Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Vocalized Dentals in Irish English

Thirty and Thirdy

A chara, – Tom Gilsenan notes an ad on the radio in which an actor says “thirdy” instead of “thirty” (July 13th). Vocalising dental consonants between vowels is a common feature of both American and Northern Irish English. The feature was rare in Southern Irish English until very recently, but has become ubiquitous all over Ireland in the last 10 or 20 years, particularly amongst the young. It appears to be mostly under the influence of American television, however, rather than the English of Northern Ireland. The feature is the result of young people wanting to fit in and seem “cool”, and thereby says a lot about how Irish people really view American and Irish culture. – Is mise,
Department of English,
William Paterson
New Jersey

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