.4. Classification of Gradable Adjectives
Since the present study is restricted to adjectives which possess a gradable
feature, a first division has to be made between gradable and nongradable
adjectives. Paradis (1997, 2000a, 2000b, 2001, 2008) is inclined to make
such a division on the basis of whether the adjective can combine with
degree modifiers or not. Gradable adjectives combine in a natural way with

degree modifiers, e.g. very good, completely dead, absolutely terrific,
whereas nongradable adjectives normally reject degree modifiers, e.g. ?very
classical, ?completely daily, ?quite symphonic. Therefore, only gradable
adjectives will be subjected to a thorough scrutiny.
Having considered adjectives such as identical, impossible, sufficient, etc.
which are only modifiable with respect to ‘‘totality’’, Allerton (1987)
presents a classification of gradable adjectives. First, he distinguishes three
basic types of gradable adjectives. These three basic adjective classes
correspond to his degree modifier classes presented in section 3.2.3. of this
chapter. They are:
a. Scalar, e.g. big, bright, pretty
b. Telic, e.g. sufficient, cooked, perceptible
c. Absolutive, e.g. huge, scorching, gorgeous
He proceeds to point out that this division is not sufficient. The relationship
between intensifier classes and adjective classes is not simply a one-to-one
relationship. Many adjectives can combine with more than one class of
degree modifier. Therefore, Allerton refines his model in the following way:
d. Scalar-Telic, e.g. warm, late, noticeable
e. Scalar-Absolutive, e.g. different, beautiful
f. Telic-Absolutive, e.g. boiling(hot), dead, possible
g. Scalar-Telic-Absolutive, e.g. dark, successful, acceptable
The latter four types of gradables thus co-occur with the two or three
correspondingly named degree modifier classes.

Following Allerton, Paradis assumes that there are three basic types of
adjectives. She keeps the term ‘‘scalar adjectives’’ for the subgroup that
corresponds to Allerton’s category with the same name. However, she
renames the other two groups. The group that corresponds to Allerton’s
‘‘absolutive adjectives’’ is named ‘‘extreme adjectives’’ instead, since she
believes that they are not absolute. Finally, ‘‘telic adjectives’’ are called
‘‘limit adjectives’’ as they are all associated with a limit.
Closely associated with gradability is the notion of ‘‘boundedness’’ which
appears to be useful in the conceptualization of the three types of gradable
adjectives (Paradis 2008). Accordingly, scalar adjectives are ‘‘unbounded’’
and conceptualized in terms of ‘‘scalarity’’, i.e. (more-or-less) conception,
e.g. good, long, fast, interesting, etc. Limit adjectives, on the other hand, are
associated with a definite boundary and conceptualized in terms of
‘‘totality’’, i.e. (either-or) conception, e.g. identical, true, dead, etc. Extreme
adjectives, in turn, belong to ‘‘totality’’ adjectives even though they are
conceptualized slightly differently, e.g. brilliant, magnificent, disastrous,
minute, etc. which are conceptualized according to a scale, but on that scale
they represent an extreme point. For this reason they are conflated with the
bounded limit adjectives. In order to reveal other semantic features which
characterize the three types of adjectives, Paradis, who seems to be inspired
by Cruse (1986), distinguishes four criteria relevant to gradability in
adjectives which are:
1. the possibility to occur in the comparative and the superlative
2. the possibility to fill the x slot in How x is it?
3. the possibility to fill the x slot in how x!
4. the type of oppositeness involve

In what follows, Paradis’ typology of gradable adjectives will be presented
with a particular reference to the aforementioned criteria.

3.4.1 Scalar Adjectives
Paradis applies the four criteria for gradability to six items selected as
examples of scalar adjectives, namely, good, fast, long, difficult, nasty, and
interesting (1997, 51). The first criterion concerns the comparability of
adjectives. Scalar adjectives are comparable, that is, they occur in the
comparative and the superlative, e.g. good, better, best; long, longer,
longest; etc. Two referents can thus be compared with one another by means
of a scalar adjective, e.g. ‘‘This car is faster than that car’’. Two referents
can also be compared for equality, e.g. ‘‘This car is as fast as that car’’.
Even when they are not explicitly comparative in form, scalar adjectives are
relative and interpreted comparatively. It is long is to be understood to mean
‘‘longer than X’’ or ‘‘longer than I like it to be’’, where X is some implicit
reference point on the scale of length.
There is no fixed value of scalar adjectives, rather they cover a range of the
quality involved. This range varies with the referent and/or the standard that
the speaker bases his judgment on. For example, fast in a fast aeroplane is
not likely to have the same range as fast in a fast car. The assumed level
occupied by fast on the abstract scale is different for an aeroplane and a car.
The ranges differ according to the properties of the referent. A fast car, for
example, may be understood as meaning something like ‘‘fast for a car’’ or
‘‘faster than an ordinary car’’. Such judgments are based on some generally
accepted norm. However, judgments of the range of scalar adjectives can
also be subjective and speaker-oriented. For instance, a car may be fast for

some people and in some situations, whereas it may be regarded as slow for
others and/or in other situations.
The second criterion concerns the possibility for an adjective to occur in the
question ‘‘How x is it?’’. This question applies in a natural way to inherently
scalar adjectives. It elicits a scalar answer, which indicates a certain range of
degree that is more specific than the adjective itself, e.g. ‘‘How good is the
book?’’ – ‘‘It is very good’’; ‘‘How long is your skirt?’’ – ‘‘It is rather
long’’. The ability to enter into the question ‘‘How x is it?’’ is another
indication that an adjective is inherently scalar. The third criterion concerns
the possibility of the adjective to occur in exclamatory expressions. All
scalar adjectives can be used in such frames, e.g. How good!; How fast!;
How interesting!
The fourth criterion concerns the type of relationship of oppositeness
involved. Scalar adjectives have antonyms, e.g. good-bad, fast-slow,
difficult-easy, etc. Cruse (1986, 204) defines antonyms in the following way:
i. Antonyms are fully gradable...
ii. The members of a pair denote degrees of some variable property such
as length, speed, weight, accuracy, etc.
iii. When more strongly intensified, the members of a pair move, as it
were, in opposite directions along the scale representing degrees of
the relevant variable property. Thus, very heavy and very light, for
instance, are more widely separated on the scale of weight than fairly
heavy and fairly light.
iv. The terms of a pair do not strictly bisect a domain : there is a range of
values of the variable property, lying between those covered by the

opposed terms, which cannot be properly referred to by either terms.
As a result, a statement containing one member of an antonym pair
stands in a relation of contrariety with the parallel statement
containing the other term. Thus, It’s long and It’s short are contrary,
not contradictory, statements. Furthermore, the statement It’s neither
long nor short is not paradoxical, since there is a region on the scale
of length which exactly fits this description.
Paradis points out that scalar adjectives are ‘‘implicit comparatives’’. If one
talks about a long way or a long pen, the opposite short is automatically
evoked. Long and short compare the length of some referent to an assumed
norm, which is not objectively measurable but is related to the referent as
judged by the speaker. It has been shown at this point that scalar adjectives
are conceptualized as occupying a range along a scale (See Figure 3-4)


(very short)
(fairly short)
(fairly long)
(very long)

Figure 3-4 The conceptualization of the scalar adjectives short and long

ranges over the part of the scale of length which represents
‘‘shortness’’, and long
correspondingly ranges over ‘‘longness’’. The two
parts of the scale of length can be further specified and restricted by the use
degree modifiers. For instance, very long
occupies only a part of the scale of
‘‘longness’’. When short and long are reinforced or attenuated by degree
modifiers, the unmodified short
and long
are conceived of as occupying a
range in the middle of the scale of ‘‘shortness’’ and ‘‘longness’’

respectively, while, for example very long
occupies the upper part and fairly
the lower part and vice versa on the scale of ‘‘shortness’’, where fairly
occupies the upper part and very short
the lower part. This
interpretation of short
and long
as occupying subranges is only possible in
contrast to other subranges, for example very long
as in:
A: How long was your coffee break yesterday?
B: Well, it wasn’t very long, but I admit it was long.
The last point made by Paradis – a point which seems to be the most
important and of a particular interest of this study - is that ‘’scalar adjectives
combine with scalar degree modifiers’’.

3.4.2. Extreme Adjectives
Just as scalar adjectives can be said to be ‘‘implicit comparatives’’, extreme
adjectives are aptly described as ‘‘implicit superlatives’’ by Cruse (1986,
216), since they express a superlative degree of a certain feature. Paradis’
examples of extreme adjectives are: excellent, huge, minute, terrific,
disastrous, and brilliant (1997, 54). Extreme adjectives are conceptualized
as occupying the outer part of a scale. An obvious example of this is the
scale of merit, where the superlatives excellent and terrible can occupy the
positive and the negative extremes of the scale with the implicit
comparatives good and bad in between. Another example is the scale of size,
where small and big are nested within the pair minute and huge.
This inevitably raises an important question concerning the relation between
the ‘‘implicit superlatives’’ and the ‘‘implicit comparatives’’, that is,
between extreme adjectives and the items nested within on the scale.

According to Lehrer & Lehrer (1982, 488) there are two ways of interpreting
implicit superlatives in relation to implicit comparatives. On the one hand,
excellent can be considered a hyponym of good, and terrible a hyponym of
bad. Hyponymy is based on taxonomic relations, forming a hierarchy. For
instance, good is a superordinate of a number of adjectives denoting positive
evaluation, e.g. excellent, great, fine. Lehrer & Lehrer make use of one-way
entailment and the ‘‘not-only test’’ in diagnosing the relation of hyponymy.
The one-way entailment works as follows: ‘‘X is excellent’’ entails ‘‘X is
good’’, whereas the converse, i.e. ‘‘X is good’’ does not entail ‘’X is
excellent’’, hence excellent is a hyponym of good. The ‘‘not-only test’’
works in the following manner: ‘‘This wine is not only good, it’s excellent’’
and ‘‘that is not only a car, it’s a Cadillac’’, since a hyponym will mean
everything the superordinate means plus something else.
Lehrer & Lehrer also point out that on the other hand the relationship
between an ‘‘implicit superlative’’ and an ‘‘implicit comparative’’ can be
modelled on a scale, where the members are incompatible elements. The
‘‘incompatibility’’ interpretation is demonstrated by the following sentence:
‘‘This wine is not good, it’s excellent’’. Thus according to Lehrer & Lehrer,
both the hyponymy interpretation and the scale interpretation are possible.
However, the hyponymy interpretation is preferable, since, as they say, it
passes the ‘‘not-only test’’. The ‘‘not-only test’’ does not apply to true
incompatibles, i.e. to members of a scale. Paradis (1997) agrees with Lehrer
& Lehrer that there are two possible interpretations of the relation between
good and excellent. However, she does not agree that one of the
interpretations is invariably preferable. In her view there are two possible

interpretations of good. One good is the superordinate, the other good is one
of the members of the scale. Consider Figure 3-5.

excellent extremely good

good2 good
fairly good

fairly bad
terrible extremely bad
Figure 3-5 the combined scale-hyponymy relation of good and bad

Figure 3-5 illustrates the superordinate relation of GOOD
and BAD
relation to other adjectives. GOOD1 applies to the positive half of the
evaluative scale and BAD1 to the negative half. It also shows that the
adjectives, excellent, good2, satisfactory, bad2, terrible, apply to different,
much more restricted, ranges on the scale. It should also be noted that the
modified instances of good and bad cover different ranges on the scale
compared to the corresponding items on the left in the figure. This means
that in the case of judgements of merit, English speakers can choose their
expression from either of the two systems.
For the purpose of this study, it suffices to say that extreme adjectives are
conceptualized as occupying an extreme position on a scale. This way of
conceptualizing them has a certain implications for the type of gradability

involved. For the purpose of characterization, it is now necessary to test
extreme adjectives against the four criteria mentioned earlier. The first
criterion concerns the comparability of adjectives. Comparability of extreme
adjectives is a matter of debate. Some speakers reject comparative
constructions, such as ?A is more excellent than B, and ?A is as excellent as
B or superlatives such as ?A is the most excellent of them all, while others
find such constructions perfectly acceptable. According to Paradis, the
reason for the awkwardness of extreme adjectives in the comparative and the
superlative is that they already indicate a fixed degree. Bolinger (1967b, 4)
has been quoted by Paradis in support of the possibility of extreme
adjectives to be found in comparatives and superlatives, saying that ‘‘the
fondness of exaggeration pulls many of the adjectives representing these
extremes off their perches and comparing them then becomes possible : a
more perfect union’’.
Secondly, the question How x is it? is awkward in the context of extreme
adjectives, e.g. ?How excellent is it?, ?How minute is it?. The reason is that
the ‘‘superlativeness’’ that is implicit in the adjectives already indicates a
more or less precise degree, i.e. the superlative degree. They do not refer to a
range in the same way as scalar adjectives do, but indicate the extreme point
on a scale. On the other hand, Paradis confirms the naturalness of extreme
adjectives in exclamatory expressions, e.g. How terrific!, How huge!. The
reason is that adjectives in exclamatory expressions indicate the degree
implied by such utterances, i.e. ‘‘a very high degree’’.
The fourth criterion concerns the kind of oppositeness involved. Paradis,
along the same line with Cruse (1986), points out that extreme adjectives
differ from typical scalar antonyms in that they do not represent a range on

the scale, and in that they are not fully comparable. However, like scalar
adjectives, extreme adjectives are contrary elements. There is a ‘‘pivotal
region’’ (Cruse 1986, 205) lying between the pair, which need not be
referred to by either of the members. ‘‘It is neither excellent, nor terrible’’ is
conceivable since there is a region on the scale that may correspond to this
description. The same is true of the scalar adjectives: ‘‘It is neither good nor
bad’’. Logically, this is the most important trait with respect to the type of
oppositeness involved. For this reason, Paradis regards extreme adjectives as
antonymic, even though they do not comply with all the characteristics of
typical antonyms presented in section 3.4.1.
Cruse (1986, 216) states that one characteristic of extreme adjectives is that
they combine with absolutely, e.g. absolutely excellent, absolutely huge,
absolutely minute. However, Paradis realizes that they are not only
combinable with absolutely but also with other maximizing modifiers, e.g.
quite marvellous, utterly disastrous and totally brilliant. Also , she adds, it is
possible to combine some of them with almost, e.g. almost brilliant, almost
terrific, almost disastrous, but what happens then is rather a case of
‘‘contextual modulation’’ in which the extreme adjective is conceptualized
in terms of ‘‘either-or’’, i.e. as a limit adjective instead.
Both extreme adjectives and maximizers represent the ultimate position.
This ‘‘inherent superlativity’’ in both elements explains why they combine
in a harmonious way. The function of the maximizers is to reinforce the
extreme position of the adjectives. Furthermore, Paradis explains that the
superlativity of extreme adjectives and the consequent conceptualization of
them as occupying an extreme point may lead to their resistance to
combining with scalar modifiers, such as very, slightly, fairly. Scalar

modifiers indicate a range above or below an assumed mean value. Extreme
adjectives are already at the top or the bottom of that scale (see Figure 3-5).
The superlativity also explains the resistance to attenuation, since the
speaker has already committed himself/herself to using an adjective which
indicates an ultimate position.

3.4.3. Limit Adjectives
Paradis’ examples for limit adjectives are true, sober, sufficient, dead,
identical and possible (1997, 57). She points out that limit adjectives differ
from scalar adjectives and extreme adjectives in that they are associated with
a limit and conceptualized in terms of ‘‘either-or’’. Something is either true
or not true, and somebody is either dead or not dead, sober or not sober and
so on. Death, truth, and sobriety are perceived as having crossed a limit of
criterial nature (Warren 1984). In principle there is no arguing about what
these adjectives mean. Once speakers agree on their meaning, they also
agree on the application of the adjectives to a certain referent. For example,
a dead body is a dead body for all speakers, since there is not only
consensus as to the meaning of dead, but also to its application. Scalar
adjectives and extreme adjectives are predominantly ‘‘evaluative-
attributive’’ (Warren 1984). Even though speakers interpret ‘‘evaluative
adjectives’’ in the same way, they may not agree on their application. A fair
assessment for one person may be an unfair assessment for somebody else,
even though they agree on the meanings of fair and unfair.
Turning now to the characteristics of limit adjectives in terms of the four
criteria used for the categorization of adjectives with respect to gradability.
Firstly, Limit adjectives are not comparable. They do not occur in the

comparative or the superlative, e.g. ?truer, ?the truest, ?deader, ?the
deadest. This is an effect of their absolute meaning. Limit adjectives cannot
be compared to different standards, since they are not relative. Secondly,
limit adjectives are awkward in the question How x is it?, e.g. ?How
sufficient is that?, ?How identical are they? The reason is that they are not
normally viewed in terms of a range, i.e. in terms of ‘‘more-or-less’’, but in
terms of ‘‘either-or’’. The question therefore is irrelevant. Thirdly, limit
adjectives reject exclamatory expressions, e.g. ?How dead!, ?How
identical!, ?How sober!. The reason is that there is no high or extreme
degree of limit adjectives in terms of a scale.
Finally, there is a logical difference between scalar adjectives and extreme
adjectives on the one hand and limit adjectives on the other with respect to
their conceptualization in relation to their opposites. Scalar adjectives and
extreme adjectives have an antonymic relation to their opposites. Limit
adjectives, on the other hand, are absolute and divide some conceptual
domain in two distinct parts. A limit adjective stands in a relation of true
‘‘incompatibility’’ to its opposite element. For instance, something that is
true cannot be false, and vice versa. Cruse (1986) calls this type of lexical
opposition ‘‘complementary’’. He makes use of two diagnostic tests to
identify ‘‘complementary’’ adjective:
1. If we deny that one term applies to some situation, we effectively
commit ourselves to the applicability of the other term. For instance,
this is not true entails that this is false. A statement containing one
member of a complementary pair stands in a relation of contradiction
to a parallel statement containing the other term

2. Complementaries can also be diagnosed by the anomalous nature of a
sentence denying both terms: *this is neither true nor false (1986,
Paradis points out that pairs of opposites are not always from the same group
of adjectives. For example, a limit adjective can also form a pair with a
scalar adjective, e.g. sober as opposed to drunk. Another point is that limit
adjectives do not select scalar degree modifiers because of their ‘‘either-or’’
conceptualization, e.g. ?fairly dead, ?extremely true. However, they can
combine with ‘‘totality modifiers’’, e.g. perfectly true, completely dead,
almost possible, quite sufficient, since these modifiers are associated with
completeness. This fact explains why they harmonize with maximizers.
Also, limit adjectives can be approximated by almost. The reason for this is
again the existence of a limit that has to be transgressed in order for the
adjective to apply.
Paradis concludes that limit adjectives appear to be the least typically
gradable type of adjectives. They are not comparable, they do not exhibit
different degrees, they cannot be used in exclamatory expressions, but they
can be reinforced and attenuated with respect to the limit they are associated
with. The last point is that a great many limit adjectives are susceptible to
being laid out on the scale as well, very true, very possible, pretty sober.
They are, however, biased towards being limit adjectives, since scalar
readings of these adjectives have to be explicitly indicated by means of, for
example, degree modifiers. The section next directs its attention to this
question. It is now highly desirable to recapitulate all the abovementioned
points concerning the three types of gradable adjectives in the table below:

CATEGORIZATION Scalar adjectives extreme adjectives limit adjectives
e.g. big, small.. e.g. huge, minute.. e.g. dead, alive..
1.COMPARABILITY fully comparable their comparability not comparable
is arguable

2.HOW X IS IT? readily applicable not applicable not applicable

3.HOW X! readily applicable readily applicable not applicable

4.THE TYPE OF antonymy antonymy complementarity

5.CRITERIAL VS. evaluative- evaluative-attributive criterial in nature
6.BOUNDEDNESS unbounded bounded bounded

7.THE TYPE OF DEGREE scalar modifiers totality modifiers totality modifiers

Table 3-2 The Typology of Gradable Adjectives

3.5.Contextual Modulation
Paradis clearly demonstrates some awareness of the fact that adjectives can
not be rigidly categorized as either gradables or nongradables, or as
exclusively scalar, extreme or limit adjectives, because there is a great deal
of flexibility in the semantic make-up of adjectives, allowing for

modifications. Her analysis is based on the assumption that people
conceptualize a system of various types of gradability. This system is a
stable part of human cognitive apparatus. However, language users are not
tied down to the system. There is a great deal of freedom in how to use the
system. It is exactly this basic system in combination with the freedom of
use that makes language flexible and adaptable to all kinds of situations and
intentions. It makes possible for people to view the world in different ways
for different purposes.
Two types of semantic difference in adjectives have been discussed in
Section 3.3, namely, ‘‘polysemy’’ and ‘‘contextual modulation’’.
Polysemous adjectives have different meanings which are conventionalized.
Contextual modulation takes place within ‘‘monosemy’’, i.e. a contextually
modulated adjective may in a certain context take on a particular reading
which deviates from its established or biased meaning but does not
necessarily leave any permanent trace. Some adjectives have a very strong
bias towards one or the other reading, e.g. pictorial, sufficient, pleasant,
whereas others can take on more than one disguise, e.g. clear, certain, new,
and others again seem to be used for less conventional purposes. For
instance, out of context true will be interpreted in terms of ‘‘either-or’’
conception. However, given the right context, true can easily be coerced into
a scalar reading, for example by the addition of a degree modifier as in very
true. The presence of very in the context of true invalidates the limit reading
and promotes a scalar reading.
Paradis proceeds to point out that ‘‘contextual modulation’’ seems to be
more common in the direction from limit to scalar, e.g. sober >fairly sober,
clean >very clean, certain > very certain, possible > very possible. This is

natural, since it is probably easier to disregard existing limits than to create
ad hoc boundaries. Since ‘‘contextual modulation’’ takes place within one
meaning, it follows that ‘‘polysemy’’ and ‘‘contextual modulation’’ are not
mutually exclusive. An adjective can very well be both polysemous and
contextually modulated with respect to the feature of gradability. The case of
sober serves as a good example taken by Paradis. Sober is polysemous in the
following expressions: A sober man may mean either ‘‘somebody who is
not drunk’’ or ‘‘somebody who is serious and thoughtful’’. Sober thus
differs with respect to its ‘‘referential content’’. Also, there is a difference
with respect to the ‘‘relator’’ in the two interpretations of a sober man. The
first meaning ‘‘not drunk’’ can be spelled out as ‘‘X experiences sobriety’’.
Sober is then an adjective which is associated with a limit which can not be
transgressed. This sober is biased towards a limit reading. Nevertheless, it
can undergo ‘‘contextual modulation’’ and take on a scalar reading as in
‘‘The next day they were all rather sober’’. By the addition of rather the
adjective is coerced into a scalar reading. The second meaning of sober, i.e.
‘‘X possesses a tendency towards seriousness’’, meaning ‘‘X is serious and
thoughtful’’, is an inherently scalar adjective which can undergo comparison
and be modified by scalar degree modifiers. This means that the phrase ‘‘a
very sober man’’ is ambiguous between the meaning ‘‘vey thoughtful’ and a
jocular, scalar reading of the ‘‘not drunk’’ meaning of sober which might be
interpreted as the opposite ‘‘vey drunk’’.
This possibility of modulation without altering the meaning proper of the
adjective is particularly common in spoken language. It reveals that there is
a continuum between ‘‘complementarity’’ and ‘‘contrariety’’ in language
use (Cruse 1986). The concepts of ‘‘complementarity’’ and ‘‘contrariety’’

themselves are clear-cut and in no way fuzzy, but there is a potential for
English speakers to expand the expressiveness of language by exploiting the
system rather than being constrained by it, and this potential has infinite
possibilities in its wake. As it has already been pointed out there seems to be
a general tendency towards shifts in the direction of scalar interpretations,
that is, it is more common for limit adjectives very true, extreme adjectives
rather disastrous, and also nongradables terribly Swedish to get a scalar
reading than for scalar adjectives to get a nonscalar reading.

3.6.Paradis’ Model of Semantic Bidirectionalality
Bearing in mind the previous points concerning the classification of degree
modifiers and the typology of gradable adjectives, Paradis (1994, 1997,
2000a, 2001, 2008) presents a model of ‘‘semantic bidirectionality’’ to
account for why certain types of adjectives harmonize with ‘‘scalar
modifiers’’ and others with ‘‘totality modifiers’’.
However, she explicitly acknowledges the fact that many adjectives can
combine both with ‘‘totality modifiers’’ and ‘‘scalar modifiers’’, e.g.
absolutely/very certain, absolutely/very true, fairly/perfectly good. These
examples show that the adjectives have a potential of being conceived of
either in terms of a scale, or in terms of a point or a limit. Although many
adjectives appear to be flexible with respect to their type of gradability, i.e.
‘‘bounded’’ or ‘‘unbounded’’, Paradis assumes that most adjectives have a
more or less clearly biased interpretation with respect to gradability. When
an adjective is not modified by degree modifier, it is naturally conceived of
in its biased reading. For instance, in a restricted context such as I am
certain, certain is clearly to be interpreted as ‘‘not uncertain’’. This

conceptualization is confirmed in combination with ‘‘totality modifiers’’,
such as absolutely certain and almost certain, but in combination with
‘‘scalar degree modifiers’’, such as very certain and fairly certain, a scalar
interpretation is drawn out. In the case of scalar interpretation, which is not
the biased interpretation, this state of affair has to be explicitly expressed,
for example, by means of a ‘‘scalar degree modifier’’. From this follows the
importance of degree modifiers in determining the interpretation of the
adjective. The relationship between the adjective and its degree modifier is
illustrated in the Figure 3-6.


(degree modifier) adjective

restricts the interpretation

Figure 3-6 The bidirectionality of semantic pressure between degree modifiers and adjectives

The Figure shows how both the adjective and the degree modifier exert
semantic pressure on one another. The pressure is provided by the
availability of a gradable feature in the adjective which can be identified by
the degree modifier. The modifier in turn restricts the interpretation of the
adjective, i.e. what type of gradability it maps onto. Thus, the adjective
selects a degree modifier which in turn constrains the conceptualization of

the gradability of the adjective definitively. So, the type of gradability is
decisive for the choice of degree modifiers. The most important feature
regarding the selection of the type of degree modifier is whether the
adjective is conceptualized in terms of an unbounded range, a point or a
Scalar adjectives which are conceptualized as a range on a scale select scalar
degree modifiers, e.g. very, fairly, slightly, etc. Limit adjectives are
associated with a limit and they select totality modifiers, e.g. totally,
absolutely, almost, etc. Limit adjectives are not associated with a scale but
rather conceptualized in terms of ‘‘either-or’’. Extreme adjectives are much
more indeterminate in relation to gradability than scalar adjectives and limit
adjectives. They could be said to represent a mix between scalar and limit
adjectives. They are similar to scalar adjectives in that they are
conceptualized according to a scale, but they differ in that they do not
represent a range of a scale, but rather an ultimate point. Extreme adjectives
are similar to limit adjectives in that they do not represent a range, but they
differ in that they are not associated with a limit of criteria nature. Extreme
adjectives are not conceptualized in terms of ‘‘more-or-less’’ nor in ‘‘either-
or’’, but rather have trait of both. In contrast to scalar and limit adjectives,
extreme adjectives prefer degree modifiers which indicate an ultimate point
either in terms of totality, preferably absolutely, utterly, quite (maximizers),
and the scalar indicator of superlativity such as most. Attenuation is
generally odd with extreme adjectives.
Paradis puts emphasis on the fact that there is a cline of gradability from
typical gradable adjectives (scalar adjectives) to the least typical gradable
adjectives (limit adjectives), which border on nongradability. The only

qualification for their inclusion in the category of gradables is the fact that
limit adjectives can take degree modifiers, which is unusual with
nongradables. At this point it should be clear that Paradis attaches too much
significance to the notion of ‘‘boundedness’’ which is located in the domain
of gradability. It is according to this notion she classifies the degree
modifiers and the adjectives they apply to, and she uses it as a basis to
establish their harmonization in this way:
Bounded degree modifier – Bounded adjective
Unbounded degree modifier – Unbounded adjective
Infelicities in combination like ?very identical or ?fairly dead can be
explicable in two ways:
1. There is a mismatch between the types of gradability of the participating
items, i.e. Unbounded combined with Bounded
2. It is a matter of ‘’contextual modulation’’ in which the adjective is
coerced into an Unbounded scalar reading.

