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How is the distinction made between adverbs and nounnouns in adverbs which are representative of the thing of whose adverbial quality they also represent?

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How is the distinction made between adverbs and noun in adverbs which are representative of the thing of whose adverbial quality they also represent?

Adverbs of place, among other adverbs of the nature mentioned in the question, confuse me. Saying that "wherever" is an adverb when "wherever" functions both as the representation of the place and also as the quality of the place's ambiguity seems improper. "I'm going wherever." "I'm going that way." "I'm going to London." The only difference I can see is that "to" is used to modify the verb "going" in any such sentences as the latter, while, in using adverbs, one does not make this addition for lack of specificity. "I'm going north." In this case, north is a real, concrete course--a thing, not a quality--and yet is considered adverbial. Why is this? Is the sentence "I'm going to the north" nounal? If so, how is there a semantic distinction which justifies the distinction of the words form?

An example of this which does not use an adverb of place is in the sentence "I'm going bankrupt." "Bankrupt," in the form 'bankruptcy,' is a fathomable thing, it is also a quality of what one is "going," thus, by this rule which I am questioning, is considered adverbial in nature. "Bankrupt" is not in any of its forms defined as an adverb. It is merely for the fact that it is a quality of a state that one is actuating by way of verb that it is considered adverbial when, simultaneously, it is nounal, representative of a thing that one is going--but it is foremost considered adverbial. Why?