Please consider the following:
(1) My colleague was refreshingly honest when I asked her for feedback.
(2) It was refreshing to see my colleague being honest when I asked her for feedback.
(3) He is amazingly handsome.
(4) [Amazingly(,)] he is handsome [(,)amazingly].
I don't understand in what way refreshingly modifies honest? Had it been for once instead, how would that qualify at modifying only the adjective and not the whole construct or sentence altogether? Compare the position, and function, of (it was) refreshing + inf. in (2); doesn't it mean the same thing? With amazingly and a simpler phrase, the position seemingly matches the function, as in the degree with (3) or, externally (as an adjunct or something else), the unexpected turn of events with (4). What I gather from (1) is that the speaker thinks this colleague or other coworkers generally might not have always been so forthcoming in the past, and since she is now in this very instance, it feels like something pleasingly fresh or different in context; is it more generic? Using (the conjunction?) when and the complement makes it even more about the quality of a moment in time based on the speaker's contrasting past experience, as opposed to some variation on the colleague being honest in whatever way.
Is that just a more complex type of modifier, not unlike what a (partial) restrictive focusing modifier is (a bit like only etc.) but which still does something comparable to what degree/manner adverbs do, or does it function at the sentence level, like what I understand a VP-oriented adjunct of sorts does? In so many words I feel that in (1) there is like a type mismatch, and the adverb rather seems to be functioning independently as an adjunct to the verb phrase, similar to what it was refreshing essentially yields in (2). And this doesn't feel all too different from something like fortunately at the beginning of a sentence, and this wouldn't be modifying the adjective honest (that I know of).
- What are the different phrases in (1), what is the exact function and scope of the adverb refreshingly and what type of modifier would it be?
- Can (1) be construed like an active reordering of (2) which is more positional than functional and which eludes (adjectival) phrase scope as an adjunct would; can we tell without further context (subtext, commas, or appearing at the beginning of the sentence)? Does the scope vary from a category of modifier to the next in an adjectival phrase? Is this some hybrid or it simply an adverb of manner, about a new sensation in general (as opposed to having the potential to actually refresh in a figurative way), yet detached from any specific reference to the personal experience of the speaker or moment in time, and therefore well suited for modifying the adjective and being limited in scope to that phrase?