3.7. Methodological Consideration
It should be mentioned that the notion of ‘‘boundedness’’ does appeal to the
present study since its usefulness is rather unlimited. On the one hand, it can
be employed, as has been done by Paradis, to form a basis for
conceptualizing the grading function of degree modifiers, that is, whether
the degree modifier grades the adjectival quality in terms of ‘‘either-or’’
(bounded) , or in terms of ‘‘more-or-less’’ (unbounded). Therefore, this
study aims at applying the same principle for Quirkian scalar system
presented in Section 3.2.1 and dividing the six functional categories into

‘‘totality’’ modifiers and ‘‘scalarity’’ modifiers. Accordingly, the grading
functions of ‘‘maximizers’’ and ‘‘approximators’’ are conceptualized in
term of ‘‘totality’’, i.e. (either-or) conception. While the grading functions of
‘‘booster’’, ‘‘compromizers’’, ‘‘diminishers’’ and ‘‘minimizers’’ are
conceptualized in terms of ‘‘scalarity’’, i.e. (more-or-less) conception. It is
clear that both among the scalar degree modifiers and the totality modifiers
there are those that amplify and those that downtone certain gradable feature
of the adjectives they apply to (see Figure 3-7)

Degree Modifiers

totality modifiers scalarity modifiers

amplifier downtoner amplifier downtoner

maximizer approximator booster
completely almost very
compromizer diminisher minimizer
rather slightly hardly

Figure 3-7 The division of Quirkian scalar categories according to ‘‘boundedness’’

On the other hand, the notion of ‘‘boundedness’’ has been proved useful in
identifying the type of gradability in adjectives. As it has been shown,
Paradis exploits this notion, in addition to the type of oppositeness involved,
to distinguish three types of gradable adjectives, namely, scalar adjectives,
limit adjectives and extreme adjectives. Consequently, the present study can
safely put gradable adjectives in the same frame of conceptualization, i.e.

‘‘bounded’’ versus ‘‘unbounded’’, and adopt Paradis’ typology and
classification of gradable adjectives. Besides, it assumes that the model of
‘‘semantic bidirectionality’’ and the principle of ‘‘boundedness’’ presented
here are applicable, at the highest level, for all adverb-adjective
combinations in which the adverb, inherently or by implication, is capable of
evoking an intensifying meaning.
In the subsequent chapters an attempt will be made to distinguish between
adverbs which are particularly utilized for the purpose of degree
modification in the context of adverb-adjective collocation, and those which
are used to, in addition to degree modification, fulfil other functions. What is
required for this purpose is to devise a semantic set of categories which can
distinguish those adverbs with purely intensifying function from those which
have an additional meaning .In order to identify the force of intensification,
Quirkian scalar system is adopted. In the same way, to account for the
combinatorial aspects such as restrictions and preferences, the present study
resorts to the principle of ‘‘boundedness’’ and the model of ‘‘semantic

The Semantic Category


Chapter Four
The Semantic Category ‘‘Degree’’

4.0. Introduction
In chapter three degree modifiers have been treated as a functional category
having its own members. It has also been clearly stated that there are two
conditions that have to be satisfied if any adverb is to be considered as a
degree modifier, which are: (a) filling the syntactic slot preceding an
adjective; and (b) semantically modifying the degree of the adjective it
applies to. Degree modifiers are thus semantically licensed to occur in a
certain syntactic position. This can be interpreted as a ‘‘semantic-syntactic
licensing mechanism’’ (Paradis 1994).
To take the view that degree modifiers belong to the sphere of lexis is in a
questionable state. In his treatment of degree words, Bolinger seems to
recognize that the lexical status of intensifiers (or degree modifiers) is not so
straightforward when he points out that although most degree modifiers are
lexical, some of them are ‘‘relatively grammaticized’’ (1972, 22), or even
completely grammaticalized as seems to be suggested in his comments on
very: ‘‘if there are function words, very is surely one of them’’ (1972, 18).
The position of degree modifiers between grammar and lexis is explicitly
admitted by Lorenz (1999, 2002) who defines them as a
‘‘lexicogrammatical’’ category. The present study has good reasons for
implementing the same position and putting it into practice. It is noticeable
that degree modification can be realized by closed-class adverbs such as
very, too, so, etc. that simply carry grammatical meaning and their functions

as degree modifiers have long been established in grammar books. Similarly,
it can also be realized by open-class adverbs like enormously, mildly,
undoubtedly, etc. that carry semantic or conceptual meaning and their degree
reading can be interpreted as either being contextually motivated or being
the result of grammaticalization process.
The present study goes beyond the question of degree modification and
expands the scope of its analysis so that other aspects of adverb-adjective
combinations will be covered. Being inspired by scholars like: Lorenz
(1999, 2002), Greenbaum(1969), Johansson (1993) and Quirk et al. (1985),
this study aims to present a semantic classification of adverbs that co-occur
with adjectives. This classification is based on the assumption that the
richness of the conceptual meaning and the semantic character of adverbs
determine their function in their combination with adjectives. Accordingly,
an adverb that is semantically weak can not contribute to the meaning of the
adjective it applies to, and thus it does no more than modifying the degree of
certain gradable feature of a quality present in the adjective. While a
semantically rich adverb can, in addition to degree modification, fulfil other
functions such as: value judgement, truth attesting, etc.
It should be noted that the semantic classification is not to be taken in a way
that the study only attaches semantic labels to adverbs that co-occur with
adjectives without specifying to what effect the modification is made, that is,
if the effect is degree modification, as predominantly it is, by what capacity
adverbs of manner, sentential adverbs, etc, given the right context, are able
to achieve it. So, devising a semantic set of categories is to be understood as
a way to illustrate by what capacities adverbs can function as degree
modifiers. Having established this, the combinatorial aspects of adverb-

adjective collocations will be easy to elucidate in terms of the ‘‘semantic
bidirectionality’’ model and the principle of ‘‘boundedness’’ mentioned in
chapter three. Another aim of the semantic classification, which is in the
same line with Lorenz, is to distinguish adverbs with purely scalar function
from those which have a meaning of ‘‘scalar plus X’’ (1999, 94). As it has
been stated earlier, the Quirkian scalar system will be used to depict the
force of intensification.
The first category to be distinguished and isolated for a detailed
investigation in this chapter is labelled ‘‘degree’’ category. The adverbs
assigned to this semantic field have no function other than that of selecting
the degree to which the adjective is foregrounded, i.e. scalar function or
more particularly degree modification. The first part of the chapter examines
the nature and significance of adverbs under the semantic field of ‘‘degree’’.
It is interesting to note that the adverbs that are semantically weak are the
adverbs that have, more or less, undergone the process of
grammaticalization. As a result, their lexical denotations are semantically
diluted in favour of the development of a grammatical meaning as they are
more often used to serve grammatical functions. It is precisely the
intermediate position between lexis and grammar that turns ‘‘degree’’
adverbs into a very interesting category to study from the point of view of
grammaticalization. Hence, the second part of the chapter deals with the
process of grammaticalization and semantic change with respect to
‘‘degree’’ adverbs. The final part of the chapter concerns itself with a
distinction drawn between open-class ‘‘degree’’ adverbs and closed-class
‘‘degree’’ adverbs. With a particular reference to the points mentioned in

chapter three, a separate section is given to a discussion of each one of these
in detail.

4.1. ‘‘Degree’’ Adverbs
The semantic field of ‘‘degree’’ covers a large number of adverbs like: very,
too, almost, so, rather, completely, entirely, extremely, absolutely, slightly,
etc. that are semantically associated with the notion of ‘‘degree’’. The
adverbs assigned to this group are inherently scalar items. They have the
effect of intensifying the adjectives they modify. They are used to give
specifications of degree. They can successfully pass the criteria established
so far to diagnose the membership in the category of degree modifiers.
Therefore, they are intrinsically degree modifiers. As degree modification is
the only purpose the adverbs under the category of ‘‘degree’’ are used for,
directing attention to the nature and significance of degree modification is
found to be useful in characterizing and identifying the function of
‘‘degree’’ adverbs.
It has already been pointed out that degree modifiers are characterized as
being subjective, versatile and capable of passing in and out of fashion. To
elaborate on the subjectivity of degree modifiers, it can be said that they are
emphatic by nature and their being emphatic conveys a great deal about the
speaker’s or writer’s point of view, i.e. the importance and personal
involvement they assign to value judgements and their own propositions.
Through intensification the speakers or writers can tell that what is being
said is sincerely vouched for (Partington 1993). So it is especially important
to accurate communication of meaning. Intensification satisfies a basic
human need to emphasize. People rely on intensification to underline the

meaning of their statements since there is a fear that the full impact of what
is being said might not be comprehended by the listeners/readers (Benzinger
Lorenz (1999) points out that intensification expresses an ‘‘interpersonal’’
message in what might otherwise be taken to be a purely ‘‘ideational’’
statement. He definitely makes use of Halliday’s (1985) distinction between
‘‘ideational’’ meaning and ‘‘interpersonal’’ meaning. According to Lorenz,
intensification is ‘‘interpersonal’’ in the sense that it can be used to establish
a link between speakers and listeners or writers and readers, and by which
the subjectivity and personal commitment can be detected. ‘‘Degree’’
adverbs are frequently used as vehicles for emotion, emotion which the
speaker or the writer feels at the moment and emotion which can be elicited
from the listener or reader. Under the influence of certain feelings and
emotions, one searches for suitable words to communicate his /her feelings
and often settles on words which may be more accurate than a simple
description of the situation would demand. Thus, in addition to adding
emphasis, ‘‘degree’’ adverbs can be used to bring about precision.
Besides, a sociolinguistic and stylistic dimension of degree modification has
been recognized by scholars like Benzinger (1971), Lorenz (1999), Ito &
Tagliamonte (2003), to mention just a few. Lorenz points out that ‘‘degree’’
adverbs can be used as ‘‘shibboleths’’, i.e. as linguistic clues to the identity
and group membership of the speaker. This is particularly apparent in the
language of ‘‘yoof’’: every generation of teenagers creates its own set of
expressions like ab fab (absolutely fabulous), bloody brill (brilliant), etc.
And just as these expressions are noted by outsiders and begin to be adopted
on a wider scale, they are ‘‘out’’ and obsolete in their in-group function.

Crudely speaking, such items either disappear or become mainstream usage
(1999, 25).
Closely relevant to this point, Benzinger (1971) recognizes the stylistic
nature of ‘‘degree’’ adverbs in their employment by writers as a stylistic
technique for achieving artistic effects in literature. For instance, they can be
used for:
1. delineating characters in the stories
2. achieving irony through their effective manipulation by writers
3. creating tone, e.g. being innovative, fresh, novel or conservative,
serious, etc.
4. signalling social status
5. indicating intelligence, education and sophistication of the speakers,
e.g. the more sophisticated a speaker, the greater the variety among
the degree modifiers which do appear, while the less sophisticated
speaker restricts himself/herself to a very limited range of degree
In her attempt to examine the diachronical status of ‘‘degree’’ adverbs,
Benzinger realizes that a great number of traditional grammar books which
set themselves up as arbiters of style almost unanimously recommend
against the use of ‘‘degree’’ adverbs. What is worth noting, however, is the
great variety of reasons given for avoiding their use. The most common
among them is the assertion that ‘‘degree’’ adverbs have been so
overworked that they have become virtually colourless and meaningless.
The words that have been commonly employed as ‘‘degree’’ adverbs (or
degree modifiers) nowadays have long been lexical items and functioning

lexically for a long time. Due to their widespread popularity and excessive
use by the speakers of the language, they begin to lose their lexical meaning
and become functioning as grammatical items rather than lexical items. This
is said to be the result of the process of grammaticalization which will be the
topic of the Section next.
That there are so many variants of ‘‘degree’’ adverbs which indicate the
same degree and that the variants are not interchangeable in their application
are generally agreed upon and can not be gainsaid. This is actually in favour
of the fact that ‘‘degree’’ adverbs are not lexically empty. Even if they have
lost much of their original meaning and force, the choice of one over the
other, which is highly a matter of individual preference, makes a definite
deference in meaning.
To sum up, the very essence of what is being said so far concerning the
functions and characteristic features attributed to the adverbs under the
semantic category of ‘‘degree’’ can be encapsulated in the following points:
1. They are markers of subjectivity.
2. They are intrinsically associated with the semantic notion of
3. They are grammaticalized and being so, they are semantically weak,
a. they can not contribute to the meaning of the adjective they
apply to;
b. they are narrowly restricted to the function of degree
modification and

c. they develop a grammatical meaning and they function
4. They pass in and out of fashion, i.e. they are short lived and quickly
grow stale.
5. They are not lexically empty.
6. They add emphasis.
7. They bring about precision.
8. They can be used as markers of group membership.
9. They can be used as stylistic devices to accomplish artistic purposes.

4.2. Grammaticalization of ‘‘Degree’’ Adverbs
The phenomenon of grammaticalization has recently been studied under two
headings, namely ‘‘grammaticalization’’ and ‘‘delexicalization’’. The two
terms signify one and the same concept as seen from two reciprocal angles -
one from the point of view of a functional gain, and one from that of a
conceptual loss (Lorenz 1999). According to Partington, delexicalization can
be defined as ‘‘the reduction of the independent lexical content of a word, or
a group of words, so that it comes to fulfil a practical function but has no
meaning apart from this to contribute to the phrase in which it occurs’’
(1993, 183).
If there is something that has come under attack in grammaticalization
studies, it is the existence of water-tight distinction between lexical and
grammatical words. ‘‘Degree’’ adverbs, with their intermediate position
between lexis and grammar, can be said to be a good illustration of the early
stages of grammaticalization process (Mendez-Naya 2003).

It has been pointed out by Benzinger that many degree modifiers begin as
lexical items, i.e. adjectives or adverbs referring to particular qualities. They
are first used in the full sense of their lexical meanings. For example, awful
was originally used in the sense of ‘‘awe inspiring’’, a terrible object was
one which evoked terror (1971, 53). However, frequent use of strong
adjectives makes them too familiar to be effective, so a pattern becomes
evident in their development, a pattern in which they progressively weaken
in meaning as they are reduced to ‘‘degree’’ adverbs. These adjectives come
to be used more and more frequently in combination with other powerful
adjectives in order to gain force.
Benzinger (1971) exemplify the situation hypothetically as she presumes
that a writer might describe his/her monster not merely as an awful monster,
but as an awful, grotesque monster (1971, 54). Then, it is reasonable to
conjecture that the next step in weakening of the adjective might be the
omission, in speech, of the intonation terminal and, in writing, of the comma
that represents it, so that awful seems to modify grotesque rather than
monster, and one writes about an awful grotesque monster. In the final step,
the adjective loses its adjectival force along with its original connotation and
picks up an –ly adverbial ending. It becomes a ‘‘degree’ adverb, that is, a
degree modifier whose primary function is simply to intensify the force of
the adjectival elements which follow it. it loses its unique lexical meaning
and takes on the function of modifying the degree of the quality expressed in
the word following. As ‘‘degree’’ adverbs weaken in force, they no longer
fulfil their original purpose, and speakers and writers turn to newer and
fresher ‘‘degree’’ adverbs, adverbs which are more effective because they
are less familiar. However, frequent use destroys the novelty of fresh

‘‘degree’’ adverbs, and as they eventually weaken, they need the support of
still other fresh ‘‘degree’’ adverbs which will themselves eventually weaken
and be replaced.
What Benzinger explains in her example can be understood as a shift from
fully lexical to fully grammatical. Accordingly, an item is said to be fully
grammaticalized if it passes all the stages of grammaticalization. This is
obviously evident in the case of very. Regrettably, the division of degree
modifiers into two groups: fully lexical and fully grammatical does not work
here. As has been admitted by Bolinger, there is a gradient from
grammaticalized to ungrammaticalized so that ‘‘the escape hatch of
relativity has to be left open because some of the relatively grammaticized
are more grammaticized than others, and the same is true of the relatively
ungrammaticized’’ (1972, 59). Thus, it is practically possible to assume that
there is a cline between fully lexical to fully grammatical and the degree
modifiers can be found at various points along the cline.
It should be noted that semantic change, but not necessarily semantic loss, is
the prerequisite to grammaticalization and the cause of other processes of
grammaticalization. That is, it triggers other changes to take place in
association with grammaticalization. For instance, Lehmann (1985, 309)
calls attention to the fact that during grammaticalization process the scope of
the grammaticalizing item is reduced, that is, the element undergoing the
change tends to combine with less and less complex constituents. This loss
in scope is what Lehmann terms ‘‘condensation’’. Growing condensation is
a characteristic of the development of ‘‘degree’’ adverbs; adverbs like
terribly or very were once ‘‘adjuncts’’ of manner, and had the whole
predication in their scope, when they are used as degree modifiers, they

merely modify adjectives or adverbs at a phrase level. Their scope thus
being greatly reduced.
Concomitant with this loss of scope, the grammaticalizing element loses
mobility, that is, it can no longer be shifted around freely, but occupies a
fixed slot. This has been named ‘‘fixation’’ in Lehmann’s terminology. The
close association between premodifier position and the function of degree
modification has been suggested by Bolinger in connection with the adverb
truly. Truly can occur in virtually any position in the sentence, as in (1) –
(5), but ‘‘the closer it comes to the normal position of a premodifier of the
adjective, the more readily it is taken to be an intensifier’’ (1972, 94).
Therefore, only (4) can it be said to qualify as such:
(1) Truly, he is a foolish person.
(2) He truly is a foolish person.
(3) He is truly a foolish person.
(4) He is a truly foolish person.
(5) He is a foolish person, truly.
While in some cases semantic weakening or semantic bleaching can have a
sufficient explanatory power to illustrate the grammaticalization of certain
‘‘degree’’ adverbs, in many cases a more precise and comprehensive model
of grammaticalization is required. In this regard it is note worthy that ‘‘loss-
and-gain’’ model introduced by Sweetser (1988) is of a great descriptive
value. It emphasizes the fact that grammaticalization involves not only
‘‘loss’’ but also ‘‘gain’’. It is assumed that this model is applicable at the
highest level to grammaticalization of degree modifiers in general.

Lorenz points out that degree modification rests on the speaker’s search for
‘‘novelty’’ and ‘‘expressivity’’. Besides, it is a matter of personal choice
‘‘how we evaluate the fact that a referent possesses a certain quality to a
certain degree’’ (2002, 150). Given that degree modifiers are chiefly linked
with novelty and expressivity, it comes as no surprise that adverbs that are
commonly recognized as qualitative adverbs like: enormously, deeply,
heartily, surprisingly, terribly, etc. have a great emotive force in their
realization of degree modification. These adverbs undergo a semantic
change which is of a metaphorical nature, from concrete to abstract
(Mendez-Naya 2003). Due to this semantic change, the items become
polysemous, that is, the original qualitative meaning coexists with the new
degree meaning (gain), which is at the beginning largely contextual. In the
course of time, however, the degree meaning may become independent of
the linguistic context and it is at this stage the original lexical meaning of the
item is said to be bleached out (loss).
The points made so far serve to bring to light the acquisition and
development of degree reading across all the semantic categories that can be
found in this study. The next section divides the adverbs under the category
of ‘‘degree’’ into two morphological classes, namely ‘‘closed-class’’ and

4.3. A Morphological Classification of ‘‘Degree’’ Adverbs
Viewing adverbs from a morphological perspective, Quirk et al. (1985, 73)
point out that ‘‘the class of adverbs is notoriously heterogeneous, and may
be separated into an open class consisting of adverbs with an adjectival base
(especially those, like completely, which have an –ly suffix), and a closed

class including adverbs such as here, there, now, etc.’’. This distinction is
usually found in grammar books particularly when it comes to the discussion
of word classes (cf. Quirk et al. 1985; Akmajian et al. 1995; Biber, Conrad
and Leech 2002). It is usually discussed in association with similar
dichotomies like ‘‘lexical’’ vs. ‘‘grammatical’’ or ‘‘content’’ vs. ‘‘function’’
words. It has commonly been taken for granted that the membership of
open-class is indefinitely large, and can be readily extended by the user of
the language. In other words, open-class is a word class that accepts the
addition of new members through morphological processes such as
compounding, derivation, inflection, coinage, borrowing, etc. In addition,
words in open-class are said to be lexical or content words that carry
conceptual meaning. Closed-class words, on the other hand, are always
relatively few and resistant to change. They are unproductively and
generally invariable in form. Similarly, closed-class words are said to be
grammatical or function words which carry purely grammatical information.
Relying entirely on the productivity of the –ly morpheme, the present study
accepts the validity of ‘‘closed-class’’ vs. ‘‘open-class’’ dichotomy, and
aims to put it into practice with respect to the morphological consideration
of ‘‘degree’’ adverbs. What seems to be in a dubious state, as it has been
indicated earlier, is the existence of a clear-cut boundary between ‘‘lexical’’
and ‘‘grammatical’’ words. It makes more sense to talk about a cline
between the two extremes of the scale, i.e. ‘‘fully lexical’’ and ‘‘fully
In the light of what has been said so far, a moment’s reflection is enough to
recognize two groups among the members of the semantic category of
‘‘degree’’. On the one hand, there are a limited number of unsuffixed,

closed-class adverbs that are heavily restricted to the function of degree
modification in the context of adverb-adjective collocation, such as: very,
too, so, quite, rather, and the rest. On the other hand, there exists a
surprisingly unspecified number of –ly adverbs that are semantically
associated with the notion of degree and they function accordingly, such as:
absolutely, extremely, fairly, slightly, hardly, etc. They are open-class
adverbs in the sense that new elements can be added. Thus, a speaker of
English may well encounter dozens of new –ly amplifiers or downtoners
during the coming years; but it is extremely unlikely that the English
language will acquire a new closed-class item (or lose a current one) in the
coming years or even in the speaker’s lifetime.

4.4. Closed-class ‘Degree’ Adverbs: A Miscellaneous Collection
Closed-class ‘‘degree’’ adverbs are by definition a finite, non-productive set.
Their intensifying function has long been identified. They are the outcome
of the delexicalization process, therefore, they are semantically bleached. It
should be mentioned that the closed-class items included in this chapter do
not constitute an exhaustive list (see Figure 4-1). They include, however, all
those that are commonly used by language users. Attention is given to the
actual combination of the adjectives and closed-class ‘‘degree’’ adverbs in
the data under study. The combinations are investigated to further test the
predictability of the model of the relationship between the modifiers and
their heads.


Closed-class ‘‘degree’’ adverbs

Totality Scalarity

Amplifier Downtoner Amplifier Downtoner

Maximizer Approximator Booster Compromizer Diminisher
e.g. e.g. e.g. e.g. e.g.

Figure 4-1 The closed-class ‘‘degree’’ members

4.4.1. Very and Much
Very is a booster par excellence. It is highly versatile in its collocability and
combines almost freely with adjectives - to such an extent that Quirk et al.
(1985) exploit this combinability as a constitutive test for adjectives.
Furthermore, it is the most grammaticalized and the most lexically bleached
of all boosters. To use Granger’s terminology (1998), very is found as an
‘‘all-round’’ or ‘‘safe bet’’ amplifier. Therefore, it is not surprising that it
occurs with all kinds of scalar adjectives, e.g. rich, sad, good, short, hot,
sick, old, wide, etc. It also combines with limit adjectives which are
modulated to scalar ones by very, e.g. satisfactory, different, true, clear,

Almost Quite

inadequate, etc. Consider the following citations drawn from the CCD’s
(6) They will find it a very different business.
(7) I think it is very clear of the purpose.
(8) ...I felt very inadequate academically.
Very can combine with extreme adjectives or strong scalar adjectives like:
vivid, frightening, frustrated, sophisticated, vigorous, etc. However, very is
most frequent with common scalar adjectives in the data under
consideration. It has been commonly utilized as a good example to illustrate
the case of complete grammaticalization. It has over time lost its original
semantic component of truth-affirmation and has become entirely reduced to
amplify the meaning of its focus (Stoffel 1901; Benzinger 1971; Paradis
1997; Lorenz 1999).
Much is another booster which is most noted for its combinability with
participial adjectives, e.g. impressed, amused, obliged, beloved, neglected,
indebted, aggrieved. It is also found with comparatives like: much better,
much worse. Furthermore, much can combine with other closed-class
‘‘degree’’ adverbs to form combinations like very much, so much, pretty
much, too much. Lorenz (1999) points out that in these cases, the
intensifying force lies mainly within the first element, and much is appended
for this association with –ed adjectives. To verify this point, Lorenz has
quoted Bolinger (1972, 44) stating that ‘‘The important frontier between
much and very occurs within past participles... Essentially very is not used
until the participle has attained lexical status as an adjective’’.


4.4.2. Quite between Maximizing and Compromising Function.
The situation is slightly different in the case of quite as compared to most
other ‘‘degree’’ adverbs, since quite is polysemous between two different
degree readings, i.e. maximizing and compromising reading. Like other
degree modifiers, quite has diachronically undergone the process of
grammaticalization from proper content word to lexically bleached word of
a more fundamental character (Benzinger 1971). The fact that it is lexically
bleached makes it vague, context dependant and semantically flexible. Its
semantic flexibility is revealed by its disposition to occur in more than one
paradigm. Its interpretation is highly sensitive to contextual factors.
As one examines the list of the adjectives collocating with quite in the OCD,
it becomes increasingly obvious that they are of different types of
gradability. Quite can combine with all kinds of scalar adjectives, e.g.
strong, large, rich, easy, boring, warm, etc. It also co-occurs with limit
adjectives, e.g. possible, full, safe, right, sufficient, dead, etc. However, there
are also extreme adjectives like: outstanding, horrific, splendid, spectacular,
astonished, fascinating, etc. Following Paradis (1994, 1997), the present
study assumes that if the adjective is an extreme adjective or a limit
adjective, the predication is that quite tends to be interpreted as a maximizer.
On the contrary, if the adjective is a scalar adjective then quite is to be
interpreted as a compromizer. Consider the following citations drawn from
the CCD’s wordbank:
(9) I think it will be quite nice.
(10) I am quite sure he will come.

