In standard American English, the word like has several senses associated with it, the earliest of which dates back to the 14th century according to the OED. Some of these senses, however, reflect more recent developments in the language and suggest that the lexical aspects of the word are changing in the direction toward a more grammatical function. This paper presents a historical analysis of the use of the word like and posits a possible grammaticalization path in an attempt to explain the current usage of like in modern-day English.
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