Domain adverbials in the news
A corpus-based contrastive study of English, German, French, Italian and Spanish
This article examines the functional category of domain adverbials (DAs), which arose fairly recently in the European languages and is claimed to occur frequently in the written press. In order to better understand this category, we investigate the form, use and meaning of DAs in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish and highlight important intra- and cross-linguistic differences by means of a qualitative and quantitative empirical study based on a corpus of journalistic texts drawn from online daily newspapers. Our results show that cross-linguistically DAs are mainly realized as adverbs formed through a standard word-formation rule. Our results also point to important cross-linguistic differences in the frequency and types of domain adverbs used in the five languages. We explain these differences by taking into account grammatical, sociolinguistic and discourse-related parameters.