In (9), quite selects a scalar feature in nice and it is this selection of a scalar
feature which yields the compromizer interpretation ‘‘to a moderate
degree’’. While in (10), quite selects a limit feature which yields a
maximizing interpretation ‘‘completely’’. However, there is always a
possibility of contextual modulation in favour of both interpretation. To put
it slightly differently, the maximizing quite sometimes restricts the
interpretation of a scalar adjective to a limit reading to create a successful
match, e.g. quite cool; or the compromising quite sometimes modulates the
interpretation of a limit adjective to a scalar reading, e.g. quite certain.
The cases which proved most difficult to determine are those concerning
basically limit adjectives without a strong bias, e.g. clear, different,
satisfying, sure, etc. and extreme adjectives, e.g. ludicrous, lovely, beautiful,
delicious, etc. which dwell in the borderland between scalarity and
absoluteness, i.e. they do not have a strong bias. To return to (10), it is
reasonably clear that sure is potentially ambiguous between limit
interpretation and a scalar interpretation, so is quite. Such constellation have
to be disambiguated by contextual clues. If quite is replaced by pretty in the
same expression (I am pretty sure), pretty, which is a clear-cut compromizer,
can only identify the scalar feature of sure; the opposite is true if quite is
replaced by absolutely (I am absolutely sure) which is a clear-cut
maximizing word allowing only the limit feature of sure to be activated.
Thus, contextual factors are crucial for the interpretation of quite as either a
maximizer or a compromizer.
4.4.3. Most, So and Indeed
Most has been described as a ‘‘superlative’’ booster by Paradis (1997,
2000a). This is revealed in the type of adjectives it combines with in the

OCD. Most indicates the highest degree of scalar adjectives, such as most
important, most interesting, most amazing, most intriguing, etc. It differs
from other boosters in that there are notably many extreme adjectives in
combination with it, e.g. wonderful, fascinating, excellent, amazing,
delightful, undignified, etc. In actual fact, most seems to prefer adjectives
characterized by strong evaluative features. It does not combine with typical
scalar adjectives such as good, long, slow, etc. In this respect there is a
marked difference between most and other boosters, which can be explained
by the superlativity of most itself. There is also an example of an adjective
for which a limit reading is possible but which in combination with most
gets a scalar reading and a high position on the scale. This adjective is
So is apparently another booster which has long been classified as a closed-
class item. The fact that so is given no entry in the OCD reveals that there is
no strong collocational preference between so and any other adjective. This
gives a sufficient indication that language users use so as an all-pervasive
emphatic item. Like very, so can combine indiscriminately with all the three
types of gradable adjectives in the CCD’s wordbank. It is found with limit
adjectives, e.g. full, certain, true, impossible, right, inadequate, etc. extreme
adjectives, e.g. wonderful, fabulous, dismal, fascinating, frightening,
exciting, etc. and most frequently with common scalar adjectives, e.g. good,
big, long, simple, different, busy, etc.
The emphatic item indeed has a degree modification function in uses such


(11) He was indeed fortunate in his friends. (OCD)
(12) Fish is indeed good for the brain. (CCD)
This is, however, merely a marginal function; indeed normally acts as a
clause-level emphasizer (Quirk et al 1985) and is only of interest here when
focusing on an adjective, i.e. where the adjective is the syntactic focus of the
proposition. The marginal character of degree modifying indeed is reflected
by the fact that it is only found in two instances in the CCD’s wordbank
(indeed good and indeed safe), one in the OCD (indeed fortunate) and one
more in the MED (indeed genuine). From this, it should be clear that indeed
as a degree modifier can combine both with scalar adjectives and limit

4.4.4. Too and Well
When modifying an adjective, too certainly does scale a quality upwards,
provided that it is not negated. English speakers would probably agree that
too good is ‘‘better’’ than unmarked good and too bad is ‘‘worse’’ than an
average bad. In this boosting function, and in its virtually unrestricted
collocability, it resembles very, the booster par excellence.
In the CCD’s wordbank too is found in combination with limit adjectives,
e.g. full, true, right, obvious, normal, etc. as well as extreme adjectives, e.g.
tender-hearted, terrified, attractive, scared, outspoken, numerous, etc.. But
most frequently too combine with scalar adjectives, e.g. old, hot, easy, bad,
clever, high, etc. Lorenz points out that too is different from any of the other
closed-class ‘‘degree’’ adverbs in that it adds the component of ‘‘excess’’,
which might be glossed as ‘‘more so than is acceptable’’ (1997, 71). In other
words, it introduces an element of judgement, the basis of which is not

inherent, or in any way fixed, but ultimately at the speaker’s discretion. Too
is of a particular interest in that apart from intensifying function, it serves to
make ‘‘speaker stance’’ especially explicit. However, from the point of view
of collocation, too offers little interest since, like other closed-class
‘‘degree’’ adverbs, it can be used as an ‘‘all-round’’ or ‘‘safe bet’’ item with
no particular collocational preference.
Turning now to the case of well. The fact that the CCD lists no less than 39
different senses (adverbial, nominal, verbal and adjectival) of the word form
well reveals its high versatility to occur independently. In addition, well also
acts as a productive bound morpheme in word-formation. In the following
contexts, it is clearly a ‘‘degree’’ adverb, not dissimilar in meaning to fully,
very or perfectly:
(13) Well able to stand the rough and tumble (CCD)
(14) Well aware of ... (CCD)
(15) Well worth looking for (CCD)
Obviously these are well-known collocations. However, well also tends to
combine with verb participles to form compound adjectives, e.g. well-
qualified, well-informed, well-motivated, etc. The OCD lists 31 separate
such compounds, which for the matter at hand must be ruled out from the
data. As it has been pointed out by Lorenz, it is regrettable that the presence
or absence of hyphenation cannot serve as a reliable criterion. Lorenz also
clarifies the semantic complexity of the word form well by quoting Bolinger
(1972, 29) saying that ‘‘well is semantically complex. It combines the
features of ‘approval’ and ‘fulfilment’ in ways that defy separation of the
two’’. Then following Lorenz and Bolinger, it may safely be stated that

‘‘well + Ved’’ leans more towards ‘‘approval’’ and is not so much an
instance of degree modification, but more an assertion of ‘‘manner’’ : a well-
organized trip is the one that merits praise for the good way in which it was
organized, and a person who is well-educated or well-behaved is someone
who displays good education and behaviour. Therefore, ‘‘Well +
Ved(Ving)’’ pattern has been omitted from the data, as it is more plausibly
regarded as productive adjective composition than degree modification.

4.4.5. Rather and Pretty
Rather is a compromizer which obviously serves to moderate the quality
denoted by the adjective in question. It has the hedging function and reveals
a negotiable speaker-attitude towards the relevant degree (Paradis 1994,
1997, 2000a). Rather primarily combines with typical scalar adjectives in
the OCD, e.g. hot, sad, sick, short, bad, low, etc. It also combines with a
number of limit adjectives without a strong bias, e.g. obvious, different,
silent, uncertain, inadequate, and extreme adjectives as well, e.g. fantastic,
skinny, frightening, frustrating, sophisticated, gorgeous, etc. When rather
combines with limit adjectives, the contextual modulation becomes
particularly important for its interpretation. Consider the following example:
(16) We were rather uncertain of the direction it came from. (OCD)
This can be understood as a case of contextual modulation where uncertain
has taken on a scalar reading. If rather is replaced by quite in this utterance,
the reading will be that of maximization. In the context of extreme
adjectives, rather has the function of moderating the extreme degree of the

(17) He found the responsibility rather frightening.(OCD)
Rather here is used to hedge the application of frightening, and to make it
sound less extreme. Again, if rather is replaced by quite, the maximizer
reading will be the more likely interpretation for quite.
Pretty is probably the most informal of the compromizers. Like rather, it has
the function of moderating the adjectival quality. In the OCD, most of its
collocants are typical scalar adjectives such as bad, sick, hot, strong, big,
good, etc. Like other scalar modifiers, it is also found with a number of limit
adjectives, e.g. true, sure, sober, obvious, incredible, unbelievable, etc. It
also combines with a number of extreme adjectives, e.g. splendid,
exorbitant, dreadful, marvellous, horrific, spectacular, etc. In the context of
limit adjectives, pretty restricts the interpretation of the adjective to a scalar
reading, i.e. contextually modulating its interpretation to form a good match.
While with extreme adjectives, pretty has the effect of moderating the
extreme degree denoted by the adjective in question.

4.4.6. Almost and Somewhat
Almost is a closed-class member of approximators which, strictly speaking,
does not scale the meaning of its focus. In fact it tends to collocate with limit
adjectives, e.g. complete, self-sufficient, unique, blind, sober, naked, etc.
Ziegeler (1999) describes almost as a ‘‘counterfactual marker’’. It contains a
negative entailment from a semantic point of view. If something is almost
unique or almost sufficient, it is not higher or lower on the scale of
uniqueness or sufficiency, and if someone is almost bald or almost blind,

they are likewise not more or less so. As it has already been pointed out that
in all these cases the adjectives are in effect negated, but with the added
information that what is being described is close to reaching the adjectival
quality. Therefore, someone who is referred to as almost blind is in fact not
blind. In addition to limit adjectives, almost is also found with quite a few
potential extreme adjectives in the OCD, e.g. luxurious, superfluous,
contemptuous, etc. and a few scalar adjectives as well, e.g. sorry, sick, dry,
afraid, etc. which are interpreted in terms of a limit, i.e. contextually
Somewhat is a diminisher. It serves to attenuate the force of the adjectives it
applies to. In the OCD somewhat preferably collocates with negatively
loaded adjectives, e.g. aggressive, complicated, nervous, sad, hazardous,
ridiculous, etc. It is also found with some neutral adjectives: akin and
similar, and quite a limited number of positively loaded adjectives, e.g.
superior, optimistic, radical, relieved, delicate, academic. It should be noted
that the majority of the adjectives collocating with somewhat are typically
scalar adjectives. There are some limit adjectives too, e.g. static, ineffective,
irresponsible, etc. which can be perceived as contextually modulated to take
on scalar reading.
From what has been presented so far, it should be obvious that most of
closed-class members of ‘‘degree’’ category are highly delexicalized to the
extent that their collocational ranges are unrestricted. This goes side by side
with an observation already made by Partington (1993, 183) concerning the
delexicalization of intensifiers and their collocational behaviour. He argues
that ‘‘the more delexicalized an intensifier, the more widely it collocates; the
greater the range and number of modifiers it combines with’’, and this is

particularly evident in the collocational behaviour of the closed-class items
under study. They are used as building bricks rather than prefabricated units
in the construction of adverb-adjective collocation.

4.5. Open-class ‘‘Degree’’ Adverbs
These are -ly degree modifiers which are semantically similar to the closed-
class items. As adjective modifiers they have no function other than that of
selecting the degree to which the adjective is foregrounded. In other words,
they are lexically confined to scaling an adjectival quality, with no
additional propositional content. These are the ones, together with closed-
class items, which are aptly termed ‘‘adverbs of degree’’ in grammar books,
as they express nothing but the notion of degree. Lorenz (1999), although
uses a different terminology, divides them into three subsets that differ in the
way they have come to adopt their purely scaling function:
1. adverbs which actually depict a certain ‘‘degree’’ or ‘‘extent’’, or –in
iconic analogy – ‘‘size’’ or ‘‘spatial extension’’, such as completely,
enormously, entirely, extremely, fully, greatly, highly, immensely,
increasingly, largely, totally, wholly, widely, etc. They are derived
from adjectives which already have a scalar lexical meaning. The
members of this group can be identified in the following way: their
adjectival bases slot into the syntactic frame ‘‘to a/the -------
degree/extent’’, and the resulting phrase is near-synonymous with the
adverb itself. For example, to a large extent is functionally equivalent
to largely, to the full extent corresponds to fully, etc. in all these
instances it is their actual lexical meaning which qualifies them as

natural candidates for degree modification. They are by denotation
‘‘degree’’ adverbs.
2. adverbs which also stand up to the ‘‘to a/the --------degree/extent’’
paraphrase, but in contrast to (1) their degree meaning is only
acquired. Items such as absolutely, fairly, mildly, perfectly, poorly,
profoundly, slightly, thoroughly, etc. have all undergone
delexicalization. Conceptually speaking, there is nothing ‘‘fair’’ about
being fairly inactive, nothing ‘‘thorough’’ about being thoroughly
bored. Yet, the grading meaning has over time become firmly
established, and they do not express any meaning beyond that of their
respective degree.
3. adverbs which, viewed in isolation, denote ‘‘share’’ (partly, mainly,
etc.), ‘‘range’’ (generally) or ‘‘emphasis’’ (utterly). But such
conceptual labelling is found to be of no interest. In adjective
intensification function, only their ‘‘degree’’ meaning is
foregrounded; compare hardly surprising, purely personal, or mainly
commercial, where all the adverbs do not express anything but
intensification to the given extent.
It should be mentioned that the members of the three subsets by no means
represent the complete open-class ‘‘degree’’ inventory. Figure 4-2 serves to
illustrate the rearrangement of the items into the Quirkian categories, taking
the notion of ‘‘boundedness’’ into consideration.


amplifier maximizer: absolutely, entirely, full, perfectly
purely, thoroughly, totally utterly,
Totality(BOUNDED) wholly, completely

downtoner approximator: nearly, partly

Open-class ‘degree’ adverbs

amplifier booster: enormously, extremely, greatly, highly,
widely, increasingly, immensely,
Scalarity(UNBOUNDED) profoundly

downtoner compromizer: fairly, generally
diminisher: mildly, slightly
minimizer: barely, hardly poorly

Figure 4-2 The open-class ‘’degree’’ members

As has been stated above, this list is not exhaustive; many other ‘‘degree’’
items, boosters in particular can be added, e.g. hugely, colossally, massively,
etc. But the proportions of even this sample list allows us to conclude that
the other ‘‘degree’’ formations are more likely to be found among
amplifiers, i.e. maximizers and boosters, than among downtoners. Of the
amplifiers, in turn, the list of maximizers alone appear to be fairly
exhaustive. After all, there is only a limited number of adjectives that denote
‘‘full, complete, perfect, whole’’ (Altenberg 1991).

Beyond this step, it may be necessary to examine the collocating adjectives
of –ly ‘‘degree’’ adverbs found in the OCD by taking one functional
paradigm at a time in detail.

4.5.1. –Ly ‘‘Degree’ Maximizers
It has already been argued in chapter three that the members of the
maximizer paradigm, quite, absolutely, completely, wholly, utterly, etc,
combine with bounded limit adjectives, e.g. sure, normal, true, impossible,
and with extreme adjectives, e.g. magnificent, splendid, horrific. The
following list contains some examples of combination of adjectives and –ly
maximizers in the OCD. (The letters indicate the various types of adjectives:
LA= Limit adjectives and EA= Extreme adjectives)

Absolutely + LA: straight, full, impossible crucial, true, rigid....
Absolutely + EA: ludicrous, magnificent, marvellous, brilliant, fantastic....
Completely + LA lifeless, impassable, wrong, new, innocent, fair....
Completely + EA overwhelming, frustrated, outrageous, bewildering.
Entirely + LA satisfying, safe, sober, useless, unknown, implausible....
Entirely + EA delightful.
Fully + LA responsible, alive, awake, up-to-date, rational, justified....
Perfectly + LA adequate, agreeable, legitimate, consistent, clear, motionless....
Perfectly + EA charming, lovely, splendid, wonderful, horrible.
Purely + LA rational, factual, secular, accidental, coincidental....
Thoroughly + LA corrupt, convincing, soaked, engrossed, unscrupulous, satisfying....
Thoroughly + EA miserable, entertaining, enjoyable, frightened, distasteful....
Totally + LA insane, inedible, free, blind, illegal, interchangeable....
Totally + EA brilliant, outrageous, frustrated, amazed, shattered.
Utterly + LA empty, inaccessible, hopeless, mad, unavoidable....

Utterly + EA terrified, thrilled, brilliant, charming, disastrous, amazed....
Wholly + LA insufficient, intact, unaware, absent, irrelevant, immune....
Wholly + EA admirable, lovely, evil.

The reader is reminded that the classification of adjectives into limit
adjectives and extreme adjectives is not always clear. This has been honestly
admitted by Paradis as she pointes out that there are fuzzy readings because
a point/limit is crucial for both extreme adjectives and limit adjectives.
Besides, maximizers can both amplify the utmost point on a scale for
extreme adjectives and the complete transgression of a limit for limit
adjectives. For instance, an adjective such as crowded may be regarded as a
bounded and limit word meaning ‘‘full’’ or as an unbounded extreme
adjective referring to ‘‘filled to the extreme point of the scale’’. Likewise, it
is sometimes difficult to distinguish between extreme adjectives and scalar
adjectives, since both are conceptualized in terms of a scale(unbounded) and
both are generally evaluative. Confused is a good example of an ambiguous
case. In combination with maximizers, the extreme reading is clearly drawn
out, whereas in the context of scalar adverbs such as fairly or extremely,
confused has moved down on the scale against which it is interpreted.
As can be seen from the above list of collocating adjectives, maximizers
combine, as predicted, with both limit adjectives and extreme adjectives.
The only exception to this pattern is fully and purely, which are not found
with extreme adjectives in the data. Moreover, maximizers also combine
with adjectives which are scalar-biased, i.e. adjectives which in isolation
would be interpreted as scalar adjectives, but in combination with
maximizers they would be interpreted in terms of totality, e.g. absolutely
sick, completely happy, entirely comfortable, fully mobile, perfectly nice, etc.

When scalar adjectives combine with maximizers, the focus is not on the
typical scalarity of the adjective, but on the contextually modulated
interpretation in which completeness is in focus.

4.5.2. –Ly ‘‘Degree’’ Approximators
As one examines the collocating list of the two members of –ly
approximator paradigm nearly and partly in the OCD, it becomes easy to
understand the strong combinatorial relation between approximators and
bounded limit adjectives. Nearly is found with basically limit adjectives like
invisible, hysterical, incomprehensible, foolproof, lifeless, etc. However,
there are three scalar-biased adjectives in the list, namely, dry, clean and
dark. They are to be interpreted as the case of contextual modulation. Partly,
on the other hand, is only found with bounded limit adjectives such as false,
closed, responsible, domesticated, explicable, submerged, etc.

4.5.3. –Ly ‘‘Degree’’ Boosters
It is obvious that the 8 items selected here as the members of the –ly booster
paradigm enormously, extremely, greatly, highly, immensely, increasingly,
profoundly and widely come from different types of words which differ with
respect to their semantic loading. This inevitably has the effect of reducing
the possibility of the members being totally interchangeable with one
another. Some –ly boosters do not seem to fit comfortably with particular
adjectives and are not found in the data under study or they are not even
likely to be considered acceptable by most native speakers of English, e.g.
highly sensitive but not ?enormously sensitive. As predicted, the –ly boosters
mainly amplify unbounded scalar adjectives, e.g. interesting, nice,

expensive, difficult, etc. In addition, few bounded limit adjectives like sterile,
inadequate, meaningless, etc. and some extreme adjectives like fantastic,
traumatic, striking, etc. are found within the inventory of the collocating
adjectives of some of the –ly boosters in the OCD. The following list
contains examples of combinations of adjectives and –ly boosters in the
OCD (SA = Scalar adjective, EA = Extreme adjective and LA = Limit

Enormously + SA: wide, rich, helpful, proud, fat, important....
Extremely + SA: old, hard, clever, hot, low, sad....
Extremely + EA: frightened, striking, distasteful, traumatic, energetic, attractive....
Extremely + LA: confident, plausible, obvious, logical, transparent, satisfying....
Greatly + SA: interested, concerned, preferable, daring, relieved, indebted...
Greatly + EA: delighted, superior, amused.
Highly + SA: sensitive, skilful, likely, educated, prone, questionable...
Highly + EA: sophisticated, intelligent, venomous, ingenious, dramatic...
Highly +LA: dependent, plausible, rational, impractical, credible, confidential...
Immensely +SA: strong, fat, warm, rich, sad, popular....
Immensely + EA: enthusiastic, exciting.
Immensely + LA: satisfying.
Increasingly + SA: frequent, unhappy, uneasy, important, tight, eager....
Increasingly + EA: fantastic, critical, frantic, vicious, agitated, frustrating....
Increasingly + LA: sterile, meaningless, inadequate, irrelevant, irrational, confident....
Profoundly + SA: sad, moving, uneasy, grateful, relieved, indebted....
Profoundly + EA: humiliating, impressed, depressing.
Widely + SA: applicable, experienced, variable, accessible, popular, varied....

It is worth noting that the number of the collocating adjectives of extremely,
among other –ly boosters, is remarkably vast. It appears as one of the biggest

competitors of the closed-class boosters very, so and too. It shows a great
potential to amplify, in addition to scalar adjectives, limit adjectives and
extreme adjectives. A possible explanation for this may reside in the fact that
the more frequent an amplifier is, the more multifunctional it tends to be.
Needless to say, however, that having bounded limit adjectives in the
context of unbounded scalar adverbs is wholly explicable in terms of
contextual modulation. In such a case, the adjective is contextually
modulated to evoke an unbounded scalar interpretation to make a good
match with its premodifying scalar adverb.

4.5.4. –Ly ‘‘Degree’’ Compromizers
As it has already been stated, compromizers in general have the function of
moderating the adjectival qualities. They are basically attenuators which
serve to hedge the force of the adjectives they apply to. The two selected
members of –ly compromizer fairly and generally, as predicted, mainly
combine with unbounded scalar adjectives in the OCD. Like other scalar
degree modifiers, they show potential to modify the degree of some bounded
limit adjectives and unbounded extreme adjectives as well. The following
list contains examples of their combinations with adjectives in the OCD:

Fairly + SA hot, light, big, hard, deep, old......
Fairly + EA lucrative, disastrous, awesome, traumatic, distasteful, dismal...
Fairly + LA straight, safe, pointless, empty, sober, complete....
Generally + SA helpful, hazy, healthy, useful, unpopular...
Generally + EA excellent, hostile.
Generally + LA impossible, inadequate, satisfying, unaware, unable.


It is clear from their inventory of the collocating adjectives that fairly, as
compared to generally, has a wider collocational range. This indicates that
fairly is the more frequent and even more grammaticalized –ly compromizer
in English.

4.5.5. –Ly ‘‘Degree’’ Diminishers
The two selected members of the –ly diminisher paradigm mildly and
slightly mainly combine with unbounded scalar adjectives in the OCD.
However, there are some exceptions to this pattern. Having some modulated
limit adjectives and a few extreme adjectives in the inventory of their
collocating adjectives seems to support this.

Mildly + SA: annoying, interesting, pleased, spicy, depressed, encouraging....
Mildly + EA: amusing, critical, pleasurable.
Mildly + LA: hysterical, handicapped, autistic.
Slightly + SA: sick, hot, dirty, wet, odd, sharp....
Slightly + EA: disgusted, disconcerting, frustrating, eerie, creepy.
Slightly + LA: different, illogical, unreal, absurd, foreign, cross-eyed.

It seems that slightly is the more frequent –ly diminisher since it has a wider
collocational range than mildly. Another difference between the two is that
slightly preferably combines with negatively loaded adjectives in the data,
e.g. dirty, odd, shocking, embarrassing, misleading, etc. while mildly has
both positive and negative adjectives to collocate with.

4.5.6. –Ly ‘’Degree’’ Minimizers
In the present study –ly minimizer paradigm consists of barely, hardly and
poorly. They mainly combine with unbounded scalar adjectives in the OCD

and they indicate a limited part of the scale implied by the adjective. This
means that there has to be an inferable starting point for this scale. It is
important to note that no extreme adjectives are found in the inventory of
their collocating adjectives, but there are a number of modulated limit
adjectives for barely and hardly:

Barely + SA: visible, habitable, dry, recognizable, audible, decayed....
Barely + LA: alive, credible, plausible, sufficient, comprehensible, feasible...
Hardly + SA: likely, promising, cheap, dry, reassuring, comforting....
Hardly + LA: adequate, compatible, convincing, unique, true, fair...

Poorly, in turn, seems to have only participial adjectives like organized,
informed, developed, trained, etc. to collocate with. Its narrow collocational
range indicates that poorly is not very frequent in the context of adverb-
adjective collocation. The chapter next directs its attention to the other
semantic categories.

Other Semantic Categories
of Adverbs


Chapter Five
Other Semantic Categories of Adverbs

5.0. Introduction
It has already been pointed out that the constant need for new expressive
items is the driving force behind the continual process of linguistic
innovation in the functional category of degree modification. There is good
reason why we should be constantly creating new means of emphasis or a
particular adverb-adjective collocation. According to Grice’s maxims, our
utterances must be ‘‘relevant’’ (1975), which implies that they should
preferably be marked as such. In speech as well as in writing, one is
constantly having to justify that X actually needs to be said, that somebody
is boringly talkative or that something is notoriously difficult.
There have been several attempts to classify the semantic roles of adjective
modifiers. Johansson (1993), for example, proposes a semantic classification
of adverbs that co-occur with adjectives. His categories include degree
modifiers, but are not restricted to them. He complains that previous
discussions of the semantics of adverb-adjective combinations have focused
on the expression of degree, with only occasional references to other
‘‘semantic patterns’’. Johansson’s ‘‘semantic patterns’’ correspond to what
is usually referred to as the semantic roles of adverbials (Quirk et al 1985).
All in all, Johansson lists ten such adverbial roles:
1. Degree and extent e.g. completely oblivious
2. Emphasis e.g. definitely helpful
3. Manner e.g. arrogantly proud

4. Time e.g. newly independent
5. Space e.g. universally unpopular
6. Viewpoint and respect e.g. financially secure
7. Evaluation of truth e.g. plainly useless
8. Basic and typical qualities e.g. essentially creative
9. Value judgement e.g. admirably thorough
10. Quality and state e.g. calmly reasonable
Although this list appears to correspond to standard adverb categorizations,
some of Johansson’s attributions, as has also been assessed by Lorenz
(1999), cannot be called other than arbitrary. Why should truly disinterested,
for example, be a case of ‘‘emphasis’’ rather than ‘‘evaluation of truth’’ or
splendidly efficient one of ‘‘manner’’ and not ‘‘value judgement’’?
Johansson admits that his classification cannot be exhaustive and there is a
great deal of overlap and also there are examples which do not fit into any
one pattern. His work reflects a somewhat unspecific interest in describing
adverb-adjective combinations, rather than the communicative function of
degree modification. What still remains to be clarified is the precise
connection between semantic roles and a purely intensifying function.
This study lends support to Lorenz’s classification (1999, 2002) which not
so much focuses on the precise denotation of the individual items, but rather
on precisely what an adverb does to grade an adjectival quality. He identifies
five types of open-class adverbs which collocate with adjectives to achieve
an intensifying effect, namely, ‘‘scalar’’, ‘‘modal’’, ‘‘evaluative’’,
‘‘comparative’’, and ‘‘semantic feature copying’’. The semantic category
‘‘scalar’’ corresponds to what has been identified as open-class ‘‘degree’’

category in chapter four. It is worth mentioning that most of the discussions
in this chapter can be attributed to the influence of Lorenz (1999).
The organization of the present chapter will be to discuss each of the other
semantic categories in the order in which they are presented here. The
procedure established here for the consideration of the ‘‘modal’’,
‘‘evaluative’’, and ‘‘comparative’’ categories is to list their members with
the number of potential collocating adjectives found in the OCD and the
LTP. The present analysis is working on assumptions that the more
collocating adjectives an adverb has, the more frequent it tends to be in the
context of adverb-adjective collocation; consequently, the more frequent the
adverb is, the more willingly it converges towards the semantic category of
‘‘degree’’. As has been stated before, being frequent in such a context
indicates that the adverb is the most delexicalized among others within a
particular semantic field. These potential adverb-adjective collocations will
be used to test out the model of ‘‘semantic bidirectionality’’ mentioned in
chapter three. ‘‘semantic feature copying’’ items, on the other hand, are too
closely bound to their respective collocates to be explained in this way.
Their discussion takes up the final part of this chapter.

5.1. The Semantic Category ‘‘Modal’’
5.1.1. ‘‘Modal’’ OCD and LTP Data
Here is a list of 34 selected ‘‘modal’’ adverbs with the number of collocating
adjectives found in the OCD and the LTP. The adverbs are ordered
according to the wideness of their collocational range:


Really 265 Not necessarily 16
Apparently 107 Not exactly 15
Virtually 94 Intrinsically 12
Truly 83 Definitely 10
Clearly 66 Plainly 9
Seemingly 50 Undoubtedly 9
Obviously 47 Overtly 9
Essentially 44 Patently 8
Genuinely 43 Supposedly 7
Practically 35 Undeniably 7
Simply 29 Certainly 6
Decidedly 26 Evidently 4
Basically 25 Possibly 3
Inherently 24 Sincerely 2
Fundamentally 21 Probably 1
Positively 21 Unquestionably 1
Naturally 20 Objectively 1

Table 5-1 ‘‘Modal’’ adverbs and the Number of their Collocating Adjectives.

It is clear from the list that really has the widest collocational range. This
serves as a reliable indication that really is the most frequent and even the
most delexicalized amplifier as well as the main competitor of very. A
corpus investigation conducted by Ito & Tagliamonte (2003) reveals that the
use of really has dramatically increased among the youngest generation.

