“It’s lunacy now”

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This paper contributes to the characterisation of the pragmatic system of Irish English through a corpus-based examination of the item <i>now</i>. Comparative corpus frequency data confirm the saliency of <i>now</i> in Irish English, highlighting the need for a more nuanced investigation. This investigation analyses 500 randomised occurrences of <i>now</i> from the Limerick Corpus of Irish English (LCIE) and compares them to 500 randomised occurrences from the spoken component of the British National Corpus (BNC). The analysis points toward <i>now</i> as markedly more frequent in the LCIE data due to its additional functions such as its use as a pragmatic marker and deictic presentative. The pragmatic function of <i>now</i>, visible in the corpus evidence, is given detailed attention in the discussion. Keywords: <i>Now</i>; corpus linguistics; discourse/pragmatic markers; deictic presentative


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