Offering in Ireland and England

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Analyses of Irish English have established differences between this regional variety of English and Standard British English on the phonological, syntactic and lexical levels of language (cf. Hickey this volume for an overview).2 Little is, however, known about possible divergences between these two varieties on the level of polite language use - a situation in keeping with the dearth of cross-cultural pragmatic research into non-standard varieties (cf. Barron 2003: 75, Schneider and Barron this volume). Cross-cultural analyses have, however, shown that languages differ on the pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic levels of language use. In addition, it has been revealed that such different usage norms are frequently interpreted as instances of impoliteness by the interactants involved, frequently causing breakdowns in communication, conflict and also the establishment of negative stereotypes.3 Consequently, in the light of the close economic and social ties between Ireland and England, and indeed given that Ireland is a popular destination for learners of English who have usually been taught Standard British English (cf. Barker and O'Keeffe 1999: 5), the importance of cross-cultural pragmatic research into the English spoken in England and in Ireland is undeniable.
The present paper is an attempt to redress this research gap in cross-cultural pragmatics and in the study of Irish English. The variety of Irish English (IrE) chosen is that spoken in the South-East of Ireland, that of English English (EngE) the variety spoken in the South of England. The article begins with an overview of the nature of offers and their realization. Following this, methodological and coding issues are taken up. Finally the findings are detailed and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Pragmatics of Irish English
EditorsAnne Baron, Klaus Peter Schneider
Number of pages37
Place of PublicationBerlin/New York
PublisherWalter de Gruyter GmbH
Publication date2005
ISBN (Print)3-11-018469-9, 978-3-11-018469-3
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-11-089893-4
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes