Australian English reimagined : structure, features and developments 9780367029395, 0367029391

"Australian English is perhaps best known for its colourful slang, but the variety is much richer than slang alone.

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Australian English reimagined : structure, features and developments
 9780367029395, 0367029391

Table of contents :
1. Introducing Australian EnglishLouisa Willoughby and Howard MannsPart 1: Features of Australian English2. Phonetics and Phonology of Australian EnglishFelicity Cox3. Tense, Aspect and Modality in Australian EnglishPeter Collins and Xinyue Yao4. Negation in Australian English: from bugger all to no worriesIsabelle Burke5. Reimagining Discourse-pragmatic Features of Australian EnglishesCeleste Rodriguez Louro6. The Lexicon of Australian EnglishHoward MannsPart 2: Internal Variation in Australian English7. Sociophonetics of Australian EnglishDebbie Loakes8. Lexical and Morphosyntactic Variation in Australian EnglishLee Murray and Howard Manns9. Aboriginal English(es)Greg Dickson10. Ethnolectal Variability in Australian EnglishJoshua ClothierPart 3: Historical Development of Australian English11. History of Australian EnglishKate Burridge12. American Influences on Australian EnglishMinna Korhonen13. Codification of Australian EnglishPam Peters14. Attitudes to Australian EnglishLouisa Willoughby15. The Australian National CorpusSimon Musgrave and Michael Haugh

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Australian English Reimagined

Australian English is perhaps best known for its colourful slang, but the variety is much richer than slang alone. This collection provides a detailed account of Australian English by bringing together leading scholars of this English variety. These scholars provide a comprehensive overview of Australian English’s distinctive features and outline cutting-edge research into the variation and change of English in Australia. Organised thematically, this volume explores the ways in which Australian English differs from other varieties of English, as well as examining regional, social and stylistic variation within the variety. The volume first explores particular structural features where Australian English differentiates itself from other English varieties. There are chapters on phonetics and phonology, socio-phonetics, lexicon and discourse-pragmatics as these elements are core to understanding any variety of English, especially within the World Englishes paradigm. It then considers what are arguably the most salient aspects of variation within Australian English and finally focuses on historical, attitudinal and planning aspects of Australian English. This volume provides a thorough account of Australian English and its users as complex, diverse and worthy of study. Perhaps more importantly, this volume’s scholars provide a reimagining of Australian English and the paradigm through which future scholars may proceed. Louisa Willoughby is a senior lecturer in linguistics in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University. Howard Manns is a lecturer in linguistics in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University.

Routledge Studies in World Englishes Series Editor: Ee Ling Low National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and President of Singapore Association of Applied Linguistics

This Singapore Association for Applied Linguistics book series will provide a starting point for those who wish to know more about the aspects of the spread of English in the current globalized world. Each volume can cover the following aspects of the study of World Englishes: issues and theoretical paradigms, featurebased studies (i.e. phonetics and phonology, syntax, lexis) and language in use (e.g. education, media, the law and other related disciplines). The Politics of English in Hong Kong Attitudes, Identity and Use Jette G. Hansen Edwards Topicalization in Asian Englishes Forms, Functions and Frequencies of a Fronting Construction Sven Leuckert Investigating World Englishes Research Methodology and Practical Applications Edited by Peter I. De Costa, Dustin Crowther and Jeffrey Maloney Folklinguistics and Social Meaning in Australian English Cara Penry Williams Children’s English in Singapore Acquisition, Properties, and Use Sarah Buschfeld Australian English Reimagined Structure, Features and Developments Edited by Louisa Willoughby and Howard Manns For a full list of titles in this series, visit:

Australian English Reimagined Structure, Features and Developments

Edited by Louisa Willoughby and Howard Manns

First published 2020 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2020 selection and editorial matter, Louisa Willoughby and Howard Manns; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Louisa Willoughby and Howard Manns to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Willoughby, Louisa, 1980– editor. | Manns, Howard, editor. Title: Australian English reimagined : structure, features and developments / edited by Louisa Willoughby and Howard Manns. Description: Abingdon, Oxon ; New York : Routledge, 2020. | Series: Routledge studies in world Englishes | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2019038502 (print) | LCCN 2019038503 (ebook) | ISBN 9780367029395 (hardback) | ISBN 9780429019692 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: English language—Australia. | Australianisms. Classification: LCC PE3601 .A98 2020 (print) | LCC PE3601 (ebook) | DDC 427/.994—dc23 LC record available at LC ebook record available at ISBN: 978-0-367-02939-5 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-429-01969-2 (ebk) Typeset in Times New Roman by Apex CoVantage, LLC

For Stephanie, Oisín and Darragh – the next generation of Australian English speakers


List of figures List of tables List of contributors Acknowledgements 1 Introducing Australian English

ix x xi xiii 1



Features of Australian English 2 Phonetics and phonology of Australian English

13 15


3 Tense, aspect and modality in Australian English



4 Negation in Australian English: from bugger all to no worries



5 Reimagining discourse-pragmatic features of Australian Englishes



6 The lexicon of Australian English H O WA R D M A N N S


viii Contents PART 2

Internal variation in Australian English 7 Sociophonetics of Australian English

101 103


8 Lexical and morphosyntactic variation in Australian English



9 Aboriginal English(es)



10 Ethnolectal variability in Australian Englishes




Historical development of Australian English


11 History of Australian English



12 American influences on Australian English



13 The codification of Australian English



14 Attitudes to Australian English



15 The Australian National Corpus (and beyond)








3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 9.1 15.1 15.2

Monophthong vowel space based on average values of F1 and F2 in hertz for each vowel produced three times by each of 17 female speakers from Sydney aged under 35 years collected in the /hVd/ reference frame for the AusTalk corpus Averaged diphthong trajectories superimposed onto the average monophthong vowel space. Data are based on values of F1 and F2 in hertz for each vowel produced three times by each of 17 female speakers from Sydney aged under 35 years collected in the /hVd/ frame of reference for the AusTalk corpus Frequencies (per thousand words) of the perfect aspect in AusE, AmE and BrE Frequencies (per thousand words) of the progressive aspect in AusE, AmE and BrE Frequencies (per thousand words) of the modals in AusE, AmE and BrE Frequencies (per thousand words) of the quasi-modals in AusE, AmE and BrE Popular social media meme related to stereotypical features of Aboriginal English phonology Results of a frequency search across three collections in AusNC Partial results of KWIC search across three collections in AusNC


22 38 42 44 45 140 245 246


2.1 2.2 5.1 9.1 11.1 15.1 15.2

The vowel phonemes of Australian English with corresponding lexical set descriptors The consonant phonemes of Australian English Summary of discourse-pragmatic studies reviewed in this chapter Sample of Indigenous language–derived lexemes used in various varieties of Aboriginal English Population figures for New South Wales in 1828 Summary of AusNC holdings Studies on Australian English using AusNC

18 25 69 143 176 244 249


Isabelle Burke is a teaching associate in linguistics in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University. Kate Burridge is a professor of linguistics in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University. Josh Clothier is a PhD research student at the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, The School of Languages and Linguistics, The University of Melbourne. Peter Collins is an honorary professor in linguistics at the University of New South Wales. Felicity Cox is a professor in the Centre for Language Sciences and the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University. Greg Dickson is Program Manager (Languages and Culture) at Yugul Mangi Development Aboriginal Corporation, Honorary Lecturer at the Australian National University and an affiliate of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. Michael Haugh is professor of linguistics in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Queensland. Minna Korhonen is a research associate in the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University. Debbie Loakes is a postdoctoral researcher in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. She works in the School of Languages and Linguistics at The University of Melbourne. Howard Manns is a lecturer in linguistics in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University. Lee Murray is a PhD student in linguistics and applied linguistics in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University. Simon Musgrave is a lecturer in linguistics in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University.



Pam Peters is an emeritus professor in the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University. Celeste Rodríguez Louro is a senior lecturer and Australian Research Council Fellow in Linguistics at The University of Western Australia. Louisa Willoughby is a senior lecturer in linguistics in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University. Xinyue Yao is a lecturer in English in the School of Foreign Languages, Renmin University of China.


A book of this nature is always a team effort, and many people have made important contributions to the genesis of this volume. First and foremost we wish to acknowledge and thank the authors of each chapter, without whom there simply would be no volume. We especially thank you for your eagerness to contribute chapters in your field of expertise at a time when the work of writing review chapters is not always valued by the powers that be within Australian universities. We were overwhelmed by how quickly and enthusiastically authors responded to our invitation to take part in this volume, and we hope the volume showcases the array of exciting work being undertaken by both old hands and emerging scholars of Australian English. A review volume on Australian English has been a long time coming, and we are particularly pleased to be able to offer one with contributions from so many luminaries in their fields – as well as to introduce the voices of a number of younger scholars who will lead Australian English research for many years to come. In addition to chapter authorship, a number of other scholars and friends have provided valuable suggestions and advice for the book as a whole. Here we wish to thank John Hajek, Kate Burridge, Sydney Kingstone, Donna Starks, Izzy Burke and the anonymous reviewers of the volume. The proposal for this book was written while Louisa was on sabbatical, and she gratefully acknowledges her host, Mayumi Bono at the National Institute of Informatics, Japan. At Routledge we thank Katie Peace for her work around commissioning the volume and Samantha Phua for her unflinching dedication in answering our many technical emails.


Introducing Australian English Louisa Willoughby and Howard Manns

Introduction This book brings together leading scholars of Australian English (AusE) who review its features and variation in its use. Australian English is perhaps best known for its vocabulary and through stereotyped portrayals of Australians and their English in the global media. At the best of times, these stereotypes see Australians and their ways of speaking as easy-going, humorous and egalitarian (e.g. Sussex, 2004; Sinkeviciute, 2014). However, these stereotypes also implicitly or explicitly construe Australians and their English as white, male and, at times, unsophisticated (see Ronowicz & Yallop, 2007). Scholars in the current volume strip away these stereotypes and show Australian English for what it is: a recognised World English, rich in regional, social and multicultural systematicity. In doing so, authors provide a 21st-century review and “reimagining” of Australian English, theoretically, methodologically and conceptually.

Australian English as a World English The foundations of Australian English, like American English, are linked to the first dispersal of 25,000 “mother tongue” English speakers, mostly from the south and east of England, from the 17th to the 18th centuries (Jenkins, 2009:5). In both Australia and the United States, the English-speaking settlers entirely (and often violently) displaced the indigenous populations and their languages. The English varieties spoken by the settlers came to dominate and evolved into new Englishes distinct from their British Isle origins. Yet American English, Australian English and British English share similarities and remain intertwined. The American, Australian and British linguistic contexts have historically been driven by a monolingual mindset (Romaine, 1991a) and sit in contrast to those multilingual contexts to which English arrived in the second dispersal (Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia). Australian English is closer to British English in terms of its phonology and lexicon, but both, like most World English varieties, have come under the global influence of American English. All three varieties wield influence on other regional and global varieties of English. Australian English has been described as being at the epicentre of English in the Asia-Pacific (Leitner,


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2004:1), and it wields some influence on New Zealand English and possibly on Fiji and Singapore (see Peters, 2009). Australian English is comparatively understudied, but its status as a World English variety has been a topic of interest for nearly 50 years. One of the first collections of papers on Australian English (Turner, 1972) considers World Englishes a key theme.1 Turner’s (1972) volume spoke to the concerns of an Australian public coming to grips with the very existence of Australian English and what it meant to speak or write “Good Australian English”. Until WWII, there had been a bias toward British English in Australia, and even educated Australian English was considered nonstandard. By the 1970s, Australian English had become more visible in the Australian media, the Australian government had published its first style manual and a Labor government with noticeably broad Australian accents came to power under the leadership of Gough Whitlam (Collins & Blair, 2001; Peters, 2014). This led to an “identity crisis” (see Collins & Blair, 2001), including concerns about to what degree British English did or should influence Australian English, what impact American English was having on Australian English and what, if any, language features might be considered distinctively Australian. These themes were taken up in a series of volumes on Australian English, including Turner’s but also Collins and Blair (1989) and Romaine (1991b). However, it is through a series of 21st-century volumes on Australian English (e.g. Blair & Collins, 2001; Peters, Collins & Smith, 2009) and Australian contributions to World Englishes collections (e.g. Cox & Palethorpe, 2012; Peters, 2014) that we get our best sense of Australian English as a World English variety. One key question in debates about World English varieties is to what degree they have achieved independence from their (in most cases) British origin. Schneider’s (2007) model of postcolonial English development describes this in terms of endonormative stabilisation and subsequent entry into the Differentiation Phrase (the emergence of internal variation). Australian English has achieved endonormative stabilisation, but has done so comparatively recently. A distinctive Australian way of speaking likely emerged from the opening days of the Australian colony. However, as noted previously, Australians remained oriented to Britain and British English until WWII. This is reflected in statements like the following from an ABC correspondent in 1942: “There is not, and should not be, any difference in standard English as spoken here, in the Motherland, or elsewhere in the Empire” (Ronowicz & Yallop, 2007:115). However, WWII saw the rapid dissolution of ties with Britain, the sudden need for Australian self-reliance and Australia paying closer attention to its role in the Asia-Pacific region. Further, from the 1940s, Australian English found a pair of champions in A.G. Mitchell and Arthur Delbridge, who described and defended Australian English (especially the accent) as a legitimate national variety. Australian English has only achieved endonormative stabilisation in the last few decades, whereas, in comparison, American English had achieved this by the start of the 20th century (see Peters, 2014). Australian English is now among a handful of settler colony Englishes to have entered Schneider’s final Differentiation Phase (Peters, 2014). The shift

Introducing Australian English 3 from “endonormative stabilisation” to “differentiation” raises a series of new questions for Australian English scholars and those scholars interested in Australian English as a World Englishes variety. For instance, to what degree have Australians’ attitudes toward their English variety evolved? Australians’ historic orientation to Britain has meant that, since the 19th century, they have suffered a “cultural cringe” to all things Australian. Entry into the Differentiation Phase suggests that there would be greater acceptance of the local, national variety, but recent work suggests the cringe lingers, at least for some people in some contexts (see Willoughby, Starks & Taylor-Leech, 2013; Severin, 2017). Next, to what degree have methodological and theoretical innovations come to bear on our understanding of Australian English as a World English variety in its own right rather than merely a British-derived variety? For example, Australian English is perhaps best distinguished from other world varieties by its phonology (Cox & Palethorpe, 2012). Mitchell and Delbridge (1965) devised a transcription system for this phonology, but based this system on British English. In more recent years, Felicity Cox and colleagues (e.g. Harrington, Cox & Evans, 1997; Cox, 2006, 2008), using acoustic analysis, have proposed a revised transcription system for Australian vowels which uses the International Phonetic Alphabet’s cardinal vowels as the reference system rather than the British English standard. Also, the Differentiation Phase suggests the emergence of greater regional variation for Australian English. Australian English has historically been described as having less regional variation than other varieties of English like British English or American English (Cox & Palethorpe, 2012; Peters, 2014). However, recent studies have demonstrated greater awareness and use of regional variables among Australians (Billington, 2011; Loakes, Hajek & Fletcher, 2017). One final but essential point in our understanding of Australian English as a World English emerges via a critique of the study of English varieties more generally. World Englishes scholars highlight the need to understand English not only as named linguistic systems but rather as contextualised social practice (Pennycook, 2010). Perhaps nowhere is this clearer than in the conceptualisation of Aboriginal English and ethnic variation in Australia. For instance, work on ethnolects has taken place under a variety of labels, including “migrant English” (Clyne, 1982) and “Ethnic Broad” (Horvath, 1985). The labels used by linguists have existed alongside other labels used in the wider community, including “wogspeak” (Warren, 1999) and “Lebspeak” (Rieschild, 2007). But Pennycook and Otsuji (2015) perhaps best demonstrate the complex multilingual realities of Australia and how, for multilingual Australians, English is one of many social resources that come to bear on their everyday interactions. Similar observations may be made about what has traditionally been labelled “Aboriginal English” but is better described in pluralistic terms (i.e. Aboriginal Englishes) and which exists alongside Aboriginal languages in lived multilingual interaction (Butcher, 2008). Traditional descriptions of Australian English have made little reference to ethnic influence and the multilingual realities of Australia (Leitner, 2004; Cox, 2006). However, English speakers in Australia, like those in Britain and the United States, have increasingly


Louisa Willoughby and Howard Manns

encountered, and acknowledged, the multilingual and multicultural realities of day-to-day interaction (Romaine, 1991a).

Australian migration and language When the First Fleet of British settlers arrived in what was to become Sydney in 1788, they set foot on a continent where over 250 indigenous languages were spoken (Clyne, 1991:6). Among the earliest convicts, soldiers and free settlers were speakers of Irish Gaelic (Jupp, 2001:797, 800) and deaf signers (Thornton, 2018); however, the overwhelming majority were British English speakers. Clyne characterised the society that they established as “basically . . . monolingual”. Over the next 60 years, over 155,000 convicts would be transported from Britain to Australia and drive development of colonies along the eastern coast (Clark, 2006:141). From the 1830s onwards, UK policies assisted willing free settlers in moving to Australia, and the South Australian colony also supported the immigration of Prussian Lutherans. However, it was the gold rush of the 1850s that saw the Australian colonies really take off. Between 1851 and 1861, the population across the colonies more than doubled: from just under 438,000 to slightly over 1.1 million (Clark, 2006:155). Even during the gold rush, the United Kingdom remained the principal source country for Australian immigrants; however, the country saw the establishment for the first time of a small but highly visible Chinese community on the gold fields (estimated at 24,000 in Victoria in 1861 [Clark, 2006:155]), and racial tensions between the Anglo and Chinese migrants flared into violence at several times during this period. The gold rush saw the end of transportation to the Eastern states, with the last convicts arriving in Western Australia in 1868. These first 90 years of European colonisation were catastrophic for Indigenous Australians, whose population was decimated through disease, frontier wars and massacres by European colonists keen to claim land as their own (see, e.g. Blainey, 1980; Jupp, 2018: Chap. 5). The Australian colonies federated and gained formal independence from Britain on the 1st of January 1901. While technically an independent nation, Australia demurred to the United Kingdom on matters of foreign policy, and the majority of Australians continued to look to the United Kingdom as the “mother country”. In order to ensure that this state of affairs remained – and with an eye on the race riots seen in the gold rush – the new parliament moved quickly to enact the Immigration Restriction Act 1901, more commonly known as the White Australia Policy. The act allowed for the exclusion of “undesirable” migrants from Australia by stipulating that any non-European migrant seeking entry to Australia could be asked by an immigration officer to pass a dictation test in a European language chosen by the officer. It should be stressed that the dictation test was a means to give this exclusionary policy a fig leaf of acceptability rather than being an objective language test. On the rare occasions that non-European (or other undesirables) attempted to enter the country, officers were instructed to engage them first in conversation to try to ascertain the languages that they spoke so that they could then present the migrant with a test in an unknown language (McNamara, 2009).

Introducing Australian English 5 The end of World War II saw the beginning of a very different phase in migration to Australia. Under the slogan populate or perish, Australia embarked on a mass immigration program with the target of attracting 2 million migrants over the next 20 years. This required a rethink of previous immigration restrictions. While migrants from Britain were still sought after, the doors were initially opened to displaced persons from Northwestern Europe and later to those from Italy, Greece, what was then Yugoslavia, Lebanon and Turkey (Martin, 1978:30–31) before the last vestiges of the White Australia policy were repealed in 1975. In marketing the idea of mass immigration to a sceptical Australian public, the government of the day reassured the population that migrants would be strongly encouraged to assimilate into Australian life and culture and established the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) to provide free classes to help new arrivals achieve this end (Ozolins, 1993). While the AMEP continues to this day, the assimilationist agenda ultimately failed, and since the mid 1970s, Australia has managed migration and support services under an essentially multiculturalist framework. In the late 1970s, Australian immigration entered a new phase, with the migration intake for the first time split into streams, with separate quotas per year allocated to skilled and family reunion migration, as well as to refugee resettlement. As Jupp (2007) discusses, throughout the 1980s, the immigration intake bounced around widely,2 but family reunion and refugee resettlement remained the principal streams of migration. This changed with the election of the Howard government in 1996, which saw the skilled migration scheme become the dominant category – a pattern that continues to this day. Because skilled migrants are required to possess a minimum English level equivalent to IELTS 5 (and receive bonus points towards being selected if they have higher scores), this means that the current crop of migrants are arriving in Australia with much higher pre-existing English skills than was common up to the 1990s. From the 2000s on, we also see heightened numbers of temporary work visas being issued (again with an attendant English language requirement, albeit slightly lower than the requirement for skilled migration) and large numbers of New Zealanders taking advantage of freedom of movement rules to settle in Australia. What these policy moves mean in practice is that Australian annual migrant intake is higher than that seen in the post-war migration boom (cf. Department of Immigration and Border Protection, 2017; Phillips, Kapdor & Simon-Davies, 2010), but today’s Australian migrants are bringing with them knowledge of different World English varieties that may reshape Australian English itself. Figures from the 2016 Australian Census give a current snapshot of the outcome of these various migration trends for the country’s demography. On census night, Australia’s total population was 23 and a half million; 66.7 % of the Australian population were born in Australia, and 22.2%% spoke a language other than English at home (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017a). Aside from English, the most widely spoken languages were Mandarin (2.5%); Arabic (1.4%) and Cantonese, Vietnamese and Italian (all on 1.2%). The most common overseas countries of birth were England (3.9%), New Zealand (2.2%), China (2.2%), India (1.9%) and the Philippines (1.0%). Population composition also varies markedly from


Louisa Willoughby and Howard Manns

place to place. For example, in Melbourne, 34.9% of people speak a language other than English at home (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017b), whereas outside the capital of South Australia, that number drops to only 5.8% (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017c). Despite the importance of the “bush” and “outback” as cultural tropes of Australian life, Australia is a highly urbanised country and has been since the 1960s. In 2017, it is estimated that 86% of Australians live in urban centres (World Bank, 2017) – and indeed that around 10 million people (or 40% of the total population) live in either Melbourne or Sydney (Miller, 2018). Together, these figures make clear that English in Australia is increasingly being spoken by people from a wide variety of backgrounds, who are often themselves in contact with speakers from around the world. This means traditional framings of AusE as a monolithic entity are less relevant than ever. Papers in the current volume seek to reimagine what AusE “is” in contemporary Australia but also what it might be becoming within the Differentiation Phase.

