Regression on the fused lect continuum? Discourse Markers in Scottish Gaelic-English Speech

Cassie Smith Christmas

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This article analyses semantically-equivalent discourse markers (YOU KNOW/FIOS AGAD and ANYWAY/CO-DHIÙ) of two languages in contact---Scottish Gaelic and English---as a platform for investigating Auer’s (1999) ‘Code-Switching-Language Mixing- Fused Lect’ continuum. Using a corpus of approximately ten hours of speech of older (over 50 years of age) Gaelic--English bilinguals, this paper shows how the use of English language discourse markers in salient positions and the subsequent salience bleaching of these discourse markers illustrates movement along Auer’s continuum. However, the paper then discusses how rapid language shift and the emergence of ‘new’ speakers of Gaelic challenge Auer’s assertion that contact may only progress, not regress, along the continuum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-75
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Issue number2016
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2016



  • Discourse markers; Code-switching; Language contact; Scottish Gaelic

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