I'm curious about the phrase “dearly beloved”. – It looks to me to be a phrase consisting of an adverb (dearly) modifying a noun (beloved). But I thought adverbs could only modify verbs or adjectives?
So what am I missing here? What are the parts of speech of this phrase, and how do they go together?
Edit: I’m thinking of the noun phrase (as used, e.g. in addressing someone). Originally I encountered this in the phrase in a Bad Religion song by the same name. In which the chrorus is:
Dearly beloved, dearly beloved, dearly beloved Make no mistake, despite our traits, I've seldom seen I can't relate to you I can't relate to you
But wikipedia has a whole long list of novels, songs etc. with “Dearly Beloved” as a title.
I realise (as pointed out in the comments below) that dearly beloved might also be interpreted as a verb phrase, but my question is not intended to be about that.