In Quirkian grammatical terms, most of these adverbs would be classed as
‘’emphasizers’’ - a modal, truth affirming set. These adverbs tend to
modulate the truth value of an adjectival quality, positively enhancing it in
most cases. Again, the list is not complete inventory, actually, doubtlessly,
indubitably, manifestly, for example can also be added.
In his treatment of the ‘‘modal’’ category, Lorenz makes clear his own doubt
about the membership of items like basically, essentially, fundamentally,
inherently, intrinsically, naturally, and objectively in ‘‘modal’’ category.
Their modal function is far less obvious. The reason for their inclusion in the
class is that in adverb-adjective collocation they express felicity conditions
under which the adjectival quality holds true and are therefore ‘‘modal’’ by
implication. If someone is fundamentally evil [LTP] or naturally shy [OCD],
their evilness and shyness cannot be doubted.
The criterion of ‘‘doubtfulness’’ or, conversely, ‘‘degree of certainty’’, of
course in association with the type of collocating adjectives, are found to be
highly significant in attaching scalar labels to the ‘‘modal’’ adjective
modifiers. In other words, they enable us to frame ‘‘modal’’ adverbs in
accordance with Quirkian scalar system and the notion of boundedness
introduced in chapter three (see Figure 5-1). It has been emphatically stated
earlier that the grading function of adverbs and the feature of gradability
present in adjectives are both conceptualized in terms of boundedness, i.e.
totality versus scalarity. Therefore, the various conceptualizations of
adjectives and adverbs must harmonize in order to make a perfect match.
Interestingly, ‘‘modal’’ adverb-adjective collocations examined in this study
well match this expectation. However, there are some exceptions to this
pattern. To take some examples:

Truly happy : bounded (total) maximizer + unbounded scalar adjective
Really adequate : unbounded (scalar) booster + bounded limit
Practically useful : bounded approximator + unbounded scalar
Apparently meaningless :unbounded compromizer+ bounded limit
Seemingly obvious : unbounded minimizer + bounded limit adjective
These are all to be interpreted as instances of contextual modulation in
which the mode of gradability present in the adjective is modulated to evoke
a particular type of reading that conceptually goes with that of its
premodifying item.

The Semantic Category ‘‘Modal’’

Totality(bounded) Scalarity (unbounded)

Amplifier Downtoner Amplifier Downtoner

Maximizer Approximator Booster Compromizer Diminisher Minimizer
e.g. e.g. e.g. e.g. e.g. e.g.
unquestionably virtually really probably possibly seemingly

Figure 5-1 The Arrangement of ‘‘modal’’ category in keeping with Quirkian scalar
system and ‘‘boundedness’’ notion.

Maximizers: unquestionably, undoubtedly, truly, undeniably,
genuinely, obviously, evidently, patently, simply,
fundamentally, essentially, naturally, basically,
clearly, objectively, plainly, inherently,
Boosters: definitely, decidedly, really, overtly, positively,
certainly, sincerely
Compromizers: probably, apparently
Approximators: virtually, practically
Diminishers: possibly
Minimizers: supposedly, seemingly, not necessarily,
not exactly

Starting from the bottom, it is clear that not exactly and not necessarily
restrict the adjectival quality to a minimum. Semantically, they are ‘‘hedged
negatives’’ (Lorenz 1999). By speaking of something as not exactly reliable
and not necessarily harmful [both OCD], the speakers are in effect calling it
‘‘rather unreliable’’ and ‘‘probably quite harmless’’. Seemingly and
supposedly, on the other hand, minimize by contextual implication: if
something is only seemingly endless [LTP], it is not really so, and a
supposedly objective judgement [OCD] usually turns out to be purely
In contrast to minimizers, the other downtoners point ‘‘upwards’’, they
concede a partial validity of the adjective. If something is judged to be
possibly damaging [OCD], it will at least be slightly so, and practically and
virtually can confidently be paraphrased as ‘‘nearly’’ or ‘‘almost’’.

Apparently and probably have been classed as compromizers because they
resemble fairly or rather in marking a positive, if slightly hedged, statement.
The two ‘‘modal’’ amplifier categories, maximizers (X) and boosters (B),
superficially appear indistinguishable. As has been stated by Lorenz, both of
them comprise highly emphatic items, and the above distinction appears to
draw an arbitrary line, in some cases even cutting through pairs of quasi-
synonyms like truly (X) / really (B) and undoubtedly (X) / definitely (B).
And yet these near-synonyms are a convenient key to the X-B distinction;
the difference lies in the respective truth conditions. In contrast to really,
truly does not allow any doubt, it presupposes truth, whereas really asserts it.
This logically points to the conclusion that truly is conceptualized as a
bounded maximizer, while really as an unbounded booster. The same goes
for undoubtedly versus definitely: the latter implies that truth does have to be
stressed, whilst undoubtedly even literally expresses that there can be no
doubt. Therefore, the grading function of undoubtedly is conceptualized as
being equal to that of the bounded maximizers, whereas definitely has an
unbounded boosting force. The same pattern runs through other amplifier
subdivision, distinguishing patently (X) from positively (B), obviously and
objectively (X) from overtly (B), undeniably and unquestionably (X) from
decidedly (B), as well as genuinely and clearly (X) from sincerely (B).
This fundamental distinction is reflected in the restrictive collocating
adjectives. As predicted, the adverbs labelled ‘‘B’’ mainly collocate with
unbounded scalar adjectives like good, big, interesting, related, etc. The
items marked ‘‘X’’, in contrast, mainly have bounded limit adjectives like
innocent, possible, wrong, adequate, etc. and also some unbounded extreme
adjectives like horrified, ludicrous, ridiculous, excellent, etc.

5.1.2. Modality and Intensification: A Semantic Relation
Diachronic evidence suggests that there is a strong logical link between
epistemic modality and intensification (or degree modification). ‘‘Modal’’
adverbs express the extent to which the speaker is willing to attest to the
truth of a proposition. Lorenz describes a situation when a modal adverb
focuses on an adjectival quality. The communicative effect of ‘‘modal’’
adverbs, in such a situation, is very similar to stating that the extent or
degree to which an adjectival quality holds true. So, there is only a fine line
between stating that something is a definitely wonderful idea or a truly
wonderful idea and calling it an absolutely wonderful idea, or – even more
markedly with predicative adjectives – between saying that an idea is truly
wonderful or absolutely wonderful (1999, 98)
The case of very, as stated earlier, most evidently illustrates the innovative
potential of ‘‘modal’’ adverbs for adjective intensification. In present usage,
very is a prototype of a pure ‘‘degree’’ adverb, while diachronically being
the product of delexicalization from a modal meaning. Other examples of
delexicalized modality markers include entirely and utterly. Their function,
too, was originally truth-affirming. Their modal meanings have become lost
on the way to contemporary English usage.
The semantic link between the two categories, i.e. modality and
intensification, is evident in the words of other writers. Allerton, for
instance, states that ‘‘In all cases it is a relatively small step from saying that
the adjective is perhaps an appropriate word to saying that the adjectival is
present to a moderate degree (only)’’ (1987, 27). Partington, too, believes
that ‘‘It is not hard to understand the link between modality and
intensification : it is a short step from averring the truth to being emphatic

about it, and in this case this step seems to be mirrored in the historical
process. These items, which were once used by speakers to vouch for the
truth of what they were saying, are today used to convey emphasis’’ (1993,
181). Quirk et al. (1985) do make a synchronic distinction between adverbs
that add to the force of an adjective and those that select it degree. This
general distinction is not disputed here, but it is not a diachronically stable
Of the authors quoted here, however, only Partington seems to look upon
modal adverbs as a productive source of innovation within the class of
degree modifiers. This may be due to the fact that linguists generally regard
it as a counter-intuitive to analyse certainly, probably or definitely as
modifiers of adjectives. These adverbs undoubtedly operate mainly on the
clause level, but so did very, entirely or utterly just a few centuries ago.
Naturally there is a fundamental functional difference between adjective
modifiers and clause-level adverbial. But the boundary is a fuzzy one. The
difference can be shown in the following examples:
(1) She was certainly guilty, but the police couldn’t prove it. [OCD]
(2) She was not exactly good-looking, but definitely attractive. [OCD]
(3) He is obviously wrong there. [CCD]
(4) There would certainly be watchers there. [CCD]
(5) He will definitely be back on the next time though. [CCD]
(6) Obviously, the time that a child can be still and pay attention will
depend on many different factors, such as: Gender . [CCD]
In examples (1) – (3) the adverb arguably emphasizes the adjacent adjective.
It is placed in a markedly premodifying position. In (4) – (6), on the other

hand, the adverb acts more globally. Therefore, it is only when a ‘‘modal’’
adverb immediately comes to focus on an adjective, as in (1) – (3), its
clause-level modal function converges with one of adjective intensification.

5.2. The Semantic Category ‘‘Evaluative’’
Speaker-stance evaluation is potentially the most productive category among
others since it comprises all adverbs which in adverb-adjective collocation
can be paraphrased as ‘‘to a degree that I find ADJ’’ (Lorenz 1999, 110). In
this context ADJ stands for the adjectival base of the adverb. Hence, the
phrase ludicrously expensive [OCD] semantically corresponds to ‘‘expensive
to a degree that I find ludicrous’’, and someone who is reported to be
fabulously rich [LTP] is rich to a degree that the speaker finds fabulous. This
kind of ‘‘evaluative’’ pattern is almost infinitely open-ended – and therefore
virtually begs the creation of expressive degree modifiers. ‘‘Evaluative’’
adjective modifiers are possibly the most powerful resource of innovation in
the functional category of degree modification. Besides scaling their focus,
the ‘‘evaluative’’ adverbs tend to express a judgemental notion on the part of
the speaker. The 40 items selected to be on the list for membership of the
‘‘evaluative’’ category are ordered below according to the wideness of their
collocational range. The OCD and the LTP provide a number of collocating
adjectives for each of the ‘‘evaluative’’ items:

Terribly 103 Overly 8
Reasonably 93 Exquisitely 7
Incredibly 79 Delicately 7
Seriously 48 Understandably 7

Sufficiently 46 Violently 7
Severely 40 Brutally 7
Notoriously 40 Ludicrously 5
Wonderfully 35 Elegantly 4
Beautifully 33 Comfortably 3
Hopelessly 27 Justifiably 3
Amazingly 25 Insufficiently 3
Suitably 20 Fabulously 2
Properly 19 Sweetly 2
Painfully 17 Prettily 2
Horribly 16 Breathtakingly 2
unbelievably 16 Disgustingly 1
Ridiculously 13 Terrifically 1
Awfully 12 Extortionately 1
Adequately 10 Spectacularly 1
Brilliantly 9 Fantastically 1

Table 5-2 ‘‘Evaluative’’ adverbs and the Number of their Collocating Adjectives

It is plainly evident from the list that terribly has the widest collocational
range. This emphasizes the fact that it is by far the most frequent and
therefore the most delexicalized ‘‘evaluative’’ item among others. Before
elaborating on this point, an essential distinction needs to be discussed. As
has been stated by Lorenz (2002), the members of ‘‘evaluative’’ list can be
divided neatly into two groups (see Figure 5-2):


a Those that express a ‘‘telic’’ evaluation, i.e. that presuppose a norm,
standard, or some sort of criterion: adequately, properly, suitably, and
sufficiently indicate that a certain standard has been met, and that the
referent is endowed with ‘‘enough’’ or ‘‘just the right degree’’ of a
quality, whereas extortionately, overly and insufficiently signify
judgements of ‘‘excess’’ or ‘‘shortage’’ in various strengths. The
‘‘excess-suitability’’ subset corresponds closely to the closed-class
items such as too and enough. It should be mentioned that telic
evaluators are ultimately a restricted set, as there is only a limited
number of adverbs denoting ‘‘enough to reach, exceed or fall short of
a given norm’’
b Those that express an ‘‘open’’, non-telic evaluation, such as
wonderfully, seriously and ridiculously. This is an almost boundless
resource, comprising potentially all adverbs derived from an
evaluative adjective. It is entirely up to the speaker to draw a
connection between a personal evaluation and an adjectival quality:
one may find something amazingly cheap, unbelievably exciting [both
OCD], ridiculously small, or reasonably efficient [both LTP], calling
someone painfully shy, or speaking of a breathtakingly beautiful girl
[both OCD]. It is a matter of idiosyncratically personal choice how we
evaluate the fact that a referent possesses a certain quality to a certain
degree. Someone who looks painfully thin to one person may look
incredibly thin [both OCD] to another. Viewing the non-telic
evaluators from the perspective of emotional load, they can be further
subdivided into three subsets:
b (i) Non-Telic Positive Evaluators: terrifically, fantastically,
fabulously, spectacularly, brilliantly, beautifully, elegantly,

exquisitely, delicately, wonderfully, sweetly, comfortably, prettily,
incredibly, amazingly, unbelievably, breathtakingly
b (ii) Non-Telic Neutral Evaluators: reasonably, seriously,
understandably, justifiably
b (iii) Non-Telic Negative Evaluators: terribly, awfully, disgustingly,
ludicrously, ridiculously, horribly, severely, violently, notoriously,
brutally, hopelessly, painfully

Semantic Category ‘Evaluative’

Telic evaluators Non-telic evaluators

Suitability Shortage Excess Positive Neutral Negative
e.g. e.g. e.g. e.g. e.g. e.g.
properly insufficiently overly terrifically reasonably awfully

Figure 5-2 Essential classification of ‘’evaluative’’ category

To return to an earlier point concerning the case of terribly. For such
adverbs which have a strongly negative charge, such as awfully, horribly, or
terribly, one will naturally expect negative collocates, too – if they still
express a negative evaluation. Combinations like awfully nice [OCD] or
terribly young [LTP], for example, will no more fit the evaluative pattern as
postulated above: awfully nice does not mean ‘‘nice to a degree that I find
awful’’ and terribly young can likewise not be glossed as ‘‘young to a
degree that I find terrible’’. But it will be wrong to conclude that the ‘‘to a

degree’’ pattern is an inadequate paraphrase for the ‘‘evaluative’’ logic;
much more likely, awfully and terribly have already started to become
delexicalized and their emotional force has been blunted through frequent
Horribly, on the other hand, still seems to have preserved its emotional
impact; to describe someone as being horribly drunk [OCD] strikes the
listener as a tough over-zealous, and the assertion that someone looks
horribly confused [LTP] conjures up very strong associations indeed. The
two examples show the effect of delexicalization: in contrast to its former
near-synonyms terribly and awfully (now delexicalized), horribly cannot
(yet?) be combined with a positive term. Out of context, adjectives like
aware, familiar and self-conscious [all OCD] seem to be positively loaded or
neutral adjectives. However, in their combination with horribly they produce
a phrase which evokes a negative connotation. Consider the following
citations taken from the OCD:
(7) Moran was horribly aware of Luke’s absence.
(8) A situation which has become horribly familiar to most teachers.
(9) He started to get horribly self-conscious about his weight.
In these examples horribly exerts a negative pressure on the adjective and
can safely be replaced by ‘‘painfully’’ or ‘‘uncomfortably’’. For strong
emotive adverbs, the starting point of the delexicalization process probably
lies where the ‘‘evaluative’’ pattern begins to be corrupted. Bäcklund states
that ‘‘It is also striking that most adverbs expressing a high degree (awfully,
bloody and extremely) have connotations of nonchalance or insincerity

which blunt their intensifying force’’ (1973, 288). The data under study
contains some cases of such ‘‘insincerity’’, for instance :
(10) You look disgustingly healthy! How do you manage it? [OCD]
(11) She was brutally frank in her assessments of our chances. [OCD]
(12) She found the whole concept wonderfully absurd. [OCD]
The adverb-adjective collocations in these instances ironically play on the
common-sense assumption that nobody in their right minds would normally
call health ‘‘disgusting’’, or associate frank and absurd with brutal and
wonderful respectively. The motivation for producing this kind of
‘‘insincere’’ adverb-adjective collocation obviously lies in its saliency; in
the words of Partington: ‘‘Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this
phenomenon is that the sheer novelty of a collocation is likely to make it
more intensifying than a predictable one’’ (1993, 180). Therefore, it is easily
conceivable that ‘‘blunting’’ of awfully and terribly also had its origin in
such forms of irony.
From what has been said one can reasonably infer that positively loaded
adverbs are strongly biased towards collocating with positive adjectives,
while non-delexicalized negative adverbs naturally collocate with negative
adjectives. Neutral adverbs, on the other hand, show potential to have
positive, negative and neutral adjectives to collocate with.
Turning now to the second parameter of ‘‘evaluative’’ adverb-adjective
collocation, i.e. examining the intensifying force of the ‘‘evaluative’’
adverbs. Bearing in mind the previous points concerning the Quirkian scalar
system and the notion of ‘‘boundedness’’, the ‘‘evaluative’’ set contains
boosters, compromizers and minimizer (see Figure 5-3)

The Semantic Category ‘’Evaluative’’

Scalarity (Unbounded)

Amplifier Downtoner

Booster Compromizer Minimizer
e.g. e.g. e.g.
terribly adequately insufficiently

Figure 5-3 ‘‘Evaluative’’ category in relation with degree modification.

Boosters : terrifically, sweetly, breathtakingly, seriously,
overly, terribly, severely, delicately, violently
disgustingly, brutally, prettily, notoriously,
comfortably, awfully, extortionately, incredibly,
exquisitely, hopelessly, fabulously, amazingly,
horribly, painfully, spectacularly, beautifully,
ludicrously, brilliantly, ridiculously, elegantly,
wonderfully, unbelievably, fantastically
Compromizers: sufficiently, adequately, suitably, properly,
reasonably, understandably, justifiably
Minimizer: insufficiently

As regards the combinatorial aspects of the ‘‘evaluative’’ adverbs and the
collocating adjectives, it is found that their mode of conceptualizations are in
reasonable harmony. Indeed, with few exceptions, the gradable feature in the
adjectives and the grading function of the ‘‘evaluative’’ adverbs go together

in terms of boundedness. In addition to evaluation which is characteristically
their major function, ‘‘Evaluative’’ adverbs can function as unbounded
degree modifiers. Their grading function can not to be conceptualized in
absolute (either-or) terms but rather in terms of scalarity (more-or-less).
It is striking – if unsurprising, perhaps – that all of the emotionally charged
‘‘evaluative’’ adverbs in this study are boosters. They mainly collocate with
unbounded scalar adjectives like glad, nice, cold, some unbounded extreme
adjectives like fascinating, frustrating, enthusiastic, and very few bounded
limit adjectives such as different, wrong, innocent.
It is interesting to note that the ‘‘evaluative’’ compromizer paradigm
consists of telic evaluators which presuppose a norm that has to be fulfilled,
i.e. they imply ‘‘suitability’’ judgement on the part of the speaker. The list of
their collocating adjectives mainly consists of unbounded scalar adjectives
mostly those ending in –ed such as experienced, educated, skilled. However,
some bounded limit adjectives are also evident particularly in the collocating
list of reasonably, e.g. reasonably (sober, satisfied, harmless) [OCD]. This
might be explained by the fact that its adjectival base ‘‘reasonable’’ is biased
towards a limit reading. There is also an instance of a non-gradable adjective
in combination with an ‘‘evaluative’’ compromizer properly married
[OCD]. Finally, insufficiently which is a telic evaluator denoting ‘‘shortage’’
minimizes the adjectival qualities. Its grading function is similar to that of
minimizers like hardly, scarcely, poorly, etc. something that is insufficiently
precise [OCD] does not meet the speaker’s standards of precision.


5.3. The Semantic Category ‘‘Comparative’’
In relation to the ‘‘modal’’ category, which lists 34 different items, and the
‘‘evaluative’’ set with its 40 items and an almost unlimited potential for
enlargement, the category of ‘‘comparative’’ adjective modifiers in this
study is small and relatively unspectacular. The reason for taking it into
consideration lies in its relation with the functional category of degree
modification. The ‘‘comparative’’ category incorporates adverbs which
realize intensification by drawing a kind of ‘‘peer-comparison’’ (Lorenz
1999). In other words, ‘‘comparative’’ items achieve intensification by
comparing the referent with its rivals or equals. The 8 selected
‘‘comparative’’ items in the present study are not to be taken as constituting
a complete inventory of the class. They are no more than just exemplary.
One may add other members to the list.

Table 5-3 ‘‘Comparative’’ adverbs and the Number of their Collocating Adjectives.
Relatively: 175
Particularly: 112
Comparatively: 65
Especially: 44
Extraordinarily: 36
Unusually: 30
Eminently: 19
Not particularly: 16


As far as the Quirkian scalar system and the notion of ‘‘boundedness’’ are
concerned, the ‘‘comparative’’ items can be rearranged as follows:

The Semantic Category ‘‘Comparative’’ Scalarity (Unbounded)

Amplifier Downtoner

Boosters Compromizers Minimizer
eminently comparatively not particularly
especially relatively

Figure 5-4 The Rearrangement of ‘‘comparative’’ items in accordance with Quirkian
scalar system and ‘‘boundedness’’ notion.

The grading function of ‘‘comparative’’ adjective modifiers is to be
conceptualized in terms of scalarity, i.e. more-or-less conception. They are
unbounded degree modifiers. They mainly collocate with unbounded scalar
adjectives such as short, narrow, rich. However, they show potential to
modify some bounded limit adjectives, e.g. (relatively) sober, empty,
autonomous; (particularly) true; or (comparatively) unknown, unaware,
painless [all OCD]. In these instances, the interpretation of the adjectives are
restricted to an unbounded scalar reading, i.e. they are contextually
modulated to evoke a scalar interpretation through the existence of
unbounded ‘‘comparative’’ degree modifiers. There are also some examples

of unbounded extreme adjectives such as (particularly) frustrating,
traumatic; or (relatively) sophisticated [all OCD].
The distinction of the ‘‘comparative’’ adverbs into boosters, compromizers
and minimizer is based on the force of their intensification. If we call
someone particularly sensitive [OCD], we find them very sensitive, and
more so than other people; someone who is eminently qualified [OCD] for a
particular task is highly qualified, and more than others or more than one
might expect. By contrast, someone who is comparatively wealthy [OCD] is
wealthy by comparison, but not necessarily wealthy in absolute terms. The
meaning of comparison is literally expressed in comparatively and
relatively. In terms of intensifying force, both are markedly weaker than
eminently, especially, extraordinarily, unusually, and particularly. Lastly,
there is ambiguity in the case of minimizing ‘‘comparative’’ item not
particularly. As has been pointed out by Lorenz (2002), at first sight not
particularly seem to be a mere negation of boosters, and hence as much
concerned with comparison as they are. This meaning is present in
occurrences such as:
(13) It is possible that there’s something about genre movies, anyway,
which is not particularly congenial to women filmmakers. [CCD]
In this context, the reading intended by the writer is probably ‘‘not much
more congenial than male filmmakers’’ – clearly a comparative meaning.
Yet there are counter-examples like:
(14) Tar balls are not particularly toxic and will soon be covered by sand.

(15) She was informed that this was not particularly unusual but was
advised to come back after the weekend for a scan. [CCD]
In these two usages, not particularly is not used to mean ‘‘no more than
other’’, but rather as a hedged way of negating. Its meaning is here confined
to that of ‘‘degree’’ items such as not very or hardly. It is not difficult to see
why ‘‘comparative’’ adjective modifiers can be reduced to a purely scalar
function; most human judgement is made on a comparative basis: calling
someone ‘‘big’’ or ‘‘small’’ amounts to saying they are bigger or smaller
than other people, and to find something ‘‘easy’’ or ‘‘difficult’’ implies it is
more so than other things or than could be expected. But since the meaning
of comparison can still be foregrounded, we seem to have a patent need for
this conceptual resource.
It is unfortunate for the analyst that all degree modifiers carry a note of
‘‘comparison’’. Closed-class rather, for example, intensifies ‘‘to a medium
degree’’; rather good means ‘‘better than some, but can still be bettered’’. In
a similar way, ‘‘degree’’ item extremely also conveys a hint of
‘‘especially’’; if we refer to someone as extremely stupid, we naturally imply
‘‘more so than most’’. The boundary between ‘‘comparative’’ and ‘‘degree’’
must consequently be flexible enough to allow for delexicalized usage.
At first glance it is difficult to see the ‘‘comparative’’ category as a potential
source for delexicalization. but compare the above items with the ‘‘degree’’
maximizer absolutely, which has over time become delexicalized from
denoting ‘‘in absolute terms; without comparison’’ (Lorenz 1999). By
expressly denying comparison, the original lexical meaning of course also
signals ‘‘comparative’’ membership for lexical absolutely. Yet adjective

modifier absolutely has lost its comparative meaning. Having the widest
collocational range among other ‘‘comparative’’ items reflects the fact that
relatively is by far the most frequent and hence the most delexicalized
adjective modifier. This statement should not be taken to imply the case of
full delexicalization. It is true that the comparative meaning of relatively has
been weakened but has not (yet?) been lost. Evidence for its delexicalization
comes from the fact that in some of its contexts the meaning of comparison
is not so strong. While it is still present in collocation with positively
connoted adjectives, as in relatively easy/successful/comfortable [all OCD],
it seems to have become somewhat delexicalized towards a merely scalar
downtoning function in conjunction with negative adjectives, such as short,
neglect, or costly [OCD].
A point that can be made from all these discussions is that ‘‘degree’’
category discussed in chapter four can be seen as a diachronic drain of
delexicalization. the more delexicalized an adverb, the more likely it
converges towards the semantic category ‘‘degree’’. Thus, really, terribly
and relatively put themselves forward as successful candidates which are
ready to resign their original conceptual membership and apply for
‘’degree’’ membership. (See Figure 5-5)


Figure 5-5 ‘‘Degree’’ category in relation with other semantic categories
5.4. The Semantic Category ‘‘Semantic Feature Copying’’
The stance that has been adopted so far was that collocation is a matter of a
relationship of mutual expectancy between lexical items; and that mutual
expectancy simply rests on habitual co-occurrence. The collocational
relation does not require a semantic relation between its parts but is based on
frequency of use only. However, some kinds of adverb-adjective
collocations do depend on semantic relations. Examples which will be
discussed in this section include spotlessly clean, easily accessible, closely
integrated, readily available, vitally important [all OCD], whose co-
selection constraints (to borrow Sinclair’s terminology) are based on sharing
semantic features.
In this vein, the dictionary searches have identified one set that cannot be
subsumed under any of the preceding four semantic categories. This set has
been labelled ‘‘semantic feature copying’’. The term ‘‘semantic feature
copying’’ has been borrowed from Bublitz (1998), who uses it to describe

really terribly relatively
very, rather, almost, ......... slightly, greatly, fully,.......

Sinclair’s examples of lexical co-selection, e.g. physical body and scientific
experiment. In these co-occurrences the modifying adjective does not add
much new information: the nouns body and experiment already contain the
features of ‘‘physical’’ and ‘‘scientific’’ respectively. The adjectives have
purely focusing function, which they achieve by duplicating one of the
noun’s semantic component.
The same mechanism is prevalent in adjective intensification by ‘‘semantic
feature copying’’ items. It concerns adverb-adjective collocations where the
adverb shares or copies a substantial part of the adjective’s meaning to
achieve intensification. Such shared meaning often entails co-selection of
both lexical items. Partington states that ‘’shared meaning is clearly at the
heart of the principle of collocation. Very often, in the course of the on-line
production of language, one word or group of words almost automatically
‘calls up’ another specific word or phrase, or at least, constrains the speaker
to the choice of one of a limited set of possibilities’’ (1993, 186). It is a well-
established collocational pattern for a modifier to echo the meaning of its
As has been stated above, the ‘‘semantic feature copying’’ items fit into non
of the preceding semantic categories: they are too narrow in collocation and
too lexical in meaning to be ‘‘degree’’, they do not allow the ‘‘evaluative’’
paraphrase (‘‘to an extent that I find ------’’), and they are certainly not
‘‘modal’’ or ‘‘comparative’’ in meaning. Instead, ‘‘semantic feature
copying’’ accounts for the formation of two types of adverb-adjective
collocation, namely, ‘‘stereotyped’’ and ‘‘creative’’ one (Granger 1998).
The ‘‘stereotyped’’ ones have a high mutual expectancy and are therefore
likely to share some meaning such as vitally important; the creative ones, in

turn, are only seemingly creative in the sense of ‘‘freely innovative’’, but
rather obey stringent – if mostly covert – semantic restrictions. ‘‘Creative’’
adverb-adjective collocations are acceptable ad hoc formations such as
ludicrously ineffective (to borrow Lorenz’s example). Two questions now
inevitably arise:
What kind of adverb-adjective collocations are likely to be
Are there any rules for the formation of ‘‘creative’’ adverb-adjective
The criterion to be employed here is the collocability of adverb and
adjective, i.e. the wideness of their collocational range. An adverb, for
instance, which has only one or two adjectives to collocate with is more
likely to form a ‘‘stereotyped’’ collocation than the one which has a wide
collocational range. Consequently, delexicalized adverbs can not form
‘‘stereotyped’’ collocations since they can be safely used in a wide variety
of contexts. Compare spotlessly clean with very deep. Granger uses the term
‘‘creative combinations’’ as a label for ‘‘novel’’ or ‘‘unusual’’ co-
occurrences such as fabulously successful [CCD]. As far as the preceding
semantic categories are concerned, the ‘‘evaluative’’ category offers
limitless potential for creative adverb-adjective collocation.

