/t/ in Irish English

This webpage contains recordings of various phonetic variants of /t/ in Irish English, accompanying the paper by R. Skarnitzl and D. Rálišová (submitted). These are the weakened variants, instances of lenition of /t/.

The first example represents the traditional weakened variant, the fricative /t/, which is often called the slit-T, and we transcribe it []. The example, which corresponds to Fig. 6 in our paper, contains the syllables [hɑːt̞‿æf] from the phrase hot afternoon.


The traditional variant is defined as a voiceless apico-alveolar fricative. However, our data also feature examples of a voiced slit-T. The second example (Fig. 7) contains the same syllables [hɑːt̞ˇ‿æf] from hot afternoon, pronounced by a different speaker. Následující The following two examples correspond to Figs. 8 ([bət̞ˇ‿ɛː] from but ehm) and 9 ([bət̞ˇʔ] but I, where the pronoun was pronounced with a glottal stop).


Apart from the voiced variant of the apico-alveolar fricative, our data featured items with a voiceless lamino-alveolar fricative, transcribed with the symbol for articulating with the blade of the tongue (laminal): [t̞ ̻ ]. From the example of the word cat (corresponding to Fig. 10) it is clear, that this “t” is perceptually quite similar to the fricative [s].


Finally, we will mention a variant which we regard rather as an accidental realization and which could be phonetically described as a fricative flap; we transcribe it [ɾ̞]. The example corresponds to Fig. 11 and represents the word shouting [ʃa͡ʊɾ̞ɪŋ].


This fricative flap is perceptually similar to the famous Czech [ř] sound. Defined as a fricative trill, the Czech [ř] (or [] in the IPA) is today typically produced only with one tap of the tongue.


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