This volume The current volume is broken into three main parts in which the first introduces the reader to the features of Australian English, the next discusses the emerging internal variation of the variety and the last positions Australian English within its socio-historical context. Part I’s discussion of features enables us to understand how Australian English has emerged from the Endonormative Stage of development as a distinctive variety of English (or better English[es]) and how this variety differs from those spoken in other parts of the world. The authors in Part II draw closer attention to Australian English’s place within the Differentiation Phase. We see how Australian English has begun to show some clearer internal variation in its phonology, lexicon and morphosyntax, but also highlight the critical and evolving place of Australian Aboriginal English and ethnolectal variability in Australia. Part III highlights in the first instance the foundations for Australian English and in the second Australians’ evolving attitudes toward their ways of speaking English, and new ways of studying these attitudes and ways of speaking. On the whole, we hope this book provides a firm introduction to Australian English to those who have not encountered this English-speaking context before. Yet we also hope those familiar with Australian ways of speaking will be inspired to reframe and rethink the ways in which they think about Australian English and its users. Part I: Features of Australian English Part I’s discussion of Australian features begins with Felicity Cox (Chapter 2), who discusses “The phonetics and phonology of Australian English”. Cox points out, “It’s the constellation of phonetics and phonological feature that signals ‘Australian’ to a listener”. She first reviews the foundational work by Mitchell and Delbridge and their traditional accent categories. However, Cox shows how Mitchell and Delbridge’s Anglo-centric and monocultural model no longer works

Introducing Australian English 7 in capturing the nuances of Australian English. She then provides a thorough discussion of Australian vowels and consonants and how “fine phonetic” detail may be applied to understand a shifting, multicultural Australia in the 21st century. Part I of the volume next shifts to a pair of chapters, which focus on specific aspects of Australian morphosyntax and how these features position Australian English relative to other varieties, especially American English and British English. First, in Chapter 3, Collins and Yao investigate tense, aspect and modality (TAM) in Australian English. Studies overall suggest a general trend in English of decreasing use of present perfect and increasing use of progressives. Similarly, modals are on the decline and quasi-models increasing. But Collins and Yao draw on AusBrown (a new diachronic corpus) to show how Australian English remains conservative in its maintenance of the perfect aspect. They argue this may be due to the popularity of the “vivid narrative” present perfect in Australian English. Next, in Chapter 4, Burke examines negation in Australian English. She pays particular attention to widespread nonstandard negation (e.g. multiple-negation, punctual “never”) but also colourful negative idioms (e.g. bugger all, pig’s arse) and their relationship to Jespersen’s Cycle. Burke finds that Australian English is unique in many regards in its use of these negators. For instance, where punctual never is often associated with non-British varieties, Burke finds it not that widespread in Australian English. The final two chapters in Part I focus on lexical items or phrases and their discursive uses. In Chapter 5, Celeste Rodríguez Louro invites readers to “reimagine” discourse-pragmatic features, like yeah-no, sort of, cos and discourse like. Rodríguez Louro notes that the field of discourse-pragmatics has grown, and paved the way “for accountable, systematic variationist analysis of language in use”. After reviewing a series of discourse-pragmatic features in Australian English, she notes growing work in Australia by colleagues like Catherine Travis in the Sydney Speaks project and work by James Walker and colleagues on ethnolectal variation. Such work contributes to the growth of discourse-pragmatics in Australia and growing opportunities for better understanding of Australian English beyond the mainstream. Part I of this volume closes with a discussion of the Australian lexicon in Chapter 6 by Manns. Other than accent, the Australian lexicon is perhaps the variety’s most famous feature. Manns first addresses the ways in which the world engages with the Australian lexicon. He then uses the lexicon to shed light on Australian historical events and figures but also the takeup of the lexicon by migrants and the evolution of the lexicon as a result of recent migration. Part II: Internal variation in Australian English Australian English has recently entered the Differentiation Phase, and this means greater internal variation is likely to emerge. Part II begins with Chapter 7 by Debbie Loakes, who reflects on some recent innovations in the sociophonetic sphere in Australian English. Loakes begins with a general introduction to the field of sociophonetics, which through a combination of sophisticated theory and


Louisa Willoughby and Howard Manns

technology seeks to better understand how people socially use phonetic and phonological features. Loakes then reviews both long-standing and emerging social and regional variation in Australian English before noting the great opportunities that await researchers in Australian sociophonetics. Next, in Chapter 8, Murray and Manns complement Loakes’s work with a discussion of social and regional variation as it relates to the Australian lexicon and morphosyntactic variation. They first discuss early attempts to map regional variation of the lexicon in Australia and then (as Manns does in Chapter 6) use the lexicon to introduce the shared and differing histories of the regions and states. Murray and Manns then describe morphosyntactic variation in Australian English and, among other things, highlight the relevance of age-graded variation and what this might mean for the future of Australian English. Part II next shifts to discussions of Australian Aboriginal and migrant ways of using English. As noted at the start, many discussions of Australian English have proceeded without including these significant communities within Australia. In the Differentiation Phase, such communities come to the fore in influencing internal variation and determining what it means to speak Australian English. Chapter 9 sees Dickson investigate Aboriginal English(es), and he first reviews many of the more traditional approaches to Aboriginal Australian English (those focusing on shared phonology, grammar and lexicon). He then focuses on the importance of sociolinguistic variation and pragmatic elements within Aboriginal communities and the engagement of these communities with the educational and legal spheres. Dickson then innovatively extends the discussion of Australian Aboriginal Englishes by reviewing their use in social and mass media. Next, in Chapter 10, Clothier investigates ethnolectal variability in Australian English. He starts by noting that it has been more than 20 years since the last such review. In that time, Clothier establishes there have been significant changes to the Australian linguascape but also the development of more sophisticated (constructivist) ways of understanding ethnolectal communication. He closes by noting the “great opportunity” to “uncover extraordinary diversity in the ethnolectal variability of AusE”. Part III: Historical development of Australian English Part III positions Australian English (or, as has been established at this point of the volume, English[es]) within its (or their) sociohistorical context. Kate Burridge lays the foundation for Part III by discussing the “birth” and evolution of Australian English. She establishes that Australian English has most likely emerged as a result of the mixing of a number of dialects or as a result of London English taking on a “dash” of other dialects. Through extensive use of historical texts, Burridge introduces the reader to a series of social types and their usages of, and attitudes toward, the emerging Australian English(es). She shows in the end how sociohistorical happenstance led to the English in the Australian context bearing the “mark of the Antipodean”. Next, in Chapter 12, Korhonen investigates to what degree Australian English is under the influence of American English. Australians have long decried the potential influence of the American variety on the antipodes.

Introducing Australian English 9 Korhonen highlights important periods of contact between the American and Australian varieties of English and the fluctuations in attitudes toward this contact and influence. She also provides a thorough review of the ways in which this contact may have led to variation and change in vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation and grammar. Chapter 13 by Pam Peters takes a parallel approach to the development of Australian English to that taken by Burridge. However, Peters takes the reader through Australians’ attempts to codify their variety of English throughout its development history. Peters notes the codification of Australian English was anticipated by the publication of dictionaries such as Morris’s (1898), Sidney Baker’s The Australian Language (1945) and also governmental style guides from the 1960s. However, it took until the 1980s, and the publication of the Macquarie Dictionary and the Australian National Dictionary, for Australian English to fully take the path to codification. However, it is unclear what path Australian English might take in the Differentiation Phase, and this makes post-codification Australian English unpredictable. In Chapter 14, Willoughby reviews the contradictory ways in which Australians view their ways of speaking English and how this view has evolved over time. She shows how Australians have historically been proud on the one hand of their in-group slang and unique accent but have also suffered from a “cultural cringe” to all things Australian. Willoughby demonstrates how attitudes have swung between these two poles at different points in history. Australia’s entry into the Differentiation Phase might suggest that Australians would be more comfortable in some ways with their ways of speaking, but Willoughby shows the cringe lingers in some domains. She closes the chapter by reviewing what new waves of migrations mean to views of Australian ways of speaking heading forward. Last, this volume closes with a chapter by Haugh and Musgrave, who introduce “The Australian National Corpus (AusNC)”, which serves as a gateway to a collection of different spoken and written corpora. They review the motivations for creating the AusNC, and it has been used for research and teaching in Australia. The chapter by Haugh and Musgrave serves as a fitting concluding chapter for the current volume in that it highlights the existence of a collection of Australian English(es) but also a series of potential options for future study. In other words, this volume concludes with some practical suggestions for the reader to consider how they themselves might reimagine Australian English(es).

Notes 1 This notably predates the wider World Englishes movement, which did not emerge until the 1980s (see Mesthrie & Bhatt, 2008). 2 From a low of 68,000 in 1984 to a high of 145,000 in 1989 (Jupp, 2007:225).

References Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2017a. 2016 Census QuickStats – Australia. Retrieved December 17, 2018 from getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/036.


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Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2017b. 2016 Census QuickStats – Greater Melbourne. Retrieved December 17, 2018 from services/getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/2GMEL. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2017c. 2016 Census QuickStats – Rest of SA. Retrieved December 17, 2018 from getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/4RSAU. Billington, Rosey. 2011. Location, location, location! Regional characteristics and national patterns of change in the vowels of Melbourne adolescents. Australian Journal of Linguistics 31. 275–303. Blainey, Geoffrey. 1980. A land half won. South Melbourne: Macmillan. Blair, David & Peter Collins (eds.). 2001. English in Australia. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Butcher, Andrew. 2008. Linguistic aspects of Australian Aboriginal English. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics 22(8). 625–642. Clark, Manning. 2006. A short history of Australia. 4th ed. Melbourne: Penguin. Clyne, Michael. 1982. Multilingual Australia. Melbourne: River Seine. Clyne, Michael. 1991. Community languages: The Australian experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Collins, Peter & David Blair (eds.). 1989. Australian English: The language of a new society. St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press. Collins, Peter & David Blair. 2001. Language and identity in Australia. In David Blair & Peter Collins (eds.), English in Australia, 1–13. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Cox, Felicity. 2006. Australian English pronunciation into the 21st century. Prospect 21. 3–21. Cox, Felicity. 2008. Vowel transcription systems: An Australian perspective. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 10. 327–333. Cox, Felicity & Sallyanne Palethorpe. 2012. Standard Australian English: The sociostylistic broadness continuum. In Raymond Hickey (ed.), Standards of English: Codified varieties around the world, 294–317. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Department of Immigration and Border Protection. 2017. 2016–17 Migration programme report. Canberra: Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Harrington, Jonathan, Felicity Cox & Zoe Evans. 1997. An acoustic phonetic study of broad, general, and cultivated Australian English vowels. Australian Journal of Linguistics 17. 155–184. Horvath, Barbara. 1985. Variation in Australian English: The sociolects of Sydney. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Jenkins, Jennifer. 2009. World Englishes: A resource book for students (2nd edn.). London: Routledge. Jupp, James. 2001. The Australian people: An encyclopaedia of the nation, its people and their origins. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Jupp, James. 2007. From White Australia to Woomera: The story of Australian immigration. 2nd edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Jupp, James. 2018. An immigrant nation seeks cohesion: Australia from 1788. London: Anthem Press. Leitner, Gerhard. 2004. Australia’s many voices. Vol. 2: Ethnic Englishes, indigenous and migrant languages. Policy and education. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Loakes, Deborah, John Hajek & Janet Fletcher. 2017. Can you t[æ]ll I’m from M[æ] lbourne? An overview of the DRESS and TRAP vowels before /l/ as a regional accent marker in Australian English. English World-Wide 38. 29–49.

Introducing Australian English 11 Martin, Jean. 1978. The migrant presence. Sydney: George Allen & Unwin. McNamara, Tim. 2009. Australia: The dictation test redux? Language Assessment Quarterly 6(1). 106–111. doi:10.1080/15434300802606663. Mesthrie, Rajend & Rakesh M. Bhatt. 2008. World Englishes: The study of new linguistic varieties. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Miller, Barbara. 2018. Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane populations soar but growth drivers differ. ABC News online. Retrieved from (17 December 2018). Mitchell, A.G. & Arthur Delbridge. 1965. The speech of Australian adolescents: A survey. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. Morris, E.E. 1898. Austral English: A dictionary of Australasian words, phrases, and usages. London: Macmillan. Ozolins, Uldis. 1993. The politics of language in Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pennycook, Alistair. 2010. Language as local practice. London: Routledge. Pennycook, Alistair & Emi Otsuji. 2015. Metrolingualism: Language in the city. London: Routledge. Peters, Pam. 2009. Epilogue. In Pam Peters, Peter Collins & Adam Smith (eds.), Comparative Studies in Australian and New Zealand English: Grammar and beyond, 387–399. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Peters, Pam. 2014. Differentiation in Australian English. In Sarah Buschfeld, Thomas Hoffman, Magnus Huber & Alexander Kautzsch (eds.), The evolution of Englishes: The dynamic model and beyond, 107–125. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Peters, Pam, Peter Collins & Adam Smith (eds.). 2009. The evolution of Englishes: The dynamic model and beyond. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamims. Phillips, Janet, Michael Kapdor & Joanne Simon-Davies. 2010. Migration to Australia since federation: A guide to the statistics. Canberra: Parliament of Australia Library Services. Retrieved October 14, 2018 from sp/migrationpopulation.pdf. Rieschild, Verna. 2007. Influences of language proficiency, bilingual socialization, and urban youth identities on producing different Arabic-English voices in Australia. Novitas – ROYAL 1. 34–52. Romaine, Suzanne. 1991a. Introduction. In Suzanne Romaine (ed.), Language in Australia, 1–24. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Romaine, Suzanne (ed.). 1991b. Language in Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ronowicz, Eddie & Colin Yallop. 2007. Australia – The great south land. In Eddie Ronowicz & Colin Yallop (eds.), English: One language, different cultures, 79–128. London/ New York: Continuum. Schneider, Edgar W. 2007. Postcolonial English: Varieties around the world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Severin, Alyssa. 2017. Vigilance or tolerance?: Younger speakers’ attitudes to Australian English usage. Australian Journal of Linguistics 37. 156–181. Sinkeviciute, Valeria. 2014. “When a joke’s a joke and when it’s too much”: Mateship as a key to interpreting jocular FTAs in Australian English. Journal of Pragmatics 60. 121–139. Sussex, Roland. 2004. Abstand, ausbau, creativity and ludicity in Australian English. Australian Journal of Linguistics 24. 3–19. Thornton, Darlene. 2018. Deaf convicts in the Australian colonies. (Paper presented at the 10th Deaf History International Conference, Sydney, 17–21 July 2018).


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Turner, G.W. (ed.). 1972. Good Australian English and good New Zealand English. Auckland: Reed Education. Warren, Jane. 1999. “Wogspeak”: Transformations of Australian English. Journal of Australian Studies 23. 85–94. Willoughby, Louisa, Donna Starks & Kerry Taylor-Leech. 2013. Is the cultural cringe alive and kicking?: Adolescent mythscapes of Australian English in Queensland and Victoria. Australian Journal of Linguistics 33(1). 31–50. World Bank. 2017. Urban population (% of total). Retrieved December 4, 2018 from

Part 1

Features of Australian English


Phonetics and phonology of Australian English Felicity Cox

1 Introduction Australian English (AusE) differs from other Englishes of the world in its syntax, lexicon and idiom, but it is the constellation of phonetic and phonological features that immediately signals ‘Australian’ to a listener. Such features include voice quality and pitch variation; the acoustic characteristics of the vowel and consonant sounds; how these are combined and overlap to form syllables, words and larger stretches of speech and how the dynamic features of articulatory timing and gesture are intricately planned and executed to create a seamless whole. The fine phonetic detail determines the characteristics of each individual’s accent. The AusE accent is a potent symbol of Australian national identity. It is used by the majority of people who are born and/or raised in Australia1 (Cox & Fletcher, 2017) and, therefore, it is the most widespread variety in this country. AusE is a major global variety of English and a new focus of orientation in East Asia (Foulkes, 2006; Leitner, 2004a), yet little is known about the diversity of accent types that characterise the variety. Extraordinary sociocultural change in Australia in recent decades has led to increased linguistic variation, necessitating a re-evaluation of ideas about the Australian accent and its various forms. It is pertinent in this time of social transformation to ask questions about the nature of the Australian accent today and how it has evolved in response to the rapidly changing society in which we live. Amongst AusE speakers, three main accent groups can be identified: Mainstream Australian English (MAusE) used by the majority (Cox & Palethorpe, 2007), the various Australian Indigenous Englishes (e.g. Meakins & O’Shannessy, 2016) and a range of ethnocultural varieties reflective of nonmainstream or ethnic identity in the Australian context (Clyne, Eisikovits & Tollfree, 2001; Cox & Palethorpe, 2011; Warren, 1999). AusE can therefore be considered a superordinate label that encompasses the various Englishes spoken by most of those people who were born and/or raised in Australia. The phonetic characteristics of Australian Indigenous varieties of English have been explored in very few studies but will be discussed in Dickson, this volume. Similarly, ethnicity has been relatively underexamined compared to the mainstream variety, and this feature will be explored in Clothier, this volume. Further, the historical development of


Felicity Cox

Australian English – including the Australian accent – is discussed in Burridge, this volume, and contemporary sociophonetic variation is discussed in Loakes, this volume. In the present chapter we will focus on MAusE, the most widespread variety in the community used by the majority of Australians. Much work is still to be done to understand the nature of all the different varieties of English in Australia.

2 The sociostylistic broadness continuum Commentary on the earliest AusE accent was typically positive. However, negative evaluations began to appear in the late nineteenth century, and these were probably advanced by the rise of Received Pronunciation of British English (RP) among the British public school–educated elite (Milroy, 2001). RP was considered a symbol of educational attainment and was upheld as the ‘correct’ form of English pronunciation. Extensive immigration from Britain and aspiration towards, or rejection of, the external RP model appears to have fuelled a division in the AusE accent in the latter part of the nineteenth century (Leitner, 2004a, b). Linguistic ‘choices’ of the time could be conceived as a reflection of community divisions regarding British sovereignty versus Australian republicanism. Leitner (2004b) describes this period at the end of the nineteenth century as the second formative phase in AusE accent development following accent inception. At this time, the early focused accent diverged into a continuum conveniently divided into three accent types: Broad, General and Cultivated AusE (the Broadness continuum). Mitchell (as represented in Yallop, 2003) considers a Broad (locally oriented) form of AusE to be the prototypical type that expanded towards a British-based model in the form of General and Cultivated AusE. In contrast, Moore (2008) suggests General AusE to have been the prototypical form, which underwent divergence in opposite directions in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, spreading on the one hand towards a British RP model (i.e. Cultivated AusE) and on the other hand away from RP, leading to the quintessential local variety, Broad AusE. These divisions deepened, particularly after the First World War (Moore, 2008). In 1965 Mitchell and Delbridge published their impressive auditory survey of speech production characteristics of 7082 adolescents recorded onto reel-toreel tape by their teachers in a school setting. The students read two sentences, a set of six words and engaged in a conversation with their teacher. Based on this sample and a previous unpublished pilot study conducted in the late 1950s, Mitchell and Delbridge (1965) described the Australian accent as a sociostylistic continuum ranging from Cultivated, considered the most prestigious form with some features in common with Standard Southern British English (SSBE), through General to Broad Australian, the most marked Australian local variety of the accent. Mitchell and Delbridge (1965) identified the Cultivated accent as a minority variety, and its incidence continued to decline in the speech of young Australians throughout the 1970s and 1980s (Cox & Palethorpe, 2010; Horvath, 1985) until it became almost nonexistent in younger age groups (Cox, 1996). The loss of the Cultivated accent was coincident with a trend away from

Phonetics and phonology of Australian English 17 British English as the external standard of English in Australia that had begun in the post–Second World War period (Schneider, 2007). Cultivated AusE was displaced by General as the new internal model (Cox & Palethorpe, 2007; Cox, Palethorpe & Bentink, 2014). Horvath similarly described a shift away from the broader forms in the community during the late twentieth century propelled by Greek background females. In Mitchell and Delbridge (1965), the traditional accent categories were defined according to a range of speech production criteria, with Broad considered to display greater tolerance for connected speech processes, increased nasality and decreased pitch variation relative to Cultivated and General. However, the most salient feature for differentiating the accent categories was considered the realisation of vowels in the FLEECE, GOOSE, FACE, GOAT, PRICE and MOUTH categories (see Table 2.1). These came to be considered the markers of broadness. Harrington, Cox and Evans (1997) compared various acoustic characteristics of vowels for speakers from the Australian National Database of Spoken Language (ANDOSL) (Vonwiller et al., 1995) classified according to Broadness. Harrington, Cox and Evans (1997) largely confirmed the findings of Bernard (1970c) by showing that the main vowel differences between the Broadness categories were restricted to the FLEECE, GOOSE, FACE, GOAT, PRICE and MOUTH sets. In Mitchell and Delbridge (1965), broadness varied according to gender, school type, father’s occupation and city/country affiliation. Pupils attending government schools tended towards Broad and General forms, whereas those attending independent schools were more likely to use General and Cultivated forms. Cultivated variants were found in the speech of girls from all school types but were mostly in the independent schools. Boys preferred to select vowel variants from the General and Broad end of the continuum, but those who did choose the Cultivated forms were more likely to attend independent schools. There was an even spread of Broad and General speakers across the range of fathers’ occupational groupings. However, the Cultivated speaking group had fathers with a greater concentration in higher-status occupations. Rural speakers had a greater proportion of Broad forms than urban speakers. It is more than half a century since Mitchell and Delbridge (1965) identified the broadness continuum as a model to describe AusE accent variation. Changes to the accent have occurred in concert with sociopolitical change. The rise of republicanism, increased immigration from non–English-speaking countries and a new era embracing multiculturalism have transformed Australian society. Not only has the broadness continuum contracted away from the extremities, with more people using the General forms rather than Cultivated and Broad (Cox & Palethorpe, 2012; Cox, Palethorpe & Bentink, 2014; Horvath, 1985), but, more importantly, new variation has arisen that is not reflected in the simple constructs Broad, General and Cultivated (Cox & Palethorpe, 2007). The traditional broadness model which is almost exclusively based on an Anglocentric monocultural model is no longer valid for describing present-day AusE, as it fails to represent our increasingly diverse community. A detailed analysis of the relationship between speech production and sociodemographic characteristics is required to provide a clear picture of Australian accent variation without


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assigning labels that offer value judgements such as those suggested by the broadness model. A new conceptualisation of present-day AusE which embraces diversity and frames variation in an inclusive and comprehensive way is required to help us understand a rapidly changing Australian society.

