I know adverbs are multifarious, but I’d like to find out just how farious they are. I’m trying to work out what properties they can have by looking at variations in the way different ones can be used. I’m especially interested in how they relate to conjunctions.
I find (1) below perfectly natural, whereas (2) hurts my ears:
(1) Although he was sick, he nevertheless went in to work
(2) Because he was sick, he therefore stayed at home
I’m not sure at this point whether the problem [that I perceive] with (2) is syntactic or semantic, but I’d like to understand the syntax better.
Although and because are both subordinating conjunctions, so it seems reasonable to expect them to behave in the same way. On that basis any syntactic issue must be to do with nevertheless and therefore.
Nevertheless is an adverb that modifies a clause by flagging that whatever it expresses might be unexpected given whatever has just been said.
Therefore is an adverb that modifies a clause by flagging that whatever it expresses is a consequence of whatever has just been said.
If I take out although and because, the two adverbs seem to behave in more or less the same way:
He was sick but nevertheless went into work
He was sick and therefore stayed at home
He was sick; nevertheless, he went in to work
He was sick; therefore, he stayed at home
The only difference I can really find is that therefore demands a comma if it is moved to the end, whereas nevertheless is happy without one.
Therefore has been described as a connective, but I think that must also be true of nevertheless, which has to refer back to whatever it is that sets up the expectation.
Is it possible that they are both connectives but that they connect different syntactic units? It feels as though, in (2), the referent of therefore includes because, whereas, in (1), the referent of nevertheless does not include although. I do not know how I could describe that in linguistic terms, though.
I also have a vague feeling that there is a determiner or quantifier hiding in therefore but not in although. I can't really articulate it any better than that so don't know how to test this idea. Perhaps it's just another way of saying that the scope of the referent is different.