Journal article

'Northmen, Southmen, comrades all'? The adoption of discourse like by migrants north and south of the Irish border

KP Corrigan, C Diskin

Language in Society | Cambridge University Press (CUP) | Published : 2020


The Republic of Ireland (ROI) and Northern Ireland (NI) have recently become attractive migrant destinations. Two main dialectal varieties are recognised on the island, but little is known about their adoption by new speakers. Focusing on a panlectal feature, discourse like, we conducted a quantitative sociolinguistic investigation of its adoption by seventeen young Polish and Lithuanian migrants in Armagh (NI), and thirty-six Polish and Chinese adult migrants in Dublin (ROI), with comparator samples drawn from native speakers. Findings show that like rates in both cities diverge, but that migrants mirror local frequencies. Clause-final like is restricted primarily to native speakers, but is..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the editor and anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments that have improved this contribution enormously-as have observations from audiences at New Perspectives on Irish English 4 and Sociolinguistics Symposium 22. We also wish to recognize Frances Kane for offering advice regarding the clausal positioning of Irish pragmatic markers and the efforts of staff at both the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and Northern Ireland's Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) for assistance with census materials. Corrigan is similarly grateful to the Arts and Humanities Research Council that supported this research (2012-2015) and Diskin extends her thanks for funding to the Irish Research Council (2011-2014). Hayden Blain, Joaquin Bueno-Amaro, and Dan Jordan should also be acknowledged for proofreading assistance. Remaining shortcomings are, as usual, our responsibility.