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Posts tagged ‘English’

Wiki: Australian English accents

Unlike North America, Britain or Ireland, we don’t really have regional accents (although some features are more common in certain regions); instead our accents tend to be correlated with socio-economic status.

Traditionally, Australian English was described as having three accent groups:

  • Cultivated Australian: sounding very similar to RP, you can hear this accent in the speech of old …

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Wiki: Australian English

Australian English is the variant of English that I speak, obviously. Like a lot of people, I am interested in the features of my native dialect, how the developed, and how they compare to other varieties of English. This page is going to be the “landing page” of all kinds of topics related to that 🙂

Accents

Unlike Britain, Ireland or North America, we don’t really have regional …

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Link: “scolding water – John Wells’s phonetic blog”

Original post found at: http://phonetic-blog.blogspot.com/2010/02/scolding-water.html

This helped to explain a phenomenon I’ve noticed, where some words (like fault, false, alter, because – although that last one isn’t really explained by this link) are pronounced with the “lot” vowel by most people, but with the “thought” vowel by a minority (I want to say mainly by old people), in Australian English. I wondered if it was a lot-cloth split thing (and it probably is in the case of because), but where the vowel precedes [l] it didn’t seem to be that, so I had to keep looking. Finally I found that this phenomenon occurs in RP too, and this blog post describes the class of words affected as “words like salt”. At last, some confirmation that what I’ve noticed is a well-known “thing”!

The Evolution of Canadian, Australian and NZ Englishes

On Quora, I once answered a question about why Australian and NZ English sound more like “British English” (really, the questioner meant the accents of southeast England) than Canadian English does. At the time I answered, a lot of the other answers were along the lines of “Canada is sooooo diverse and Australia isn’t so that’s why”, even though in reality the …

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Why aren't words pronounced the way they're spelt?

Some time ago on Q&A website Quora, I answered a question about why English words aren’t pronounced the way they’re spelt. The original question made particular reference to the name Greenwich, which as you may know is pronounced in modern times as /ɡɹɛnɪtʃ/ (“grenitch”, if you’re not familiar with IPA). But if the first part is “green” and …

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My honest opinion that I absolutely will not stand by if challenged by someone with coercive power over me is that English needs more flexibility to spell how you feel. I write “centre”, as is standard in Australian English, but “centring” looks so wrong compared to “centering”…

Mental Models of Languages

So as we know, children acquire their native language by being exposed to lots and lots of input in that language, internalising it, and not only memorising vocabulary but also developing mental rules (the grammar) of how that language is spoken. As such, when we come to be adults, we have a very sophisticated mental model for what’s grammatical and what’s not in our native language. …

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a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.