Thursday, January 27, 2005

G'day mate

So, just when you thought you'd mastered the fine art of the Australian accent, ready for your Gap Year on Bondi Beach, in comes news that it's changing. No need to panic because like most language change it's all happening pretty slowly. Nonetheless, language scientists found some dusty old tapes in a cupboard, with recordings of people who were born in the 1880s talking about their lives. By comparing them with modern day Australians, the researchers have shown how the accent is changing.

There is evidence to suggest that the accent is diverging from the New Zealand accent with which it is often confused, and shows no signs of converging with either British or American accents. Perhaps this is an accent in search of a unique identity, reflecting increasing national self-confidence as the country's colonial past fades into the distance. It bears interesting comparison with Labov's Martha's Vineyard study, and all that has to tell us about how accents evolve, and how connected they are to our perceptions of identity. Go check it all out. Either that, or go and watch Neighbours...

The first link takes you to a transcript of a radio feature: makes a nice change for the blog to link to an audio file, but it also shows you how to write a good radio feature for Editorial Writing!

Aussies losing broad ocker strine

Rack off Hoges, we just don't like the way you speak

Australian English from Wikipedia

Labov's Martha's Vineyard Study


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