3 Mainstream Australian English accent AusE shares the same phonological inventory as SSBE, resulting from the very close historical connection between the two varieties. The distinction between AusE and SSBE relates mainly to the phonetic detail, with many differences involving the vowels.2 The vowel sounds do much of the heavy lifting in setting AusE apart from other world Englishes. The following descriptions provide an overview of the major characteristic of the MAusE vowels and consonants as they would appear in many common contexts. However, it is important to acknowledge that dynamicity is inherent in speech production; therefore, static descriptions are merely a convenient abstraction from the reality. Important and distinctive allophonic and context-specific effects will be presented subsequently where relevant. 3.1 Vowels MAusE is described as containing twelve monophthongs (including /eː/ SQUARE), six diphthongs and schwa (Cox & Fletcher, 2017; Cox & Palethorpe, 2007) (see Table 2.1). The differentiation between monophthongs and diphthongs is based on dynamicity, with monophthongs exhibiting less dynamic articulatory movement during production (see, e.g. Docherty, González & Mitchell, 2015; Elvin, Williams & Escudero, 2016). 3.1.1 Monophthongs Many acoustic studies have attested to the characteristics of MAusE vowels over the past fifty years (e.g. Bernard, 1967; Billington, 2011; Butcher, 2006; Cox, 1998, 1999, 2006; Cox & Palethorpe, 2001, 2008, 2010, 2017; Elvin, Williams & Table 2.1 The vowel phonemes of Australian English with corresponding lexical set descriptors Long Monophthongs

Short Monophthongs


/iː/ /eː/


/ɐː/ /oː/ /ʉː/ /ɜː/


/ɪ/ /e/ /æ/ /ɐ/ /ɔ/ /ʊ/ /ə/

/ɪə/ /æɪ/ /ɑe/ /oɪ/ /əʉ/ /æɔ/





Phonetics and phonology of Australian English 19 Escudero, 2016; Harrington, Cox & Evans, 1997; Jones, Meakins, Buchan, 2011). Of the monophthongs, /iː, ɪ, ʉː, ʊ, oː/ are considered phonetically high vowels, /æ, ɐ, ɐː/ are low vowels and /e, eː, ɜː, ɔ, ə/ are mid vowels. With regard to front, central and back distinctions, /iː, ɪ, e, eː æ/ are front vowels, /ɐː, ɐ, ɜː, ʉː, ə/ are central vowels and /ɔ, oː, ʊ/ are back vowels (Cox & Fletcher, 2017). The vowels /ʊ, ʉː, oː, ɔ, ɜː/ are rounded, confirmed by an electroarticulography (EMA) study by Blackwood Ximenes, Shaw and Carignan (2017). Interestingly, they found for most of their speakers the LOT vowel /ɔ/ (which is typically a rounded vowel in varieties of English) to be less rounded than NURSE /ɜː/ (not usually considered a rounded vowel in English varieties) (see also Watson, Harrington & Palethorpe, 1998). Figure 2.1 illustrates the acoustic vowel space for MAusE based on analysis of formant 1 (F1) and formant 2 (F2), the output of the first two vocal tract resonant

Figure 2.1 Monophthong vowel space based on average values of F1 and F2 in hertz for each vowel produced three times by each of 17 female speakers from Sydney aged under 35 years collected in the /hVd/ reference frame for the AusTalk corpus (Burnham et al., 2011)


Felicity Cox

frequencies, which correlate strongly with the articulatory parameters of vowel height and fronting, respectively. Plotting the F1 and F2 values for individual vowels on a graph with appropriately oriented and scaled axes results in a replication of the traditional vowel map. Figure 2.1 illustrates the relative positions of the monophthongs based on vowels produced in the /hVd/ reference frame from the AusTalk corpus (Burnham et al., 2011). For illustrative purposes, the figures have been generated from data from seventeen female participants aged under thirtyfive years from Sydney (see Cox & Palethorpe, 2019 for further details). Recent articulatory studies generally confirm the phonetic characterisation described previously (Blackwood Ximenes, Shaw & Carignan, 2017). Aside from their spectral properties, MAusE monophthongs can be described with reference to their inherent vowel length: /ɪ, e, æ, ɐ, ɔ, ʊ, ə/ are the short monophthongs, and /iː, eː, ɐː, ɜː, ʉː, oː/ are the long monophthongs (Cox, 2006). In standard /hVd/ contexts, the short vowels are 60% the length of the long vowels (Cox, 2006). The vowels /ɪǝ/ (NEAR) and /eː/ (SQUARE) are located at similar phonetic positions in the vowel space to /ɪ/ (KIT) and /e/ (DRESS), respectively, and are often realised as long monophthongs (particularly in closed syllables) or else as diphthongs with a centring glide that can be quite variable in extent (Harrington, Cox & Evans, 1997). An interesting feature of MAusE is that there is a phonemic length distinction for some pairs of vowels which is a stronger cue to vowel identity than spectral characteristics. This phonemic length contrast is present for START versus STRUT /ɐː/ – /ɐ/ (as in cart /kɐːt/ versus cut /kɐt/), SQUARE versus DRESS /eː/ – /e/ (as in bared /beːd/ versus bed /bed/), and /iː/ – /ɪ/ FLEECE versus KIT (as in heat /hiːt/ versus hit /hɪt/). This feature of MAusE has been confirmed through acoustic analysis (Bernard, 1967, 1970b; Cochrane, 1970; Cox, 1996, 2006; Cox & Palethorpe, 2011; Harrington, Cox & Evans, 1997; Watson & Harrington, 1999), and articulatory methodologies (Bernard, 1970a; Ratko et al., 2016). Bernard (1967) confirmed length as the primary cue signalling the distinction between START and STRUT in two identification experiments where vowel duration was manipulated (see also Liu, 2016). In another experiment, he provided X-ray evidence for the similar static articulatory position for these two vowels (Bernard, 1970a; see also Ratko et al., 2016 for dynamic evidence). Fletcher and McVeigh (1993), in an analysis of data from the ANDOSL corpus (Vonwiller et al., 1995), also confirmed that START and STRUT contrast in length only. Further, Watson and Harrington (1999) used Gaussian classification to show that vowel duration was crucial for correct classification of these vowels. In the case of /eː/ – /e/ (as in bared /beːd/ versus bed /bed/), the loss of a centring offglide for /eː/ in many contexts (particularly in non pre-pausal position) has led to the length distinction for this pair. The same may apply to /ɪə/ (Harrington, Cox & Evans, 1997), which in some cases contrasts with /ɪ/ by length (Elvin, Williams & Escudero, 2016; Williams, Escudero & Gafos, 2018). Regarding the length contrast between FLEECE versus KIT /iː/ – /ɪ/ (as in heat /hiːt/ versus hit /hɪt/ noted previously), a distinguishing feature of AusE FLEECE /iː/ is the addition of onglide leading to diphthongisation (Cox, Palethorpe & Bentink, 2014;

Phonetics and phonology of Australian English 21 Harrington, Cox & Evans, 1997; Harrington, Fletcher & Beckman, 2000). Thus, FLEECE is differentiated from KIT by both spectral and durational properties. Elvin, Williams and Escudero (2016) used discrete cosine transform (DCT) coefficients and durational measures in discriminant analysis to compare vowel inherent spectral change (VISC) for /iː/ – /ɪ/ – /ɪə/. They found that /ɪ/ could be differentiated from the long vowels by duration and that /iː/ and /ɪə/ could be separated by spectral change (see also Williams, Escudero & Gafos, 2018). Differentiating spectral change between FLEECE versus KIT was confirmed in an EMA study by Ratko et al. (2016). Cutler, Smits and Cooper (2005) conducted a perception study where American English, MAusE and Dutch listeners were exposed to syllables embedded in multispeaker babble at varying signal-to-noise ratios. They found that ‘the American tense vowels were not tense enough for the Australian listeners’ to be able to make decisions about vowel identity (2005:41). The implication of this finding is that AusE listeners need relatively large length differences between long and short vowels for accurate identification. Recent work on child language acquisition has shown that AusE-speaking children as young as 18 months (Chen, Xu Rattanasone & Cox 2014) and 3 years (Yuen, Cox & Demuth, 2014) are able to make use of duration in speech production and perception to differentiate MAusE long/short vowel pairs. Interestingly, Chen et al.’s (2017) eyetracking study showed that bi-dialectal AusE speaking adult participants were more tolerant of vowel length mispronunciations than mono-dialectal adult participants. The findings reveal a complex influence of early exposure to another dialect on phonological development. 3.1.2 Diphthongs The MAusE diphthongs are characterised by greater inherently dynamic articulatory movement than the monophthongs (Docherty et al., 2015; Elvin, Williams & Escudero, 2016) and can be described as follows: /æɪ/ (FACE) is characterised by a mid to low front first element and a closing glide, /ɑe/ (PRICE) has a low central back first element also with a closing fronted glide, /oɪ/ (CHOICE) has a high back first element with a fronting glide, /æɔ/ (MOUTH) has a low front first element with a retracting raising glide, /əʉ/ (GOAT) has a mid-low central first element with a closing glide, /ɪǝ/ (NEAR) is a high front vowel with a variable centring glide. The centring diphthong /ʊə/ is not frequently found in present-day MAusE, such that words like tour and pure are usually produced with two syllables (/tʉːǝ/, /pjʉːǝ/), and /oː/ is typically used in sure (/ʃoː/), making it homophonous with shore. Hence, the vowel /ʊə/ is no longer included in the AusE phoneme inventory (Cox & Fletcher, 2017; Cox & Palethorpe, 2007). Changes to the AusE diphthongs have been documented in several acoustic studies (Cox, 1998; Cox, 1999; Cox & Palethorpe, 2001, 2008, 2019). Cox, Palethorpe and Harrington (2015) also show recent clockwise rotation of diphthongs FACE, PRICE, FLEECE indicating a decoupling of the monophthongs and diphthongs through the process of change and revealing that the typically observed anticlockwise diphthong shift (see Wells, 1982) has reversed in the past twenty years.


Felicity Cox

Figure 2.2 Averaged diphthong trajectories superimposed onto the average monophthong vowel space. Data are based on values of F1 and F2 in hertz for each vowel produced three times by each of 17 female speakers from Sydney aged under 35 years collected in the /hVd/ frame of reference for the AusTalk corpus (Burnham et al., 2011). Left panel shows NEAR, MOUTH, PRICE. Right panel shows FACE, GOAT, CHOICE.

Figure 2.2 illustrates the relationship between the diphthongs and monophthongs based on /hVd/ data from the AusTalk corpus (Burnham et al., 2011). The data for seventeen female participants aged under thirty-five years from Sydney are used for illustrative purposes here. UNSTRESSED VOWELS

In unstressed syllables, schwa /ə/ is most commonly used, and it does not functionally contrast with KIT in this context as it would in SSBE. Wells (1982) refers to the loss of contrast between /ə/ and /ɪ/ as ‘weak vowel merger’. Words such as habit /hæbət/, parrot /pæɹət/, roses /ɹəʉzəz/ and Rosa’s /ɹəʉzəz/ contain schwa in the second syllable, and this has been confirmed by acoustic analyses (Cox & Palethorpe, 2018; Penney, Cox & Szakay, 2019). Schwa has also been found to vary according to the place of articulation of the surrounding consonants (Cox & Palethorpe, 2018; Penney, Cox & Szakay, 2019) and its position within a word. Schwa in pre-pausal open syllables is often a very low vowel similar in type to STRUT /ɐ/ (Bernard & Lloyd, 1989; Cox & Palethorpe, 2018; Kiesling, 2005; Travis, Grama & González, 2018), which is a feature that has been present in the variety for quite some time. For example, McBurney in Ellis (1889) in the nineteenth century made comment about the open characteristic of the unstressed vowel in the word-final position being similar to the ‘u’ of but. As AusE is nonrhotic, words from the COMMA and LETTER lexical sets may be homophones such as panda/pander /pændə/, manna/manner/manor /mænə/.

Phonetics and phonology of Australian English 23 KIT /ɪ/ can occur instead of schwa in unstressed syllables with postalveolar or velar codas (e.g. radish, cabbage, stomach), but, as described previously, KIT does not contrast with schwa. There is no evidence from the literature that the use of KIT in these contexts is allophonic, although future research may explore this proposition further. To our knowledge, there have not been any studies to examine whether alternation between /ə/ and /ɪ/ before postalveolar/velar codas has a socioindexical function. MAusE is also a ‘HAPPY tensing’ accent where the final high front unstressed vowel in word-final stems is realised as /iː/ FLEECE (e.g. happy, taxi, coffee). The /iː/ is also retained under affixation (taxis, happiness, coffees). In addition, MAusE uses the unstressed final /əʉ/ GOAT (e.g. potato), leading to minimal contrast in the word-final unstressed syllable set exemplified by holler /hɔlə/, holly /hɔliː/, hollow /hɔləʉ/.


Pre-lateral and pre-nasal vowel effects are of particular relevance in AusE. The GOAT vowel /əʉ/ is realised as [ɔo] before velarised /l/ (coal [k̠ʰɔoɫ]). Words such as dole /dəʉl/ [dɔoɫ] (from the GOAT set) and doll /dɔl/ [dɔɫ] (from the LOT set) may contrast by vowel duration rather than quality (Palethorpe & Cox, 2003) for some speakers. In listening experiments, Szakay et al. (2016, 2018) found that participants struggled to differentiate words with coda /l/ containing LOT and GOAT (doll versus dole). A similar effect was found for TRAP versus MOUTH (Hal versus howl) and FOOT versus GOOSE (pull versus pool). A retracted allophone of GOOSE / ʉː/ is common in pre-coda lateral contexts so that pool /pʉːl/ and pull /pʊl/ may be minimally spectrally differentiated (Palethorpe & Cox, 2003; Oasa, 1989). The difference for some speakers (as in the case of pre-coda lateral GOAT versus LOT) is length (Palethorpe & Cox, 2003). In non-lateral contexts, these vowels are clearly differentiated, with contrast maintained by fronting in addition to length – GOOSE is a central vowel, whereas FOOT is a back vowel (Blackwood Ximenes, Shaw & Carignan 2017; Lin, Palethorpe & Cox, 2012). Pre-coda lateral /ʉː/ retraction has been considered a regionally distributed feature in AusE (Oasa, 1989), with South Australian speakers more likely to use this variant. However, recent change suggests its use among younger speakers in other parts of Australia, such as Sydney (Szakay et al., 2018) and rural NSW and Victoria (Cox & Palethorpe, 2004). The strength of the variant as a regional or social marker remains unknown in present-day AusE. There is a further regionally distributed effect for lowered /e/ before coda /l/ so that hell and Hal become homophonous for some speakers from Victoria – see Loakes, this volume, for details. In pre-nasal environments, variable raising of TRAP /æ/ (and the first element of MOUTH /æɔ/) is common such that man /mæn/ is similar to men /men/ in quality but retains the length of the lower /æ/ (Cox, Palethorpe & Tsukada, 2004). In a listening experiment, Cox and Palethorpe (2014) found that participants relied on length to identify nasalised TRAP from nasalised DRESS. In function words, the loss of the spectral TRAP-DRESS contrast in pre-nasal contexts without the benefit


Felicity Cox

of length can lead to confusion between words such as than and then (Cox & Palethorpe, 2014). Again, this variant appears to have existed in AusE for quite some time, with McBurney in Ellis (1889) commenting on the raising of nasalised /æ/ and /æɔ/ in his assessment of accent variation in Australia and New Zealand. Indexicality of this variant has not yet been examined in Australia. It is pertinent to comment on words containing complex nasal codas such as /mp/, /nt/, /nd/, /nʧ/, /ns/ (such as in example, plant, demand, branch, dance), which we refer to as the DANCE set (see Bradley, 1991; Horvath & Horvath, 2001b; Oasa, 1989). In AusE, speakers have a choice between the short front TRAP vowel /æ/ and the longer and more retracted START/BATH/PALM vowel /ɐː/ in such words (although aunt has long BATH along with words like grass, laugh, path). In contrast, in SSBE, a long retracted vowel is common and became so by the mid-1800s following a period of some fluctuation (Lass, 2000:107). By the time, this variant had taken hold in SSBE, and the short front TRAP vowel /æ/ was already well established in the DANCE set of words in AusE. Although the connection is not made explicit, the findings in Horvath and Horvath (2001b:53) suggest that the long vowel /ɐː/ is proportionately more likely to occur in the DANCE set in regions of Australia settled later rather than earlier in the nineteenth century, such as South Australia, whereas the short front TRAP vowel /æ/ is more common in older settlements, such as NSW and Queensland. Pronunciation sources from the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century indicate that the long retracted vowel was stigmatised at this time. Walker (1791:11) states that using the long vowel in words like plant and answer ‘borders on vulgarity’. MacMahon (1998:456) suggests that the more retracted longer vowel in these words first arose in the lower social classes in England at a time after the AusE accent was already established. MAusE phonology is distinct amongst English varieties in its use of the badlad split (Blake, 1985; Horvath & Horvath, 2001b; Leitner, 2004a; Wells, 1982). This split describes the lengthening of TRAP before /ɡ/ (e.g. bag), before nasals /n/ (e.g. ban) and /m/ (e.g. lamb) but not /ŋ/ (e.g. sang) and in the adjectives mad, bad, sad, glad. Words like bad and lad have long and short vowels, respectively. The bad/lad split gives rise to a minimal pair in the function word can and the noun can, with the function word containing a short vowel and the noun containing a long vowel (Blake, 1985). 3.2 Consonants MAusE has 24 consonant phonemes (see Table 2.2) displaying many of the same variations present in other major dialects of English. Of the stops, /t/ and /d/ have been the most carefully documented. Variants of coda /t/ include glottal stops before syllabic /n/ and other nonsyllabic sonorants (for example, kitten [k̟ʰɪʔn̩], butler [bɐʔlə]) and in syllable-final position before sonorants light ray [lɑeʔ ɹæɪ] or right move [ɹɑeʔ mʉːv] (Tollfree, 2001). It is not usual for glottal stops to replace /t/ intervocalically before syllabic /l/, syllabic /m/ or in word final position before a following vowel. Glottal reinforcement3 (glottalisation) of voiceless coda stops is, however, often found, particularly in syllable-final non-prevocalic

Phonetics and phonology of Australian English 25 environments (Ford, 2018; Haslerud, 1995; Ingram, 1989; Penney, Cox & Szakay, 2019; Tollfree, 2001). Glottal reinforcement of alveolar stops is increasing in AusE. Penney, Cox and Szakay (2018) showed a greater incidence of glottalisation in the speech of young people compared to older people, and, coincident with this change, they found that younger speakers made less use of preceding vowel duration than older speakers to signal coda voicing. Yet a study of coda voicing perception found no difference in older and younger listeners’ use of glottalisation (Penney, Cox & Szakay, 2018). Penney, Cox and Szakay (2019) describe a range of variants of coda /t/ including spirantised (see also Jones & McDougall, 2009; Loakes & McDougall, 2010), unreleased, preaspirated and those containing glottal squeaks. Taps occur preceding weak vowels (as in better [beɾə], water [woːɾə], computer [kə̃mpjʉːɾə]) and before words beginning with a vowel across a word boundary (as in white out [wɑeɾæɔt]) (Haslerud, 1995; Horvath, 1985; Ingram, 1989; Tollfree, 2001) – note tapping also affects /d/ in words like ladder [læɾə] or rideon [ɹɑeɾɔ̃n]. Taps can also occur before syllabic /l/, /m/ and /n/ (as in battle [bæɾɫ̩ ], bottom [bɔɾm̩], pattern [pʰæɾn̩) and before unstressed vowels following /n/ as in hunter [hɐ̃nɾə] (Tollfree, 2001). Ford (2018) found in her study of 34 primary school–aged children from rural Victoria that all the children produced taps intervocalically and also used aspirated and preaspirated stops in word-medial intervocalic and word-final pre-pausal positions. She also states that children know not to produce glottal stops between vowels in word-medial contexts. Sociophonetic detail associated with /t/ is discussed in Loakes (this volume). The alveolar lateral approximant /l/ is the only approximant to occur in prepausal or pre-consonantal position in MAusE. In such contexts and before a morpheme boundary preceding a vowel, /l/ is dark, that is, velarised [ɫ] (Clothier, 2019; Ying et al., 2017). Wells (1982) considers AusE onset /l/ to be darker (i.e. more dorsal) than other varieties of English, but this has not yet been fully empirically tested. /l/ may be vocalised (loss of tongue tip articulation) in preconsonantal (silk [sɪʊk]) and syllable-final position (bell [beʊ]) or when the /l/ is syllabic (muddle [mɐdʊ]) (Borowsky, 2001; Borowsky & Horvath, 1997; Szakay et al., 2019). There is also a regionally distributed pattern of /l/ vocalisation with proportionately more speakers from South Australia using vocalised /l/ than other locations (Ingram, 1989; Horvath & Horvath, 2001a, 2002). The voiced palatal approximant /j/ (‘yod’) is present after coronals before /ʉː/ (as in ‘news’[njʉːz]). Yod coalescence (sometimes referred to as palatalisation – see Table 2.2 The consonant phonemes of Australian English /p/ /b/ /m/ /f/ /v/ /t/ /d/ /n/

