ERIC Number: ED463673
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
An Alternative View of "Like": Its Grammaticalisation in Conversational American English and Beyond.
Edinburgh Working Papers in applied Linguistics, n11 p21-41 2001
The word "like" has acquired some newly grammaticalized uses, notably those of a discourse marker and a quotative complementizer. Although these uses have been highly stigmatized by normativist grammarians, they nevertheless occur with high frequency in naturally-occurring discourse and have attracted the attention of several studies. This article tests the claims made in the literature about the use of "like" by looking at a small sample of talk-in-interaction. It undertakes a qualitative evaluation of pragmatic, semantic, and syntactic aspects in the use of "like" in its new functions and gives motivations for the grammaticalization it has undergone. Using the framework of Lakoff (1987), the synchronic uses of "like" are presented in a radical structure that explains the various semantic-pragmatic functions it can take with reference to a core meaning. It concludes that the boundaries of the different functions of "like" are very hard to determine, and its interpretation depends heavily upon the context. An appendix presents transcription conventions. (Contains 72 references and 34 notes.) (SM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: For complete journal issue, see FL 027 235.