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For some context, according to wikipedia, the following serve as examples of 副助詞:

Adverbial particles (副助詞, fuku-joshi) ばかり, まで, だけ, ほど, くらい, など, なり, やら

Question: Why are adverbial particles (副助詞) called "adverbial" (副詞) particles?

Is it that all of these sorts of particles can combine with nouns (or noun phrases) to form adverbs (副詞)? Is that the defining feature of what it means to be an 副助詞?

E.g.

りんごばかり食べています。

Here りんごばかり ("only apples") is acting as an adverbial phrase which modifies 食べています?


EDIT: I am also trying to understand the dictionary definition of 副助詞 from goo:

ふく‐じょし【副助詞】 の解説

助詞の一。種々の語に付き、それらの語にある意味を添えて、副詞のように下の用言や活用連語を修飾・限定する類の助詞。現代語では「さえ」「まで」「ばかり」「だけ」「ほど」「くらい(ぐらい)」「など」「やら」など、古語では「だに」「すら」「さへ」「のみ」「ばかり」「など」「まで」など。

However this part is confusing me:

副詞のように下の用言や活用連語を修飾

If I'm reading this correctly, 副助詞 can only come after 用言や活用連語 (conjugatable words) to form something that is adverbial? But can't 副助詞 come after pure nouns (as in 「りんごばかり」, where りんご is a non-conjugatable word) to form adverbial phrases too? If that's the case, why is the definition emphasizing 用言や活用連語 here?

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In basic terms, a 副助詞【ふくじょし】 (adverbial particle) is a 助詞【じょし】 (particle) that acts like a 副詞【ふくし】 (adverb).

副詞のように下の用言や活用連語を修飾

If I'm reading this correctly, 副助詞 can only come after 用言や活用連語 (conjugatable words) to form something that is adverbial?

You're not reading this correctly. 😉

The 「下の」 refers to the following 用言【ようげん】や活用連語【かつようれんご】 (inflecting word or conjugating phrase), which these particles 修飾【しゅうしょく】 (modify or qualify).

The earlier bit says what these 副助詞【ふくじょし】 attach to:

種々【しゅじゅ】の語【ご】に付【つ】き、
attaches to various words,

But can't 副助詞 come after pure nouns (as in 「りんごばかり」, where りんご is a non-conjugatable word) to form adverbial phrases too?

Yes, these can come after nouns, as in your example.

If that's the case, why is the definition emphasizing 用言や活用連語 here?

I hope the explanation further above suffices. 😄

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  • Thanks for the clarification :) Just to clarify more though: you're saying that the adverbial particles (like ばかり) are themselves adverbs? Or are they only considered adverbial (not the particle itself, but the particle + the noun) when they combine with nouns and noun phrases?
    – George
    Apr 27, 2023 at 2:56
  • I also find the name confusing but for a different reason. Don’t most particle (or postpositional) phrases modify 用言 and 活用連語? And some of those classified as “adverbial” can form noun phrases, a feature that is not always applicable to 格助詞. What’s particularly “adverbial” about them?
    – aguijonazo
    Apr 27, 2023 at 4:23
  • Some particles specify arguments to the verb, like を or も or が -- these tell us things about the nouns doing the action, or having the action done to them. The adverbial particles are a little different from adverbs alone, in that the particle versions must attach to a noun or noun phrase, whereas a plain adverb doesn't have this restriction. Apr 27, 2023 at 6:15
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    Particles like に and で form phrases that modify a verb. Corresponding prepositional phrases in English, such as “to …”, “at …”, “by …”, etc. would be adverbial phrases, as opposed to adjectival. (Phrases ending with の are adjectival.) Phrases ending with ばかり, だけ, etc., on the other hand, can also be nominal, as well as adverbial. This is why I think the name is confusing.
    – aguijonazo
    Apr 27, 2023 at 8:40
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    I really don’t know how I managed to confuse you so much. English prepositional phrases can be either adverbial or adjectival, but the usages corresponding to に and で are adverbial. That means に and で are also adverbial, as opposed to の, which is adjectival. My doubt is why だけ and ばかり should be called “adverbial” when に and で are also adverbial, and besides, だけ and ばかり can be nominal, which に and で cannot be. When だけ or ばかり is followed by another particle, as in 〜だけがある, the phrase that ends with だけ or ばかり has no adverbial function. It’s just a noun phrase like any other.
    – aguijonazo
    Apr 27, 2023 at 17:27

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