“’Tis mad, yeah”
The study of pragmatic markers has stressed their function of relating segmentsof discourse one to the other, including the functions of response to previoustalk and the marking of stance. This chapter investigates the turn-opening slotas an important locus for pragmatic marking. Tao’s (2003) work on turn-openingsconcluded that turn-openers were primarily lexical and linked withprior talk. McCarthy’s (2002) study of single-word lexical response tokensrevealed variation in the use of tokens between British and North AmericanEnglish but that work did not cover turn-openers in general. The present chaptercompares turn-openers in informal Irish and British English, focusing onlexically freestanding pragmatic markers. The chapter discusses variety-specificitems in their role as turn-initial pragmatic markers.