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

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Karen CorriganORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Cambridge University Press, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


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-pragmatic like, we conducted a quantitative sociolinguistic investigation of its adoption by 17 young Polish and Lithuanian migrants in Armagh (NI), and 36 Polish and Chinese adults 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 twice as frequent in Armagh than in Dublin. English proficiency has a significant effect on the likelihood of young migrants in Armagh adopting the clause-final variant. The paper’s significance also stems from the original contribution it makes to our understanding of how sociolinguistic competence is acquired in ‘superdiverse’ settings.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Corrigan K, Diskin C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Language in Society

Year: 2020

Volume: 49

Issue: 5

Pages: 745-773

Print publication date: 01/11/2020

Online publication date: 06/12/2019

Acceptance date: 21/06/2019

Date deposited: 21/08/2019

ISSN (print): 0047-4045

ISSN (electronic): 1469-8013

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0047404519000800


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Funder referenceFunder name
Irish Research Council