For example:

  1. "He was punished for what he did to his brother."

Yes, it can! The sentence you suggest is perfectly correct and idiomatic.



He was punished for//what he did to his brother.

The verb punish here takes the preposition for.

"what he did to his brother" is a noun clause used as a direct object of punished for.

He was asked about//what he did for his brother. He denied //what he did to his brother.

Same idea.

I don't think this is anything adverbial per se.

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