Australian English Language

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“Australian English is different from American and British English in that it has a bias towards invention, deception, profanity, humour and a classless society.” (‘Strine (Australian English); How it Differs from British and American English’) At times, this can make it difficult to understand and sometimes offensive to speakers accustomed to formality. It reflects Australia's identity conflicts born out of its penal history. It also reflects the strong desire of 19th century Australia to adopt Aboriginal names and words, particularly in rural Australia, which may have influenced pronunciation and other morphological aspects. History Australia pre-1770 had two major Indigenous groups – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. For more than…show more content…
Cultivated: used by c.10% of the population, on which Received Pronunciation (standard English in the UK) continues to exert a considerable influence. In some speakers it is very close to the educated southern British dialect, with a hint of Australian vowels and intonation. 2. Broad: opposite to cultivated and is used by c. 30% of the population. It is the most clearly identified with the Australian ‘twang’. It is the dialect heard mostly in character of actors like Paul Hogan. 3. General: in between broad and cultivated, there is a mainstream group of dialects used by most of the population. (‘Australian English’) ‘The Australian vowel system is quite different from other varieties. Other standard varieties have tense vowels, lax vowels and diphthongs. Australian English on the other hand has turned most of the tense vowels into diphthongs, and turned some of what are diphthongs in RP into long vowels, thus replacing the tense-lax distinction with a long-short distinction.” (‘Australian English’) Some major features of Australian English pronunciation are: 1. It is non-rhotic, 2. Its intonation is flatter than that of the Standard English from the UK (Received Pronunciation), 3. Speech rhythms are slow and stress is more evenly spaced than in Received…show more content…
With them, they brought many ‘Amercanisms’ to add to the Australian lexicon. This created tension between the new American English and the old British English (which had been previously set up in Australia). It brought about questions like ‘should an Australian say biscuit or cookie, nappy or diaper, lorry or truck? Australian English seems to borrow freely according to preference, but British English has a stronger influence. We see this as Australians say tap over faucet, class (in American English its grade), cinema (in American English its movies), boot (in American English its trunk), etc. However, the American influence is evident in words like caucus (in politics), sedan (in British English its saloon), high school (in British English its secondary school) etc. Oddly Australians use the name capsicum for what both the British and Americans would call a red/green pepper. “Currently, more than 90 per cent of Australia's indigenous languages are endangered, 60 per cent of aboriginal people live in urban or regional centres, and fewer than 10 per cent of aboriginal people speak a traditional language.” (Claire Bowern,

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