pie bye my fine vie tie dye nigh

/θ/ /ð/ /s/ /z/ /ɹ/ /l/ /w/ /k/

thigh thy sigh zoo rye lie why Kye

/ɡ/ /ŋ/ /h/ /ʧ/ /ʤ/ /ʃ/ /ʒ/ /j/

guy sing high chime giant shy Asia yay


Felicity Cox

Horvath, 1985) typically occurs when /j/ follows /t/, /d/, /s/, /z/ such that tuna / tjʉːnə/ -> [ʧʉ̃ːnə], dew /djʉː/ -> [ʤʉː], issue /ɪsjʉː/ -> [ɪʃʉː] and resume /ɹəzjʉːm/>[ɹəʒʉ̃ːm]. Palatalisation may vary stylistically for some speakers and may also act as a social marker (Horvath, 1985). The articulation of /ɹ/ has not yet been systematically examined in AusE. Cox and Fletcher (2017) describe /ɹ/ as a postalveolar approximant. A voiceless fricated allophone may occur in clusters initiated by a voiceless stop or fricative (for instance, in words like pray [pɹ̥ æɪ] and through [θɹ̥ ʉː]). /tɹ/ and /dɹ/ clusters are usually affricated with the stop contact retracted such that the sequence contains a homorganic stop + fricative release (e.g. trap [t̠ ɹ̥ æp], drip [d̠ɹɪp]). While AusE is non-rhotic, in hiatus contexts (i.e. when two vowels occur together in two separate syllables), /ɹ/ is often inserted if the first vowel is a non-high vowel such as START, THOUGHT, SQUARE, NURSE /ɐː, oː, eː, ɜː/ or has an offglide like NEAR /ɪə/ or SQUARE /eː/ (see Cox et al., 2014; Ford, 2018; Yuen, Cox & Demuth, 2017, 2018). For example, in far out, the first word ends in the START vowel /ɐː/ and the second word begins with the MOUTH vowel /æɔ/. In these contexts, /ɹ/ is a liaison consonant that links two vowels that would otherwise be adjacent to each other. Hiatus examples (such as far out) where the first word contains an orthographic ‘r’ are referred to as linking ‘r’ contexts. Inserted ‘r’ also occurs in contexts where there is no orthographic ‘r’ at the end of the first word such as raw egg. In these contexts, the inserted ‘r’ is referred to as an intrusive ‘r’. There is evidence to show that linking and intrusive ‘r’ in AusE do not differ from one another in terms of their production and that ‘r’ insertion is a phonological effect rather than a lexical effect (Yuen, Cox & Demuth, 2018). Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was famously accused of intentionally referring to the opposition leader Tony Abbott as Mr Rabbit /mɪstəɹæbət/ (Tatnell, 2010). However, it is likely that Prime Minister Gillard’s speech production was merely a reflection of her AusE accent, where inserted ‘r’ is common. Just as /ɹ/ is used in AusE to separate adjacent vowel sounds, consonants /w/ and /j/ may also function to resolve hiatus: /j/ occurs when the vowel on the left edge of the hiatus is the high front FLEECE vowel /iː/ or one of the diphthongs FACE /æɪ/, PRICE /ɑe/, CHOICE /οɪ/ (e.g. three apples, stay open, fly over, toy oven); /w/ occurs after GOOSE /ʉː/ and diphthongs MOUTH /æɔ/ and GOAT /əʉ/ (e.g. two apples, now open, go over). The relationship between inserted /ɹ/ and inserted /w, j/ has not been systematically examined in AusE. Cox et al. (2014) show that younger MAusE speakers repress inserted /ɹ/ in favour of a glottal stop hiatus breaking strategy in certain contexts. They suggest that this may be part of a more generalised development affecting liaison in AusE. The repression of inserted consonants in hiatus contexts involves the substitution of a glottal stop for the common liaison consonants /ɹ/, /w/, /j/, (e.g. four apples, two apples, three apples). This has extended to reduction of alternation in the definite article so that the /ðə/ may not alternate with /ðiː/, particularly when a stressed vowel follows (e.g. the apple /ðə æpəl/, as opposed to /ðiː æpəl/) (Wilson, 2018). Boylan (2019), Cox et al. (2018) and Stevens and Harrington (2016) have found evidence for /s/ retraction in /stɹ/ onset clusters (for example, in words like

Phonetics and phonology of Australian English 27 Australia and street) such that street is produced to sound much more like shtreet in younger speakers compared to older speakers. Cox et al. (2018) and Boylan (2019) indicate that this is a possible change in progress.

4 Australian English in the twenty-first century AusE is the dialect of English spoken by the majority of Australians – that is, most of those who were born and/or raised in this country. The new variety of English is believed to have been created in Sydney by the first few generations of Australian-born colonial children who were exposed to the dialects of England (particularly those from the South East) that were present in the community at the time. The variety has evolved over 200 years and continues to change in concert with sociocultural forces. Over the past fifty years, there has been a radical shift away from the British model that spawned a range of variation expressed through the sociostylistic Broadness continuum. We live in a vibrant multicultural environment in Australia today where language and accent variability are the norm for the vast majority of communities (see Clothier, this volume). Such variability has the potential to seed linguistic change. Understanding how fine phonetic detail is implemented as a resource for simultaneously negotiating a range of social meanings based on a multiplicity of factors including peer, regional, ethnic and national constructs is the challenge for twenty-first century linguists charged with generating a new integrated and inclusive model of spoken AusE. As Australian society grows and changes, AusE will continue to evolve in service of the diverse sociocultural identities of its users.

Acknowledgements This work was supported by ARC FT180100462. I extend my thanks to Sallyanne Palethorpe who has collaborated with me on Australian English projects for over 20 years and has been instrumental in conducting the acoustic analysis for our Australian Voices project from which the figures in this chapter were constructed.

Notes 1 Our description here does not extend to the various contact-based creoles or pidgins used in Indigenous communities (see Meakins & O’Shannessy, 2016 for details) 2 In this chapter, phonemic vowel symbols used have been recommended by Harrington, Cox and Evans (1997) and Cox (2008) and developed to more accurately indicate phonetic properties of the vowels than the earlier system of Mitchell (1946), which more strongly reflects a British rather than an Australian standard (see Clark, 1989; Cox & Fletcher, 2017; Durie & Hajek, 1994; Harrington, Cox & Evans, 1997; Ingram, 1995 for critiques of the traditional system). 3 The term glottal reinforcement used here refers to the addition of a glottal gesture along with the supralaryngeal gesture. It does not refer to the apparent substitution with a glottal stop (glottalling).


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Cox, Felicity & Sallyanne Palethorpe. 2018. Rosa’s roses: Unstressed vowel merger in Australian English. Proceedings of the 17th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 89–92. Cox, Felicity & Sallyanne Palethorpe. Forthcoming. Vowel variation across four major Australian cities. Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. Cox, Felicity, Sallyanne Palethorpe & Samantha Bentink. 2014. Phonetic archaeology and fifty years of change to Australian English /iː/. Australian Journal of Linguistics 34. 50–75. doi:10.1080/07268602.2014.875455. Cox, Felicity, Sallyanne Palethorpe, Linda Buckley & Samantha Bentink. 2014. Hiatus resolution and linking /ɹ/ in Australian English. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 44. 155–178. doi:10.1017/S0025100314000036. Cox, Felicity, Sallyanne Palethorpe & Jonathan Harrington. 2015. Oppositional rotation in Australian English monophthong and diphthong shift. (Paper presented at the Australian Linguistic Society Conference, Sydney, 9–11 December 2015). Cox, Felicity, Sallyanne Palethorpe & Kimiko Tsukada. 2004. A century of accent change in Australian English. Proceedings of the 10th Australian International Conference on Speech Science & Technology. Cox, Felicity, Anita Szakay, Elizabeth Stelle & Sallyanne Palethorpe. 2018. /s/ retraction in “Aushtralia”. (Paper presented at NewWays of Analysing Variation-Asia Pacific 5, Brisbane, 1–3 February 2018). Cutler, Anne, Roel Smits & Nicole Cooper. 2005. Vowel perception: Effects of non-native language vs. non-native dialect. Speech Communication 47. 32–42. doi:10.1016/j.specom. 2005.02.001. Docherty Gerard, Simón González & Nathaniel Mitchell. 2015. Static vs dynamic perspectives on the realization of vowel nucleii in West Australian English. In Maria Wolters et al. (eds.), Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow, Scotland. Durie, Mark & John Hajek. 1994. A revised standard phonemic orthography for Australian English vowels. Australian Journal of Linguistics 14. 93–107. doi:10.1080/07268609 408599503. Ellis, Alexander. 1889. On early English pronunciation. London: Trübner and Co. Elvin, Jaydene, Daniel Williams & Paola Escudero. 2016. Dynamic acoustic properties of monophthongs and diphthongs in Western Sydney Australian English. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 140. 576–581. doi:10.1121/1.4952387. Fletcher, Janet & Andrew McVeigh. 1993. Segment and syllable duration in Australian English. Speech Communication 13. 355–365. doi:10.1016/0167-6393(93)90034-I. Ford, Casey. 2018. Acquisition of gender-specific sociophonetic cues in the speech of primary school-aged children. Melbourne: LaTrobe University. (Doctoral dissertation). Foulkes, Paul. 2006. Sociophonetics. In K. Brown (ed.), Encyclopedia of language and linguistics, 495–499. Amsterdam: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B0-08-044854-2/01518-2. Harrington, Jonathan, Felicity Cox & Zoe Evans. 1997. An acoustic phonetic study of broad, general, and cultivated Australian English vowels. Australian Journal of Linguistics 17. 155–184. doi:10.1080/07268609708599550. Harrington, Jonathan, Janet Fletcher & Mary Beckman. 2000. Manner and place conflicts in the articulation of accent in Australian English. In Michael Broe & Janet Pierrehumbert (eds.), Papers in laboratory phonology V: Acquisition and the lexicon, 40–51. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Haslerud, Vibecke C.D. 1995. The variable (t) in Sydney adolescent speech: A sociolinguistic study of phonological variation. Bergen: University of Bergen. (Cand. Philol dissertation).

Phonetics and phonology of Australian English 31 Horvath, Barbara. 1985. Variation in Australian English: The sociolects of Sydney. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Horvath, Barbara & Ronald Horvath. 2001a. A multilocality study of a sound change in progress: The case of /l/ vocalization in New Zealand and Australian English. Language Variation and Change 13. 37–57. doi:10.1017/S0954394501131029. Horvath, Barbara & Ronald Horvath. 2001b. A geolinguistics of short A in Australian English. In David Blair & Peter Collins (eds.), English in Australia, 341–356. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/veaw.g26.07bor. Horvath, Barbara & Ronald Horvath. 2002. The geolinguistics of /l/ vocalization in Australia and New Zealand. Journal of Sociolinguistics 6. 319–346. doi:10.1111/1467-9481.00191. Ingram, John. 1989. Connected speech processes in Australian English. Australian Journal of Linguistics 9. 21–49. doi:10.1080/07268608908599410. Ingram, John. 1995. One step forward and two backwards: Reflections on Durie and Hajek’s proposed revisions to the phonemic transcription of Australian vowels. Australian Journal of Linguistics 15. 215–239. doi:10.1080/07268609508599524. Jones, Caroline, Felicity Meakins & Heather Buchan. 2011. Comparing vowels in Gurindji Kriol and Katherine English: Citation speech data. Australian Journal of Linguistics 31. 305–326. doi:10.1080/07268602.2011.598629. Jones, Mark & Kirsty McDougall. 2009. The acoustic character of fricated /t/ in Australian English: A comparison with /s/ and /ʃ/. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 39. 265–289. doi:10.1017/S0025100309990132. Kiesling, Scott. 2005. Variation, stance and style: Word-final -er, high rising tone, and ethnicity in Australian English. English World-Wide 26. 1–42. doi:10.1075/eww.26.1.02kie. Lass, Roger. 2000. The Cambridge history of the English language, vol. 3, 1476–1776. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CHOL9780521264761. Leitner, Gerhard. 2004a. Australia’s many voices. Vol. 1: Australian English – The national language. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Leitner, Gerhard. 2004b. Beyond Mitchell’s views on the history of Australian English. Australian Journal of Linguistics 24. 99–126. doi:10.1080/0726860032000203227. Lin, Susan, Sallyanne Palethorpe & Felicity Cox. 2012. An ultrasound exploration of Australian English /CVl/ words. Proceedings of the 14th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 105–108. Liu, Shuting. 2016. The effect of vowel duration on native Mandarin listeners’ perception of Australian English vowel contrasts in voiced and voiceless coda contexts. Sydney: Macquarie University. (Unpublished master’s thesis). Loakes, Deborah & Kirsty McDougall. 2010. Individual variation in the frication of voiceless plosives in Australian English: A study of twins’ speech. Australian Journal of Linguistics 30. 155–181. doi:10.1080/07268601003678601. MacMahon, Michael. 1998. Phonology. In Suzanne Romaine (ed.), The Cambridge history of the English language, vol. 4, 373–535. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CHOL9780521264778.006. Meakins, Felicity & Carmel O’Shannessy. 2016. Loss and renewal: Australian languages since colonisation. Boston: de Gruyter. Milroy, James. 2001. Received pronunciation: Who “receives” it and how long will it be “received”? Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 36 15–33. Mitchell, Alexander. 1946. The pronunciation of English in Australia. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. Mitchell, Alexander & Arthur Delbridge. 1965. The speech of Australian adolescents: A survey. Sydney: Angus & Robertson.


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Moore, Bruce. 2008. Speaking our language: The story of Australian English. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Oasa, Hiroaki. 1989. Phonology of current Adelaide English. In Peter Collins & David Blair (eds.), Australian English: The language of a new society, 271–287. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. Palethorpe, Sallyanne & Felicity Cox. 2003. Vowel modification in pre-lateral environments. The 6th International Seminar on Speech Production, Sydney, Australia: MACCS. Penney, Joshua, Felicity Cox & Anita Szakay. 2018. Weighting of coda voicing cues: Glottalisation and vowel duration. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH 2018, 1422–1426. doi:10.21437/ Interspeech.2018-1677. Penney, Joshua, Felicity Cox & Anita Szakay. 2019. Glottalisation of word-final stops in Australian English unstressed syllables. Journal of the International Phonetic Association. doi:10.1017/S0025100319000045. Ratko, Louise, Michael Proctor, Felicity Cox & Sean Veld. 2016. Preliminary investigations into the Australian English articulatory vowel space. Proceedings of the 16th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 117–120. Schneider, Edgar W. 2007. Postcolonial English: Varieties around the world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Stevens, Mary & Jonathan Harrington. 2016. The phonetic origins of /s/-retraction: Acoustic and perceptual evidence from Australian English. Journal of Phonetics 58. 118–134. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2016.08.003. Szakay, Tünde, Titia Benders, Felicity Cox & Michael Proctor. 2016. Disambiguation of Australian English vowels. Proceedings of the 16th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 73–76. Szakay, Tünde, Titia Benders, Felicity Cox & Michael Proctor. 2018. Production and perception of length contrast in lateral-final rimes. Proceedings of the 17th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 129–132. Szakay, Tünde, Titia Benders, Felicity Cox & Michael Proctor. 2019. Lingual configuration of Australian English /l/. Proceedings of the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. Tatnell, Paul. 2010, August 4. Is it really Mr Rabbit? The Age. Retrieved from www.theage. Tollfree, Laura. 2001. Variation and change in Australian consonants: Reduction of /t/. In David Blair & Peter Collins (eds.), English in Australia, 45–68. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Travis, Catherine, James Grama & Simón González. 2018. Ethnolectal variation ov(er) time: Word-final (er) in Australian English. (Paper presented at the Australian Linguistic Society Conference, Adelaide, 10–12 December 2018). Vonwiller, Julie, Inge Rogers, Chris Cleirigh & Wendy Lewis. 1995. Speaker and material selection for the Australian national database of spoken language. Journal of Quantitative Linguistics 3. 177–211. doi:10.1080/09296179508590049. Walker, John. 1791. A critical pronouncing dictionary and expositor of the English language. London: Robinson. Warren, Jane. 1999. “Wogspeak”: Transformations of Australian English. Journal of Australian Studies 23. 85–94. doi:10.1080/14443059909387503. Watson, Catherine I. & Jonathan Harrington. 1999. Acoustic evidence for dynamic formant trajectories in Australian English vowels. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 106. 458–468. doi:10.1121/1.427069.

Phonetics and phonology of Australian English 33 Watson, Catherine, Jonathan Harrington & Sallyanne Palethorpe. 1998. A kinematic analysis of New Zealand and Australian English vowel spaces. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing. Retrieved from Wells, John. 1982. Accents of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Williams, Daniel, Paola Escudero & Adamantios Gafos. 2018. Spectral change and duration as cues in Australian English listeners’ front vowel categorization. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 144. EL215–EL221. doi:10.1121/1.5055019. Wilson, Nick. 2018. Sociolinguistic variation and change in Australian English definite article allomorphy. (Paper presented at the Australian Linguistic Society Conference, Adelaide, 10–12 December 2018). Yallop, Collin. 2003. A. G. Mitchell and the development of Australian pronunciation. Australian Journal of Linguistics 23. 129–141. doi:10.1080/0726860032000203146. Ying, Jia, Christopher Carignan, Jason Shaw, Michael Proctor, Donald Derrick & Catherine Best. 2017. Temporal dynamics of lateral channel formation in /l/: 3D EMA data from Australian English. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH 2017, 2978–2982. doi:10.21437/ Interspeech.2017-765. Yuen, Ivan, Felicity Cox & Katherine Demuth. 2014. Three-year-olds’ production of Australian English phonemic vowel length as a function of prosodic context. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 135. 1469–1479. doi:10.1121/1.4864292. Yuen, Ivan, Felicity Cox & Katherine Demuth. 2017. Planning of hiatus-breaking inserted /ɹ/ in the speech of Australian English-speaking children. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research 60. 826–835. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-16-0085. Yuen, Ivan, Felicity Cox & Katherine Demuth. 2018. Prosodic effects on the planning of inserted /ɹ/ in Australian English. Journal of Phonetics 69. 29–42. doi:10.1016/j. wocn.2018.04.003.


Tense, aspect and modality in Australian English Peter Collins and Xinyue Yao

1 Introduction In this chapter, we focus on modality, progressive aspect and perfect aspect, three categories which belong to the tense/aspect/modality systems (TAM) of the verb. All three categories are known to be undergoing major change in contemporary English, prompted by such phenomena as grammaticalisation, colloquialisation, Americanisation and genre differentiation (see, e.g. Collins, 2015; Leech et al., 2009). We shall assume that the verb is a word class whose members characteristically denote actions, processes and events. In English, their distinctive grammatical properties are the capacity to carry both tensed inflections (present and past) and non-tensed (infinitival and participial), to enter into construction with auxiliary verbs and, in the case of a subclass of verbs – transitive verbs – to take objects as complements. The system of tense has two primary terms, present and past, whose forms are used primarily to locate a situation in present or past time (as in Dan likes rock music vs. Dan liked rock music). However, there are other uses, such as the use of the present tense to locate situations in future time (e.g. Dan arrives tomorrow) and the use of the past tense to represent a situation as hypothetical (as in If Dan found out, he would be horrified). There are two aspectual constructions associated with the English verb system: the progressive aspect and the perfect aspect. Both involve the selection of a participial form in construction with an auxiliary. In the progressive aspect, a present participle is used, in construction with auxiliary be, to characteristically express “progressive aspectuality”, presenting a situation as being “in progress” and thus “as having a more or less dynamic character . . . viewed not in its temporal totality, but at some point or period within it” (Huddleston, 1988:74). Compare, for example, Dan ate a chocolate muffin, where the situation is presented as a complete event, and Dan was eating a chocolate muffin, where it is presented as being in progress at some intermediate point (e.g. when we arrived). Over the years the progressive has developed a number of non-prototypical – in fact barely aspectual – uses, including the “futurate” use (as in Dan is leaving on Friday) and the emotively charged habitual use (as in Dan is always eating muffins). The

Tense, aspect and modality in Australian English 35 perfect aspect is formed by a past participle in construction with auxiliary have. However, it is important to distinguish two different perfect sub-constructions: the “present perfect” and the “non-present perfect”. The present perfect (with has and have) expresses “perfect aspectuality”, characteristically presenting a situation as having resulted from – and therefore being relevant to – the completion of an earlier situation (e.g. Dan has eaten a muffin differs from Dan ate a muffin in that the event of eating is construed not merely as a past event but further as being relevant in some way to the time of utterance (e.g. “hence the crumbs around his mouth”). The second, non–present perfect, sub-construction is distinctively neutral, as between aspectuality and temporality (e.g. a speaker might use the sentence Dan had eaten a muffin to report someone’s earlier observation either that “Dan has eaten a muffin” or that “Dan ate a muffin”). The closeness of the relationship between aspectuality and temporality has prompted some to treat the perfect as a tense rather than an aspect. Radden and Dirven (2007:207), for example, classify the perfect aspect as a “complex tense”, differing from a simple tense in that it involves a reference time and thus expresses more elaborate temporal relations. According to Lyons (1977:689), anteriority, as expressed by past tense forms, is “not always distinguishable from completion and termination” as expressed by the perfect aspect. Anderson (1973:39) suggests that aspect is “concerned with the relation of an event or state to a particular reference point”. Ultimately, as noted by Elsness (1997:18), the question of whether the perfect is a category of tense or aspect is by and large determined by the definition that one chooses to operate with. In this chapter, our choice is the more familiar classification of the perfect as an aspect, and our focus will be on the relationship between the present prefect aspect and the past tense. The third TAM category, modality, is most commonly expressed in English by the “modal auxiliaries” (can, may, must, will, shall, should, ought, need and dare) but also by the so-called “quasi-modals” (e.g. have to, be going to), along with various nonverbal expressions (e.g. modal adjectives such as possible and necessary and modal adverbs such as perhaps and probably). The modal auxiliaries have been classified semantically in a number of ways. One of the most common classifications is based on three categories of use: “epistemic”, “deontic” and “dynamic” uses (e.g. Collins, 2009a; Huddleston & Pullum, 2002; Palmer, 1990, 2001). Epistemic modality is “prototypically concerned with the speaker’s attitude towards the factuality of the situation, the speaker’s judgement of the likelihood that the proposition on which the utterance is based is true, located along a scale ranging from weak possibility (‘It may be the case’) to strong necessity (‘It must be the case’)” (Collins, 2009a:21). Deontic modality is involved “when the factors impinging on the actualisation of the situation referred to in the utterance involve some type of authority, as when a person or a set of rules or a social convention is responsible for the imposition of an obligation or a granting of permission (as in You must/may leave at 3pm)” (Collins, 2009a:22). Dynamic modality includes ability (e.g. Dan can speak Italian), volition (e.g. I will not agree to this proposal) and “circumstantial” meanings (e.g. If you move to the back, one more person can fit in).


