chapter  FOUR
22 Pages

The Irish Dialect

WithLewis Herman, Marguerite Shalett Herman

"The lilt of Irish laughter," in the song, can apply to the Irish dialect as well. Much of the quality of the Irish dialect can be attributed to the infectious lilt. The glibness of the Irish character, the ability to articulate his thoughts— his gift of gab, in others words— do not make for sharp pauses. The pace is a bit faster than American but this is because of the Irishman's ability to voice his thoughts quickly and easily and also because of his habit of falling back on verbal cliches and other hackneyed expressions. Much of the Irish lilt is achieved by the tendency to shuttle the sound chamber from the front of the mouth, where they usually speak, to the throat, to which they shift down occasionally. The Irish utilize an emphasis both tonal (change of musical note) and stress (increased expulsion of breath) in their syllabic and word emphasis.