Quoting Ray Brown <[log in to unmask]>:

> On Wednesday, May 11, 2005, at 05:24 , Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
> > Andreas Johansson skrev:
> >> Quoting Benct Philip Jonsson <[log in to unmask]>:
> >>
> >>
> >> Andreas Johansson skrev:
> [snip]
> >>> Unfortunately I'm afraid 'adverbial' as a noun for a syntactic
> >>> subdivision is a Swedish(TM) usage...
> >>
> >>
> >> Ah. You seem to be right.
> >>
> >> Well, clearly, then, we've discovered a point where English could be
> >> improved by
> >> a Swedish loan!
> >
> > "Adverbial phrase" ought to be there already.  Otherwise I agree.
> "Adverbial phrase" was here once upon a time when I was a youngster; it
> meant any phrase which functioned as an adverb, such as "on the following
> night". But this is now called a 'prepositional phrase'.

Humpf. In any sane language, "adverbial phrase" ought indicate function and
"prepositional phrase" form. :p

But surely "last night" would've been considered an adverbial phrase back in
your youth? It wouldn't be called a prepositional phrase now, would it?

 Trask does not
> even list the term 'adverbial phrase'; he does, however, list 'adverb
> phrase' thus:
> "A phrase whose lexical head is an adverb; _very quietly_, _right here_."
> But you two Swedes may like to know that the adjective 'adverbial' ("of or
> pertaining to adverbs") is also used as _noun_ in English as well. As a
> noun it means:
> "Any category with a distribution and a function similar to that of a
> lexical adverb, such as _tomorrow night_, _in the garden_, _when she
> arrives_ or _in order to find out_, regardless of its surface syntactic
> realization, which may be that of a lexical adverb, an adverb phrase, a
> prepositional phrase, an adverbial clause or a non-finite VP. The term
> 'adverbial' is thus a functional one."

Ah. This is basically the same as Swedish _adverbial_. Which means that my
original supposition wasn't necessarily in error.

Apparently not a very common usage, tho; doesn't occur in the couple lexica I
checked after reading BP's first post.