Peter Collins and Xinyue Yao

In the remainder of this chapter, we survey previous studies of the present perfect, the progressive and modals and quasi-modals in Australian English (AusE) and other Englishes. For each category we present, in addition, some as-yetunpublished findings for AusE, British (BrE) and American English (AmE) using the AusBrown corpus representing a 75-year period from 1931 to 2006.

2 The perfect aspect Historically, the simple past tense (SP) is known to have taken over parts of the functional territory of the present perfect (PP) during the past few centuries (Elsness, 1997; Yao, 2014). Initially (in the Old English and Middle English periods) a stative resultative construction, the have + present participle, was reanalysed to an anterior construction, expressing the current relevance of a past situation. According to Yao (2014), in Modern English, the nature of the PP’s marking of current relevance is shifting, from a concern with the present persistence of the result state to one with a temporal connection between the past and the present (an “extended-now interval”). Corpus-based studies such as Elsness (1997) and Yao (2014) have shown that the frequency of the PP peaked in the 18th century and has subsequently been in decline, more strongly so in AmE than in BrE (cf. Hundt & Smith, 2009). Elsness (2009) bases his study of the PP and SP on 16 frequent irregular verbs, citing the difficulty of counting verb forms in untagged corpora. His main finding – that the PP vs. SP ratio is bigger in BrE than AmE – is in line with previous studies of the perfect in BrE and AmE. However, as we shall see, his finding that AusE has a higher ratio than those for BrE and AmE, while supported by long-term diachronic studies of AusE (Collins & Yao, 2014; Yao, 2015) based on written data alone, is somewhat out of step with Yao and Collins’s (2012) synchronic study based on written and spoken data. Collins and Yao (2014) examine changes in the PP and SP in fiction across the 19th and 20th centuries, comparing the Australian fiction texts in Fritz’s 19thcentury Corpus of Oz Early English (COOEE) and in a 20th-century AusE corpus (AusCorp) with BrE and AmE fiction texts in “A Representative Corpus of Historical English Registers (ARCHER)”.1 Their finding is that AusE has been moving in the same direction as the two supervarieties – the PP losing ground to the SP – but less strongly than BrE, with AmE being the most advanced variety. Yao’s (2015) study uses similar data to Collins and Yao (2014), the only differences being that the data are restricted to quoted dialogues and to two half centuries (1850–1899 and 1950–1999). Yao’s finding, which is generally similar to that of Collins and Yao (2014:263), is as follows: the stability of the PP vs. SP ratio in the AusE data is suggestive of a retention of patterns in an earlier stage of the English language. In other words, what underlies the remarkably high frequency of the PP in AusE fictional dialogues appears to be an indication of conservative stylistic preferences in the representation of spoken language by Australian fiction writers.

Tense, aspect and modality in Australian English 37 Yao and Collins (2012) report a study of the use of the perfect in ten English varieties – AmE, BrE, AusE, New Zealand English (NZE), Canadian English (CanE), Philippine English (PhilE), Hong Kong English (HKE), Singapore English (SingE), Kenyan English (KenE) and Indian English (IndE) – based on contemporary data from the International Corpus of English (ICE) for all but AmE (for which data from the Santa Barbara Corpus of Spoken American English [SBC] and the Freiburg-Brown [Frown] corpus were used). The study shows that the varietal distribution of the PP (along with the SP) can be placed on a continuum, with British English and American English lying at its two opposite ends, and AusE close to the AmE end. Yao and Collins hypothesise that colloquialisation has been a factor in the PP’s continuing loss of ground to the SP. The increasing use in more formal registers of contracted auxiliaries for full forms (e.g. has > ’s), of the same form for the PP and the SP (e.g. shrink, shrank, shrunk > shrink, shrunk, shrunk) and of regular forms for irregular ones (e.g. strive, strove, striven > strive, strived, strived), may lead to a general reduction of the formal difference between the SP and the PP. Such a process is also in line with the general levelling tendency of past tense and past participle forms in informal registers and many nonstandard varieties of English (see Features 129–131 of eWAVE, Kortmann & Lunkenheimer, 2013). Given that AmE has been found to have a higher degree of colloquialisation than BrE (e.g. Leech et al., 2009), this hypothesis is compatible with the view that the decline of the PP at the expense of the SP is more prominent in AmE than in BrE. Yao and Collins further submit that similarities in their findings for English varieties in North America (AmE and CanE), Australasia (AusE and NZE) and Southeast Asia (PhilE, SingE and HKE) may be suggestive of the existence of “areoversals” in these regions. Their suggestion draws plausibility from general geographical, historical and cultural affinities within each area, plus – in the case of Southeast Asia – common substrate languages (e.g. Chinese, Malay) that facilitate direct contact between speakers from different countries. In a series of studies, Dorothy Engel and Eve-Marie Ritz (Engel, 2002; Engel & Ritz, 2000; Ritz, 2007, 2010; Ritz & Engel, 2008; Rodríguez Louro & Ritz, 2014) have explored a functional extension of the PP, now often referred to as the “vivid narrative PP” (the use of the PP rather than the SP in contexts of clear past time orientation), found mainly in informal, often nonstandard, usage (see also Richard & Rodríguez Louro, 2016). Examples follow, taken from two of the favoured contexts for the vivid narrative PP, popular radio chat shows and police report programs: (1) I looked over my shoulder, he’s standing right behind me. He’s walked in, y’know the doors that separate the classrooms, he’s come in the one behind me, they all started laughing. (Ritz & Engel, 2008:142) (2) At about 3.20 pm yesterday a man has entered the Eat-N-Run take away store on golden Four Drive, Bilinga, armed with a rifle. (Ritz, 2010:3406)


Peter Collins and Xinyue Yao

Elsness (2009) claims the vivid narrative used to be especially common in AusE – particularly in the Australian Radio Talkback corpus (ART), one of several corpora he uses – but caution is in order here given the lack of strict comparability between the data sources for the four varieties that he examines (AusE, NZE, BrE and AmE).2 It would appear from the results of the published studies surveyed that AusE is relatively conservative in the decline of the PP, certainly less advanced than AmE (which is in the box seat of change) and more or less conservative than BrE depending on the particular study. One factor in the mildness of the PP decline may well be the relative robustness of the vivid narrative PP in AusE. However a caveat is necessary: the validity of this suggestion must await the conduct of comparative research based on suitable informal spoken data. We conclude this section by presenting some diachronic data from the Brown family of corpora: AusBrown, B-LOB, LOB, FLOB, BE06, B-Brown, Brown, Frown, AE06.3 Figure 3.1 presents the average frequencies per thousand words of the perfect (including present and non-present perfects) in ninety 2000-word texts (including 30 texts in each of three genres: press, fiction and learned writing) at each of the four time points in each of the three regional varieties (total database = 2,160,000 words). The frequencies support the finding of previous studies that BrE has for some time had a higher tolerance of the perfect than AmE, although the final 15-year period (1991–2006) has seen a merging of trajectories resulting from a BrE decline and an AmE rise. AusE is even more tolerant of the perfect than BrE at all time points except 1961. 10 9 8

Average frequency

7 6 5 4 3 AusE AmE BrE

2 1 0





Figure 3.1 Frequencies (per thousand words) of the perfect aspect in AusE, AmE and BrE

Tense, aspect and modality in Australian English 39

3 The progressive aspect The progressive aspect (henceforth simply “the progressive”) is here understood to be a syntactic category expressed by (a form of ) be in conjunction with a following (though not necessarily directly following) -ing participle. The progressive characteristically expresses progressive aspectuality, which is associated with such meanings as progressivity, imperfectivity and dynamicity. Corpus-based studies confirm that the progressive has steadily increased its frequency of use since Late Modern English (e.g. Elsness, 1994; Smitterberg, 2005), and it is still on the rise in Contemporary English (Mair & Hundt, 1995; Mair & Leech, 2006; Smith, 2002). A number of influencing factors have been identified. One is the phenomenon of “colloquialisation”, the narrowing of the gap between written and spoken norms, as suggested by the attested speech-friendliness of the progressive (as noted by Biber et al., 1999:461–463; Quirk et al., 1985:198). Another factor is the development of new forms (e.g. combinations of the progressive with modals and the passive voice), resulting in the progressive becoming established in the “few remaining niches of the verbal paradigm in which it was not current until the twentieth century” (Mair & Leech, 2006:323). Finally, there is the emergence of specialised uses that have seen the progressive enter territory not conventionally understood to constitute progressive aspectuality. Consider, in this regard, the following corpus-sourced examples (taken from Collins & Yao, 2011b): (3) And then she is always talking about England. [. . .] we just think it’s very boring (4) “I’m talking about the dreams that you have given up chasing,” she seethed. (5) I’m wondering uh whether this this thing will be will happen (6) I’m going for the ballet tonight (7) They will be talking during the night In the “attitudinal” use, exemplified in (3), the progressive expressing a habitual activity combines with a temporal adjunct (usually always) to suggest a sense of unpredictable and sporadic activity overlaid by an overtone of disapproval. The “interpretive” use in (4) foregrounds an interpretation or explanation of something. The “politeness” use in (5) expresses a diffident wish or attitude. The “futurate” use in (6), arguably temporally oriented rather than aspectually oriented, is typically associated with human agency or intentionality. The “matter of course” use in (7) suggests that the circumstances leading up to an action have been set in train and that it will take place in the not-too-distant future. The English progressive has been the subject of many studies, mostly based either on BrE or on a comparison of BrE and AmE. Earlier studies include Mindt (2000) and Scheffer (1975), both of which are based on limited data, and Biber et al. (1999:461–462), which presents approximate frequencies for the progressive in four genres (conversation, fiction, news and academic writing) in BrE and AmE. The most significant book-length studies are Smitterberg (2005), Römer


Peter Collins and Xinyue Yao

(2005), Kranich (2010) and Rautionaho (2014). Smitterberg (2005) traces the rise and spread of the progressive in 19th-century BrE, commenting on the nonuniform nature of the spread and on the possible role of “not-solely aspectual” uses in the rise of the progressive. Smitterberg also provides an invaluable methodological discussion. He distinguishes four methods of measuring the frequency of the progressive: 1 2 3 4

M-coefficient: Nprog/Nword K-coefficient: Nprog/(Nverb – Nnon-prog) V-coefficient: Nprog/Nverb S-coefficient: Nprog/Nverb – Nnon-prog

The M(Mossé)-coefficient is a simple and commonly used frequency measure which calculates the number of tokens per total number (e.g. thousand, million) of words. Its inadequacies are explored in detail by Aarts, Bas, Close, Leech & Wallis (2013). The K-coefficient, which excludes verb phrases (VPs) that could not be progressive, is a notoriously subjective and arduous measure, especially as the progressive aspect continues to expand. As Levin (2013) observes, while the adjective flippant occurs readily as complement in I’m being flippant, most would be surprised to learn that the adjective I’m being primitive is also attested (in COCA). The V-coefficient is favoured by Smitterberg and Rautionaho. The S-coefficient, suggested by Smitterberg specifically for the study of late Modern English, is similar to the K-coefficient insofar as it excludes contexts where the progressive is thought not to occur. For example, Smitterberg uses it to exclude imperative VPs and semi-modal be going to (exclusions which may be valid with respect to 19th-century English, but which would not be applicable to Contemporary English in view of the uncontroversial acceptability of constructed examples such as: Don’t be watching TV when we get back and We’re going to be leaving soon). Römer (2005) is undoubtedly large scale and comprehensive in the number of variables studied, but in other respects, its scope is limited (it is restricted to spoken BrE, and Römer’s corpus-interrogation is restricted to the 100 most frequent verbs in her data). Kranich (2010) investigates the development of the progressive from the 17th to the 20th century. She discusses – inter alia – the filling out of the progressive paradigm, the rise in the number of stative verbs that can be used with the progressive (19th century) and the establishment and significant development of the interpretative progressive in the 19th and 20th centuries. Rautionaho (2014) covers eight World Englishes: BrE, AmE, Irish English (IrE), HKE, PhilE, SinE, IndE and Jamaican English (JamE), and is based on analyses of c.100,000 words of face-to-face conversation from each of the ICE corpora representing these varieties. She notes similarities between her “data, methods, and eventually also the results” (p. 58) and previous studies by Collins (2008a, 2009b). Unfortunately, the possibility of direct comparisons with Collins’s findings is precluded by Rautionaho’s exclusion of progressives with to-infinitives.4

Tense, aspect and modality in Australian English 41 Three studies of the progressive in AusE have been conducted: Collins (2008b), Collins (2009b) and Collins and Yao (2014). In addition to providing frequencies, these studies present speech versus writing ratios, the authors suggesting that their results provide insights into the diachronic trajectory of the progressive (based on the assumption that diachronic trends tend to be more extreme in speech than in writing, that linguistic innovations tend to spread rapidly in informal spoken genres before becoming established more broadly in the language and that items that become limited to the written word tend to ossify: see, for example, Mair & Leech, 2006). Collins (2008b) and Collins (2009b) are both based on ICE data, the main difference being the inclusion of a number of “Outer Circle” varieties in the former. In an attempt to make sense of his disparate findings – based on a set of variables including frequency, proportion of complex forms, proportion of contracted forms and proportion of “special uses” – Collins (2008b) uses a scoring system to plot the varieties along a scale from the most innovative/advanced to the least. In the resultant ordering – AusE > NZE > SingE > PhilE > AmE > BrE > HKE/KenE > IndE – it is not AmE but rather AusE (followed closely by its Southern-hemisphere cousin, NZE) that emerges as the most innovative regional variety, followed by the Southeast Asian varieties, then the influential American and British varieties, with Kenyan and Indian English the least innovative. The progressive is found to be twice as frequent in speech as in writing, an asymmetry suggestive of colloquialisation, while the popularity of the futurate use in terms of both its overall frequency and its affinity for spoken English suggests a role for this specialised use in the rise of the progressive. The most striking finding of Collins and Yao (2014) is, arguably, the extent of the similarities across the nine Englishes examined. Progressives are found to be slightly more frequent in the Inner Circle varieties (AusE, NZE, AmE, BrE) than in the Outer Circle (SingE, PhilE, HKE, IndE, KenE), while the Inner Circle varieties average a slightly higher speech vs. writing ratio than the Outer Circle. Finally, as for Section 3.2, we present some diachronic data from the Brown family of corpora. As Figure 3.2 indicates, BrE, AmE and AusE all have broadly similar rising trajectories for the 75-year period 1931–2006. The strong rise of the progressive in AusE in the period 1961–1991 is consistent with Collins and Yao’s (2018) finding that a large number of colloquial features, not merely the progressive, rose strongly in this period. Collins and Yao and ascribe this finding to sociocultural forces at play in Australia during this period which contributed to the shaping of the country’s linguistic identity. For further discussion of sociocultural forces that have influenced the development of AusE, see Burridge, this volume; Peters, this volume; Willoughby, this volume and Willoughby and Manns, this volume.

4 Modality A number of studies attest to the decline of the modals in Contemporary English (e.g. Leech, 2003; Leech et al., 2009; Mair & Leech, 2006; Smith, 2002) and


Peter Collins and Xinyue Yao 4 3.5

Average frequency

3 2.5 2 1.5 1

AusE AmE BrE

0.5 0





Figure 3.2 Frequencies (per thousand words) of the progressive aspect in AusE, AmE and BrE

accordingly interpret the relative paucity of tokens in particular varieties as a sign of advanced change. Arguably the most significant development in the expression of modality in English in recent centuries has been the substantial rise of the quasi-modals (e.g. Danchev & Kytö, 1994; Fischer, 1992; Krug, 2000; Leech et al., 2009; Westney, 1995). An important issue in corpus linguistics – the influence of corpus composition on findings obtained – came to a head in a now-famous debate over diachronic variation in the modals. The so-called “Millar/Leech debate” was prompted by Neil Millar’s (2009) challenge to the findings by Geoffrey Leech and his colleagues (Leech et al., 2009; Leech & Smith, 2009) of a decline in modal verb frequencies in late 20th-century English based on data from Brown-family corpora. Millar, reporting a study of the modals based on the 100-million-word TIME Magazine Corpus (1923– 2006), found that some modals – most notably may, which Leech and colleagues had identified as being in decline – were in fact rising in frequency. Responding, Leech (2011) acknowledged that the Brown family corpora suffer from limitations of size and widely spaced sampling points, but argued that a large monogeneric (in fact single-publication) corpus of the type used by Millar does not provide representative results. Leech’s claims enjoy support from an analysis of the “Corpus of Historical American English (COHA)”, a 400 million-word multi-genre corpus

Tense, aspect and modality in Australian English 43 whose design is quite similar to that of the Brown family, which finds the modals as a category to have suffered an overall fall of 20.9% for the 20th century as a whole. There is a vast literature on the English modals and quasi-modals (whose popularity as a research area is such that a series of international conferences on modality was inaugurated in Verona in 2002). Book-length studies include Ehrman (1966), Hermerén (1978), Coates (1983), Palmer (1990) and Collins (2009a). Collins (2009a), the only one of these to include a variety other than BrE or AmE, is a comprehensive comparative study of the English modals and (semantically related) semi-modals in AusE, BrE and AmE based on 46,121 tokens derived from parallel ICE corpus data.5 In the case of modal frequencies, Collins’s finding is that AusE – which had the least number of tokens (15,906 pmw) – is the most advanced of the three varieties, closely followed by AmE (16,136), and BrE, with the highest frequency (16,508), is the most conservative of the three varieties. The availability of both spoken and written texts (produced by adults in the early 1990s) allows Collins to advance some apparent-time generalisations. Speech vs. writing ratios see AmE in its familiar position as the most innovative variety, with the smallest proportion of tokens in writing (0.82:1); BrE the most conservative (1.01:1) and AusE in between (0.86:1). The progressiveness of AmE in the rise of the quasi-modals is reflected both in their overall frequency (AmE 6,500 pmw > AusE 4905 > BrE 4625) and in their speech vs. writing ratios (AmE 4.33:1 > AusE 2.59:1 > BrE 2.01:1). Collins summarises his diachronic findings as follows: “AmE is in the box seat of change in the rise of the quasi-modals and the decline of the modals. (. . .) BrE is the most conservative of the three regional varieties, with AusE occupying a middle position, appearing to distance itself from both the innovativeness of the Americans and conservatism of the British” (2009:159). In a diachronic study of AusE, AmE and BrE, Collins (2014) traces the fortunes of four quasi-modals that have been grammaticalising rapidly over the Late Modern English period (have to, have got to, to and be going to), comparing them with semantically related modals (must, should, ought to, will, and shall). Data were derived from COOEE, AusCorp and ARCHER. The study was restricted to fiction texts representing the 19th and 20th centuries. Collins’s finding, like that of Collins (2009c), is that AusE has been evolving in the same general direction as the two longer-established varieties, but with its endonormative independence being asserted in its users’ more extreme dispreference for the modals and their reluctance to embrace the quasi-modals as enthusiastically as users of AmE. In a series of publications from 2005 onwards, Collins and colleagues have analysed the modals and quasi-modals in a range of varieties of World English that includes – but extends well beyond – AusE, AmE and BrE. The most comprehensive of these (in terms of varieties included) are Collins (2009d), based on nine World Englishes, and Collins and Yao (2011a), based on 13 varieties. Let us summarise the findings of the latter, an ICE-based study based on the following subgroupings of Englishes: Inner Circle (AmE, BrE, AusE and NZE) and


Peter Collins and Xinyue Yao

Outer Circle (South-East Asian: SingE, PhilE, HKE, Malaysian English [MalE]; African: KenE, Nigerian [NigE]; Caribbean: JamE; and Pacific: Fijian English [FijE]). Collins and Yao explore the possible influence, on modal and quasi-modal frequencies, of AmE as a global superpower in the English-speaking world and of the evolutionary status of the Englishes examined. The expressions studied were the same as those in Collins (2014). Frequencies confirmed the finding of others that AmE leads the way – in the 1990s – in the rise of the quasi-modals (both in speech and writing). The Inner Circle varieties are more advanced in this trend than the Outer Circle varieties (and in speech, the SEA/Jamaican varieties are more advanced than the African/Indian). As for the modals, widely attested to be in decline, it is again AmE that is in the box seat, with the lowest modal frequency in the IC, and – except for JamE – the most advanced of the nine Englishes studied. The Inner Circle varieties are, further, more advanced than the Outer Circle in their dispreference for the modals. The findings – which generally support those of Collins’s (2009c) earlier study – provide further confirmation of American leadership in the rise of the quasi-modals (with AusE almost as advanced) and of Inner Circle advancement over Outer Circle. The results for the modals were more equivocal with respect to the advanced status of the decline of the modals in AmE, where will is robust in speech, and the Inner Circle varieties are only slightly more advanced than the Outer Circle. Collins and Yao suggest two factors

5 4.5 4

Average frequency

3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 AusE AmE BrE

1 0.5 0





Figure 3.3 Frequencies (per thousand words) of the modals in AusE, AmE and BrE

Tense, aspect and modality in Australian English 45


Average frequency



1 AusE AmE BrE


0 1931




Figure 3.4 Frequencies (per thousand words) of the quasi-modals in AusE, AmE and BrE

as possible explanations for their findings: Americanisation and the evolutionary status of the New Englishes. Once again, as in the last two sections, we conclude this section with some unpublished findings based on diachronic Brown family corpus data. Figure 3.3 shows BrE and AmE running in parallel, with both showing a conservative rise in the 1931–1961 period but a consistent decline thereafter and with AmE consistently more advanced. AusE evidences a consistent fall, one closer to BrE than to AmE. As for the quasi-modals depicted in Figure 3.4, the most striking finding is the closeness of the rising trajectories and the unanticipated failure of AmE to be in the box seat of change.