5.4.1. Copying Conceptual Meaning: Enhancing and Reducing
In his discussion of adjective intensification, Lorenz (1999) points out that
‘‘semantic feature copying’’ is a powerful intensifying mechanism. In order

to fully appreciate its workings, both elements of the adverb-adjective
collocation have to be examined. Consider the following collocations:
blindingly obvious [LTP] instantly recognizable [OCD]
clearly defined [LTP] intensely frustrating [OCD]
clearly visible [LTP] intimately acquainted [OCD]
closely related [LTP] irrevocably committed [OCD]
dangerously misleading [OCD] loosely structured [OCD]
directly involved [LTP] peacefully asleep [OCD]
easily accessible [OCD] permanently handicapped [OCD]
easily comprehensible [OCD] ruthlessly exploited [OCD]
easily readable [OCD] savagely contemptuous [OCD]
firmly attached [LTP] shockingly disfigured [LTP]
firmly embedded [OCD] strictly limited [OCD]
heavily loaded [OCD] strongly nationalistic [OCD]
heavily overweight [OCD] tightly constrained [OCD]
immediately noticeable [OCD] vaguely aware [OCD]
Semantically, these ‘‘feature copying’’ collocations are mutually associated
by shared components of meaning and semantic implication. To understand
these associations it is important to realise that the combinations can still be
lexically motivated, even if some of them are co-selected in collocation. This
does not contradict the frequent assertion that habitual co-occurrences and
shared meaning may eventually lead to delexicalization. The present
analysis merely traces back the original lexical link.
Lorenz states that the minimum semantic connection is that of a shared
conceptual feature: easily, for example, contains the feature of

[FEASIBILITY], the notion that something ‘‘can be done’’ – one that is also
inherent in its collocates comprehensible, accessible, and readable. But
easily does not only copy ‘‘feasibility’’, it also reinforces it: easily
comprehensible is more ‘‘comprehensible’’ than unmarked comprehensible;
in analogy, easily accessible is more ‘‘accessible’’ than accessible, and
easily readable is more ‘‘readable’’ than readable. In directly involved both
constituents imply [IMMEDIACY] or [CONTACT], and by augmenting this
one feature – compare the frequent collocation direct contact [OCD] –
directly can be read as amplifying involved. For further illustration, in all of
the following collocations the adverb operates as a degree modifier by
copying an important component of the adjective’s meaning: clearly define,
clearly visible, permanently handicapped, firmly embedded, heavily loaded,
heavily overweight, immediately noticeable, ruthlessly exploited, intensely
frustrating, strictly limited, instantly recognizable – in short, most
combination from the columns above.
It should be added that in some cases the ‘‘partial enhancement’’ is taken to
a hyperbolic extreme, e.g. blindingly obvious. Nevertheless, it follows the
same ‘‘feature copying’’ principle. Almost all ‘‘feature copying’’ degree
modifiers are amplifiers; as has been stated, it is part of the copying
mechanism to enhance the meaning of the adjective. From the dictionary
searches two instances emerged in which ‘‘feature copying’’ degree
modifiers act as diminishers, namely, loosely structured and vaguely aware.
These are cases of ‘‘feature contradiction’’ – a kind of ‘‘negative feature
copying’’ (Bublitz 1998). ‘‘Feature copying’’ and ‘‘feature contradiction’’
are part of the same phenomenon, only with converse effects. In the current

examples, the reductive effect is achieved by reversing rather than echoing
conceptual features of the adjective:
Structured implies ‘’fixed’’ or ‘‘rigid’’ rather than ‘‘loose’’, and
loosely structured hence means ‘‘little structured’’ more than
‘‘structured in a loose manner’’, as it would ordinarily be paraphrased.
Aware suggests ‘‘conscious’’, ‘‘if you are aware of something, you
know about it’’ [CCD] and it is clear to you. This makes vaguely
aware near-synonymous with hardly aware.
These two occurrences resemble Allerton’s oxymoronic example of
cautiously optimistic mentioned in chapter three, here, too, the modifier
‘‘tones down’’ the adjective by semantically contradicting the adjective. The
logic also explains the reductive effect of technically (possible) and
theoretically (possible), which Quirk et al. (1985) and Johansson (1993)
classify as ‘‘viewpoint’’ adverbials without considering their restrictive
functions. in both cases the modifier has the opposite effect of easily
(possible). In this way, both enhancing and reducing force can be explained
far more plausibly than by simply assigning clause-level roles to phrase-
level adverbials. In most existing descriptions, the ‘‘semantic feature
copying’’ degree modifiers have been analysed as ‘‘manner’’ or
‘‘viewpoint’’ adverbials, and their intensifying force has therefore either
remained unclarified or been completely overlooked.

5.4.2. Copying (almost) all Features: Intensifying Hendiadys
Sometimes the whole lexical meaning of the modifier is encapsulated in that
of the adjective, although this is less frequent than merely copying and
enhancing one feature. The collocate of serenely, i.e. peaceful, subsumes and

implies serene, much in the same way as honest implies scrupulous in
scrupulously honest. Yet the mere seemingly tautological, repetition of a less
specific meaning component can have an amplifying effect. Genuine forms
of repetitive intensification can take the form of almost complete
duplication. Consider the following examples drawn from the OCD:
Bitterly cold Readily available
Blatantly clear Scrupulously honest
Clearly evident Serenely peaceful
Crucially important Spotlessly clean
Plainly evident Vitally important
This list comprises combinations of near-synonyms. The participating items
in this type of adverb-adjective collocation are contextually equivalent or
almost identical in denotation, but differ in frequency and range. In all these
instances, however, intensification is achieved by tautologically copying the
best part of the adjective’s meaning. As tautological implies replication in
the sense of ‘‘redundant’’, however, this special case of ‘‘semantic feature
copying’’ has been labelled ‘‘hendiadys’’ by Lorenz (1999). Hendiadys
intensification is a common, if rather special occurrence. It may well have
been the mechanism which originally triggered off the adjective
intensification function for very, which is now the most frequent off all
degree modifiers.

5.4.3. Copying Collocative Meaning : Emotive Boosters
In the least significant ‘‘semantic feature copying’’ sub-group, there are a
number of idiosyncratic boosters which tend to collocate with states of mind,
emotion or health. The OCD provides the following examples:

badly needed, injured
deeply insulting, disappointed, interested, rooted, impressed
fiercely opposed
warmly welcome
In these 10 adverb-adjective collocations, the ‘‘feature copying’’ mechanism
is not as conspicuous as in the previous two groups. The feature that is
duplicated in co-selection is merely one of collocative meaning (Leech
1974). It is part of the meaning of deeply and warmly that they modify
emotive adjectives. As has been pointed out by Lorenz (1999), such
collocational ‘‘colouring’’ of meaning is generally recognised as the result
of habitual co-occurrence.
In terms of linguistic description, the rationale of ‘‘copying collocative
meaning’’ is a little more than merely tautological. Superficially speaking,
stating that warmly in warmly welcome copies a collocative feature is
tantamount to saying that warmly frequently collocates with adjectives that
are marked for [POSITIVE EMOTION]. Lorenz makes this link explicit in
order to explain Bolinger’s example ‘’one who is coldly polite is less than
ordinarily polite’’. Standard descriptions so far have simply not spelled out
that the reducing effect in Bolinger’s coldly polite, for example, is
accomplished by substituting the habitual amplifier warmly with its lexical
antonym coldly. In analogy to loosely structured and vaguely aware above,
coldly polite also operates in terms of ‘‘feature contradiction’’. And as it has
been posited that ‘‘feature copying’’ and ‘‘feature contradiction’’ are
congruent mechanisms, the ‘‘semantic feature copying’’ label also applies to
unmarked collocations such as warmly welcome.

All in all, this study has identified five functional-semantic resources from
which adjective modifiers can be taken. Although the five semantic
categories have proved to be of a high conceptual value, the fact remains
that in their combination with adjectives, adverbs convey a type of meaning
which is grammatical in nature. This may be due to this syntactic slot
preceding the adjective (Adverb – Adjective) that weakens adverbs’
semantic content and attaches a grammatical function of degree
modification. Therefore, from a semantic perspective, it is the adjective that
is more important than the adverb in adverb-adjective collocation not just
because it is the head of the resulting phrase (AP), but because it carries a
semantic meaning.

Summary Conclusions and
Suggestions for Further


Chapter Six
Summary Conclusions and Suggestions for
Further Study

6.0. Introduction
This chapter is intended to present a number of conclusions or recapitulate
the outstanding points regarding adverb-adjective collocation that have
emerged from the material examined in this study. Furthermore, It is hoped
that the study will serve as the basis for further studies in this area of
language. Therefore, suggestions for further studies is the second part of the

6.1. Summary Conclusions
In the light of the aforementioned facts, a number of outstanding conclusions
can be drawn in what follows:
The meaning conveyed by the first participating element in adverb-
adjective collocation, i.e. the adverb, is grammatical in nature.
Besides, it has a communicative value which lies in the fact that it
establishes a link between speakers and listeners or writers and
readers, and by which subjectivity and personal involvement can be
detected. Whereas, the meaning expressed by the second participating
element, i.e. the adjective, is semantic in nature. Therefore, it is the
adjective that is more important than the adverb from a semantic point
of view not just because it is the head of the resulting phrase but
because it carries the semantic meaning.

The syntactic slot preceding the adjective in the construction of
adverb-adjective collocation, given that it is not filled by ‘‘viewpoint’’
adverbs, is uniquely characterized by attaching the grammatical
meaning of intensification to the adverb and weakening its semantic
• Virtually any adverb, even if it happens to be accidentally
found in this syntactic slot, tends to have or to develop an
intensifying meaning. To put it another way, an adverb
modifying an adjective tends to dilute its literal meaning in
favour of a nearly straightforward intensification.
• Intensification (or degree modification) can be conceived as the
anticipated outcome of most adverb-adjective collocation in
English language.
• Semantic weakening is conditioned by the increasing rate of
occurrence, that is, this syntactic slot can only affect those
adverbs that are very frequent in this context. Thus, the more
frequent an adverb in adverb-adjective collocation, the more
likely it runs the risk of delexicalization process accelerated by
this syntactic slot.
The richness of the conceptual meaning and the semantic character of
the adverbs determine their function in their combination with
• Adverbs that are semantically weak can not contribute to the
meaning of the adjective they apply to. They do no more than
simply modifying the degree or extent of a certain gradable
feature present in the adjective.

• Semantically rich adverbs can, in addition to degree
modification, fulfil other functions.
Delexicalized adverbs are building bricks rather than prefabricated
units in the construction of adverb-adjective collocation. Such adverbs
are used as ‘‘all-round’’, ‘‘safe bet’’ or ‘‘general purpose’’ items with
no or very little collocational restrictions.
The gradable feature in the adjective must harmonize with the grading
function of the adverb in terms of totality and scalarity to make a
successful match.
• Based on the present results, the validity of a ‘‘bidirectional’’
semantic model of relationship between the two elements has
been confirmed.
• Regardless of the semantic fields they may belong to, all the
adverbs labeled ‘‘maximizers’’ and ‘‘approximators’’ in the
present study mainly collocate with bounded limit adjectives,
‘‘boosters’’, ‘‘compromizers’’, ‘‘diminishers’’ and
‘‘minimizers’’ mainly collocate with unbounded scalar
adjectives. Extreme adjectives, on the other hand, are
compatible with ‘‘maximizers’’ and ‘‘boosters’’. This indicates
that unbounded adjectives select those adverbs that have an
unbounded grading function, i.e. grading in terms of ‘‘more-or-
less’’; whereas bounded adjectives select those adverbs that
have bounded mode of conceptualization, i.e. grading in terms
of ‘‘either-or’’. Any combination which is in breach of this
pattern have found to accept the explanation of ‘’contextual

The adverbs under study are found to operate along five different
semantic dimensions: ‘‘degree’’, ‘‘modal’’, ‘‘evaluative’’,
‘‘comparative’’ and ‘‘semantic feature copying’’. These are
conceptual domains of degree modification, i.e. the sources from
which new items are taken.
• The ‘’degree’’ category comprises those adverbs which have no
semantic extension beyond that of grading the adjacent
adjective. Morphologically, they can be classified into closed-
class and open-class ‘‘degree’’ adverbs. The two subsets are
widely combinable and are not subject to strict collocational
• The ‘‘modal’’ adverbs are truth modulators; they do not grade
the meaning of the adjective, but rather grade its applicability,
i.e. the degree to which it hold true.
• The ‘‘evaluative’’ adverbs combine grading function with
speaker evaluation. They are possibly the most powerful
resource of innovation in the functional category of degree
• The ‘‘comparative’’ category is smaller than others, it is not
nearly as open-ended, as there is only a limited set of adverbs
that contain the notion of comparison.
• ‘‘Semantic feature copying’’ category consists of adverbs that
can achieve intensification by duplicating a part of the
adjective’s meaning. It has turned out to be an astonishingly
powerful resource for adjective intensification. ‘‘Feature
copying’’ adverbs are co-selected with the adjectives they

modify. Unlike the other categories, their co-selection
constraints are based on sharing semantic features. They have a
very restricted range of collocation.
• The ‘’degree’’ category can be seen as a diachronic drain of
delexicalization. The more delexicalized an adverb, the more
likely it converges towards the semantic category of ‘‘degree’’.
The results have shown that really, terribly and relatively put
themselves forward as successful candidates which are ready to
resign their original conceptual membership and apply for
‘‘degree’’ membership.

6.2. Suggestions for Further Studies
This study could only touch upon some general aspects of the topic.
However, there might be other things that still remain unknown and need
further investigation. Those listed below are recommendations for further
commentaries and explorations:
Investigating and contrasting recurrent adverb-adjective collocations
across a number of different corpora; for example, native versus non-
native or written versus spoken corpora, and taking sociolinguistic
factors into consideration such as age, sex, education, region, style,
specialism, etc. In this way language and sociocultural variables will
be correlated.
Expanding the semantic classification of adverbs by recognizing
other semantic fields, or adding new potential members to those
discussed in this study.

Carrying out contrastive studies between English and other languages
to find out about the similarities and/or differences and also to realize
translation difficulties.



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Appendix Ia: Closed-class ‘‘Degree’’ Category
Appendix Ia lists all adjectives found to be intensified by the selected
members of closed-class ‘‘degree’’ category in the OCD. The CCD and
MED are also consulted for some adverbs in this category. Both the adverbs
and their collocating adjectives are listed in alphabetical order.

Almost is used with these adjectives:
accidental, afraid, apologetic, asleep, audible, automatic, bald, bankrupt, bare, barren,
bearable, beautiful, blasphemous, blind, bound, casual, certain, cheerful, circular, clean,
clinical, closed, comic, comical, commonplace, comparable, complete, constant,
contemporary, contemptuous, convinced, dark, dazed, defenceless, defunct, derelict,
deserted, desperate, devoid, disappointed, drunk, dry, eerie, embarrassed, embarrassing,
empty, endless, envious, equal, equivalent, essential, exclusive, extinct, faint, fearful,
feminine, flat, forlorn, formal, frantic, friendly, frightened, frightening, full, funny,
furtive, gentle, glad, grateful, guilty, handsome, harmless, hopeful, hostile, hysterical,
ideal, identical, ill, illiterate, immaterial, immediate, immobile, immortal, immune,
impassable, impassive, impatient, impenetrable, imperceptible, impervious, impossible,
inaccessible, inaudible, incapable, incidental, incomprehensible, inconceivable,
incredible, indecent, independent, indestructible, indifferent, indignant, indispensible,
inedible, inevitable, infinite, inhuman, insane, insensitive, inseparable, insignificant,
insoluble, instant, instantaneous, instinctive, insulting, intact, interchangeable,
intolerable, intuitive, invincible, invisible, irrelevant, irresistible, isolated, lazy, level,
lifeless, light, ludicrous, luminous, luxurious, lyrical, mad, magical, meaningless,
menacing, miraculous, motionless, naked, negligible, nervous, non-existent, numb,
obligatory, oblivious, obscene, obsolete, opaque, oval, overwhelming, painful, painless,
patronizing, penniless, perfect, permanent, perpendicular, perverse, physical, pleasant,
poetic, predictable, pretty, professional, prophetic, proud, purple, random, ready,
relieved, resentful, respectable, responsible, ridiculous, right, rigid, ripe, sacred, sad,
secretive, seductive, self-evident, self-sufficient, serene, shocked, shy, sick, silent, sinister,
smooth, smug, sober, solid, sorry, speechless, spiritual, standard, static, steady, straight,
stunned, subdued, submerged, sufficient, suicidal, superfluous, surprised, symmetrical,
synonymous, tame, tearful, tedious, tender, threatening, traditional, tragic, transparent,
triumphant, trivial, true, ugly, unable, unaffected, unanimous, unavoidable, unaware,
unbearable, unbeatable, unbelievable, unbroken, unchanged, unconscious,
uncontrollable, unheard-of, uninhabitable, unintelligible, unique, universal, unknown,
unlimited, unnatural, unnoticed, unprecedented, unreal, unscathed, unthinkable, upright,
useless, violent, visible, warm, weary, worse, worth, worthless.
Indeed is use with these adjective:
fortunate, genuine, good, safe.


Most is uses with these adjectives:
agreeable, amazing, amenable, amusing, appealing, bizarre, comforting, delicious,
delightful, emphatic, encouraging, enjoyable, excellent, extraordinary, fascinating,
generous, grateful, gratifying, helpful, illuminating, imaginative, important, impressive,
improper, inconvenient, informative, ingenious, insistent, instructive, intelligent,
interested, interesting, intriguing, irregular, kind, likeable, memorable, peculiar,
remarkable, satisfactory, surprised, uncomfortable, undignified, unexpected, unfortunate,
unhappy, unlikely, unpleasant, unsuitable, valuable, welcome, wonderful, worthy.
Much is used with these adjectives:
aggrieved, alive, alone, amused, beloved, better, impressed, indebted, intact, interested,
neglected, obliged, worse.
Pretty is used with these adjectives:
accurate, amazing, angry, awesome, awful, bad, beautiful, big, bizarre, bored, boring,
bright, broad, busy, calm, certain, chaotic, cheap, cheap, chilly, clean, clear, clever,
comprehensive, conclusive, confident, confusing, conventional, convincing, cool, costly,
crazy, creepy, crowded, daft, decent, deep, demanding, depressing, desperate,
despicable, despondent, disappointed, disastrous, disgusting, dismal, dreadful, drunk,
dull, dumb, effective, efficient, embarrassing, excited, exciting, exhausted, exhausting,
exorbitant, expensive, fair, familiar, far-fetched, fast, filthy, fit, flexible, foolproof,
formidable, forthright, free, friendly, frightened, frightening, frosty, full, funny, generous,
gloomy, good, gruesome, handy, happy, hard, harmless, heavy, helpful, hopeless,
horrible, horrific, hot, ill, implausible, impossible, impressive, incomprehensible,
incredible, independent, ineffective, innocuous, interesting, keen, lazy, lethal, lonely,
loud, lucky, mad, marvellous, mean, meaningless, mild, miserable, modest, mundane,
nasty, nervous, nice, noisy, normal, obvious, odd, ordinary, overwhelming, painful,
perceptive, plain, pleased, popular, potent, powerful, predictable, quick, quiet, rare,
reliable, remote, resilient, ridiculous, rude, safe, scarce, scared, secluded, secure, self-
sufficient, selfish, sensible, sensitive, sexy, shaky, sharp, shattered, sick, silly, simple,
slack, slender, slow, small, sober, solid, sophisticated, sound, spectacular, splendid,
spooky, stable, staggering, standard, steep, straight, straightforward, strange, strong,
stupid, sure, surprised, sympathetic, tame, tedious, terrible, terrified, tight, tired, tolerant,
tough, traditional, trivial, true, typical, ugly, unbelievable, uncomfortable, unfair,
unforgettable, uninhibited, universal, unlikely, unpleasant, unscrupulous, unusual, upset,
useful, useless, vague, violent, warm, weak, weird, widespread, wild, wonderful.
Quite is used with these adjectives:
OK, accurate, accustomed, adaptable, advanced, agreeable, alarming, alien, alike,
alone, annoyed, apparent, apprehensive, astonished, attached, bad, bald, bare, beautiful,
bewildered, bewildering, bitter, blameless, brave, breathless, bright, brown, calm,
candid, capable, careful, casual, cautious, certain, civil, clean, clear, clever, close,
comfortable, comical, common, competent, conceivable, concerned, consistent, content,
convenient, convincing, cordial, cross, crucial, current, dangerous, dead, decent,

decorative, deep, delicious, delightful, democratic, desolate, determined, disgusted,
disproportionate, distinct, distinctive, distraught, distressing, diverse, dreadful, early,
easy, economical, eloquent, embarrassed, embarrassing, emotional, encouraging,
energetic, entertaining, enthusiastic, evident, excited, exciting, exclusive, exorbitant,
expensive, explicit, extraordinary, extreme, fair, faithful, familiar, fascinating,
fashionable, fast, favourable, fearless, firm, flat, flattering, flexible, fortunate, frank,
frantic, fresh, friendly, frightened, frightening, fruitless, full, fundamental ,generous,
gentle, genuine, glad, good, good-looking, handsome, handy, happy, hard, harmful,
healthy, heavy, helpful, honest, hopeful, horrific, hot, illegitimate, imaginative,
immaterial, immune, important, impossible, improper, inadequate, inappropriate,
inconceivable, incredible, independent, indignant, inefficient, inevitable, inexpensive,
informative, ingenious, insane, insecure, insignificant, insistent, insufficient, insulting,
interesting, intolerable, inventive, inviting, ironic, irrational, irrelevant, irresistible,
isolated, junior, keen, kind, knowledgeable, lacking, large, late, legitimate, liberal, light,
likeable, likely, limited, literate, logical, long, lovely, low, low-key, lucky, lucrative,
ludicrous, luxurious, lyrical, mad, magical, magnificent, manageable, marked,
marvellous, meaningless, mild, minor, miraculous, miserable, misguided, misleading,
misplaced, missing, mistaken, mobile, moderate, modest, motionless, moving, naked,
narrow, nasty, natural, neat, nervous, neutral, new, nice, noisy, normal, noticeable,
novel, objective, oblivious, observant, obstructive, obvious, odd, offensive, old, open,
optimistic, ordinary, ornate, outrageous, outstanding, overwhelming, painful, patriotic,
peaceful, peculiar, perceptive, perfect, persistent, persuasive, perverse, pessimistic,
phenomenal, philosophical, pink, plain, plausible, pleasant, pleased, pleasing,
pleasurable, poetic, poignant, pointless, polite, popular, positive, possible, potent,
powerful, powerless, practical, pragmatic, precise, predictable, presentable, pretty,
privileged, probable, productive, professional, profitable, prolific, prolonged, prominent,
promising, pronounced, proper, prosperous, proud, quick, quiet, radical, random, rapid,
rare, rational, readable, realistic, reasonable, reassuring, recent, recognizable, red,
refreshing, regular, relaxed, reliable, reliant, relieved, religious, remarkable, remote,
reserved, resistant, responsible, responsive, restrained, revealing, rich, ridiculous, right,
rigid, ripe, risky, romantic, rude, rural, sad, safe, sane, satisfactory, satisfied, satisfying,
scared, secure, selective, self-conscious, self-contained, selfish, senior, sensible,
senseless, sensitive, separate, serene, serious, settled, severe, sexy, shaken, shallow,
sharp, sheltered, shocked, shocking, short, shy, sick, significant, silent, simple, small,
smooth, sophisticated, specialized, specific, spectacular, splendid, square, stable,
staggered, steady, steep, stiff, straightforward, strange, striking, strong, suitable,
superfluous, sure, sweet, swollen, sympathetic, tall, tasteful, tender, thick, thin, tight,
tight, tired, tough, transparent, trivial, true, ugly, unacceptable, unbelievable,
unconscious, unfamiliar, unfit, unique, unknown, unmistakable, unmoved, unnecessary,
usual, valuable, vigorous, violent, visible, vivid, warm, weird, wet, willing, worthless,
Rather is used with these adjectives:
academic, aggressive, aggrieved, ambiguous, ambitious, ambivalent, amusing, annoyed,
annoying, anxious, appealing, apprehensive, artificial, authoritarian, awful, awkward,
backward, bad, bad-tempered, baffled, bare, battered, beautiful, bemused, benign,

bewildered, big, bitter, bizarre, bleak, bored, brown, bureaucratic, busy, careless, casual,
charming, chilly, claustrophobic, clever, cloudy, cold, comical, common, commonplace,
competitive, complacent, complex, complicated, confused, confusing, conspicuous,
contentious, contradictory, contrived, controversial, conventional, cool, costly,
courageous, coy, crowded, curious, damaging, damp, dangerous, dated, deaf, defensive,
degrading, dejected, delicate, delicious, depressed, depressing, desolate, desperate,
despondent, detached, detrimental, different, difficult, direct, dirty, disappointing,
disapproving, disconcerting, disgusted, disgusting, dishonest, disillusioned, disreputable,
distant, distasteful, distressing, disturbing, doubtful, dramatic, dreadful, drunk, dry,
dubious, dull, dumb, early, easy, eccentric, eerie, effective, elaborate, elegant, elusive,
embarrassed, embarrassing, emotional, emotive, envious, erratic, excellent, excessive,
excitable, excited, exciting, exclusive, exhausted, expensive, exposed, extraordinary,
extravagant, extreme, faint, familiar, fantastic, far-fetched, fashionable, fat, fearful,
fickle, flat, flattered, flattering, fluid, fond, foolish, forlorn, formal, formidable, fortunate,
fragile, frail, frightened, frightening, frustrated, frustrating, full, fundamental, funny,
futile, fuzzy, generous, giddy, glad, glamorous, gloomy, good-looking, gorgeous, grateful,
grey, gruesome, guilty, haphazard, hard, harsh, hazardous, hazy, heavy, hoarse,
hopeless, horrible, hot, hungry, hurtful, idle, ignorant, ill, illogical, immature, immoral,
impersonal, implausible, impractical, imprecise, impressive, improbable, inaccessible,
inaccurate, inadequate, inclined, incongruous, inconsistent, inconvenient, indifferent,
indignant, ineffective, inefficient, inept, inflexible, informal, infrequent, inhibited,
insecure, insensitive, insignificant, insulting, interesting, intriguing, intrusive, involved,
ironic, irregular, irrelevant, irresponsible, irritated, isolated, jealous, keen, lacking,
large, late, lazy, lengthy, lifeless, limited, limp, loaded, lonely, long, loose, lost, loud,
lovely, low, low-key, lucrative, ludicrous, magnificent, malicious, mean, menacing,
miserable, misguided, misleading, misplaced, mixed, modest, mudded, muddy, mundane,
mystified, naive, narrow, nasty, neat, negative, neglected, nervous, nice, noisy, novel,
obscure, obvious, odd, off-putting, offensive, oily, old-fashioned, one-sided, optimistic,
ordinary, ornate, overdrawn, overweight, painful, pale, passive, patchy, patronizing,
peculiar, perplex, persistent, personal, perverse, pessimistic, philosophical, plain,
pleasant, pleased, pleasing, poetic, pointless, popular, possessive, pragmatic,
preoccupied, pretty, professional, prone, proud, provocative, puzzled, questionable,
quiet, rare, red, regrettable, relieved, reluctant, remarkable, remote, repetitive,
repressed, reserved, restricted, restrictive, revealing, ridiculous, rigid, risky, romantic,
rude, sad, savage, scarce, scared, sceptical, secretive, selective, self-conscious, selfish,
sensitive, separate, sexy, shaken, shaky, shallow, sharp, shocked, shocking, short, shy,
sick, silent, silly, similar, simple, simplistic, sinister, skinny, slack, sleepy, slender, slight,
slow, small, smug, soft, solemn, sombre, sophisticated, sour, staid, stale, sterile, stiff,
strained, stressful, susceptible, suspicious, sweet, tame, thick, thin, threadbare, tight,
tired, tragic, tranquil, traumatic, treacherous, ugly, unbalanced, uncertain,
uncomfortable, unexpected, unfashionable, unfortunate, unhappy, unlikely, unreal,
unstable, unsure, upset, urgent, vague, vulnerable, wary, weak, weary, wet, white, wild,
wobbly, worried, yellow.
So: no collocational information is given for ‘‘so’’ in the OCD. The search
for its instances in the CCD’s wordbank and MED shows that ‘‘so’’ can be

