“I always think of people here, you know, saying ‘like’ after every sentence”

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This chapter investigates eight discourse-pragmatic markers in a corpus ofNorthern Irish English, some of which are interesting on account of theirabsence or rarity and others because they appear to index social categorieslike age and sex.1 Although some of these (particularly like) have already beensubject to considerable scholarly debate, others (such as och) have never beenaddressed. The account examines their origins drawing on the corpus as wellas other data from Celtic and non-Celtic Englishes globally. The analysis alsore-examines and elaborates on the functions each of these discourse-pragmaticmarkers are thought to perform, with respect to both their roles in interpersonalcommunication and in organizing discourse.


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