5 Conclusion In this chapter, we have examined the uses and development of the present perfect, the progressive, modals and semi-modals in AusE in comparison with developments in other Englishes. Each of these categories has been undergoing major change for centuries in English in response to the influence of such factors as colloquialisation and Americanisation. The studies surveyed generally confirm a diachronic tendency, in Contemporary English, for the present perfect to be in decline, the progressive to be on the rise and opposing tendencies in the


Peter Collins and Xinyue Yao

case of the modals (in decline) and quasi-modals (on the rise). The studies also suggest a tendency for AmE to be the most advanced variety, a reflection of the influence of the United States in world affairs in the 20th and 21st centuries. In many of the studies surveyed, AusE emerges as less advanced than AmE but more so than BrE. However, data we present from AusBrown, a new diachronic Brown-family corpus of AusE, provide fresh insights into the innovativeness of AusE. Notably, in the case of the progressive, it is AusE that exhibits the strongest overall rise between 1931 and 2006, ahead of both BrE and AmE. This result is consistent with the finding of Collins and Yao (2018) that a large number of colloquial features, including the progressive, rose strongly in the second half of the 20th century in response to sociocultural forces at play in Australia during this period. In the case of the progressive, the AusBrown data largely confirm the findings of other studies that AusE is relatively conservative in the decline of the perfect aspect. One possible factor in the mildness of the decline of the present perfect in AusE, we suggest, may be the relative robustness in informal AusE of the “vivid narrative PP”, a functional extension of the present perfect that has attracted much attention in Australian studies. The AusBrown findings for modality are generally in line with those of the studies surveyed, the AusE diachronic trajectories being very similar to those of BrE and AmE: with the modals found to be in decline, AmE predictably in the box seat of change and the quasi-modals on the rise, though, somewhat surprisingly, AmE emerging as more conservative than AusE and BrE.

Notes 1 Clemens Fritz’s COOEE corpus comprises texts written between 1788 and 1900 from over 100 different sources, including books, letters, diaries, proclamations and newspaper reports (see Fritz, 2004, 2007). AusCorp is a corpus of 20th-century AusE compiled by the present authors (see further Collins, 2014). Data for BrE and AmE are drawn from version 3.2 of ARCHER. 2 In Elsness (2009), the only direct corpus parallels for AusE are with NZE: the Wellington Written Corpus (WWC) is, like the Australian Corpus of English (ACE), a Brown-family corpus of written English sampled in 1986 (this sampling year five years older than the British and American corpora used by Elsness, FLOB and Frown), and ICE-AUS and ICE-NZ are parallel members of the ICE collection. ART has no nonAustralian parallels in Elsness’s database. 3 See further Yao and Collins (2019) for a report on the study which is the source of the data presently under discussion and Collins and Yao (2019) for details of these corpora. 4 Rautionaho’s decision, motivated by her decision to “limit the amount of data and also to ensure the homogeneity of the progressives retrieved from the data” (p. 75) must be regarded as contentious, insofar as she does include other non-tensed progressives (those with modals). 5 The ICE corpora used by Collins (2009a) were ICE-GB and ICE-AUS. AmE was represented by “C-US” in the absence of an ICE-US corpus in 2009 (ICE-US – albeit an incomplete version with written texts only – became available only in 2016). C-US comprises data parallel to that in the ICE corpora taken from SBC and Frown.

Tense, aspect and modality in Australian English 47

References Aarts, Bas, Joanne Close, Geoffrey Leech & Sean Wallis (eds.). 2013. The verb phrase in English: Investigating recent language change with corpora. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Anderson, James M. 1973. Structural aspects of language change. London: Longman. Biber, Douglas, Stig Johansson, Geoffrey Leech, Susan Conrad & Edward Finegan. 1999. Longman grammar of spoken and written English. London/New York: Longman. Coates, Jennifer. 1983. The semantics of the modal auxiliaries. London/Canberra: Croom Helm. Collins, Peter. 2008a. Variation in the modals and semi-modals in World Englishes. In Terttu Nevalainen, Irma Taavitsainen, Päivi Pahta & Minna Korhonen (eds.), The dynamics of linguistic variation: Corpus evidence on English past and present, 129–145. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Collins, Peter. 2008b. The progressive in World Englishes: A corpus-based study. Australian Journal of Linguistics 28. 225–249. doi:10.1080/07268600802308782. Collins, Peter. 2009a. Modals and quasi-modals in English. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Collins, Peter. 2009b. The progressive. In Pam Peters, Peter Collins & Adam Smith (eds.), Comparative studies in Australian and New Zealand English, 115–123. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Collins, Peter. 2009c. Modals and quasi-modals. In Pam Peters, Peter Collins & Adam Smith (eds.), Comparative studies in Australian and New Zealand English, 73–87. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Collins, Peter. 2009d. Modals and quasi-modals in World Englishes. World Englishes 28. 281–292. doi:10.1111/j.1467-971X.2009.01593.x. Collins, Peter. 2014. Quasi-modals and modals in Australian English fiction 1800–1999, with comparisons across British and American English. Journal of English Linguistics 42. 7–30. doi:10.1177/0075424213512857. Collins, Peter. 2015. Grammatical change in English world-wide. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Collins, Peter & Xinyue Yao. 2011a. Modals and quasi-modals in New Englishes. In Marianne Hundt & Ulrike Güt (eds.), Mapping unity and diversity in New Englishes, 35–53. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Collins, Peter & Xinyue Yao. 2011b. Developments in the verbal systems of the “old” and “new” Englishes. In Christina Gitsaki & Richard Baldauf (eds.), The future of applied linguistics: Local and global perspectives, 328–349. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Collins, Peter & Xinyue Yao. 2014. Grammatical change in the verb phrase in Australian English: A corpus-based study. Australian Journal of Linguistics 34. 506–523. doi:10.1 080/07268602.2014.929087. Collins, Peter & Xinyue Yao. 2018. Colloquialisation and the evolution of Australian English: A cross-varietal and cross-generic study of Australian, British and American English from 1931 to 2006. English World-Wide 39. 253–277. doi:10.1075/eww.00014.col. Collins, Peter & Xinyue Yao. 2019. AusBrown: A new diachronic corpus of Australian English. ICAME Journal 43. 3–29. doi:10.2478/icame-2019-0001. Danchev, Andrei & Merja Kytö. 1994. The construction be going to + infinitive in Early Modern English. In Dieter Kastovsky (ed.), Studies in Early Modern English, 59–77. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. Ehrman, Madeline. 1966. The meanings of the modals in present-day American English. The Hague: Mouton.


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Elsness, Johan. 1994. On the progression of the progressive in Modern English. ICAME Journal 18. 5–25. Elsness, Johan. 2009. The present perfect and the preterite in Australian and New Zealand English. In Pam Peters, Peter Collins & Adam Smith (eds.), Comparative studies in Australian and New Zealand English, 89–114. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Engel, Dulcie M. 2002. Radio talk: French and English perfects on air. Languages in Contrast 2. 255–277. doi:10.1075/lic.2.2.07eng. Engel, Dulcie M. & Marie Eve Ritz. 2000. The use of the present perfect in Australian English. Australian Journal of Linguistics 20. 119–140. doi:10.1080/0726860002000 6030. Fischer, Olga. 1992. Syntax. In Norman Blake (ed.), The Cambridge history of the English language. Vol. II: 1066–1476, 207–408. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Fritz, Clemens W.A. 2004. From Plato to Aristotle: Investigating early Australian English. Australian Journal of Linguistics 24. 57–97. Fritz, Clemens W.A. 2007. From English in Australia to Australian English, 1788–1900. Bern: Peter Lang. Hermerén, Lars. 1978. On modality in English: A study of the semantics of the modals. Lund: CWK Gleerup. Huddleston, Rodney D. 1988. English grammar: An outline. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Huddleston, Rodney D. & Pullum, Geoffrey K. 2002. The Cambridge grammar of the English language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hundt, Marianne & Nicholas Smith. 2009. The present perfect in British and American English: Has there been any change, recently? ICAME Journal 33. 45–63. Kortmann, Bernd & Kerstin Lunkenheimer (eds.). 2013. The electronic World Atlas of varieties of English. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Kranich, Svenja. 2010. The progressive in Modern English: A corpus-based study of grammaticalization and related changes. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Krug, Manfred. 2000. Emerging English modals: A corpus-based study of grammaticalization. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Leech, Geoffrey. 2003. Modality on the move: The English modal auxiliaries 1961–1992. In Roberta Facchinetti, Manfred Krug & Frank Palmer (eds.), Modality in contemporary English, 223–240. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Leech, Geoffrey. 2011. The modals ARE declining. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 16. 547–564. doi:10.1075/ijcl.16.4.05lee. Leech, Geoffrey, Marianne Hundt, Christian Mair & Nicholas Smith. 2009. Change in contemporary English: A grammatical study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Leech, Geoffrey & Nick Smith. 2009. Change and constancy in linguistic change: How grammatical usage in written English evolved in the period 1931–1991. In Anotinette Renouf & Andrew Kehoe (eds.), Corpus Linguistics: Refinements and Reassessments, 173–200 Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi. Levin, Magnus. 2013. The progressive verb in modern American English. In Jan Aarts, Joanne Close, Geoffrey Leech & Sean Wallis (eds.), The verb phrase in English: Investigating recent language change with corpora, 187–216. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lyons, John. 1977. Semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Tense, aspect and modality in Australian English 49 Mair, Christian & Marianne Hundt. 1995. Why is the progressive becoming more frequent in English? A corpus-based investigation of language change in progress. Zeitschrift fur Anglistik und Amerikanistik 43(2). 111–122. Mair, Christian & Geoffrey Leech. 2006. Current changes in English syntax. In Bas Aarts & April McMahon (eds.), The handbook of English linguistics, 318–342. Oxford: Blackwell. Millar, Neil. 2009. Modal verbs in TIME. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 14(2). 191–220. Mindt, Dieter. 2000. An empirical grammar of the English verb system. Berlin: Cornelsen. Palmer, Frank. 1990. Modality and the English modals, 2nd edn. London: Longman. Palmer, Frank. 2001. Mood and modality, 2nd edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Quirk, Randolph, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech & Jan Svartvik. 1985. A comprehensive grammar of the English language. London: Longman. Radden, Günter & René Dirven. 2007. Cognitive English grammar. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Rautionaho, Paula. 2014. Variation in the progressive: A corpus-based study into World Englishes. Tampere: Tampere University Press. Richard, Sophie & Celeste Rodríguez Louro. 2016. Narrative-embedded variation and change: The sociolinguistics of the Australian English narrative present perfect. In Valentin Werner, Elena Seoane & Cristina Suárez-Gómez (eds.), Re-assessing the present perfect, 119–146. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Ritz, Marie-Eve. 2007. Perfect change: Synchrony meets diachrony. In Joseph C. Salmons & Shannon Dubenion-Smith (eds.), Historical linguistics 2005: Selected papers from the 17th International Conference on Historical Linguistics, 133–147. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Ritz, Marie-Eve. 2010. The perfect crime: A study of illicit adverbial combinations with the present perfect in Australian police media releases. Journal of Pragmatics 42. 3400– 3417. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2010.05.003. Ritz, Marie-Eve & Dulcie Engel. 2008. “Vivid narrative use” and the meaning of the present perfect in spoken Australian English. Linguistics 46. 131–160. doi:10.1515/ling. 2008.005. Rodríguez Louro, Celeste & Marie-Eve Ritz. 2014. Tense variation at the heart of Australian English narratives. Australian Journal of Linguistics 34. 549–565. doi:10.1080/07 268602.2014.929080. Römer, Ute. 2005. Progressives, patterns, pedagogy. A corpus-driven approach to English progressive forms, functions, contexts and didactics. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Scheffer, Johannes. 1975. The progressive in English. Amsterdam: North-Holland. Smith, Nicholas. 2002. Ever moving on? The progressive in recent British English. In Pam Peters, Peter Collins & Adam Smith (eds.), New frontiers of corpus research: Papers from the 21st International Conference on English Language Research on Computerized Corpora, Sydney 2000, 317–330. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Smitterberg, Eric. 2005. The progressive in 19th century English: A process of integration. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Westney, Paul. 1995. Modals and periphrastics in English: An investigation into the semantic correspondence between certain English modal verbs and their periphrastic equivalents. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag. Yao, Xinyue. 2014. Developments in the use of the English present perfect: 1750–present. Journal of English Linguistics 42. 1–23. doi:10.1177/0075424214549560.


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Negation in Australian English From bugger all to no worries Isabelle Burke

1 Introduction In a Nevada case several years ago, two county brothel commissioners were sitting at a table in a noisy café with a woman who pulled out $5,000 and offered it to them as a bribe to help her get a brothel license. The men were dumbfounded and one of them said to the other: “No, I wouldn’t take a bribe, would you?” The tape was scratchy and unclear while loud, dish-clattering noises and other conversations in the café interfered as well. The police transcription of this sentence was “No, I would take a bribe, wouldn’t you?” This, of course, was the keystone of their indictment for bribery. (Shuy, 2012:172)

Negation occupies a distinctive position in the syntactic world: its vital necessity is immediately obvious. In a gripping demonstration of this, in the previous quote, forensic linguist Roger Shuy chillingly reveals the power of negation in his description of a bribery case in Nevada: imagine if all that stood between you and a prison sentence was one little clitic, a phonetic wisp that can easily be blown away by background noise or poor-quality recording equipment. The burden carried by negative morphemes is striking: it is the difference between accepting a bribe and turning one down, between telling someone that a gun is loaded or it is not. While doubt has been cast on linguistic universals in recent years (e.g. Evans & Levinson, 2009), negation remains one of the true “pragmatic universals”: all languages need to have negation in order to function (Horn, 1989). Equally, negation is an area of language efflorescent with creativity and mischief, as expressions like I didn’t drink a drop, I didn’t have a brass razoo or even I couldn’t give a rat’s arse suggest. Taboo language also intersects with the lexical aspect of negation. Swearing has an important role in Australian culture and is a “flourishing feature of Australian English” (Musgrave & Burridge, 2014:10); it consequently forms part of the negation system. Australian English provides a remarkably colourful set of idioms here, from pig’s arse to bugger all, with novel interaction with the negation system, most notably the Jespersen cycle, as will be explored in Section 2. All of this surprising inventiveness has a significant


Isabelle Burke

influence on negation renewal (see Schwegler, 1990:158; Harris & Campbell, 1995:54–55; Hoeksema, 2009:19). Unsurprisingly, given its importance, negation has been accorded a corresponding amount of scholarship. Horn (1989: xiv) even likened it to the “fruit of Tantalus”, hanging “seductively . . . just out of reach” of the eager linguist. One of the earliest and most successful grabs for this fruit occurred in 1917, when the Danish linguist Otto Jespersen released his seminal work on negation. One hundred years later, his is still the prevailing model of negation change: the Jespersen cycle of negation. The pattern he described is simple: languages tend to move through a series of essentially three stages, in which first there is a preverbal negator (a negator placed before the verb), such as French ne; next there is a bipartite negator (which sits on either side of the verb), as in ne . . . pas and, finally, a postverbal negator (a negator placed after the verb), as in contemporary French pas. Jespersen’s schema for both French, the most prototypical example, and the parallel development in English is replicated subsequently (Jespersen, 1917:7–11). (1) (2) (3)

Jeo I Je I Je I

ne NEG ne NEG dis say

dis say dis say pas NEG

(1) pas NEG

(2) (3) (4) (5)

Ic I I I I I I

ne NEG ne NEG say do don’t

secge say seye say not not say

not NEG say

In recent years, scholars such as Cheshire (1998) have identified similar changes in modern British English, such as the punctual never (e.g. I never touched him!). Hoeksema (2009) investigated the use of taboo negative polarity items (NPIs) such as jack all as negators in American English in what might be viewed as a mini-Jespersen cycle. This chapter will return to the relationship between taboo language, idiom and negation in Section 2, exploring the Australian context. In addition to this, this chapter investigates three different facets of negation: the divide between not- and no-negation (Section 3), the invariant negators ain’t and don’t, as well as multiple negation (Section 4), and finally the punctual never (Section 5), situating Australian English among the other major varieties.

2 Taboo language and negation How do negators like not and pas begin life? The origins of these initially emphatic negators such as pas lie in negative polarity items. Polarity items are words or idioms that are sensitive to the polarity of their environment. They do not confer a negative value: the negator creates the context that allows the NPI, but it does not form the NPI itself. NPIs can be minimisers, such as a drop or a bit, or can come from a grab-bag of miscellaneous grammatical items that Hoeksema (2009:23) classified as “particles”, such as at all or yet. Many NPIs belong to a colourful and “probably open [class]” collection of idioms, such as see a

Negation in Australian English 53 living soul, cost a red cent, could care less or hurt a fly (Pullum & Huddleston, 2002:823). Positive forms of these are either ungrammatical or laughably literal, as in I saw a living soul. In the Jespersen cycle, NPIs become reanalysed over time and acquire a negative value, which then permits the omission of the original negator (e.g. ne). Consider the fascinating set of NPIs that Hoeksema (2009:20) explored in American English: taboo terms. His examples are replicated in the following (1a-b): (1) a) He didn’t tell me fuck all about the car b) He told me fuck all about the car These NPIs seem to a form a “mini-Jespersen cycle”, in which a taboo NPI is reanalysed as a negator. Hoeksema has argued that this has wider implications for the Jespersen cycle, as it constitutes valuable evidence that negative polarity items can become negators without going through a stage of becoming obligatory or even frequent (2009:20–22). He also contended that the absence of standardisation in this area is a reason for their popularity. We can contrast this with another renewal strategy, the punctual never, where development was hampered by standardisation (see Cheshire, 1998:31 and Section 4.5 here). Australian English has a wealth of these expressions, such as bugger all, and a rich paradigm of nominal expressions can be found after I don’t give, such as a rat’s (arse) or a toss. The preverbal negator pig’s arse has also enjoyed brief popularity. Indeed, these items have reached such a saturation point that a campaign for education reform in Australia was named I Give a Gonski, after the Gonski Review. Although it seems unlikely that bugger all could ever become a default negator with no emphatic value, taboo terms do become “bleached” with overuse (Allan & Burridge, 2009:79). When we combine the “loss of potency” of some of these expressions (e.g. bugger) in the public domain (Musgrave & Burridge, 2014:13), the Australian community’s evolving attitudes towards swearing (Allan & Burridge, 2009:381–383) and Crystal’s (2006:408) assertion that nonstandard language “is achieving a new presence and respectability within society”, the prospect of taboo negators becoming a thriving and healthy element in the negation system of Australian English seems plausible. Burke (2014) examined these constructions across three corpora: the Monash Corpus of Australian English (1996–7, MCE), recorded in Melbourne with adolescents; the Griffith Corpus of Spoken Australian English (GCSAusE), recorded with students and staff at Griffith University in 2007 and the International Corpus of (Australian) English (ICE-Aus). As a brief overview, ICE-Aus is composed of 60% speech and 40% writing, recorded from 1992–1995, consisting of just over 1,000,000 words. Taboo NPIs were found in both the Monash and Griffith corpora, as in examples such as I haven’t got shit, and indeed acted as negators in several examples, such as my sister does jack all (Burke 2014:467). If taboo language can indeed undergo a mini-Jespersen cycle, then Australian English certainly participates in this process (and with great vigour).


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Taboo negators can be routinely witnessed in the Australian print media, as observed by Burke (2014:479). As just one of many examples, the Australian broadcaster and social commentator Philip Adams (2012 cited in Burke, 2014:479) used the construction in the Australian Weekend Magazine on 6–7 October: “I bought a toaster from Woolies. Home-brand, made in China. Only to discover that the Chinese, for all their wisdom and marvels of their regional cuisines, know bugger all about toast”. The Australian context is significant when we contrast it against Hoeksema’s claims that taboo NPIs are highly attractive for reanalysis into negators because taboo expressions “are not subject to prescriptive grammar to the same degree”, and particularly flourish where multiple negation is common (2009:25). This argument suggests that the use of taboo words implies a “grammatical free-for-all”, where multiple negation is entirely acceptable, therefore facilitating the reanalysis of NPIs via the use of multiple negative items in conjunction. This does not seem to be the picture built up by the corpus data, where speakers who use taboo negators are not the same speakers who use multiple negation (see Burke, 2014). Nor does it seem an appropriate judgement in light of the frequent appearances of the construction in the media, for instance, the Philip Adams example, which are written in standard English. Are taboo words really so free from the tenets of prescriptivism? There is another hurdle to analysing taboo negators like bugger all as a miniJespersen cycle: namely, did these negators actually begin life with an inherently negative value, or did they acquire one over time via reanalysis? Unfortunately, the traditional sortie to the OED is of limited value here. As Musgrave and Burridge (2014:2–3) have warned, “dating swearwords is notoriously difficult on account of taboo; these expressions can have a life on the streets long before they happen to make an appearance in print.” It is not certain that the first instances of fuck all and bugger all documented in the OED, in 1916 and 1921, respectively, both with negative values, are characteristic of the earliest uses of these terms. For instance, Musgrave and Burridge (2014:12) found bugger used as a reinforcement in a negative construction in the transcripts of the Old Bailey (London’s central criminal court) in 1821 – a full century before the OED documents it. While Australian English certainly has a colourful repertoire of taboo negators and NPIs, the question of whether collocations like bugger all and fuck all are evidence of a mini-Jespersen cycle cannot be answered conclusively without historical corpus evidence.

