What is a sentence adverb?

The AP Styebook has announced that it will henceforth accept the word “hopefully” as a sentence adverb:

an adverb that affects the meaning of a whole sentence, for example “fortunately” in the sentence “Fortunately, no one was injured.” or “economically” in the sentence “This could be disastrous for the country economically.”
Macmillan Dictionary

When I was a child, I was taught that adverbs modify (“add information to”) verbs.

Walked slowly

Talked loudly

Sang sweetly

And so on.

Between then and now, adverbs have acquired so many roles – as modifiers of verbs, of adjectives, of “determiners,” of other adverbs, of phrases, of sentences – that I sometimes think of the adverb as any modifier that is not an adjective.

I don’t know whether “any modifier that is not an adjective” is a reasonable definition, but when I find out, I will let you know.

Hopefully [SENTENCE ADVERB], that won’t be too long from now.

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