Australian English


Australian English
Australian English
1. Most of the distinctive features of Australian English concern pronunciation, vocabulary, and idiom; there are few differences in the written or literary language.
2. pronunciation.
 The sound of Australian English is characterized principally by its vowels, which differ from those of BrE in several ways: the vowels of fleece, face, price, goose, goat, mouth all begin with rather open, slack sounds not unlike those used in Cockney speech; the vowels of dress, strut, start, dance, nurse have a much closer and tighter sound than in BrE. In unstressed syllables, Australian -es and -ed (as in boxes and studded) have a sound like e in garden, so that boxes sounds much the same as boxers, whereas BrE has the sound of i as in pin; Australian final -y and -ie- (as in study and studied) has a longer sound more like beat than bit. Australian English is closer to AmE in its lighter pronunciation of t and l when occurring between vowels (as in butter and hollow).
3. vocabulary and idiom.
The main differences arise from the local landscape, natural history, and way of life, and can be seen in geographical names (e.g. bush, creek, paddock, scrub; conversely BrE brook, dale, field, forest are rare in Australian), in names of plants and animals, some of Aboriginal origin and borrowed further in BrE (e.g. budgerigar, wallaby). Word formations peculiar to Australian English include a productive colloquial suffix -o in word such as commo = communist and smoko = tea-break. Relatively few items of general vocabulary, whether neutral or informal in register, have come into BrE (e.g. barrack, crook = ‘ill, unwell’, dinkum, ropeable = ‘angry’, walkabout), and still fewer idioms (the best known probably being she'll be right = ‘all will be well’).

Modern English usage. 2014.

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