3 Not- and no-negation Grammatical negation can be broadly divided into two types: not- and nonegation. This distinction can also be labelled “verbal” or “non-verbal” negation (see Pullum & Huddleston, 2002:788–789). Not-negation is expressed by nt and not, as illustrated in examples 2a-c. In contrast, no-negation is expressed with no, as well as a range of negative-incorporated forms like nobody and nothing, as can be seen in examples 3a-c. Not-negation can be classified as “verbal” negation, as the negator is grammatically associated with the verb, whereas in no-negation,

Negation in Australian English 55 the negator is associated with a dependent of the verb (for instance, an object in example 2b). (2) Not-negation (verbal negation) a) Winifred doesn’t bite b) Winifred did not bite anyone c) Winifred did not bite any postmen (3) No-negation (non-verbal negation) a) Winifred never bites b) Winifred bit no one c) Winifred bit no postmen Not- and no-negation are not always interchangeable or, as Peters (2008:149) has described it, “traffic in one direction is greater than the other”. No-negation can very often be rephrased by not-negation, but the reverse is not true: indeed, Biber et al. (1999:169) have suggested that no-negation can be paraphrased by notnegation about 80% of the time, but the reverse situation can only occur 30% of the time. Not-negation is classically more common in speech than in writing, while the reverse is true for no-negation (see Tottie, 1991). This can be traced back to no-negation being an older form than not-negation: the process of negativeincorporation, which creates forms like never and nobody, was productive in Old English. The tendency for the negative element n- to fuse with different types of indefinites, such as pronouns, determiners and adverbs, illustrates a process that Jespersen described as “negative attraction” (1917:89). While other languages often opted for a suppletive form (e.g. French jamais “never” or Italian mai “never”), Old English tended greatly towards the more morphologically transparent forms created by negative-incorporation, like the negative qualifier none (Mazzon, 2004:31). This process resulted in words like naefre “never” (n + aefre “ever”) and was even the origin story of our modern negator not, which originated from nawiht “nothing” (n + a-with “anything”) (Traugott, 1992:268). Tottie has argued that the popularity of the newer not-negation in speech is likely because “the spoken variety represents a more advanced stage of the language and writing a more conservative type” (1991:325). However, despite the popularity of not-negation in spoken English, no-negation still has carved out a strong niche in particular areas of speech, like existentials (there are no X) and special collocations that have developed into formulaic expressions or what might be described as “boilerplate” items, like no reason, no longer, no less, no more and so on. These are treated as discrete units, “transmitted, learned, stored, and processed as wholes” (1991:325). This preserves them as “chunks of amber” in speech, which on the whole prefers not-negation instead. Although English speech can on the whole be characterised as preferring notnegation, with writing opting no-negation, there remains a degree of regional


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variation here. Peters (2008) examined the relative rates of no- and not-negation in Australian, British, American and New Zealand English in speech and writing. American English proved the most innovative, replacing no-negation in writing with more not-negation, while New Zealand was the most conservative; Australian English remained somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. This was pursued with a more detailed investigation in Peters & Funk (2009), which concluded that Australian English was “more advanced” than New Zealand English in its replacement of no-negation with not-negation, with both varieties “on opposite sides of the cusp in lexicogrammatical terms” (2009:239). Essentially, while New Zealand English uses no-negation as a productive syntactic resource, Australian English favours no-negation mostly in boilerplate expressions, utilising it primarily in fixed lexical idioms, as can be seen from the typically Australian collocation no worries. This popularity is not surprising: fixed collocations like no worries or no idea are highly valuable for the breakneck pace of face-to-face conversation, with its limited time for processing: these “chunks” allow speakers to “formulat[e] speech on the run, providing resources for instant discourse” (Peters, 2008:155). In short, there is no need for l’esprit d’escalier when no way and no idea are at the ready. Collocations like no worries constitute a slice of no-negation in Australian English that is truly substantial: Peters (2008:154) found that when these items were removed, no-negation formed only 6.4% of all negation in the ICE-Aus corpus. We can conclude that Australian English tends more towards conservatism in its replacement of no-negation with not-negation in writing, lagging behind American English, for example. However, it must be noted that although no-negation is present, the degree of lexicalisation of this form of negation is significant, in sharp contrast to New Zealand English, where it remains a “well-utilised syntactic resource” (Peters & Funk, 2009:225). In short, while perhaps more grammatically conservative in global terms (at least for inner circle Englishes), Australian English appears the more innovative of the Antipodean Englishes.

4 Invariant forms and multiple negation There are two nonstandard invariant negative forms in English: ain’t and 3PS don’t (e.g. she don’t like it). Of course, the reduction of person and number distinctions within the negative paradigm is also a feature of standard English: the nonstandard invariant negators extend this strategy and reduce not only some, but indeed all, distinctions. As has been noted since Jespersen (1909–49:435), grammatical distinctions that are maintained in positive contexts for the verbs be, have and do, namely that of person and number, are levelled. Aside from being a regularisation strategy within the negative paradigm, this creates a large asymmetry between the positive and negative use of these verbs: the sudden absence of person and number distinctions is a generous cue to listeners that the verb is negative. This leads to the functionally desirable “asymmetrical system” that scholars

Negation in Australian English 57 like Anderwald have described (2002:198). The levelling of all English ain’t and don’t could be described as moving towards, for example, the Estonian ei, where the third person singular negative auxiliary has been generalised to all persons and numbers (Payne, 1985). Overall, it seems that ain’t and don’t are highly valuable additions to the English negation system, symbolising a movement towards greater typological normalcy and functionality. In contrast, the social picture is considerably bleaker: along with multiple negation, Anderwald (2002:116) has profiled ain’t in particular as “the best-known shibboleth of non-standard English”. The use of ain’t is a key part of being a speaker of nonstandard English, and consequently it is “traditionally highly stigmatised” despite its presence in a large number of geographical and social varieties (Palacios Martinez, 2010:548). Curiously, invariant don’t does not appear to suffer the same degree of stigmatisation as ain’t. It is notable that the possible environments of ain’t are much wider than those of invariant don’t (see Anderwald, 2002:149). Consequently, it is possible that invariant don’t is simply not as salient to speakers. The second of the constructions discussed here, multiple negation, is inarguably the classic marker of nonstandard English. The use of a negated verb in combination with negative indefinites (e.g. I don’t know nothing) has attracted hostility from prescriptivists for centuries. Accusations of multiple negation being “illogical” and “coarse” by eighteenth-century grammarians are well documented and discussed by scholars, and the prescriptive war waged against this construction remains a topic of interest for many (e.g. Fitzmaurice, 2012; Nevalainen, 2006; Tieken-Boon van Ostade, 2008). Of course, the demise of multiple negation was already well underway before the pressure of prescriptivism intervened: while many take the classic Lowth edict that “two Negatives in English destroy one another, or are equivalent to an Affirmative” to be the definitive black mark against multiple negation, the death knell of social stigmatisation had already sounded centuries before (1763:139, cited in Beal, 2004:114). As Beal (2004:114) has explained, “although eighteenth century grammarians . . . regularly invoke mathematical logic in justifying this proscription, it would appear that multiple negation was already becoming socially stigmatised”. Nevalainen (2006:284) gave one of the earliest dates for this process, estimating it to have occurred between 1520 and 1550. Multiple negation remains highly stigmatised in Australian English, as can be seen from style guides: Peters (1995:215) has described multiple negation as “used in many nonstandard dialects, but abhorred in standard English”. A recent investigation into language attitudes confirms this: Severin (2017:172) found that multiple negation was largely judged as unacceptable by speakers across all age groups in Australia, with many participants drawing a connection between the use of this form and a lack of education. One young participant vividly encapsulated the continuing, now centuries-old stigma against the construction: “if someone said this to me, I’d instantly think they were lower than me” (Severin, 2017:173). Younger speakers were found to be more aware of indexical values associated


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with multiple negation and the ability of this usage to enact a particular stance with, for instance, one participant describing multiple negation as “totally gangster” and claiming that “people who want to sound cool and rebel say it” (Severin, 2017:173). However, Severin noted that this awareness did not extend to a broader acceptance or tolerance of multiple negation. Australian English is frequently described as possessing all three features, although ain’t does not appear in the literature with the same vigour and frequency as its invariant sibling don’t. Pawley (2008:362–363), for instance, documented invariant don’t and multiple negation as robust features of Australian Vernacular English (AusVE), which he defined as the informal speech of working-class men, particularly those from rural areas. Pawley contrasted this with Standard Australian Colloquial English (StAusColE), the “dominant variety of many Australians”, which he characterised as “linked to middle class upbringings, occupations and aspirations” (2008:365). Multiple negation was classified as not merely present but even “frequent” in AusVE, with examples such as I couldn’t see no snake or we couldn’t go no further (2008:387). Similarly, in one of the few quantitative studies on the phenomenon in Australian English, Eisikovits (1989) recorded the use of invariant don’t and multiple negation among working-class adolescents in inner-city Sydney. There were forty participants in the study, twenty male and twenty female, divided into two groups, one aged around 13 years, the other 16. The adolescents were “Australian-born”, as were their parents, who were described as working in occupations that are “relatively low in social status”, such as truck drivers and cleaners (1989:36). Eisikovits (1989) focused chiefly on morphosyntactic differences between genders, which became more pronounced between the older groups, sometimes dramatically. For instance, older boys used invariant don’t in 51.7% of possible environments, whereas for the older girls, this was only 6.5% (1989:40). Notably, Eisikovits (1989:40) reported high levels of multiple negation across the board: for instance, among the younger boys, it occurred in 50.5% of possible environments, and for younger girls, in 48.7%. Even the lowest rates, which were recorded for the older girls, were 21.7%. Eisikovits remarked that the covert prestige attached to these forms make them particularly attractive for male speakers and provided a number of examples which demonstrate antiauthoritarian values. For example: if I swear in front of me mother now, she don’t do nothing (1989:44); me sister don’t boss me around (1989:54) and on underage drinking, Oh, it’s pretty easy to get away with. Go down town, pubs down there. They don’t say nothing to ya (1989:44). Surprisingly, more recent corpus studies have revealed these forms to be infrequent in contemporary Australian English conversation. Burke (2014) examined these constructions across three corpora (see Section 2 for corpora details). Invariant don’t proved extremely rare: it did not appear at all in the Monash or Griffith corpora and only occurred once in ICE-Aus. Similarly, multiple negation was infrequent: it did not occur at all in the Griffith corpus, only once in ICE-Aus and four times in the Monash corpus (Burke, 2014:467). We could attribute this

Negation in Australian English 59 recent rarity to a number of factors: first, as has been established, these variables are particularly sensitive to a speaker’s gender and socioeconomic status. If, for instance, male working-class speakers are not well represented in a corpus, then consequently invariant don’t tokens will be low. In a similar vein, broader social factors in the Australian linguistic landscape may conspire to reduce the use of basilectal varieties like AusVE where invariant don’t and multiple negation flourish. For instance, Pawley has asserted that “AusVE speakers make up a diminishing proportion of the population, as more people stay at school longer and move into white-collar jobs where nonstandard speech styles are marginalised” (2008:393). AusVE has a natural habitat, chiefly where men gather for “manual work, to play sports or to socialise with their mates. In these contexts, AusVE has much covert prestige, even among men who by occupation and income rank as decidedly middle class” (2008:393). However, outside this natural habitat, it seems that invariant don’t and multiple negation are becoming endangered species. Certainly, Australian English does not seem to make use of invariant forms as frequently as its British relative: Palacios Martinez (2010:553) found that it is used 23% of the time where it is possible in COLT (the Bergen Corpus of London Teenage Language), and Cheshire (1991) found a much higher proportion in her classic study of teenagers in Reading, approaching 75%. Similarly, despite its stigma, Anderwald (2002:115) found that in some dialect regions in Britain, the multiple negation rate was as high as 33%. Australian English did not remotely approach levels that were this high, although, as indicated earlier, as these forms are particularly sensitive to social variables, a more robust representation of speakers of varying socioeconomic status in future corpus data would strengthen these results. Curiously, although invariant don’t does not appear to be as traditionally stigmatised as multiple negation, it occurs even more rarely in Australian English corpus data (Burke, 2014). Future research could benefit from investigating attitudes towards the invariant don’t among speakers of Australian English and gauge if it is socially stigmatised in much the same way as ain’t, which could explain its low frequency. It will be interesting to observe if this trend continues, particularly when we observe different varieties of English spoken in Australia and its increasingly multilingual future. For instance, in Aboriginal English varieties, multiple negation is “pervasive . . . across the country” (Malcolm, 2018:68). And as the popularity of new Englishes flourishes and the number of mother-tongue speakers declines, linguistic “trends” such as multiple negation may well be ignited by second-language, foreign-language and creole or pidgin speakers. Crystal (2006:432) has described this as already underway with rap music and features such as number agreement, or even strikingly “un-English” constructions such as say-based complementisers (e.g. dat mean say . . . “that means that . . .”). As Crystal (2006:432) observed, “fashions count in language, as anywhere else”. The clout of new Englishes may well breathe new life into multiple negation.


Isabelle Burke

5 The punctual never One of the best-known nonstandard negators in English is the “punctual” or “simple negator” never, as in example (4) (4) (J) (M)

Was that at school you made that? No, I never went to school today. (Cheshire, 1998:38)

The emphatic value of simple negator never derives from what is called a “punctual” reading, rather than a universal temporal or “universal quantificational” reading. In standard usage, never is used to deny multiple occurrences of an event over time and is not emphatic, as in I never go to the footy on Saturdays. However, in punctual occurrences, just one single event is negated: a “point” of time, rather than a period of time, as in I never went to the footy last Saturday (or I never went to school today). Thus the emphasis derives from a special negation “overdose” or “oversaturation” effect: there is more negation than necessary. An addressee may mentally search for the number of occasions that the speaker is negating – then this is narrowed down to only a single occasion (see Cheshire, 1985). Never used as a simple negator is an astonishingly widespread phenomenon. In the precursor to eWAVE, Kortmann and Szmrecsanyi (2004:1186) rated it the number one nonstandard morpho-syntactic feature across all twenty varieties of English surveyed: it was attested in an astounding 19 varieties. eWAVE has confirmed its presence in 83% of all Englishes (Kortmann & Lunkenheimer, 2013:Feature 159). This is the vernacular universal par excellence: it flourishes in Englishes all around the globe, and Australia appears to be no exception. eWAVE classified it as “pervasive” in Aboriginal English and Torres Strait Creole, and, more pertinently for this study, it is “neither pervasive nor particularly rare” in Australian English and AusVE (see Section 4.3). Of all the Englishes, however, nonstandard British dialects are perhaps the most well-known for this usage and the most thoroughly documented. Palacios Martinez (2011) recently performed a quantitative study into negation in London teenagers’ speech: out of a sample size of 340 nevers, he found that 16.5% were punctual, revealing it to be a robust feature. Earlier, Cheshire (1982) famously examined the phenomenon in the language of teenagers in Reading, a large town in Berkshire; this was followed by a fuller analysis (see Cheshire, 1985) and most particularly the ground-breaking work in Cheshire (1998). Here, the author has highlighted the benefits of punctual never as a negator: it occurs in the highly desirable preverbal position and has emphatic value (1998:30). The success of the punctual never has been so pronounced that scholars have even speculated that at one point, it even could have replaced not as a negator. Cheshire noted the phonological reduction of never to ne’er (e.g. ne’er do wells) in nineteenth-century novels – a typical sign of increasing grammaticalisation – and the accompanying rise of prescriptivism surrounding the simple negator use (1998:30). This leads to a fascinating prediction: “if the process of standardization had not intervened, we could expect the cycle to have continued, with

Negation in Australian English 61 never eventually replacing not as the conventional marker of negation, just as not replaced ne” (1998:31). The Australian English context provides a sharp contrast: recent corpus data finds the punctual never surprisingly uncommon (although the caveats on the representation of speakers of varying socioeconomic status still hold here). Burke (2014:467) analysed never across three corpora (see Section 4.2 for details), and found that only 3.1% of never tokens were clearly of the nonstandard punctual type: considerably smaller than the totals established in parallel British English studies. The bulk of never usage was found to be clearly the universal temporal kind (e.g. I never go to the footy on Fridays), at 82.7%. However, there were a considerable number of tokens that seemed highly ambiguous: it was possible to judge these usages of never as either punctual or referring to multiple occasions (and therefore universal temporal). The punctual never is often conceptualised as a monolithic (and nonstandard) entity. As it turns out, this is an inaccurate picture: scholars such as Lucas and Willis (2012) have convincingly differentiated two distinct usages of the “punctual never”. One is indeed entirely nonstandard, as described by Cheshire (1998), as in uses like I never went to school today. But there is another usage, one that slyly avoids the searchlights of prescriptive attention: Lucas and Willis (2012) have dubbed this the “window of opportunity” never. Or, as I have referred to this usage in previous work, the “contextual” punctual never, as it predominantly relies on contextual factors rather than explicit time adverbials to deduce its punctuality (see Burke, 2014). This “window of opportunity” never successfully evades normative scrutiny by slipping into English through a circumscribed set of predicates, chiefly those that are dynamic, iterable and telic (see Lucas & Willis, 2012:468 for full details). Essentially, the window of opportunity never creates a flimsy pretext that multiple occurrences are negated: on further inspection, this assumption crumbles, and it becomes apparent that only one instance is negated. Classic examples of this usage are he was supposed to pick me up at lunchtime, but he never came (Lucas & Willis, 2012), or I thought there was a class on Monday, but the teacher never showed up. This usage creates a window of time in which the event could have happened (e.g. the teacher arriving to class), but in fact did not. On closer inspection, only one event is negated: in normal circumstances, people do not arrive multiple times for a single appointment. Although Lucas and Willis (2012) appear to be among the first to explicitly single out and reframe the window of opportunity punctual never with special nomenclature and analysis, this is certainly not the first discussion of more acceptable punctual never usages. Cheshire (1998:45) referred to fuzzier and more subtle tokens of the punctual never: “it is not always clear whether [never] is used as a straightforward negative or whether its temporal meaning comes into play”. She also goes on to state that never is more acceptable in “indeterminate” periods of time (1998:33), which in turn I have identified as the locus of reanalysis of the “not on any occasion” never (i.e. universal temporal) to an emphatic simple negator (Burke, 2014). Indeed, Cheshire even cited one of these “indeterminate”


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instances from The Hobbit (he never leaped), demonstrating its use in highly literary contexts (1998:33). Lucas and Willis (2012) charted the historical development of both usages of never and argue that this appears to be one of those occasions where the old assumption proves true: the nonstandard usage is recent, and the standard usage is old (2012:482). The authors examined the Early Modern section of the Helsinki Corpus (1500–1710) and the Corpus of English Correspondence (1418–1680), but found no uses of never that parallel the nonstandard usage in present-day English. Most notably, they found no parallel usages in Dickens novels (d. 1870), although many tokens of never were in the context of nonstandard dialogue – precisely where it would be expected (and indeed where it would be common in the London vernacular in the present day). The earliest examples that the authors found cited in the OED are from novels published in 1896 and 1909: afterwards, it becomes much more popular (2012:476). They concluded that the modern punctual never “had been innovated by the third quarter of the nineteenth century, but it does not appear to have become widespread until slightly later” (2012:476). In short, we could view the punctual never as a respectable literary figure “moonlighting” in more recent years as a nonstandard London tough. Overall, the conservative picture shown by recent Australian English corpus data accords with the historical account presented in Lucas and Willis (2012). If the entirely nonstandard punctual never was an innovative development in British English during the latter part of the nineteenth century, as the authors hold, then this was too late to arrive to Australian shores with the first free settlers during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. This would mean the nonstandard punctual never does not have the same tradition in Australian English: it may result from a parallel spontaneous innovation from the window of opportunity usage, or from the later arrival of nonstandard punctual never users (which would not only include speakers of British English). However, it is clear that the nonstandard punctual never does not share an identical historical development with British English: it does not have the same history, which coheres with its comparative rarity in Australia.

6 Conclusions Overall, Australian English negation could be best characterised as grammatically conservative but lexically adventurous. The replacement of no-negation with notnegation trails behind some of the other major varieties like American English, and recent corpus data reveals surprisingly low frequencies for nonstandard forms of negation like the punctual never, invariant negators such as don’t and multiple negation. This grammatical conservatism may change in the future, given the increasingly multilingual company kept by Australian English, or perhaps even be affected by the collection of large-scale corpus data including a broad range of social class and education level. On the lexical side, Australian English has mostly transformed no-negation from a syntactic resource to a lexical one, as chunks like no worries suggest; this

Negation in Australian English 63 process is further advanced than in New Zealand English (Peters & Funk, 2009). And, of course, taboo negators remain a healthy slice of the Australian vernacular: expressions like give a rat’s are “linguistic expression of cherished ideals such as friendliness, nonchalance, mateship, egalitarianism and anti-authoritarianism” (Musgrave & Burridge, 2014:5). However, gaps persist in our knowledge of the negation system of Australian English: this area has rarely benefited from sustained and systematic research, particularly across multiple variables and groups of speakers. For instance, the degree of social stigmatisation of invariant don’t is still unclear, and there is no large-scale corpus study on the classic nonstandard negator ain’t. There is so much yet to discover about this remarkable area of syntax, and Australian English contains an important piece of the puzzle; as van der Auwera concluded his commentary on the Jespersen cycle: “to get the whole picture, we have to look at the whole world” (2009:66).

References Allan, Keith & Kate Burridge. 2009. Swearing. In Pam Peters, Peter Collins & Adam Smith (eds.), Comparative studies in Australian and New Zealand English: Grammar and beyond, 361–387. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/veaw.g39.20all. Anderwald, Lieselotte. 2002. Negation in non-standard British English. USA, Canada: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780203167502. Beal, Joan. 2004. English in modern times. Great Britain: Hodder Education. doi:10.4324/ 9780203784457. Biber, Douglas, Stig Johansson, Geoffrey Leech, Susan Conrad & Edward Finegan. 1999. Longman grammar of spoken and written English. London/New York: Longman. Burke, Isabelle. 2014. “Giving a rat’s” about negation: The Jespersen cycle in modern Australian English. Australian Journal of Linguistics 34. 443–475. doi:10.1080/07268 602.2014.929085. Cheshire, Jenny. 1982. Variation in an English dialect: A sociolinguistic study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cheshire, Jenny. 1985. “Never” and the problem of where grammars stop. Polyglot 6(fiche 1), A3–18. Cheshire, Jenny. 1991. Variation in the use of ain’t in an Urban British English dialect. In Peter Trudgill & John Chambers (eds.), Dialects of English, 54–73. London/New York: Longman. Cheshire, Jenny. 1998. English negation from an interactional perspective. In Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade, Gunnel Tottie & Wim van der Wurff (eds.), Negation in the history of English, 29–54. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Crystal, David. 2006. Into the twenty-first century. In Lynda Mugglestone (ed.), The Oxford history of English, 394–413. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Eisikovits, Edina. 1989. Girl-talk/boy-talk: Sex differences in adolescent speech. In Peter Collins & David Blair (eds.), Australian English: The language of a new society, 35–54. Queensland: University of Queensland Press. Evans, Nick & Stephen Levinson. 2009. The myth of language universals: Language diversity and its importance for cognitive science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32. 429–448. doi:10.1017/s0140525x0999094x. Fitzmaurice, Susan. 2012. Social factors and language change in eighteenth-century England: the case of multiple negation. Neuphilologische Mitteilungen CXIII 3. 293–321.


