“Hurry up baby son all the boys is finished their breakfast”

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The data for this chapter comprises two corpora representing the intimategenre collected in the home/family environment: one from a middle class Irishfamily and one from a family belonging to the Irish Traveller community, anethnic minority group accounting for less than 1% of the Irish population. Thefocus of the chapter is the occurrence of vocatives across the two corpora. Thecorpus frequency counts suggest that although the Traveller family use vocativesnotably more frequently than the settled family, vocatives play a definingrole in both families’ pragmatic systems. In general, vocatives in spoken Englishare associated with the marking of discourse boundaries (see, for example,Carter and McCarthy 2006). However, this chapter demonstrates that vocativesperform a predominantly mitigating function in both families.


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