On 4/25/07, Ph.D. <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Dirk Elzinga wrote:
> >
> > Here are some words from English which add -ally
> > (< -al -ly) directly to the stem without an intermediate
> > form in -al. Interestingly, all of these forms end in -ic,
> > but it is not the case that a form in -ic must add -ally
> > directly--fundamental, logical, musical, etc. (I snarfed
> > these from the English Lexicon Project.)
> [..snip..]
> Without reading through the entire list, it seems that
> the forms with |-al| are adjectives formed from a noun
> ending in |-ic| (logic, logical; music, musical) while
> those that go directly from |-ic| to |-ically| are already
> adjectives in |-ic| (basic, basically; heroic, heroically).

I hadn't looked that closely at the list either, but I suspect you're right.
However, some adjectives in |-ic| also have a variant form in |-ical|:

economic/economical, electric/electrical, geometric/geometrical,
historic/historical, theoretic/theoretical

While the alternants are not perfect synonyms, there doesn't seem to be a
consistent meaning or function contributed by |-al|.

As Roger points out, adding |-ally| is phonologically indistinguishable from
merely adding |-ly|. So why does the orthography insist on it? It's a
problem I think I'll look into ...

--Ph. D.