used with all types of adjectives but most frequently with scalar adjectives.
To economise on space, however, its instances in the CCD and MED are not
included here.
Somewhat is used with these adjectives:
abstract, absurd, academic, aggressive, aggrieved, akin, alien, aloof, ambiguous,
ambivalent, annoyed, anxious, arbitrary, artificial, ashamed, awesome, awkward,
backward, bemused, bewildered, bitter, bizarre, breathless, bureaucratic, certain,
chaotic, chilly, claustrophobic, comical, complacent, complex, complicated, concerned,
confused, confusing, conspicuous, contentious, contradictory, contrived, controversial,
conventional, cool, curious, cynical, dated, debatable, defensive, delicate, depressing,
despondent, disappointed, disappointing, disconcerting, dismissive, disorganised,
distracted, disturbing, doubtful, dubious, dull, eccentric, elusive, embarrassed,
embarrassing, enigmatic, envious, erratic, excessive, excitable, exclusive, extravagant,
extreme, flawed, forlorn, formidable, guilty, haphazard, harsh, hazardous, hazy,
humiliating, impatient, impenetrable, impertinent, implausible, impractical, imprecise,
inaccurate, inadequate, inappropriate, incompatible, incomplete, inconclusive,
incongruous, inconsistent, inconvenient, ineffective, inefficient, inferior, inflexible,
insecure, insensitive, intrusive, ironic, irrational, irregular, irrelevant, irresponsible,
isolated, lacking, lengthy, limited, misguided, misleading, mixed, muddled, mundane,
muted, mystified, naive, narrow, negative, neglected, nervous, obscure, odd, old-
fashioned, one-sided, opaque, optimistic, overdrawn, painful, paradoxical, passive,
patronizing, perplex, perverse, pessimistic, pointless, prolonged, puzzled, questionable,
radial, rare, relieved, reluctant, reminiscent, remote, restricted, restrictive, ridiculous,
risky, sad, sarcastic, scarce, sceptical, secretive, self-conscious, sensitive, separate,
shaken, shaky, shy, similar, simplistic, sinister, sombre, sour, startled, static, sterile, stiff,
strained, strange, stunned, subdued, subjective, superficial, superior, surprised,
surprising, suspect, suspicious, tame, technical, tedious, threatening, unbalanced,
undignified, uneasy, unexpected, unlikely, unnecessary, unorthodox, unpleasant,
unpopular, unstable, unusual, vague, variable, volatile.
Too: no collocational information is given for ‘‘too’’ in the OCD. Its
instances in CCD’s wordbank and MED shows that ‘‘too’’ ca be used as an
‘‘all-round’’ booster with all types of adjectives but most particularly with
scalar adjectives. To economise on space, however, its instances are not
included here.
Very is used with these adjectives:
able, absorbed, abstract, abusive, acceptable, accessible, accomplished, accurate, active,
adaptable, addictive, adept, adequate, admirable, advanced, advantageous, afraid,
aggressive, aggrieved, agitated, agreeable, alarmed, alarming, alert, alien, alike, alive,
ambiguous, ambitious, ambivalent, amiable, amused, amusing, ancient, angry, annoyed,
annoying, anxious, apologetic, apparent, appealing, applicable, apprehensive,

appropriate, articulate, artificial, ashamed, assured, astute, attached, attractive,
authoritarian, aware, awkward, backward, bad, bad-tempered, bare, barren, battered,
beautiful, believable, beneficial, best, bewildered, bewildering, biased, big, bitter,
bizarre, black, bleak, blonde, bold, bored, boring, brave, breathless, breezy, brief, bright,
broad, brown, bureaucratic, businesslike, busy, calm, candid, capable, careful, careless,
casual, cautious, central, certain, challenging, chaotic, characteristic, charming, cheap,
cheerful, chilly, civil, claustrophobic, clean, clear, clever, close, cloudy, coherent, cold,
comfortable, comforting, comical, commendable, committed, common, commonplace,
comparable, compassionate, compatible, compelling, competent, competitive,
complacent, complete, complex, complicated, complimentary, composed, comprehensive,
concentrated, concerned, confident, confused, confusing, congested, conscious,
conservative, consistent, conspicuous, constipated, contagious, contemporary, content,
contented, contentious, contrived, controversial, convenient, conventional, convincing,
cool, cordial, corrosive, corrupt, cosmopolitan, costly, courageous, courteous, coy,
creamy, creative, credible, creditable, creepy, critical, cross, crowded, crucial, cruel,
curious, curly, cynical, damaging, damp, dangerous, daring, dark, dated, debatable,
decent, deceptive, decorative, dedicated, deep, defensive, degrading, delicate,
demanding, dependable, dependent, depressed, depressing, deprived, descriptive,
deserving, desirable, desperate, despondent, destructive, detached, detailed, determined,
detrimental, developed, devoted, different, difficult, dignified, direct, dirty, disabled,
disadvantaged, disappointed, disappointing, disapproving, disconcerting, dishonest,
disillusioned, dismal, dismissive, disorganized, disreputable, disruptive, dissatisfied,
dissimilar, distant, distasteful, distinct, distinctive, distracted, distraught, distressing,
disturbed, disturbing, diverse, divisive, domesticated, dominant, doubtful, dramatic,
drunk, dry, dubious, dull, dumb, dynamic, eager, early, easy, eccentric, economical,
edgy, educated, eerie, effective, efficient, elaborate, elated, elegant, eloquent, elusive,
embarrassed, embarrassing, emotional, emotive, emphatic, empty, encouraging,
energetic, engrossed, enigmatic, enjoyable, entertaining, enthusiastic, envious, erect,
erotic, erratic, essential, even, evident, evil, exceptional, excitable, excited, exciting,
exclusive, exhausting, expensive, experienced, explicit, explosive, exposed, expressive,
extravagant, extreme, faint, fair, faithful, false, familiar, famous, far-fetched, fascinating,
fashionable, fast, fat, favourable, fearful, fed up, feminine, fertile, fickle, fine, firm, fishy,
fit, fitting, fixed, flammable, flat, flattered, flattering, flexible, fluid, flushed, fond, foolish,
foreign, forlorn, formal, formidable, forthright, fortunate, fragile, fragrant, frail, frank,
frequent, fresh, friendly, frightened, frightening, frosty, fruitful, frustrated, frustrating,
full, fundamental, funny, fuzzy, generous, gentle, genuine, gifted, glad, glamorous,
gloomy, good, good-looking, grateful, gratifying, great, gregarious, grey, gruesome,
guilty, handsome, handy, haphazard, happy, hard, harmful, harsh, hazardous, hazy,
healthy, heavy, helpful, heroic, hierarchical, hoarse, homesick, homogeneous, honest,
honourable, honoured, hopeful, hostile, hot, humiliating, humorous, hungry, hurt, hurtful,
ignorant, ill, illuminating, imaginative, immature, immoral, impatient, imperfect,
impersonal, impertinent, implausible, important, impractical, imprecise, impressed,
impressionable, impressive, improbable, inaccurate, inadequate, inappropriate, inclined,
incomplete, inconsistent, inconvenient, independent, indifferent, indignant, ineffective,
inefficient, inexpensive, inexperienced, infectious, inferior, inflexible, influential,
informal, informative, infrequent, ingenious, inhibited, innocent, inquisitive, insecure,

insensitive, insignificant, insistent, inspiring, instructive, instrumental, insulting,
intelligent, intense, intensive, interactive, interested, interesting, intolerant, intricate,
intriguing, intrusive, intuitive, inventive, inviting, involved, ironic, irregular,
irresponsible, irritated, irritating, isolated, jealous, junior, keen, kind, knowledgeable,
lame, large, late, lazy, legitimate, lengthy, lenient, liberal, light, light-headed, likeable,
likely, limited, limp, literate, loaded, logical, lonely, long, long-lived, lost, loud, lovely,
low, low-key, loyal, lucky, lucrative, luxurious, lyrical, mad, magical, male, manageable,
marked, marketable, masculine, mature, mean, mellow, memorable, menacing, mild,
militant, minor, miserable, misleading, mixed, mobile, moderate, modest, moist,
motivated, moving, muddled, muddy, mundane, muted, naive, narrow, nasty, natural,
neat, needy, negative, nervous, new, nice, noisy, normal, noticeable, novel, numerous,
nutritious, objective, obscure, observant, obvious, odd, off-putting, offensive, oily, old,
old-fashioned, one-sided, opaque, open, opposed, optimistic, orderly, ordinary,
organized, oriented, original, ornate, orthodox, overcast, overcrowded, overgrown,
overweight, painful, pale, partial, passive, patchy, patient, patriotic, patronizing,
peaceful, peculiar, peeved, perceptive, permissive, perplexed, persistent, personal,
persuasive, pertinent, pervasive, perverse, pessimistic, philosophical, plain, plausible,
pleasant, pleased, pleasing, pleasurable, poetic, poignant, poisonous, polite, political,
popular, portable, positive, possessive, possible, potent, powerful, practical, pragmatic,
precious, precise, predictable, pregnant, prejudiced, preoccupied, presentable,
prestigious, pretty, privileged, probable, productive, professional, proficient, profitable,
progressive, prolific, prolonged, prominent, promising, prone, pronounced, proper,
prosperous, protective, proud, provocative, prudent, puzzled, questionable, quick, quiet,
radical, rapid, rare, rational, reactionary, readable, ready, real, realistic, reasonable,
reassuring, recent, red, reflective, refreshing, regrettable, regular, relaxed, relevant,
reliable, relieved, religious, reluctant, remarkable, reminiscent, remote, repellent,
repetitive, representative, repressed, repulsive, reputable, resentful, reserved, resilient,
resistant, resourceful, respectable, responsible, responsive, restrained, restricted,
restrictive, revealing, rewarding, rich, rigid, ripe, risky, romantic, rude, rural, sad, safe,
sarcastic, satisfactory, satisfied, satisfying, savage, scarce, scared, sceptical, secluded,
secret, secretive, secure, seductive, selective, self-conscious, self-contained, selfish,
senior, sensible, sensitive, separate, serene, serious, settled, severe, sexy, shaken, shaky,
shallow, sharp, shocked, shocking, short, shy, sick, significant, silly, similar, simple,
simplistic, sincere, sinister, skilful, skilled, skinny, slack, sleepy, slender, slight, slim,
slimy, slippery, slow, small, smart, smooth, smug, soft, solemn, solid, soluble, sombre,
soothing, sophisticated, sorry, sound, sour, spacious, specialized, specific, spectacular,
spicy, spiritual, spooky, square, stable, staid, stale, startled, static, steady, steep, sterile,
sticky, stiff, still, stimulating, straightforward, strained, strange, stressed, stressful,
striking, strong, stupid, subdued, subjective, subtle, subversive, successful, suggestive,
suitable, suited, sunny, superficial, supple, supportive, sure, surprised, surprising,
susceptible, suspect, suspicious, sweaty, sweet, swift, swollen, symbolic, sympathetic,
talented, tall, tame, tanned, tasteful, taxing, tearful, technical, tedious, temperamental,
temporary, tender, tense, terrible, thankful, thick, thin, threadbare, threatening, tidy,
tight, tiny, tired, tolerant, touched, tough, toxic, traditional, tragic, tranquil, transparent,
traumatic, treacherous, trivial, troubled, true, truthful, typical, ugly, unbalanced,
uncertain, uncharacteristic, uncomfortable, uncommon, understandable, undesirable,

undignified, uneasy, unexpected, unfair, unfamiliar, unfashionable, unfit, unfortunate,
unfriendly, unhappy, uninhibited, unlikely, unlucky, unnatural, unorthodox, unpleasant,
unpopular, unreal, unreasonable, unstable, unsuitable, unsure, untidy, unusual, unwell,
up to date, uplifting, upset, uptight, urgent, used to, useful, usual, vague, valid, valuable,
variable, varied, versatile, vicious, vigilant, vigorous, violent, visible, vital, vivid, vocal,
volatile, vulnerable, warm, wary, weak, wealthy, weary, weird, welcome, wet, white,
wide, widespread, wild, willing, wise, wobbly, worried, worrying, worthwhile, worthy,
wrinkled, wrong, young.
Well is used with these adjectives:
ablaze, able, alight, aware, capable, foolproof, worth, worthwhile, worthy.


Appendix Ib: Open-class ‘’Degree’’ Category
Appendix Ib lists all adjectives found to be intensified by the selected
members of open-class ‘‘degree’’ category in the OCD. Both the adverbs
and their collocating adjectives are listed in alphabetical order.

Absolutely is used with these adjectives:
absurd, amazed, amazing, appalling, assured, astonished, astonishing, awful, beautiful,
binding, bonkers, bound, breathtaking, brilliant, calm, catastrophic, central, certain,
chaotic, charming, clear, committed, conclusive, confident, confidential, consistent,
constant, convinced, correct, covered, crazy, critical, crucial, decisive, dedicated,
delicious, delighted, delightful, dependant, dependant, desperate, despicable, determined,
devoted, disastrous, disgraceful, disgusted, disgusting, distraught, dreadful, ecstatic,
equal, essential, even, excellent, exhausted, explicit, extraordinary, fair, faithful, false,
fantastic, fascinating, fatal, fearless, filthy, fine, flat, foolproof, frank, frantic, free,
freezing, full, fundamental, furious, futile, genuine, gorgeous, great, harmless, helpless,
honest, hopeless, horrible, horrific, huge, hysterical, ideal, identical, illegitimate,
illogical, immaculate, imperative, impersonal, impossible, incapable, incredible,
indispensible, inevitable, inseparable, insoluble, intolerable, invaluable, irreconcilable,
laden, lethal, level, logical, lovely, loyal, ludicrous, mad, magnificent, marvellous,
meaningless, motionless, necessary, negligible, open, opposed, outrageous, outstanding,
perfect, phenomenal, plain, pointless, positive, precise, privileged, quiet, reliable,
ridiculous, right, rigid, safe, satisfied, scared, scarlet, secret, secure, senseless, separate,
shattered, sick, silent, soaked, solid, sound, spectacular, splendid, square, staggered,
staggering, steady, still, straight, straightforward, stunned, stunning, stupid, superb, sure,
terrible, terrified, thrilled, trivial, true, truthful, typical, unavoidable, unbearable,
unheard-of, united, unknown, unthinkable, useless, valid, vital, wild, wonderful,
worthless, wrong.
Barely is used with these adjectives:
able, adequate, alive, audible, capable, comprehensible, conceivable, conscious,
credible, decayed, discernible, distinguishable, dry, feasible, furnished, habitable,
imaginable, intelligible, legible, literate, noticeable, perceptible, plausible, profitable,
recognizable, relevant, submerged, sufficient, tolerable, visible, worth.
Completely is used with these adjectives:
absent, absorbed, absurd, acceptable, accidental, accurate, alien, alone, anonymous,
arbitrary, artificial, automatic, autonomous, baffled, balanced, bald, bare, barren,
bewildered, bewildering, blank, blind, bogus, bonkers, boring, broke, calm, clear, closed,
comfortable, committed, confident, confidential, confused, consistent, contradictory,
contrary, convinced, convincing, cool, correct, covered, crazy, credible, cynical, daft,
dark, decay, defenceless, dejected, dependent, deserted, desolate, detached, devoid,

devoted, different, disillusioned, dismissive, disorganised, distinct, distraught, drunk, dry,
effective, empty, engrossed, erect, erotic, estranged, even, exempt, exhausted, exposed,
extinct, fair, false, familiar, fearless, filthy, flat, flexible, foreign, free, frustrated, full,
futile, genuine, grey, groundless, happy, harmless, helpless, honest, honourable, hooked,
hopeless, hysterical, identical, ignorant, illegitimate, illiterate, illogical, imaginary,
immaterial, immobile, immune, impartial, impassable, impassive, impersonal,
impervious, impossible, impotent, impractical, impractical, improbable, inaccessible,
inadequate, inappropriate, incapable, incidental, incompatible, incompetent,
incomprehensible, independent, indestructible, indifferent, ineffective, inert, inexplicable,
inflexible, innocent, insane, insensitive, insignificant, insulted, intact, invisible,
irrelevant, irresponsible, isolated, justified, lacking, lame, legal, level, lifeless, light,
limp, logical, lost, loyal, mad, misleading, missing, mistaken, mystified, naked, natural,
natural, negative, new, non-existent, normal, novel, nude, numb, objective, oblivious,
obscure, obvious, opaque, open, opposed, original, outrageous, dominant, overgrown,
overwhelming, painless, plain, portable, powerless, predictable, preoccupied, proven,
quiet, random, recyclable, redundant, relaxed, reliable, reliant, reversible, ridiculous,
rigid, rural, safe, same, satisfactory, satisfied, satisfying, secular, secure, self-contained,
self-sufficient, separable, separate, shattered, silent, sincere, slack, smooth, soaked,
sober, solid, soluble, speechless, stable, static, sterile, still, straight, stuck, stunned,
stupid, submerged, subordinate, sure, synonymous, terrified, transparent, trivial, true,
truthful, unable, unacceptable, unaffected, unaware, unbalanced, unbelievable,
unchanged, unconcerned, unconscious, uncontrollable, understandable, unexpected,
unfamiliar, unfashionable, unfit, unfounded, unheard-of, uninhibited, uninterested,
unknown, unmoved, unnecessary, unnoticed, unproved, unreasonable, unscathed,
unscrupulous, unsuitable, unsure, unthinkable, up-to-date, useless, valid, valueless,
voluntary, vulnerable, worthless, wrong.
Enormously is used with these adjectives:
appealing, complex, costly, diverse, enjoyable, exciting, expensive, fat, flattering, fruitful,
grateful, helpful, important, impressed, impressive, influential, popular, powerful,
productive, proud, rich, successful ,useful, valuable, varied, wealthy, wide.
Entirely is used with these adjectives:
absent, abstract, acceptable, accurate, adequate, alien, alone, anonymous, appropriate,
arbitrary, artificial, avoidable, barren, beneficial, blank, bogus, characteristic, clear,
coincidental, comfortable, commendable, compatible, comprehensible, conceivable,
concerned, confident, consistent, contrary, conventional, convinced, convincing, cordial,
correct, courteous, covered, defenceless, delightful, dependant, descriptive, devoid,
different, dismissive, distinct, engrossed, exempt, explicable, fair, faithful, false, familiar,
feasible, fictional, fictitious, flattering, foreign, free, groundless, haphazard, happy,
honest, honourable, hostile, hypothetical, ignorant, illegitimate, illogical, immaterial,
immune, impersonal, implausible, impractical, improper, inaccessible, inadequate,
inappropriate, incidental, incompatible, incongruous, independent, ineffective, innocent,
intact, irrelevant, isolated, justifiable, justified, lacking, legitimate, logical, loyal, male,
misguided, misleading, misplaced, missing, naked, negative, new, novel, obvious,

occupied, opposed, optional, painless, plausible, pleasant, positive, practical, pragmatic,
predictable, preoccupied, preventable, proper, random, rational, reasonable, reliable,
reliant, respectable, responsible, rigid, safe, sane, satisfactory, satisfied, secrete, secure,
self-contained, selfish, separate, sincere, smooth, sober, straightforward, stupid, subject,
subjective, suitable, superficial, supportive, sure, sympathetic, thick, transparent, true,
typical, unaffected, unaware, understandable, unfounded, unhappy, united, unknown,
unmoved, unnecessary, unnoticed, unpleasant, unprecedented, unscathed, unsuitable,
useless, voluntary, worthy, wrong.
Extremely is used with these adjectives:
able, accomplished, accurate, active, addictive, adept, advanced, advantageous, afraid,
aggressive, agitated, alarmed, alarming, ambitious, amusing, ancient, angry, annoyed,
annoying, anxious, apprehensive, attractive, awkward, bad, bad-tempered, beautiful,
beneficial, biased, big, bitter, bleak, bold, boring, brave, bright, broad, bureaucratic,
busy, capable, careful, careless, casual, cautious, challenging, characteristic, charming,
cheap, cheap, cheerful, civil, clean, clear, clever, close, cold, comfortable, comforting,
comical, common, compelling, competent, competitive, complacent, complementary,
complex, complicated, composed, comprehensive, concerned, confident, confidential,
confused, confusing, conscious, conservative, contented, controversial, convenient,
convincing, cordial, costly, courageous, courteous, coy, critical, cross, crowded, cruel,
curious, cynical, damaging, dangerous, decorative, defensive, degrading, delicate,
demanding, democratic, dependable, depressed, depressing, deprived, desirable,
destructive, detailed, detrimental, devoted, difficult, direct, dirty, disadvantaged,
disappointed, disappointing, disillusioned, disruptive, distasteful, distinctive, distraught,
distressing, disturbing, diverse, dominant, doubtful, dramatic, drunk, dry, dull, early,
easy, eccentric, economical, effective, efficient, elaborate, elegant, eloquent, elusive,
embarrassed, embarrassing, emotional, encouraging, energetic, enjoyable, entertaining,
enthusiastic, envious, erratic, excited, exciting, expensive, experienced, exposed, faint,
faithful, familiar, far-fetched, fashionable, fast, favourable, fearful, fertile, fine, fit,
flattering, flexible, fluid, flushed, fond, foolish, formal, fortunate, fragile, fragrant, frail,
frank, frequent, friendly, frightened, frightening, fruitful, frustrated, frustrating, full,
funny, fuzzy, generous, gentle, gifted, glad, good, good-looking, grateful, gratifying,
guilty, handsome, happy, hard, harmful, harsh, hazardous, hazy, healthy, heavy, helpful,
hierarchical, hoarse, honest, hopeful, hostile, hot, humorous, hungry, hurt, ill,
illuminating, imaginative, impatient, important, imprecise, impressed, impressive,
improbable, inaccurate, inconvenient, incredible, indignant, influential, informative,
ingenious, insecure, insistent, instructive, interested, interesting, intolerant, intricate,
intrusive, intuitive, involved, ironic, irresponsible, isolated, kind, knowledgeable, large,
lazy, lenient, light, likable, likely, limited, logical, lonely, long-lived, loud, low, low-key,
loyal, lucky, lucrative, luxurious, marked, masculine, mellow, memorable, militant,
minor, misleading, mixed, modest, motivated, muddled, muddy, muted, naive, narrow,
nasty, neat, negative, neglected, negligent, nervous, nice, noisy, noticeable, novel,
nutritious, obscure, obvious, odd, offensive, old, opaque, open, optimistic, organized,
original, overcrowded, overgrown, overweight, painful, pale, passive, patchy, patient,
patronizing, peaceful, perceptive, permissive, persistent, personal, persuasive, pertinent,
pessimistic, plain, plausible, pleasant, pleased, pleasing, poignant, poisonous, polite,

popular, positive, possessive, potent, powerful, practical, precious, precise, predictable,
prejudiced, prestigious, pretty, probable, productive, professional, profitable, prolific,
prominent, promising, prosperous, proud, provocative, prudent, puzzled, quick, quiet,
rapid, rare, reactionary, readable, realistic, reasonable, reassuring, refreshing,
regrettable, relaxed, relevant, reliable, relieved, reluctant, remote, repetitive, repressed,
repulsive, resentful, reserved, resilient, resistant, respectable, responsible, responsive,
restrictive, rewarding, rich, rigid, risky, romantic, rude, rural, sad, safe, sarcastic,
satisfied, satisfying, scarce, scared, sceptical, secretive, secure, seductive, selective, self-
contained, selfish, sensible, sensitive, serious, severe, sexy, shaky, shallow, sharp,
shocking, short, shy, sick, significant, silly, similar, simple, simplistic, sinister, skilful,
skilled, slack, sleepy, slight, slippery, slow, small, smooth, soft, solid, sophisticated,
sorry, sound, sour, spacious, stable, stale, steady, steep, stimulating, straightforward,
strained, strange, stressful, striking, strong, stupid, supportive, surprising, susceptible,
suspicious, sweet, sympathetic, tame, tedious, thick, thin, tight, tiny, tired, tough, tranquil,
transparent, traumatic, treacherous, uncomfortable, unfortunate, unlucky, unpleasant,
unstable, unwell, valid, valuable, varied, versatile, violent, vivid, vulnerable, warm, wary,
welcome, wet, white, wide, widespread, worried, worrying, worthwhile, wrinkled, young.
Fairly is used with these adjectives:
able, abstract, acceptable, accurate, active, adaptable, advanced, advantageous,
aggressive, ambivalent, arbitrary, average, awesome, bad, balanced, benign, big, boring,
brief, bright, broad, busy, calm, careful, causal, cautious, certain, chaotic, characteristic,
cheap, cheerful, clean, clear, close, cold, comfortable, common, commonplace,
competent, competitive, complete, complex, complicated, composed, comprehensive,
conclusive, confident, conservative, consistent, constant, content, conventional,
convinced, convincing, cool, costly, crowded, crucial, cynical, deep, demanding,
democratic, depressing, deserving, detailed, determined, direct, disastrous, dismal,
distant, distasteful, distinct, distinctive, dominant, dramatic, drunk, dull, early, easy,
eccentric, economical, effective, efficient, elaborate, empty, entertaining, enthusiastic,
erratic, essential, even, evident, exhausting, exhaustive, expensive, explicit, exposed,
extreme, faithful, familiar, fast, favourable, firm, fit, flat, flexible, fluid, formal, frank,
free, frequent, frightening, full, fundamental, generous, gentle, good, handy, haphazard,
happy, hard, harmless, hazy, healthy, heavy, helpful, hierarchical, homogeneous,
hopeful, horrific, hot, impartial, important, imprecise, impressed, impressive,
improbable, inactive, inconclusive, independent, inexpensive, influential, informal,
infrequent, innocuous, insensitive, insignificant, insistent, intact, intelligent, interested,
interesting, intuitive, junior, keen, large, late, lengthy, liberal, light, limited, literate,
long, low, low-key, lucky, lucrative, meaningless, mild, minor, mixed, mobile, moderate,
modest, mundane, naive, narrow, natural, neat, negative, neutral, new, noisy, normal,
nutritious, objective, obscure, observant, obvious, old, optimistic, orderly, ordinary,
organized, orthodox, passive, peaceful, persuasive, plain, pleasant, pleased, pointless,
polite, popular, positive, powerful, precise, predictable, productive, proficient, prolific,
prolonged, prominent, pronounced, prosperous, quick, quiet, radical, random, rapid,
rare, realistic, reasonable, recent, regular, relaxed, reliable, remote, representative,
respectable, responsible, responsive, restrained, restricted, restrictive, rich, rigid, safe,
satisfactory, satisfied, sceptical, secluded, secure, selective, self-contained, self-evident,

self-sufficient, senior, sensible, sensitive, serious, settled, severe, shallow, sharp,
sheltered, short, shy, significant, silent, simple, simplistic, skilful, skinny, slack, slender,
slight, slow, small, smooth, sober, soft, solid, sombre, sophisticated, sound, spacious,
specialized, specific, stable, staggering, standard, static, steady, steep, stiff, straight,
straightforward, strange, stressful, strong, subdued, subtle, successful, superficial, sure,
swift, symmetrical, sympathetic, tall, taxing, thick, thin, tidy, tight, tolerable, tough,
traditional, tranquil, transparent, traumatic, trivial, typical, uncommon, understandable,
unpleasant, unusual, useful, useless, usual, vague, versatile, violent, volatile, warm,
weak, wealthy, wide, widespread, young.
Fully is used with these adjectives:
absorbed, acceptable, accessible, accountable, acquainted, adjustable, alert, alive,
apparent, armed, armoured, attainable, automatic, autonomous, awake, aware, bilingual,
capable, carpeted, centralized, charged, clad, closed, clothed, committed, compatible,
competent, comprehensible, comprehensive, confident, conscious, consistent, convinced,
credible, democratic, detachable, detailed, developed, domesticated, dynamic, educated,
effective, efficient, engaged, erect, experienced, explicit, exposed, familiar, fit, flexible,
furnished, inclusive, independent, informal, insured, interactive, interchangeable,
justified, laden, liable, lined, literal, loaded, mature, mobile, occupied, open, operational,
operative, organic, portable, professional, proficient, proven, qualified, rational,
representative, responsible, responsive, ripe, rounded, satisfactory, satisfied, skilled,
submerged, supportive, symmetrical, taxable, trained, transferable, transparent, united,
up-to-date, upright, visible.
Generally is used with these adjectives:
acceptable, accurate, applicable, conservative, excellent, expensive, favourable, hazy,
healthy, helpful, hostile, impossible, inadequate, inefficient, negative, optimistic,
pessimistic, positive, satisfactory, satisfied, supportive, sympathetic, unable, unaware,
unpopular, useful.
Greatly is used with these adjectives:
advanced, alarmed, amused, concerned, daring, delighted, dependent, disadvantaged,
disappointed, disturbed, honoured, impressed, indebted, inferior, inflated, interested,
preferable, relieved, shocked, superior, surprised, touched, troubled, upset.
Hardly is used with these adjectives:
able, adequate, audible, awake, aware, bearable, believable, capable, cheap, cheap,
comforting, compatible, conclusive, conductive, conscious, convincing, credible, crucial,
distinguishable, dry, encouraging, fair, feasible, flattering, imaginable, impressive,
inspiring, inviting, justified, likely, literate, logical, noticeable, perceptible, plausible,
practical, promising, reassuring, recognizable, relevant, sensible, still, straightforward,
sufficient, suitable, suited, surprised, surprising, true, unique, unusual, visible, worth,
worthwhile, worthy.

