Locative adverb

A locative adverb is a type of adverb that refers to a location or to a combination of a location and a relation to that location. Generally, a locative adverb is semantically equivalent to a prepositional phrase involving a locative or directional preposition. In English, for example, homeward is a locative adverb, specifying a location "home" and a relation "toward" (in this case a direction), and is equivalent to the phrase "toward home". The relation need not be a direction, as it can be any relation that can be specified by a locational preposition such as to, from, in, at, near, toward, or away from. For example, the word home is itself a locative adverb in a sentence like "I took him home today" or "I found him home today"; in the former case, it is equivalent to the phrase "to home", and in the latter to the phrase "at home".

Pro-form locative adverbs generally form a closed class and are particularly important in a language. Examples in English include there (meaning "at that place"), whither (= "to what place"), and hence (= "from this place"). As can be seen from the examples below, these anaphoric locative adverbs generally have a close relationship with the demonstratives (in English, this and that). They are also usually closely related to locative interrogative adverbs; in English, there is (or, at least, once was) a formal relationship between "where/there/here", "whither/thither/hither", and "whence/thence/hence".

Some anaphoric locatives in English
(those marked with * have archaic, literary, formal, or dialectal usage only; they are not part of a typical English speaker's everyday vocabulary)
Demonstrative or interrogative "At" locative "To" locative "From" locative
What Where Whither* Whence*
This Here Hither* Hence*
That There Thither* Thence*
Yon* Yond* Yonder* Yondence*

See also

  • A fuller table is in the article on pro-forms.


Look up locative adverb in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
  • v
  • t
  • e
Lexical categories and their features
  • Abstract / Concrete
  • Adjectival
  • Agent
  • Animacy
  • Bare
  • Collective
  • Countable
  • Initial-stress-derived
  • Mass
  • Noun adjunct
  • Proper
  • Relational
  • Strong / Weak
  • Verbal / Deverbal