Volume 41, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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This paper investigates the use of speech-unit final (SUF ) in standard Irish English (IrE) and takes a variationist approach based on the Irish component of the (ICE-IRL). The analysis includes both sociolinguistic factors (age, gender, occupation type, religious affiliation, conversation type, audience size, type and zone of residence) and a psycholinguistic factor (priming). The statistical analysis extends previous research on SUF in that it applies the principle of accountability and shows that priming significantly facilitates SUF use, that SUF has increased between an earlier (1990–1994) and a later phase (2002–2005) of data collection and that, between 2002 and 2005, SUF use correlates negatively with audience size but not so in data collected between 1990 and 1994. The relative absence of significant social stratification of SUF use suggests that SUF continues to be a frequent feature of standard IrE and substantiates that it is a linguistic marker of Irish identity.


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