German does not have an adverb suffix, so I would guess, there was a time when English had none as well; however, I could not find anything on the Internet about it. If I was right, does someone know when and from which language English got its adverb suffix? My guess would usually be Latin or French, but as far as I know, Latin usually uses -e, and French has -ment, so I am at my wits' end. Does -ly derive from Vulgar Latin? Is it even Celtic, or still (ancient) German after all? If anyone knows more, I will be very interested in learning more.

  • @David Vogt, but that is not a good answer: *likaz- as reconstructed for Germanic is supposed to have meant "-bodied, -form, -like", (any good examples?); We still see velar-like reflexes, which makes it phonologically difficult. We also see Lat. -alis, -ic (and more?), could that have something to do with it? The idea is that Germanic had adverbs, which German has lost, I reckon, by the way. – vectory Oct 30 at 6:08
  • @vectory — I was wrong to go into detail, so that a comment on the validity of the assumptions in the question became a pseudo-answer. I’ll delete it (except for the comment on Celtic). – David Oct 30 at 7:41
  • I don’t believe that there are any Celtic words in the English language (other than place names) and very few Latin words survived the withdrawal of the Romans. You should perhaps do a little research on the origins of the English language. – David Oct 30 at 7:46
  • You didn't look hard enough. I found this straight away: link – BillJ Oct 30 at 8:45

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