In recent years, linguists have become interested in ‘interactional’ aspects of English: resources which are used as two or more interlocutors dynamically adapt their expression to an ongoing exchange (Biber et al., 1999: 1045). This process occurs mainly in conversation, but it is also an aspect of informal ‘dialogic’ writing. Features such as intensifiers (They sound really thick), colloquial discourse markers (You know he's like upset that nobody got killed), and quotative forms (He went, ‘Gran’, and Gran went, ‘Yeah’) vary so widely and change so rapidly that they have attracted the attention of folk and professional linguists alike, and interesting work now regularly appears in the research literature (see, for example Dailey-O'Cain, 2000, Ito and Tagliamonte, 2003, Anderson, 2006). My purpose in this article is to offer an initial account of geet/git, a vernacular feature used in North East England. Drawing on data from social websites, I explore the range of functions it performs in discourse. In doing so, I hope to contribute to a developing body of research which considers such features not only in terms of their function, but also as markers of geographical identity (see, for example, Macaulay's work on pure in the west of Scotland (2006) and Bucholtz et al. (2007) on hella in Northern California).
(Online publication August 18 2011)
MICHAEL PEARCE is Senior Lecturer in English Language at the University of Sunderland. Before moving to North East England he was a lecturer in the School of English at the University of Leeds. He has research interests in corpus linguistics, perceptual dialectology and discourse analysis and is the author of The Routledge Dictionary of English Language Studies (2007). Email: email@example.com