University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics

Article Title

Liketa is not Almost


In this paper, I analyze the syntax and semantics of the approximative liketa as found in Appalachian English. Liketa is commonly translated to standard American English as almost. I present syntactic facts from extrapostion, yes/no question response, and hierarchy of projections which suggest that liketa is in fact a verb and not an adverb like almost. I use this syntactic analysis to show that a verbal decomposition analysis of the semantics of almost and German fast is not sufficient to explain liketa's unique set of interpretations. Instead I propose that liketa's interpretations are best captured with an analysis which says that liketa is best analyzed as an expression which generates sets of ordered alternatives following Penka (2006). I suggest that the alternatives receive their structure from the aspectual structure of the verb under liketa.