Is there a rule for which part of speech modifies a preposition? What part of speech is the italicized halfway in the following sentence?

"He stopped halfway out the door."

  • 1
    Directly into, partially around, perfectly on, ostensibly for, all use adverbs. Looks like halfway is working as an adverb here. – Yosef Baskin Jun 5 '17 at 17:40
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    "Out the door" is not a preposition, but a prepositional phrase. And it's a predicate phrase, so it must be modified by adverbs. – John Lawler Jun 5 '17 at 18:18
  • PPs can also be modified by NPs as in "We left a few minutes before the end"; "I live a mile beyond the Rose & Crown pub. And also by prepositions, as in "I'm sure it's down in the basement"; "I think Dad may be round at the pub". – BillJ Jun 5 '17 at 18:40
  • A team at Sussex University proposed that these Prepositional Phrase Modifiers were distinct enough to merit a non-traditional label. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 5 '17 at 19:26
  • Very interesting quote from the Sussex team: "There exists a set of words which modify prepositional phrases. Among them are straight, just, way and right, as in straight into the hole, just behind the house, way over the limit and right beside the bed. These words have received little attention from grammarians. Perhaps they deserve to constitute an additional part of speech." – John Jun 5 '17 at 19:56

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