Irish Accent – Phonetic Breakdown
English was brought to Ireland in the 16th and 17th centuries during the Plantations of Ireland, in which land that had been confiscated by the English Tudor monarchy from the Gaelic Irish was subsequently redistributed and settled by English immigrants. The Irish English accent has been influenced by the Irish language itself (Gaelic), the English accent of immigrants from the West country, and to a lesser extent by the Scottish dialect and accent.
Tips for learners:
• /l/ is ‘clear’ in all environments. This affects the quality of adjacent vowel sounds.
• The Irish accent is rhotic, so /r/ is pronounced in all environments. This affects the quality of preceding vowel sounds.
• /h/ is rarely dropped. • /j/ is not dropped following alveolar consonants in words such as new, duty, tune, assume.
• There is opposition between voiced /w/ in ‘with’ and voiceless /w/ in ‘where’.
• Sometimes ‘th’ sounds are pronounced as plosives, therefore ‘three’ and ‘thin’ would become ‘tree’ and ‘tin’ respectively.
• Native Irish speakers always pronounce a » a word final /r/ and don’t use the intrusive /r/
• Listen to native Irish speakers pronouncing » long and short ‘a’ vowels and compare with other British and American accents