Highly is used with these adjectives:
abstract, acceptable, accessible, accomplished, accurate, active, adaptable, addictive,
adept, advanced, advantageous, aggressive, agitated, agreeable, ambiguous, ambitious,
ambivalent, amenable, amused, amusing, articulate, artificial, authoritarian, beneficial,
bureaucratic, capable, cautious, centralized, characteristic, charged, coloured,
commendable, committed, compatible, competent, competitive, complementary, complex,
complicated, concentrated, conductive, confidential, confused, confusing, congested,
conscious, conservative, consistent, conspicuous, contagious, contaminated, contentious,
contrived, controversial, convenient, conventional, corrosive, courageous, creative,
credible, creditable, critical, culpable, cultured, damaging, dangerous, debatable,
deceptive, decorative, dedicated, defective, delighted, demanding, dependant, descriptive,
desirable, destructive, detailed, detrimental, developed, disconcerting, disorganized,
disreputable, disruptive, distasteful, distinctive, distressing, disturbed, disturbing,
diverse, doubtful, dramatic, dubious, dynamic, eccentric, economical, educated, effective,
efficient, elaborate, embarrassed, embarrassing, emotional, emotive, encouraging,
energetic, enigmatic, enjoyable, entertaining, enthusiastic, erotic, exceptional, excitable,
excited, expensive, expensive, experienced, explicit, explosive, exposed, fashionable,
favourable, fertile, flammable, flavoured, flexible, fluid, gifted, gregarious, hazardous,
honoured, illegal, illuminating, imaginative, imperfect, impersonal, impertinent,
implausible, impracticable, impractical, impressive, improbable, improper, inadvisable,
inappropriate, inconsistent, inconvenient, indebted, indignant, ineffective, inefficient,
infectious, inflamed, inflammable, inflexible, influential, informal, informative, ingenious,
inquisitive, insensitive, insoluble, instructive, instrumental, insulting, intelligent,
intensive, interactive, interesting, intolerant, intricate, intriguing, intuitive, inventive,
irregular, irresponsible, knowledgeable, likely, limited, literate, logical, lucrative,
luminous, marketable, militant, misleading, mobile, motivated, nervous, nutritious,
observant, offensive, optimistic, organized, original, ornamental, ornate, orthodox, paid,
patterned, perceptive, perishable, permissive, personal, persuasive, pertinent, plausible,
pleasurable, poisonous, polarized, polished, political, polluted, popular, populated,
portable, positive, possible, potent, practical, pragmatic, predictable, prestigious,
privileged, probable, productive, professional, profitable, progressive, prolific,
promising, prone, prophetic, protective, provocative, qualified, questionable, radioactive,
rational, reactionary, readable, reflective, refreshing, regrettable, regular, relevant,
reliable, reliant, religious, reminiscent, repetitive, reputable, resilient, resistant,
resourceful, respectable, responsible, responsive, restricted, restrictive, revealing,
rewarding, risky, romantic, satisfactory, satisfying, scented, sceptical, scientific,
secretive, selective, self-conscious, sensitive, separate, significant, simplistic, skilful,
skilled, soluble, sophisticated, specialized, specific, stable, stressful, subjective,
successful, suggestive, suitable, supportive, susceptible, suspect, suspicious, symbolic,
symmetrical, sympathetic, talented, technical, temperamental, theoretical, toxic, trained,
transferable, typical, uncertain, understandable, unlikely, unnatural, unorthodox,
unpleasant, unpopular, unstable, unsuitable, unusual, useful, valuable, variable, varied,
venomous, versatile, visible, vocal, volatile, vulnerable, welcome.


Immensely is used with these adjectives:
complex, complicated, damaging, detailed, encouraging, enjoyable, enthusiastic,
exciting, expensive, experienced, fat, flattered, fond, gifted, grateful, helpful, impressed,
impressive, influential, interesting, likeable, pleased, popular, powerful, profitable,
prolific, proud, readable, reassuring, relieved, rewarding, rich, sad, satisfying, strong,
sympathetic, talented, valuable, varied, warm, wealthy.
Increasingly is used with these adjectives:
abstract, active, aggressive, agitated, alarmed, angry, annoyed, anxious, apparent,
artificial, attached, authoritarian, bad-tempered, bizarre, bleak, centralized, chaotic,
close, common, complex, complicated, comprehensive, concentrated, concerned,
confident, confused, conscious, conservative, convinced, costly, critical, crowded,
dangerous, dependent, depressed, desperate, detailed, difficult, disillusioned, dissatisfied,
distant, diverse, dominant, doubtful, dynamic, eager, effective, efficient, elaborate,
embarrassing, erratic, estranged, evident, excited, expensive, explicit, exposed, familiar,
fantastic, fashionable, frail, frantic, frequent, frustrated, frustrating, harsh,
homogeneous, hostile, impatient, implausible, important, inadequate, inappropriate,
inclined, incompatible, independent, influential, insecure, intensive, interested,
intolerable, intrusive, irrational, irrelevant, irritated, isolated, limited, marked,
meaningless, militant, mobile, narrow, nationalistic, nervous, numerous, obsolete,
obvious, painful, pessimistic, plain, polarized, popular, powerful, precise, preoccupied,
professional, prominent, prone, radical, rare, reliant, reluctant, remote, resentful,
restricted, restrictive, risky, savage, scarce, sceptical, selective, sensitive, severe, skilled,
sophisticated, specialized, steep, sterile, strained, subject, superficial, suspect,
suspicious, tense, threatening, tight, unable, uncertain, uncomfortable, uneasy, unhappy,
unlikely, unpopular, unstable, urgent, valuable, variable, varied, vicious, violent, vocal,
volatile, vulnerable, wary, wide, widespread, willing, worried.
Mildly is used with these adjectives:
amazed, amused, amusing, annoying, autistic, comic, critical, curious, depressed,
disappointed, disapproving, dismissive, encouraging, erotic, fragrant, handicapped,
humorous, hysterical, impressed, indignant, interested, interesting, irritated, patronizing,
pleased, pleasurable, positive, ridiculous, sarcastic, sceptical, shocked, spicy, surprised.
Nearly is used with these adjectives:
adrift, asleep, bald, bankrupt, bonkers, broke, circular, clean, closed, complete, constant,
contemporary, dark, dry, empty, equal, extinct, foolproof, full, hysterical, identical,
impenetrable, impossible, incomprehensible, insane, insurmountable, intact, intolerable,
invisible, lifeless, naked, opaque, overhead, parallel, perpendicular, ready, right, ripe,
square, straight, unable, unanimous, universal.


Partly is used with these adjective:
closed, derelict, domesticated, explicable, false, furnished, instrumental, justified,
related, responsible, soluble, submerged.
Perfectly is used with these adjectives:
OK, able, acceptable, accurate, adequate, agreeable, amiable, attainable, audible,
aware, balanced, beautiful, calm, candid, capable, charming, circular, civil, clear,
comfortable, compatible, competent, comprehensible, conceivable, confident, conscious,
consistent, contended, content, correct, courteous, decent, dry, effective, efficient,
evident, explicable, fair, familiar, feasible, flexible, frank, friendly, genuine, grammatical,
groomed, happy, harmless, healthy, honest, honourable, horrible, immobile, innocent,
innocuous, intact, intelligent, justified, lawful, legal, legible, legitimate, logical, lovely,
ludicrous, motionless, natural, neutral, nice, normal, obvious, ordinary, oval,
permissible, plain, plausible, pleasant, poised, polite, possible, practicable, presentable,
proper, quiet, rationale, reasonable, regular, relaxed, reliable, respectable, ripe, safe,
sane, satisfactory, satisfied, secure, sensible, serene, shaped, silent, sincere, smooth,
sober, sound, splendid, stable, steady, straight, straightforward, suitable, suited,
symmetrical, tailored, tolerable, tranquil, transparent, true, understandable, valid,
viable, welcome, willing, wonderful.
Poorly is used with these adjective:
developed, educated, informed, insulted, motivated, organized, paid, trained.
Profoundly is used with these adjectives:
conservative, damaging, deaf, depressing, disabled, disturbed, disturbing, grateful,
handicapped, humiliating, impressed, indebted, insecure, irritated, misleading, mistaken,
moving, opposed, relieved, sad, shaken, shocked, suspicious, uneasy, upset.
Purely is used with these adjectives:
abstract, academic, accidental, arbitrary, ceremonial, clinical, coincidental, cosmetic,
decorative, defensive, descriptive, factual, fictional, fictitious, formal, humanitarian,
hypothetical, identical, imaginary, informal, instinctive, instrumental, intuitive, logical,
negative, objective, optional, ornamental, passive, philosophical, physical, platonic,
practical, pragmatic, professional, psychological, random, rational, scientific, secular,
selfish, spiritual, subjective, superficial, symbolic, technical, theoretical, voluntary.
Slightly is used with these adjective:
abashed, absurd, afraid, aggrieved, agitated, ajar, alarmed, alarming, ambiguous,
amused, annoyed, anxious, apologetic, apprehensive, artificial, ashamed, awkward,
battered, bemused, bent, bewildered, biased, bitter, bizarre, blue, bored, boring,
breathless, breezy, brown, charred, cloudy, comic, comical, common, concerned,
confused, confusing, constipated, crazy, creepy, cross, cross-eyed, curious, cynical,

damp, dangerous, dated, dazed, deaf, defensive, defiant, deficient, deformed, degrading,
depressed, depressing, deranged, detached, different, dirty, disabled, disadvantaged,
disappointed, disappointing, disapproving, disconcerting, disgusted, dishonest,
dismissive, disreputable, disruptive, distant, distracted, disturbed, disturbing, drunk,
eccentric, eerie, embarrassed, embarrassing, enigmatic, envious, erratic, false, familiar,
fearful, flawed, flushed, foolish, foreign, fragrant, frustrated, frustrating, furtive, fuzzy,
giddy, grey, guilty, handicapped, hazy, heated, hoarse, hot, humorous, hurt, hysterical,
ill, illogical, immoral, impatient, imperfect, impertinent, improbable, inaccurate,
inclined, inferior, inhibited, injured, ironic, irregular, irresponsible, irritated, lame, light-
headed, loaded, loose, luminous, mad, mean, menacing, misleading, moist, muddled,
muted, naive, negative, nervous, numb, odd, off-putting, oily, old-fashion, opaque, open,
overdrawn, overweight, pained, painful, pale, paradoxical, patronizing, perplex,
pervasive, pink, prone, purple, puzzled, radioactive, red, reflective, relieved, reminiscent,
repellent, repulsive, resentful, retarded, ridiculous, rounded, sad, sarcastic, sceptical,
secretive, self-conscious, shaky, sharp, shocked, shocking, shy, sick, sinister, slack, smug,
soft, soluble, sour, spicy, spooky, stale, startled, sticky, stiff, strained, stunned, superior,
surprised, surprising, suspect, suspicious, sweet, swollen, tender, threatening,
transparent, unbalanced, uncertain, uncomfortable, uneasy, unfair, unfamiliar, unfit,
unfortunate, unorthodox, unpleasant, unreal, unstable, unusual, variable, warm, wary,
wet, wobbly, worried, worrying, worse, yellow.
Thoroughly is used with these adjectives:
alarmed, annoyed, ashamed, bewildered, bored, charming, confused, convincing,
corrupt, decent, dejected, democratic, depressed, disgusted, disillusioned, distasteful,
domesticated, dry, engrossed, enjoyable, entertaining, exhausted, familiar, frightened,
irritated, miserable, mundane, nasty, nice, professional, satisfying, sick, soaked, trained,
undignified, unpleasant, unscrupulous, upset.
Totally is used with these adjectives:
abhorrent, absent, absorbed, acceptable, accurate, addicted, adequate, alien, amazed,
artificial, assured, automatic, autonomous, baffled, bald, bemused, bewildered,
bewildering, bizarre, blind, bonkers, brilliant, comfortable, committed, compatible,
comprehensive, concentrated, confident, confidential, confused, contradictory, contrary,
convinced, convincing, corrupt, covered, crazy, cynical, deaf, dedicated, defenceless,
deficient, dejected, dependable, dependent, deprived, derelict, deserted, detached, devoid,
devoted, different, disgusted, disillusioned, disorganized, disproportionate, dissimilar,
distinct, dominant, dry, empty, engaged, engrossed, exempt, exhausted, exposed, extinct,
fair, false, fearless, fictitious, flexible, foreign, free, frustrated, futile, groundless,
haphazard, happy, harmless, helpless, hocked, homogenous, honest, hostile, hypothetical,
hysterical, idle, ignorant, illegal, illiterate, illogical, immaculate, immobile, immoral,
immune, impartial, impassable, impassive, impersonal, impervious, implausible,
impossible, impotent, impracticable, impractical, inaccessible, inaccurate, inactive,
inadequate, inappropriate, inaudible, incapable, incompatible, incompetent,
incomprehensible, inconceivable, inconsistent, incorrect, indefensible, independent,
indifferent, inedible, ineffective, inexperienced, inexplicable, inflexible, inhuman,

innocent, innocuous, insane, insensitive, instinctive, insulted, interchangeable, invisible,
irrational, irreconcilable, irrelevant, irresistible, irresponsible, isolated, justified,
lacking, lost, loyal, magical, meaningless, misguided, misleading, misplaced, missing,
naked, negative, non-existent, novel, numb, objective, oblivious, obscure, obsolete, one-
sided, opposed, organic, oriented, outrageous, painless, penniless, pointless, powerless,
predictable, preoccupied, random, relaxed, reliable, reliant, responsible, reversible,
ridiculous, safe, satisfactory, satisfied, secure, self-contained, selfish, separate, shattered,
silent, soluble, speechless, spontaneous, static, straight, submerged, superfluous,
supportive, transparent, unable, unacceptable, unaffected, unavoidable, unaware,
unbelievable, unchanged, uncharacteristic, unconcerned, unconscious, uncontrollable,
undesirable, unexpected, unfair, unfamiliar, unfit, unforgettable, unfounded, unheard-of,
uninhabitable, uninhibited, unintelligible, uninterested, unique, united, unknown,
unmoved, unnecessary, unprecedented, unproved, unqualified, unreal, unreasonable,
unscathed, unsuitable, unwarranted, useless, vulnerable, worthless, wrong.
Utterly is used with these adjectives:
abhorrent, absorbed, absurd, alien, amazed, appalling, baffled, barren, beautiful,
bewildered, boring, brilliant, calm, characteristic, charming, compelling, confused,
contemptuous, content, convinced, convincing, cynical, dedicated, defenceless, dejected,
dependable, dependent, deserted, desolate, desperate, despondent, determined, devoid,
devoted, disastrous, disgraceful, disillusioned, distraught, empty, exhausted, faithful,
false, fearless, foolish, foreign, forlorn, friendless, fruitless, futile, groundless, helpless,
hopeless, humiliating, ignorant, immobile, immoral, impossible, impracticable,
inaccessible, inadequate, inappropriate, incapable, incompetent, incomprehensible,
inconceivable, incongruous, inhuman, intolerant, irreconcilable, irrelevant,
irresponsible, isolated, lovely, loyal, ludicrous, mad, miserable, mistaken, mundane,
obscene, opposed, peaceful, pointless, powerless, pragmatic, reasonable, remote,
repellent, repulsive, ridiculous, sane, secure, selfish, serene, silent, sincere, stupid,
terrified, thrilled, unable, unacceptable, unavoidable, unaware, unfair, uninhibited,
unknown, unreasonable, useless, vulnerable, worthless.
Wholly is used with these adjectives:
absent, acceptable, adequate, admirable, arbitrary, available, beneficial, commendable,
committed, compatible, consistent, convinced, convincing, dependent, desirable,
destructive, detached, disproportionate, distinct, evil, exceptional, exempt, explicable,
fictional, fictitious, ignorant, illegitimate, imaginary, immaterial, immune, impervious,
implausible, impractical, inaccurate, inadequate, inappropriate, incapable, incompatible,
inconceivable, inconsistent, independent, ineffective, innocent, innocuous, insufficient,
intact, irrational, irrelevant, irresponsible, lacking, lovely, misleading, misplaced,
mistaken, negative, negligent, novel, objective, one-sided, opposed, peaceful, positive,
predictable, reliant, respectable, responsible, satisfactory, satisfied, satisfying, self-
contained, self-sufficient, separate, sincere, subjective, subordinate, superfluous,
superior, supportive, symmetrical, transferable, unable, unaffected, unaware,
unbalanced, unconscious, understandable, unexpected, unfair, unfit, unfounded,
unnecessary, unreal, unreasonable, unsuitable, unwarranted, useless, worthy, wrong.

Widely is used with these adjectives:
acceptable, accessible, applicable, available, diverse, experienced, influential, popular,
representative, scattered, separate, unpopular, used, variable, varied.


Appendix II: ‘’Modal’’ Category
Appendix II lists all adjectives found to be modified by the selected
members of ‘‘modal’’ category in the OCD and LTP. The adverbs are
ordered according to the wideness of their collocational range. Their
collocating adjectives are listed in alphabetical order.

Really is used with these adjectives:
adequate, afraid, aggressive, alive, amazing, amusing, angry, annoyed, annoying,
appalling, ashamed, astonishing, awake, awesome, awful, bad, beautiful, big, bitter, bold,
bored, boring, bothered, brave, bright, brilliant, busy, careful, chaotic, charming, clever,
concerned, confident, crazy, creative, critical, cross, crucial, daft, dangerous, decent,
dedicated, deep, degrading, delicious, delighted, delightful, depressed, depressing,
desperate, determined, difficult, dirty, disappointed, disappointing, disgusted, disgusting,
dismal, distraught, dreadful, drunk, dumb, eager, early, easy, effective, efficient,
embarrassed, embarrassing, encouraging, energetic, enjoyable, enthusiastic, essential,
evil, excellent, exceptional, excited, exciting, exhausted, exhausting, experienced,
extraordinary, famous, fantastic, fascinating, fast, fat, feasible, feminine, filthy, fit, fond,
foolish, formidable, fortunate, frank, frantic, fresh, friendly, frightened, frightening,
frustrated, frustrating, funny, genuine, glad, glamorous, good, good-looking, gorgeous,
grateful, great, guilty, happy, hard, healthy, heavy, helpful, honest, horrible, horrific, hot,
huge, hungry, hurt, ill, impatient, important, impossible, impressed, impressive,
incredible, influential, insecure, inspiring, interested, interesting, jealous, keen, kind,
late, lazy, limited, long, loud, lovely, lucky, mad, magnificent, marvellous, mean,
miserable, nasty, necessary, needy, nervous, nice, noisy, obscene, odd, old, outstanding,
persistent, pleased, popular, positive, powerful, pretty, professional, profitable, proud,
quick, quiet, radical, realistic, refreshing, relevant, remarkable, ridiculous, ripe, rude,
sad, safe, satisfying, savage, scared, sensible, serious, severe, sexy, sharp, shocked, short,
sick, silly, sincere, sinister, skinny, sleepy, small, smooth, soft, solid, sorry, sour,
spectacular, spicy, splendid, spooky, steep, sticky, stiff, stimulating, strange, strong,
stunning, stupid, sufficient, suitable, superb, sure, surprised, surprising, sweaty, sweet,
talented, terrible, terrified, thick, thrilled, tight, tiny, tired, touched, tough, tragic,
traumatic, ugly, unbelievable, uncomfortable, unfriendly, unhappy, unusual, unwell ,up-
to-date, uplifting, upset, uptight, urgent, useful, valuable, violent, vital, vivid, warm,
weird, wet, wild, wild, willing, wonderful, worried, worth, worthwhile.
Apparently is used with these adjectives:
arbitrary, calm, casual, content, contradictory, convinced, deserted, diverse, effortless,
empty, endless, engrossed, excellent, fruitless, futile, genuine, haphazard, harmless,
healthy, helpless, homogeneous, hopeless, hostile, identical, illogical, impervious,
impossible, incapable, incompatible, inconclusive, inconsistent, indifferent, ineffective,
inevitable, inexhaustible, inexplicable, infinite, innocent, innocuous, insignificant,
insoluble, insurmountable, intact, intent, interested, invincible, irrational, irreconcilable,

irrelevant, irresistible, isolated, lacking, legitimate, lifeless, limited, loyal, meaningless,
minor, miraculous, modest, motionless, mundane, negative, neutral, objective, oblivious,
obvious, overwhelming, permanent, pleased, pointless, positive, radical, random,
rationale, ready, reasonable, related, relaxed, relevant, reluctant, respectable, restricted,
satisfactory, satisfied, secure, sensible, separate, solid, spontaneous, stable,
straightforward, trivial, unable, unaffected, unconcerned, uncontrollable, uninterested,
unique, universal, unknown, unlikely, unlimited, unmoved, unreasonable, unscathed,
Virtually is used with these adjectives:
absent, assured, automatic, bankrupt, bilingual, blind, circular, complete, constant,
defenceless, defunct, derelict, deserted, devoid, empty, endless, equal, essential, extinct,
foolproof, friendless, full, harmless, identical, illiterate, immaterial, immobile, immortal,
immune, impassable, impenetrable, imperceptible, impervious, impossible, impotent,
inaccessible, inaudible, incomprehensible, inconceivable, independent, indestructible,
indispensible, inevitable, inexhaustible, infinite, inseparable, insoluble, instantaneous,
insurmountable, intact, interchangeable, invincible, invisible, irrelevant, meaningless,
motionless, naked, non-existent, obliged, obsolete, painless, penniless, perfect,
permanent, powerless, redundant, self-sufficient, silent, static, sterile, synonymous,
unable, unaffected, unanimous, unaware, unbeatable, unbroken, unchanged,
uncontrollable, unheard-of, uninhabited, unintelligible, unique, universal, unknown,
unlimited, unnoticed, unpaid, unprecedented, unscathed, unthinkable, unused, useless,
Truly is used with these adjectives:
admirable, alive, amazing, appalling, astonishing, awesome, awful, beautiful, bizarre,
breathtaking, comic, comprehensive, cosmopolitan, creative, dedicated, delicious,
delightful, democratic, deserved, dreadful, dynamic, equal, evil, excellent, extraordinary,
fantastic, fascinating, formidable, frightening, fundamental, grateful, gratifying, great,
gruesome, happy, heroic, honest, honoured, hooked, horrible, horrific, impressive,
inadequate, incredible, indigenous, interested, magical, magnificent, married,
memorable, mystified, needy, objective, outstanding, perverse, phenomenal, poetic,
professional, radical, random, realistic, remarkable, representative, rural, scientific,
shocked, sorry, spectacular, spiritual, splendid, sympathetic, talented, terrible, terrified,
thankful, unforgettable, unique, universal, valuable, viable, vicious, wild, wonderful.
Clearly is used with these adjectives:
absurd, amused, annoyed, apparent, audible, baffled, beneficial, capable, conscious,
contrary, convinced, correct, crucial, deliberate, delighted, designated, desirable,
determined, disappointed, discernible, distinct, distinguishable, embarrassed, false,
guilty, happy, illustrated, impossible, impressed, inadequate, inappropriate, incapable,
incompatible, inconsistent, incorrect, indicative, insufficient, intent, interested, justified,
lacking, legible, nervous, oblivious, perceptible, pleased, puzzled, readable, ready,
recognisable, related, relevant, relieved, reluctant, sensible, shaken, silhouetted,

superior, surprised, terrified, uncomfortable, undesirable, unhappy, upset, worded,
Seemingly is used with these adjectives:
casual, contradictory, endless, errorless, futile, haphazard, harmless, helpless, hopeless,
impenetrable, impossible, impractical, incidental, incompatible, indestructible,
inevitable, inexhaustible, innocent, innocuous, insignificant, insoluble, insurmountable,
intelligent, intent, interminable, invincible, irrational, irreconcilable, irrelevant,
irresistible, lifeless, meaningless, mild, minor, oblivious, obvious, overwhelming,
paradoxical, perfect, positive, random, relaxed, solid, spontaneous, trivial, unable,
unaffected, unaware, unconcerned, unscathed.
Obviously is used with these adjectives:
annoyed, attached, capable, crucial, deliberate, delighted, desirable, determined,
disappointed, embarrassed, expensive, false, genuine, happy, impossible, impractical,
impressed, inaccurate, inadequate, incorrect, intelligent, intent, interested, keen, lacking,
nervous, pleased, puzzled, related, relevant, relieved, sensible, shaken, sorry, startled,
suitable, surprised, terrified, unaware, uncomfortable, undesirable, unhappy, unsure,
untrue, upset, visible, wrong.
Essentially is used with these adjectives:
alien, arbitrary, ceremonial, complementary, concerned, conservative, correct, defensive,
dependent, descriptive, distinct, dynamic, equivalent, hierarchical, humanitarian,
identical, independent, instrumental, intact, isolated, liberal, male, masculine,
meaningless, negative, novel, optimistic, ordinary, passive, positive, practical, pragmatic,
rational, religious, rural, secular, self-sufficient, separate, static, subjective, subordinate,
traditional, trivial, unchanged.
Genuinely is used with these adjectives:
afraid, amazed, amused, anxious, committed, concerned, creative, curious, delighted,
democratic, enthusiastic, equal, fond, friendly, frightened, frightening, funny, grateful,
happy, ill, impressed, independent, interested, modest, mystified, needy, perplexed,
pleased, popular, puzzled, radical, shocked, sorry, spontaneous, suited, surprised,
sympathetic, tragic, unable, upset, useful, warm, worried.
Practically is used with these adjectives:
convinced, devoid, empty, equivalent, exhausted, extinct, identical, impossible,
impossible, inaccessible, inaudible, inconceivable, infinite, inseparable, insoluble,
invisible, meaningless, non-existent, obligatory, obsolete, penniless, perfect, ready, solid,
speechless, straight, unchanged, unheard-of, unintelligible, unknown, unnoticed,
unthinkable, useful, useless, worthless.

