Journal of the International Phonetic Association

Phonetic Representation

Problems of phonetic transcription: The case of the Hiberno-English slit-t

Helen Pandelia1, Joseph F. Eskaa2, Martin J. Balla3 and Joan Rahillya4

a1 School of Environmental and Human Sciences, University of Wales Institute Cardiff, Western Avenue, Cardiff CF5 2YB. Wales e-mail:

a2 Department of English, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0112. USA e-mail:

a3 School of Behavioural and Communication Sciences, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim BT37 0QB. N. Ireland e-mail:

a4 School of English, Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast, BT7 INN. N. Ireland e-mail:


Acoustic and electropalatographic data on the so-called Hiberno-English ‘slit-t’ are reported, and the implications these data have for an adequate transcription are discussed. Previous transcription suggestions highlight the difficulty posed by the lack of an IPA diacritic for tongue shape. We conclude that the adoption of an alveolar diacritic (as used in the extensions to the IPA for transcribing disordered speech) could get round these difficulties.