The morphological status of adverbs ending in -mente in Spanish (-ly in English) has been the object of many studies and continues to be the subject of debate. The two main proposals regarding the morphology of these adverbs treat them as either compounds or derivatives as the result of suffixation, but both hypotheses present problems. In this study an analysis will be defended which treats -mente as a phrasal affix (cf. Zwicky 1987, Nevis 1985 and Miller 1992). The notion of phrasal affix has been used to describe clitics which, from a morphological standpoint, are similar to affixes but which, simultaneously manifest characteristics of independent words. The argument for analyzing -mente as a phrasal affix is based on both synchronic and diachronic data, including some similarities with object clitic pronouns.
© Walter de Gruyter