Simply is used with these adjectives:
afraid, awesome, awful, beautiful, concerned, descriptive, explained, furious, furnished,
gorgeous, grateful, huge, impossible, incompatible, incorrect, incredible, insufficient,
irrelevant, irresistible, ludicrous, marvellous, phenomenal, splendid, stunning, superb,
terrible, unacceptable, unbelievable, wrong.
Decidedly is used with these adjectives:
chilly, confused, frosty, gloomy, hostile, hostile, impressive, inferior, limited, lukewarm,
mixed, odd, ordinary, patchy, rare, reluctant, risky, shaky, slender, spooky,
uncomfortable, uneasy, unpleasant, unusual, wary, weak.
Basically is used with these adjectives:
conservative, correct, dishonest, evil, factual, furnished, healthy, honest, hostile,
identical, incompatible, insecure, insoluble, intact, neutral, opposed, optimistic, possible,
selfish, similar, sound, true, unchanged, unstable, untrue.
Inherently is used with these adjectives:
biased, dangerous, desirable, evil, implausible, improbable, incapable, inefficient,
insoluble, interesting, masculine, paradoxical, risky, subversive, superior, unacceptable,
uncertain, unlikely, unstable, unstable, vague, valuable, weak, wrong.
Fundamentally is used with these adjectives:
correct, dishonest, distinct, dynamic, evil, flawed, good, healthy, impossible, impractical,
incompatible, misguided, opposed, related, religious, sound, true, unchanged, untrue,
weak, wrong.
Positively is used with these adjectives:
ancient, charged, damaging, dangerous, detrimental, encouraging, frightening, frosty,
harmful, hateful, hostile, indecent, inhumane, luxurious, misleading, obstructive, pained,
related, staid, tame, triumphant.
Naturally is used with these adjectives:
anxious, biased, concerned, conservative, courteous, curious, curly, disappointed,
disposed, friendly, gifted, inclined, inquisitive, keen, oily, reserved, shy, suited, superior,
Not necessarily is used with these adjectives:
exclusive, exhaustive, harmful, identical, incompatible, inconsistent, indicative,
permanent, related, relevant, representative, suitable, transferable, typical, valid, wrong.

Not exactly is used with these adjectives:
alike, cheap, ecstatic, friendly, glamorous, good-looking, happy, overjoyed,
perpendicular, pleasant, popular, presentable, reliable, subtle, thrilled.
Intrinsically is used with these adjectives:
bound, evil, harmful, improbable, interesting, masculine, rewarding, superior,
theoretical, unstable, valuable, wrong.
Definitely is used with these adjective:
eccentric, false, fishy, hostile, interested, possible, suspicious, unsatisfactory, worth,
Plainly is used with these adjectives:
delighted, furnished, hostile, inadequate, inconsistent, terrified, unsure, visible, wrong.
Undoubtedly is used with these adjectives:
correct, false, genuine, great, impressive, influenced, superior, true, useful.
Overtly is used with these adjectives:
dramatic, erotic, horrific, hostile, masculine, political, sexy, subversive, violent.
Patently is used with these adjectives:
absurd, artificial, false, inadequate, obvious, ridiculous, unfair, untrue.
Supposedly is used with these adjectives:
factual, homogeneous, independent, objective, superior, universal, unprecedented.
Undeniably is used with these adjectives:
exciting, gifted, handsome, impressive, pleasant, popular, pretty.
Certainly is used with these adjectives:
false, guilty, peculiar, possible, true, worth.
Evidently is used with these adjectives:
intent, pleased, superior, unaware.
Possibly is used with these adjectives:
damaging, dangerous, harmful.

Sincerely is used with these adjectives:
grateful, pleased.
Probably is used with inevitable.
Unquestionably is used with true
Objectively is used with true.


Appendix III: ‘’Evaluative’’ Category
Appendix III lists all adjectives found to be modified by the selected
members of the ‘‘evaluative’’ category in the OCD and LTP. The adverbs
are ordered according to the wideness of their collocational range. Their
collocating adjectives are listed in alphabetical order.

Terribly is used with these adjectives:
afraid, angry, anxious, ashamed, bored, boring, brave, busy, busy, cold, complicated,
confusing, conscious, cruel, dangerous, depressed, deprived, disappointed,
disappointing, distraught, dull, embarrassed, embarrassing, excited, exciting, expensive,
expensive, extravagant, fascinating, frightened, frustrating, funny, glad, good-looking,
grateful, greedy, guilty, homesick, hot, hungry, hurt, ill, important, impressed,
inaccurate, inconvenient, indiscreet, inefficient, interested, interesting, involved,
irresponsible, keen, lonely, lucky, naïve, negative, nervous, nice, noisy, old, old-
fashioned, oppressive, ordinary, painful, pale, pessimistic, plausible, proud, romantic,
rude, sad, sensitive, shocked, short, shy, sick, significant, skinny, slow, small, sorry,
spoilt, steep, surprised, sweet, tedious, thin, tired, tragic, uncomfortable, unfair,
unfashionable, unhappy, unnatural, unpopular, unsure, upset, violent, worried, worrying,
wrong, young.
Reasonably is used with these adjectives:
able, acceptable, accessible, accurate, active, balanced, bright, broad, capable, cheap,
clear, comfortable, competent, complete, comprehensive, confident, consistent, constant,
content, democratic, dry, educated, effective, efficient, encouraging, fair, familiar, fast,
firm, fit, flexible, free, friendly, fruitful, generous, good, good-looking, happy, harmless,
healthy, honest, impartial, inexpensive, informed, intact, intelligent, knowledgeable,
large, lengthy, light, mild, moist, numerous, objective, optimistic, peaceful, plain,
plausible, pleasant, pleased, powerful, practical, precise, predictable, predictable,
presentable, proficient, prudent, quick, quiet, realistic, reliable, representative, safe,
satisfactory, satisfied, secure, sensible, skillful, smooth, sober, sound, spacious, stable,
straightforward, tight, tolerant, tough, up-to-date, valid, warm, wealthy, wide.
Incredibly is used with these adjectives:
accurate, ancient, bad, beautiful, big, boring, brave, bright, bright, busy, cheap, cheerful,
clever, comfortable, complex, complicated, courageous, dangerous, difficult, dull, easy,
efficient, enthusiastic, exciting, expensive, fast, foolish, frustrating, generous, greedy,
guilty, handsome, hard, hot, ignorant, impressive, insensitive, intelligent, interesting,
knowledgeable, lazy, long, lucky, naïve, nice, obscure, old, optimistic, patient, persistent,
popular, powerful, precious, prolific, rich, romantic, rude, selfish, serious, sexy, silly,
slow, smooth, smug, soft, sophisticated, steep, stupid, supportive, swift, talented, tedious,
tense, thin, tough, ugly, uncomfortable, unlikely, wealthy.

Seriously is used with these adjectives:
affected, alarmed, committed, concerned, damaging, defective, deficient, detrimental,
disabled, disadvantaged, distorted, disturbed, embarrassing, endangered, flawed, flawed,
hampered, handicapped, handicapped, hindered, hurt, ill, impaired, inaccurate,
inadequate, incomplete, injured, interested, involved, lacking, limited, misleading,
mistaken, neglected, negligent, overrated, overweight, polluted, restricted, rich, shaken,
threatening, unbalanced, upset, wealthy, worried, worrying, wrong.
Sufficiently is used with these adjectives:
accurate, balanced, broad, challenging, convincing, educated, effective, evident,
experienced, explicit, flexible, high, hot, impressed, interested, interesting, large,
numerous, oriented, persuasive, powerful, precise, profitable, qualified, rare, realistic,
relaxed, reliable, satisfied, secure, senior, sensitive, severe, shallow, skilled,
sophisticated, stable, stupid, thick, unusual, vague, varied, vigorous, warm, wide,
Severely is used with these adjectives:
affected, afflicted, autistic, beaten, censored, congested, constipated, constrained,
critical, criticised, damaging, defective, deficient, deformed, depressed, deprived,
disabled, disadvantaged, disturbed, emaciated, hampered, handicapped, ill, indebted,
inflamed, injured, limited, masculine, neglected, overcrowded, polluted, practical,
pruned, reduced, repressed, restricted, retarded, shaken, strained, subnormal.
Notoriously is used with these adjectives:
bad, careless, confusing, conservative, controversial, corrupt, cruel, dangerous, different,
difficult, dishonest, elusive, expensive, fickle, hierarchical, imprecise, inaccessible,
inaccurate, inadequate, incomplete, indiscreet, inefficient, insecure, lacking, misleading,
prone, reluctant, selective, slow, treacherous, tricky, uncertain, unfair, unpleasant,
unreliable, unsatisfactory, unstable, vague, violent, volatile.
Wonderfully is used with these adjectives:
absurd, beautiful, comfortable, comforting, comic, cool, creamy, decorative, entertaining,
exciting, expressive, fragrant, funny, generous, handsome, happy, imaginative,
informative, inventive, luxurious, mellow, pretty, refreshing, rich, romantic, secluded,
soothing, spontaneous, supportive, tolerant, tranquil, varied, versatile, vivid, warm.
Beautifully is used with these adjectives:
arranged, balanced, carved, coloured, cool, designed, detailed, displayed, dressed,
elegant, executed, formed, furnished, groomed, illustrated, light, maintained, marked,
mellow, patterned, polished, proportioned, restored, rounded, scented, shaped, situated,
smooth, soft, tailored, tender, tidy, warm.

Hopelessly is used with these adjectives:
addicted, biased, confused, confusing, dated, disorganized, drunk, entangled, flawed,
impractical, inaccurate, inadequate, incomplete, inefficient, inept, inexperienced, lost,
muddled, optimistic, out-of-date, romantic, tangled, unprepared, unrealistic, unreliable,
vague, wrong.
Amazingly is used with these adjectives:
accurate, beautiful, brave, calm, cheap, cheerful, consistent, expensive, fast, frank,
generous, happy, intricate, inventive, knowledgeable, lucky, lucrative, naïve, profitable,
quick, successful, tricky, ugly, unscathed, versatile.
Suitably is used with these adjectives:
abashed, apologetic, cautious, clad, dramatic, dressed, educated, equipped, experienced,
heroic, impressed, impressive, ironic, qualified, somber, subdued, sympathetic, trained,
uplifting, vague.
Properly is used with these adjectives:
accountable, appreciated, balanced, closed, educated, equipped, heated, informed,
insulated, married, organized, qualified, recovered, representative, researched, resolved,
rewarded, shut, trained.
Painfully is used with these adjectives:
apparent, aware, awkward, beautiful, conscious, emaciated, embarrassed, evident,
exposed, familiar, honest, obvious, self-conscious, sensitive, shy, slow, thin.
Horribly is used with these adjectives:
afraid, aware, confused, conspicuous, deformed, drunk, empty, expensive, false, familiar,
gruesome, self-conscious, sick, sticky, swollen, wrong.
Unbelievably is used with these adjectives:
accurate, awful, bad, beautiful, busy, confusing, exciting, fast, ignorant, lucky,
overcrowded, popular, simple, strong, stupid, tricky.
Ridiculously is used with these adjectives:
busy, cheap, easy, exaggerated, expensive, guilty, happy, inadequate, optimistic, pleased,
romantic, sentimental, small.
Awfully is used with these adjectives:
boring, busy, careful, clever, glad, hot, keen, nice, pleased, sorry, sweet, tired.

Adequately is used with these adjectives:
compensated, equipped, furnished, heated, informed, insured, prepared, qualified,
supplied, trained.
Brilliantly is used with these adjectives:
coloured, designed, edited, effective, funny, imaginative, inventive, patterned, sunny.
Overly is used with these adjectives:
ambitious, cynical, enthusiastic, generous, impressed, keen, optimistic, simplistic.
Exquisitely is used with these adjectives:
beautiful, carved, charming, designed, detailed, sensitive, tailored.
Delicately is used with these adjectives:
balanced, carved, coloured, falvoured, patterned, poised, scented.
Understandably is used with these adjectives:
anxious, cautious, fearful, keen, nervous, reluctant, suspicious.
Violently is used with these adjectives:
antagonistic, attacked, hostile, huddled, ill, opposed, sick.
Brutally is used with these adjectives:
attacked, frank, honest, murdered, oppressive, repressed, repressive.
Ludicrously is used with these adjectives:
expensive, inadequate, irrelevant, out-of-date, sentimental.
Elegantly is used with these adjectives:
dressed, furnished, handsome, tailored.
Comfortably is used with these adjectives:
furnished, settled, warm.
Justifiably is used with these adjectives:
optimistic, pleased, proud.


Insufficiently is used with these adjectives:
accurate, flexible, precise.
Fabulously is used with these adjectives:
rich, wealthy.
Sweetly is used with these adjectives:
innocent, scented.
Prettily is used with these adjectives:
furnished, patterned.
Breathtakingly is used with these adjectives:
beautiful, lovely.
Disgustingly is used with healthy.
Terrifically is used with exciting.
Extortionately is used with expensive.
Spectacularly is used with successful.
Fantastically is used with healthy.


Appendix IV: ‘‘Comparative’’ Category
Appendix IV lists all adjectives found to be modified by the selected
members of the ‘comparative’ category in the OCD and LTP. The adverbs
are ordered according to the wideness of their collocational range. Their
collocating adjectives are listed in alphabetical order.

Relatively is used with these adjectives:
accessible, advanced, autonomous, benign, brief, broad, calm, cautious, cheap,
comfortable, complex, conservative, constant, content, controversial, conventional,
costly, depressed, deprived, difficult, diverse, dominant, dry, early, easy, efficient, empty,
expensive, explicit, exposed, fast, fixed, flexible, fluid, formal, free, frequent, generous,
happy, harmless, healthy, homogenous, immaterial, immature, immobile, immune,
impartial, important, inactive, ineffective, inefficient, inert, inexpensive, inexperienced,
inflexible, informal, infrequent, innocent, innocuous, insensitive, insignificant, intact,
intelligent, isolated, junior, large, late, lengthy, lenient, liberal, light, limited, low, low-
key, manageable, mild, minor, mobile, moderate, modest, narrow, neglected, neutral,
novel, numerous, obscure, opaque, orderly, painless, passive, peaceful, permanent,
pessimistic, poor, popular, powerful, powerless, precise, predictable, privileged,
profitable, progressive, prolonged, prosperous, quick, quiet, rapid, rare, recent, remote,
resistant, restricted, rich, rigid, safe, satisfied, scarce, secure, self-contained, senior,
sensitive, separate, serious, severe, shallow, sheltered, short, simple, slight, slow, small,
smooth, sober, soft, sophisticated, specialized, stable, static, steady, steep, straight,
straightforward, strict, strong, successful, superficial, temporary, theoretical, thick, thin,
tiny, tolerant, tricky, trivial, unaffected, unchanged, uncomfortable, uncommon,
unconcerned, unexpected, unfamiliar, unfashionable, unknown, unmoved, unprepared,
unscathed, unstable, unusual, upright, useful, useless., warm, , wealthy, wide, young.
Particularly is used with these adjectives:
aggressive, agreeable, alarming, busy, careful, cautious, complex, complicated,
concentrated, concerned, confused, difficult, effective, embarrassed, evident, fine, fond,
fortunate, frustrating, grateful, gratifying, gruesome, happy, harmful, harsh, hazardous,
helpful, important, impressed, impressive, inappropriate, influential, informative,
instructive, interested, interesting, ironic, keen, kind, lovely, marked, memorable, nasty,
noisy, notable, noted, noteworthy, noticeable, numerous, outstanding, painful, pertinent,
pleased, pleasing, poignant, popular, potent, powerful, prominent, promising, prone,
pronounced, proud, quick, rare, relevant, resistant, revealing, rewarding, rich, sad,
scarce, sensitive, serious, severe, sharp, significant, skilled, stressful, striking, strong,
stupid, successful, suitable, suited, susceptible, tight, tough, tragic, traumatic, troubled,
true, unfair, unfortunate, unpleasant, unpopular, unusual, upset, urgent, useful, valuable,
vicious, vigilant, violent, visible, vital, vulnerable, warm, weak, welcome, worried,

Comparatively is used with these adjectives:
brief, cheap, clear, easy, expensive, fortunate, harmless, important, inexpensive,
infrequent, insignificant, junior, large, liberal, light, limited, low, mild, minor, modest,
narrow, neglected, painless, peaceful, pessimistic, poor, powerless, quiet, rare, recent,
remote, safe, satisfied, secure, serious, severe, shallow, short, simple, slight, slow, small,
stable, straightforward, strong, theoretical, tidy, tolerant, tiny, trivial, unaffected,
unaware, unaware, unexpected, unknown, unlikely, unpleasant, unstable, up-to-date,
urgent, useful, useless, weak, wealthy, young.
Especially is used with these adjectives:
careful, complex, concerned, effective, evident, fond, grateful, gratifying, helpful,
important, impressed, influential, interested, interesting, keen, kind, marked, notable,
noted, noteworthy, noticeable, numerous, pertinent, pleased, popular, powerful,
prominent, prone, pronounced, proud, rare, relevant, rich, sensitive, severe, skilled,
striking, suitable, suited, useful, valuable, vigilant, vulnerable, welcome.
Extraordinarily is used with these adjectives:
beautiful, candid, clever, complex, complicated, courageous, detailed, difficult, excited,
exciting, favourable, funny, generous, good, good-looking, handsome, influential,
interesting, intricate, intriguing, light, lucky, mobile, moving, persistent, pleasant,
powerful, prolific, quiet, rapid, resistant, rich, subtle, talented, vivid, wide.
Unusually is used with these adjectives:
bright, broad, complete, detailed, fine, forthcoming, gentle, good, helpful, hot, large,
long-lived, mild, powerful, prominent, quiet, rapid, restrained, rich, secretive, sensitive,
severe, silent, strong, subdued, susceptible, tall, tidy, warm, wide.
Eminently is used with these adjectives:
acceptable, deserving, desirable, logical, possible, practical, predictable, qualified,
readable, reasonable, respectable, sane, satisfactory, satisfying, sensible, sensible,
suitable, suited, valuable.
Not particularly is used with these adjectives:
bothered, comforting, difficult, enthusiastic, friendly, good-looking, happy, helpful,
illuminating, inspiring, inviting, necessary, nice, pleasant, surprised, talented.


Appendix V: ‘‘Semantic Feature Copying’’ Category
Appendix V lists adverb-adjective collocations that are interpreted as
instances of ‘’semantic feature copying’’. They are drawn from the OCD
and LTP.

Badly needed Heavily loaded
Badly injured Heavily overweight
Bitterly cold Immediately noticeable
Blatantly clear Instantly recognizable
Blindingly obvious Intensely frustrating
Clearly defined Intimately acquainted
Clearly evident Irrevocably committed
Clearly visible Loosely structured
Closely related Peacefully asleep
Crucially important Permanently handicapped
Dangerously misleading Plainly evident
Deeply disappointed Readily available
Deeply impressed Ruthlessly exploited
Deeply insulting Savagely contemptuous
Deeply interested Scrupulously honest
Deeply involved Serenely peaceful
Deeply rooted Shockingly disfigured
Directly involved Spotlessly clean
Easily accessible Strictly limited
Easily comprehensible Strongly nationalistic
Easily readable Tightly constrained
Fiercely opposed Vaguely aware
Firmly attached Vitally important
Firmly embedded Warmly welcome


c,r «¡¸,.−vi «i.ti _ ö,s.ti , a,‹ati _, «..tïti öt-Œ9ïti ‹tta- _s, «.iŠ† _i ca,ti i‰t a‡,¡
_ti ö,s.ti , a,‹ati _s,t «,tv‡ti ˜.t—ui .“t¡ _ï,‹s- _.µs- _.s Ėi‡.ïs- atˆ , t,-Œ9ã t.t ,
OCD , LTP . , _ti «¡‹t,µi « ˜ƒ.. _i t.t _tq _.¡ t- _ «.iŠ‡ti ,a t.ï,,, :, a,att, a‹ati ¿si¡ iˆt- _.š a,‹ati öt-Œ9ã Štai - «,.,tà _.s ï†,,,ti †,,ïti _tt- : ö,s.ti
:_ㆋi..t _t-‡.vi
ca,ti ¿,ïµ _.s ca,ti †,‡ai _.s ;,›ti _ï.ã _ti «-‡ïti t,..š _- ¿,—ï «ï. , ca,ti «.t“- ,
‹iti , ai‡tvi , öt,š t,ï.iŠ‡, ca,ti ;tà _ti öt.t,,ti , öt,tłi . _.ttti ¿—iti ï‹tit Ėi‡,,õ ¿,t.ï¡
ti ,tí t,,.¡ öt-Œ9ïti at.–í _i «ïtši öt-Œ9ï..t «,µŠ.ã «,i.‚ , ï‹ttatt, Ėti¡‹sã ;‡ï¡ c,r öt-Œ9ï
_t-‡.vi _- ¡‹‚vi _i,.í , öt-Œ9ïti _, ï†,,,ti a9ï‚vi atï. .
—iti ¸ï‹¡ _Š‡ï.t «,tv‡ti ˜.t—ui , _Š‡ïti .–, _.s ctttti ¿ tvi _i Ėt›¡i a‡,¡ , ö,s.ti _ öt,
t.ti‡ri «,tv† Ėta,iš _Š‡ïti öti– , ö,s.ti «.Što «,i,ï ¿t- öt,ttt’i ¿.iã _.s Š†tà _tv† _ˆ,..,
‹‚łi _.s . ¿,t.ï. ¿,i‹ti ¿—ï _ ) _Š‡ïti . † a..ï ¿t“, «,ti t.à‹Ēã ‡à , _tv ¿—i- . _-tui ¿—iti
_ti , «.iŠ‡ti ¿9‚ ttt.µï.ï.i _ti atï.ti ,ti ¿‚vi ¿—iti _ , a,‹a.t «,tv‡ti atòvi ”àt.¡
_.¡ t- _ ˜.ƒïã :
• «s,,a t..,, «¡,a _t a,‹ati t,.ï.ã _ti _.sti «s,,a . a,‹ati , ö,s.ti öt-Œ9ï- «,,ï‹ã _.š
tv† _t ö,s.ti tt‡,iã _ti _.sti «,tv† ‹a. «,,, _- ¿ïí «,.t., _aµ .s.ti _.ï i‰µ, .«, .
• _t , «,tv† †ts,vi «.w ‘ _.s ;,ïã t,ï.iŠ‡, t..à _ti a,‹ati : " «,Š‡ti " .
" «,,,ïti " , " ,¡,ïïti " . " «.Štïti " , " «,tv‡ti ˜.t—ui „..ti " .
t.-‡à Ėi¿‚í , Žētï,. ƒ.- , ca,ti _ «-‡ƒï.ti ¿,‹ti ,t., «,,‹sti, «¡†‹tti _ï, ˜ .
«ï«.t, ¡«ãŠ,ï
ę Š«.ï.‚ «j:,«.j‰Ž j,ã ;«t ..«,«- ę Š,tt ¡‡.:,j«¿ _.«jv Ž¡‡.«t ¡,, ¡«.t,Ž j ) Collocation . ¡ _i,Ž ,.
ę Š«t i‡j¸,.Ē.,. _.t-Œ «t :Šttēt:,t. , ,t.ēt:,t. ¡tĒŽ j ,«. , _tï:Šttēt:,t. «t Ž¡‡.«t _.tï«jtãi, t.,. ¡:,«.jŒŽ ,†
¡‡.:,j«¿ i‡.t,ēt«l«t ¡«.i,t.ēt:,t. ę Š,tt «j«t _tj«.t,Ž j , -«. Ē.«tŠ«t ,,†Š«t «, ¿.«,ï“¿ «, •« ¡Ši†,t. _
) OCD . , ) LTP . . ę ‹ï :,«ïŽ j‹t, öŠ,ï i†:,:Ši,‚ ¡:Št,.‹¿ ,,† ;«t Ž¡‹ï:† «ï:,«.j‰Ž j,ã _ïŽ , : Šttēt:,t. tjt.
tï .Ž ,.Ž j† i†,t.ēt:,t. Š«.«, _š ,Ž ,. «.š:† aŽ ,ã _ï«j‡.:,j«¿ ę Š,tt :,«.t,Ž j ) Collocation . ,«. tjt. :, :
,t.ēt:,t. , ,Šttēt:,t. ¡t.i,ã Š«.«t «ï _š «.i‡.«, , öŽ ,ï ę Š,tt ¡‡.:,j«¿ _ï.«,«- Ž ,, _«t i† ¡«.t,Ž j
:_«jt. :,«tŽ ,¿ ¡«ï , _Ž j† :,«tŽ ,¿ ¡«ï «ãi, :_t,.i,Ž ,.
a«,ï«“Ž ,¿ «, «ï :,,ãt,tŽ ,¿ •«, •«’ «t «ï:,«.j‰Ž j,ã ¡Š,,.. Š«. «ãt‚:† ¡t.’Ž ,Š «ï ötï:‡Ž ,¿ ..:†
«ï:,«.j‰Ž j,ã , _.tï«ït‹l , _.tï«−t-t. , _.tï«.tq‹l , _ï“¿ ¡«.tjtãi† ,«. , _.tï«-¸,.tt,-
_,,ï.«,Ž ,¿ . ¡:,«.†‹t.,,Š Ž ,, «tŽ ,.†‹t’Ž ,‚ tĒjŠ ;:,,† _’«, _ã«Ž ję Š,tt ¡«ïŽ ,¿, ) Collocation . •«-«.
, _†‹ï«.t.Ž ,¿ ¡tĒŽ ję Š «t Ž ,¿ tt:,Š«t , «.tj‡.:,j«¿ ;«. Ž ,, ¡,,,‰Ž ,- _tŽ ,.tƒ’t¿ _.†‹t’«t“
_.tï«.†‹t.Ž ,tŽ ,¿ , , _ã«,Ž ję Š,tt ¡‡.:,j«¿ _i,Ž ,.«t «ï :,,ï.‚Š:† _t-«.tjŒi,t,, ,«. _j)Ē.‹l ”j‹ãi,†
«j«t i‡,.tï:,Ž ,’,tt :ŠŽ ,ïïi). .
_.tï:,t.ēt:,t. _.i‡.t“,¿ «t «,ïj‹, ;«,Ž ,. _’«, " «.¿ " «jtãi,t.,. , ,t.ēt:,t. «t ¡‡.«,«.¿ _.tï , tt:,Š«t
«t«.«- Ž¡‡.«t ¡:,«.i‡tŽ ,t Ž ,, :,t.Ž ,t _t.“,tŽ ,.j†Ž ,- «t ¡Št’,l ¡‡.«,«.¿ _.tï:Š«‚Š:† , ,t.ēt:,t. _Ž ,š «.i,
)ï«j Š«. «.«‚:† _jtãi, . «t _t=t, _«.«ã,‹Ž ,ã «, i‡-:Ši,š _’«,«t " ¡‡.«,«.¿ " _tŽ ,ētŽ ,¿ ,ï:, :,,†‹ï
_jtãi, . ¿ _’«,«t :,«.,ētŽ ,tŽ ,t , ‘t,Š«, «ãŽ ,ï.‚ _tòtï:Ši†Šttēt:,t. _.tï«jtãi, «tŽ ,¿ i‡“,-«µ.Ž , . _’«,«t
_j,,ï“j«l _Ž ,¿ «ï:,«.j‰Ž j,ã _-t−«.«t«ï :,,†‹ï¸ję Š _t-«.ēvt‚ ,«. _j)Ē.‹l i‡“jt㎠,ï , ;«’«’
•«.i,«t :
¡:,Ž ,šŠi,š«t i†,t.ēt:,t. , ŠttĖ t:,t. ¡«.t,Ž ję Š,tt ¡‡.:,j«¿ , _tï:Šttēt:,t. ¡«jtãi, ,«. _ï’,‹.
«,.t-¸Ž ję Š i‡ã:ę Š«.,«t :,«.¸Ž j,Ēj:† , :,«.¸Ž j,Ēj:† _tï:,t.ēt:,t. ¡«jtãi, ,«. _ï’,‹. ;ēv«,
«jtãi, i‡ã:ę Š«.,«t .
:,Ž ,ši,š «t ‘t,Š«, «ã«.t-,ï.‚ i†«ï:,«.j‰Ž j,ã «t ¡«.iŠttēt:,t. ,«. i† _jtãi, ¡‡.«t:Š ¿.Ž ,¿ ¡
_«ï:†Štï , ”,.i,«. , " «.¿ " , " ē¿i†Ž ,- " , " «.i,Ž ,¿ " , " _jŠt,iŠ«, " , " t.,. _.†‹t,¿Ž ,ï
_tï«jtãi, . "
_,t.Ž ,t _t-Štï«,«ï ¡«.i,tšŠ«. ,«t :,,†‹ï _t.tŽ ,ï.,t i‡“jt㎠,ï«t ,,†Š«t«, «ï«.t, ¡«ï‚,¿ Ž¿«l«t
_,:Š«s , ¡†Š,ï _.t-Œ .

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