Learning that ‘look like’ is 2 words, not 1 word

Several times recently, I’ve heard my grandson (4 years 3 months) say that a thing ‘look likes’ something else. He says that with no hesitation or stumbling and without any obvious indication of having meant to say ‘looks like’. And he says it consistently. So I am sure he is saying it intentionally.

It seems he is analysing the phrase ‘look like’ as a single lexical item (a verb) not as a sequence of 2 lexical items (verb followed by a preposition). He is then attaching the inflectional suffix -s to the end of the whole ‘word’ (look-like) to give ‘look-likes’.

His analysis isn’t really so outlandish. After all, ‘look like’ is a synonym of ‘resemble’, a verb which is indeed a single lexical item.

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