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Harris, Alice & Lyle Campbell. 1995. Historical syntax in cross-linguistic perspective. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press. Hoeksema, Jack. 2009. Jespersen recycled. In Elly van Gelderen (ed.), Cyclical change, 15–35. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi:10.1075/la.146.04hoe. Horn, Laurence R. 1989. A natural history of negation. London & Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Jespersen, Otto. 1909–49. A modern English grammar on historical principles. London: Allen & Unwin. Jespersen, Otto. 1917. Negation in English and other languages (2nd edn.). København: Munksgaard. Kortmann, Bernd & Kerstin Lunkenheimer. 2013. The electronic World Atlas of varieties of English. Retrieved from Kortmann, Bernd & Benedikt Szmrecsanyi. 2004. Global synopsis: Morphological and syntactic variation in English. In Bernd Kortmann, Edgar W. Schneider Kate Burridge, Raj Mesthrie & Clive Upton (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English. Vol. 2: Morphology and syntax, 1142–1202. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. doi:10.1515/9783110175325. 2.1142. Lucas, Christopher & David Willis. 2012. Never again: the multiple grammaticalization of never as a marker of negation in English. English Language & Linguistics 16–3, 459–485. doi:10.1017S1360674312000196 Malcolm, Ian. 2018. Australian Aboriginal English: Change and continuity in an adopted language. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. doi:10.1515/9781501503368. Mazzon, Gabriella. 2004. A history of English negation. Harlow: Longman. doi:10.4324/ 9781315838724. Musgrave, Simon & Kate Burridge. 2014. Bastards and buggers: Historical snapshots of Australian English swearing patterns. In Kate Burridge & Reka Benczes (eds.), Wrestling with words and meanings: Essays in honour of Keith Allan, 3–32. Clayton: Monash University Publishing. Nevalainen, Terttu. 2006. Negative concord as an English “Vernacular Universal”. Journal of English Linguistics 34(3), 257–278. doi:10.1177/0075424206293144. Palacios Martinez, Ignacios. 2010. “It ain’t nothing to do with my school.” Variation and pragmatic uses of “ain’t” in the language of British English teenagers. English Studies 91. 548–566. doi:10.1080/0013838x.2010.488841. Palacios Martinez, Ignacios. 2011. The expression of negation in British teenagers’ language: A preliminary study. Journal of English Linguistics 39. 4–35. doi:10.1177/007542421 0366905. Pawley, Andrew. 2008. Australian Vernacular English: Some grammatical characteristics. In Kate Burridge & Bernd Kortmann (eds.), Varieties of English: The Pacific and Australasia, 362–397. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. doi:10.1515/9783110208412.2.362. Payne, John. 1985. Negation. In Timothy Shopen (ed.), Language typology and syntactic description. Vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Peters, Pam. 1995. The Cambridge Australian English Style Guide. Cambridge/Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. Peters, Pam. 2008. The relationship between NO and NOT in regional varieties of English. In Terttu Nevalainen, Irma Taavitsainen, Paivi Pahta & Minna Korhonen (eds.), The dynamics of language variation: Corpus evidence on English past and present, 147– 162. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/silv.2.13pet. Peters, Pam & Yasmin Funk. 2009. No in the lexicogrammar of English. In Pam Peters, Peter Collins & Adam Smith (eds.), Comparative studies in Australian and New Zealand

Negation in Australian English 65 English: Grammar and beyond, 225–243. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/ veaw.g39.13pet. Pullum, Geoffrey & Rodney Huddleston. 2002. Negation. In Rodney Huddleston & Geoffrey Pullum (eds.), The Cambridge grammar of the English Language, 785–849. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781316423530.010. Schwegler, Armin. 1990. Analyticity and syntheticity: A diachronic perspective with special reference to Romance languages. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. doi:10.1515/ 9783110872927. Severin, Alyssa A. 2017. Vigilance or tolerance? Younger speakers’ attitudes to Australian English usage. Australian Journal of Linguistics 37. 156–181. doi:10.1080/07268602. 2017.1239521. Shuy, Roger W. 2012. The language of sexual misconduct cases. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Tieken-Boon van Ostade, Ingrid. 2008. The codifiers and the history of multiple negation in English, or, why were the 18th-century grammarians so obsessed with double negation? Linguistic Insights – Studies in Language and Communication 73. 197–214. Tottie, Gunnel. 1991. Negation in English speech and writing: A study in variation. San Diego: Academic Press. Traugott, Elizabeth Closs. 1992. Syntax. In Richard M. Hogg (ed.), The Cambridge history of the English language. Vol. I: The beginnings to 1066, 168–289. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CHOL9780521264747. van der Auwera, Johan. 2009. The Jespersen cycles. In Elly van Gelderen (ed.), Cyclical change, 35–73. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi:10.1075/ la.146.05auw.


Reimagining discourse-pragmatic features of Australian Englishes Celeste Rodríguez Louro

1 Introduction Discourse-pragmatic features improve cohesion in interaction and contribute to the management of social relations. They signpost discourse structure in spoken and written interaction, allow interactants to know when to take or concede a turn and provide extra information on how utterances should be understood. Discourse-pragmatic features include an assortment of linguistic items ranging from discourse markers/particles (yeah/no, sort of, cos, discourse like) and general extenders (and stuff like that) to utterance-final tags (final but), epistemic/evidential parentheticals (I think) and quotative verbs (say, think, go, ZERO, be like). In psycholinguistics research, they have been reported to correlate with cooperative interlocutors – people who are aware of both conversational flow and the needs of their addressee (Laserna, Seih & Pennebaker, 2014). Discourse-pragmatic features also facilitate robot-human interaction: discourse markers mitigate a potentially commanding tone and make robots and humans seem “more considerate and likeable, and less controlling” (Torrey, Fussell & Kiesler, 2013:275). Importantly, discourse-pragmatic features index sociodemographic information, allowing language users to pinpoint their location in social and geographical space. Discourse analysis is a burgeoning area of linguistic research, and the examination of discourse-pragmatic variables has grown steadily since the 1970s. This upsurge of interest has gone hand in hand with changing perceptions regarding discourse markers more generally. Once thought of as “a form of linguistic detritus unworthy of close attention” (Schourup, 1999:228) or somewhat lacking “the precision and complexity of the central areas of grammar and phonology” (Labov, 2013:5), the field has rapidly expanded to include in-depth analyses of discoursepragmatic features through the lens of various theoretical models (see subsequently). This exciting shift in linguistic inquiry is to some extent still dampened by the field’s over-preoccupation with European languages (cf. Anchimbe & Janney, 2011:1451 on “postcolonial pragmatics”, which they view as “a neglected area of pragmatic study”). Regardless, the results of discourse-pragmatic research now reach well beyond discourse and pragmatics. They are the focus of, among others, acquisition, language pedagogy and sociolinguistic studies (cf. Davydova & Buchstaller, 2015; Diskin, 2017; Pichler, 2010; Sankoff et al., 1997).

Discourse-pragmatic features of AusEs 67 Just as discourse markers themselves belong to a heterogeneous class, so has the terminology used to label the various linguistic items under study. Authors have variously preferred terms such as “discourse markers”, “discourse particles”, “pragmatic marker”, “discourse connective”, “discourse operator” and “cue marker” (Blakemore, 2004:221). In most cases, the divergent labels have been motivated by different theoretical perspectives. For instance, “discourse markers” are sometimes argued to play a structural role, “pragmatic markers” to signal speaker stance and “discourse particles” to include modal meaning (Pichler, 2016a:3). Despite the divergent naming, all these contribute to non-truthconditional sentence meaning and are different to other linguistic expressions in that they signal “the relationship of the basic message to the foregoing discourse” (Fraser, 1996:188). Discourse markers/particles fulfil various roles: they perform textual, expressive or propositional functions. Textually, they organise discourse; expressively, they signal speaker attitude and/or the intentions/relationships of language users; propositionally, they provide information by directing the processing of an utterance (Aijmer, 1988). This chapter uses the term “discourse-pragmatics” to refer to the group of discourse-level, pragmatically salient features that allow interactants to create cohesive and coherent texts as well as to relate to one another meaningfully and successfully. When variability is at the core of the research enterprise and when data are extracted accountably, the research is “variationist” in nature (cf. Tagliamonte, 2006). Variationist analyses of discourse-pragmatic features are valuable because they allow us to understand how a specific item behaves visà-vis a suite of other items in the system as a whole. Importantly, the variable patterns noted for specific discourse-pragmatic variables emerge in the context of linguistic and social constraints, allowing the researcher to explain how a particular discourse-pragmatic feature changes over time and hints at the sociolinguistic mechanisms underlying variation and change more generally (Pichler, 2016a:2). The definition of discourse-pragmatic variables as “linguistic” variables is complex (cf. Pichler, 2010, 2013; Tagliamonte, 2012: Chapter 9), and earlier variationist research examined individual discourse-pragmatic items or constructions (e.g. eh, I mean, you see), zooming in on individual usage frequencies and on how they were socially distributed without concern for their role in the wider variable system. This trend has been hugely popular in Australia, and the majority of the studies reviewed in this chapter are a testament to this trend. These studies have nonetheless laid the foundations for accountable, variationist work into discourse-pragmatic variables (cf. Section 2). In line with Pichler (2016a:3), the expression “discourse-pragmatic features” is used throughout the chapter to refer to linguistic items and constructions which are formally and functionally diverse but unite in their performing textual and/or interpersonal functions in discourse. This is because the seemingly disparate functions of structuring discourse, marking speaker stance and encoding modality encapsulated in the terms “discourse marker”, “discourse particle” and “pragmatic marker”, as discussed earlier, are often all attested at once (cf. Kärkkäinen, 2003 on I think; Rodríguez Louro & Harris, 2013 on several epistemic/evidential parentheticals). The expression


Celeste Rodríguez Louro

“discourse-pragmatic variation and change” is reserved for variationist analyses of discourse-pragmatics phenomena. Despite the changes that linguistics has experienced in the last few decades, the field remains conspicuously silent about how discourse-pragmatic features operate across varieties of English (cf. Kiesling, 2006:78). For the most part, discourse-pragmatics has not been afforded the same systematic attention paid to phonology and morpho-syntax. To exemplify, Mouton de Gruyter’s Handbook of Varieties of English (Kortmann et al., 2004) provides an in-depth account of phonological and morpho-syntactic features across World Englishes, but no portion of the work is specifically dedicated to discourse-pragmatics. This contribution reviews the latest research on discourse-pragmatics in the Englishes spoken in Australia. The purpose of this contribution is to focus on discourse-pragmatic research in Australian Englishes rather than to examine discourse analysis per se. Because of this, conceptual discussion is beyond its scope (but see, for example, Blakemore, 1987; Fraser, 1990; Schiffrin, 1987; Schourup, 1999). This chapter is organised as follows. Section 2 engages with discourse-pragmatic research in the Englishes spoken in Australia, reviewing the literature on discourse markers/particles yeah-no, sort of, cos and discourse like as well as general extenders, final but, epistemic/evidential parentheticals and discourse quotatives. Section 3 focuses on the future of discourse-pragmatics in Australia, identifying three areas in need of special attention as the field continues to expand. The chapter concludes in Section 4, with a call to action to broaden the field and include the Englishes spoken by minority communities in Australia.

2 Discourse-pragmatics down under English in Australia has received dedicated attention, with in-depth descriptions of the variety’s phonology, morphology, syntax and – to a lesser degree – discoursepragmatics recently compiled in edited volumes (Blair & Collins, 2001; Collins, Peters & Smith, 2009; Peters, Collins & Smith, 2009; see also Chapter 1 in this volume) and special issues (e.g. Rodríguez Louro, 2014). This chapter is intended as a review of discourse-pragmatic research on the Englishes used in Australia. The various studies reviewed here differ substantially in the theoretical models employed, their research design, their degree of replicability and the breadth of their findings. The reviewed literature also stems from work by scholars at various stages in their academic training, ranging from Honours and PhD theses and conference presentations/proceedings to book chapters and journal articles. Table 5.1 offers a list of the reviewed materials, including authors’ surnames, year of publication and the name of discourse-pragmatic feature under analysis. Listing is organised by feature: (1) discourse markers/particles, (2) general extenders, (3) final but, (4) epistemic/evidential parentheticals and (5) discourse quotatives. These are explored in the ensuing sections. Research into discourse-pragmatic features in the Englishes spoken in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States has been expansive. Drawing on a wealth of discourse-pragmatic features, the research has been published in

Discourse-pragmatic features of AusEs 69 Table 5.1 Summary of discourse-pragmatic studies reviewed in this chapter Author and year of publication

Discourse-pragmatic feature

Burridge and Florey (2002) Moore (2007) Mulder, Penry Williams and Moore (2019) Burridge (2014) Sharifian and Malcolm (2003) Miller (2009) Korhonen and Penry Williams (2018) Dines (1980) Norrby and Winter (2001) Winter and Norrby (2000) Penry Williams (2011) Barnes et al. (2016) Travis, González & Grama (2017) Mulder and Thompson (2008) Mulder, Thompson and Penry Williams (2009) Mullan (2010) Rodríguez Louro and Harris (2013) Rodríguez Louro (2015) Winter (2002) Rodríguez Louro (2013, 2016) Tagliamonte, D’Arcy and Rodríguez Louro (2016)

Yeah-no Sort of Cos Discourse like

General extenders

Final but Epistemic/evidential parentheticals

Discourse quotatives

book-length projects beginning well over 30 years ago (e.g. Schiffrin, 1987), as well as more recently in high-impact journals and book monographs with wellestablished printing presses and Twitter #hashtags (#800yearsoflike, D’Arcy, 2018). This work has also been carried out in comparative perspective: (1) with a research design inclusive of varying time depths (D’Arcy, 2015; Tagliamonte, 2018) and (2) based on cross-cultural and cross-linguistic differences in how discourse-pragmatic features operate in naturalistic interaction (e.g. Pichler, 2016b; Tannen, 1986). The Englishes spoken in Australia have, by comparison, received considerably less focused attention. The available discourse-pragmatic research has either been exploratory (in the form of Honours/PhD theses) or, with the exception of Dines (1980), has been published in peer-reviewed journals since as recently as the early 2000s (see Table 5.1). The field is evincing considerable growth, however, as discourse-pragmatic features not only have a bearing on interaction and cohesion and the management of social relations but are also key to what makes Australian Englishes unique. 2.1 Discourse markers/particles Yeah-no Burridge and Florey (2002) offer a “preliminary” analysis of the discoursepragmatic functions of yeah-no (as well as the variants yeah-nah, yeah yeah,


Celeste Rodríguez Louro

yep-no, yep-no, yes-no), as exemplified in (1) and (2). Note that these examples, as well as most others in this chapter, stem from the UWA Corpus of English in Australia (Rodríguez Louro, 2011–2018).1 (1) Um . . . yeah no he was just waiting in line. (Male, 21, b. 1993) (2) Yeah nah maybe Sunday we can do something. (Female, 20, b. 1995) Based on two corpora of Australian English: (1) a spoken corpus created for the purposes of their study and collected in the central coastal region of New South Wales, Newcastle and Sydney and (2) television interview data, Burridge and Florey’s (2002) corpus included recordings of naturalistic interaction with 27 women and 20 males aged 18–50+. Burridge and Florey (2002) also studied four TV programs featuring 17 interviews with 10 female and 15 male speakers, all born in Australia. Yeah-no is an infrequently occurring feature of speech, with a mere 26 tokens attested in 16 hours of spoken and television data and only used by 15 (of 72) speakers in their corpus. Regardless, because of its value as a hedge of disagreement, disapproval or criticism, yeah-no powerfully encapsulates the Anglo-Celtic Australian value of “agreeing to disagree” (Wierzbicka, 1994). Burridge and Florey (2002:168) argue that yeah-no is both “cohesive and attitudinal in meaning” and they trace the development of the form to the propositional items yeah and no used separately as interjections devoid of expressive meaning but adding cohesion at discourse and interpersonal levels. They also argue that yeah-no is a newcomer in Australia, appearing in conversation from about 1997 onwards and peaking in the language of speakers aged 35–49 at the time of data collection, with no gender effects apparent. Moore (2007), by comparison, finds a gender effect in place on 76 yeah-no tokens produced by 46 participants aged 18–56 and mined from radio and television programs as well as from the International Corpus of English – Australia (ICE-AUS) and the Monash Corpus of Spoken English (Bradshaw, Burridge & Clyne, 1998). Moore (2007:52) argues that “the representative yeah-no user is male and aged in their twenties or thirties”. This finding is, however, downplayed (as it should be) given the markedly uneven gender distribution in Moore’s sample: 7 females and 39 males, and the fact that many of the publicly available media in her sample stemmed from sports programs, which are notoriously hosted by and targeted at males. Sort of Mulder, Penry Williams and Moore (2019) examine the use of sort of as a “pragmatic marker”. The authors view the dearth of research into sort of as particularly striking since, comparatively, sort of is used “more than three times more often” in Anglo-Celtic Australian English than in other varieties such as UK or US English (Zhang, 2015). Its ubiquity is apparent in (3).

Discourse-pragmatic features of AusEs 71 (3) She’ll, sort of, sit beside me very quietly . . . but then, after a little while she’ll start to paw at me [. . .] sort of force her way into my lap and it makes me feel quite bad when I sort of have to pick her up and put her off. (Female, 28, b. 1988) Based on a qualitative analysis of a 589,000-word corpus of transcriptions of the ABC program Q&A produced by 40 females and 35 males and on the basis of 171 tokens of sort of, Mulder, Penry Williams and Moore (2019) argue that sort of is highly multifunctional. Amongst these functions were, using Zhang’s (2015) “elastic language” terminology and literature on vague language: (1) “justright elastic” (Grice-inspired and used to provide only as much information as required), (2) “rapport elastic” (to create solidarity), (3) “mitigating elastic” (to soften a claim and save face), (4) “intensifying elastic” (to strengthen a claim) and (5) “self-protection elastic” (to express an uncommitted attitude to a claim and/or protect one’s own face). Mulder, Penry Williams and Moore (2019) offer a wider array of options within Zhang’s (2015) original six functions. Specifically, the functions of “mitigating elastic” and “self-protective elastic” include other subtypes such as, respectively, marking lexical imprecision and figurative language. Cos Burridge (2014) provides a qualitative analysis of causal marker cos, exemplified in (4). (4) You know the poms always laugh at us and go on about us but they get banned in Germany hey, get banned in France cos they just don’t know how to behave. (Male, 70, b. 1945) Based on the Australian National Corpus (AusNC;, her synchronic analysis stems from conversational data extracted from three sub-corpora: the Griffith Corpus, the Monash Corpus of Spoken English and the Australian Talkback Radio Corpus. The naturally occurring conversations recorded in the corpus feature 160 causal clauses, which Burridge (2014) explores for grammatical and interactional functions. Burridge interrogates whether because > cos, a widely suggested cline where causal because/cos is arguably moving from prototypical subordinator to discourse marker (with semantic bleaching of because and phonological reduction to [kəz]), should be viewed as a paradigmatic case of grammaticalisation or whether the use of cos was also attested in the past. Burridge’s (2014) focus on diachrony is rather unique in the field of discoursepragmatics in Australia (but see Rodríguez Louro, 2015, 2016, discussed further subsequently). Drawing on the Corpus of Oz Early English (COOEE), Burridge (2014) finds evidence against the claim that cos is a change in progress. Instead, she argues that similar uses have been around since as early as Old English.


Celeste Rodríguez Louro

Discourse like Like is eminently multifunctional and has been the focus of much recent scholarly attention. Consistently associated with younger women (Dailey-O’Cain, 2000), the grammar of discourse like is highly constrained, and it has been used in English for as long as 800 years, “since at least the Early Middle period” (D’Arcy, 2018:2). Like as discourse marker (textual level) and like as particle (interpersonal level) (D’Arcy, 2018) are illustrated in examples (5) and (6) from the UWA State Library of Western Australia’s Oral History corpus.2 (5) Like 1911 was very bad, they had everything away from here, everything was dry here in 1911. (Female, 76, b. 1902) (6) Commonage in those days meant commonage and animals like, had a right of way, sort of thing. (Male, 69, b. 1902) Discourse like in the Englishes spoken in Australia remains relatively understudied. Recent research has, however, begun to address its use in naturally occurring interaction in both Australian Aboriginal and Anglo-Celtic Australian English. Sharifian and Malcolm (2003) offer a qualitative analysis of the use of discourse (and quotative) like in a corpus of 40 texts by West Australian Aboriginal English speakers aged 7–18. The authors remain silent as to how many texts were contributed by each of the speakers and about the social demographics of the sample, so the findings must be taken with care. Sharifian and Malcolm (2003) claim, however, that like is used by Aboriginal English-speaking youth to (a) “reveal a discrepancy between their intended conceptualization and selected expression”, (b) encode attitudinal information regarding a lexeme and (c) mark a shift in discourse (2003:341). Miller (2009) offers a qualitative study of discourse like drawing on the ICEAUS and the Australian Radio Talkback Corpus (as well as the New Zealand equivalent, not the focus here). Miller finds like to be the fourth most widely used discourse marker in the Australian corpus (after well, you know and so) and most robustly attested in the “private dialogue” portion of the collection (with a raw and normalised frequency of 34.1 per 10,000 words). He also finds that it is used by males and females of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. Drawing on original data collected in Blayney (New South Wales) and Melbourne and comprising 60 hours of recorded interview data amounting to over 430,000 words, Korhonen and Penry Williams (2018) analyse 3,050 tokens of discourse like produced by 49 females and 38 males aged 14–80. Their descriptive statistics indicate that, while utterance-final like is near negligible (0.8%), utterance-initial discourse marker like (example 5) is the most frequent (64.6%), and the utterance-medial discourse particle (example 6) features at 34.6%. They also find that speakers aged 14–30 are its most avid users. No overarching gender effects are noted, but Korhonen and Penry Williams (2018) mention that young

Discourse-pragmatic features of AusEs 73 males favour discourse like, in line with existing research on discourse like (e.g. Andersen, 1997; D’Arcy, 2007) and, notably, on a par with quotative be like in Anglo-Celtic Australian English (Rodríguez Louro, 2013:66–67; see Section 2.5). The authors conclude that utterance-initial discourse marker like is increasing in apparent time. 2.2 General extenders Pragmatically, general extenders (utterance-final tags such as and things like that and and stuff, cf. examples 7 and 8) allow speakers to converse on the basis of a prototypical illustration. Their set-marking function is worthwhile: it allows access to categories for which no lexical material is immediately available (Overstreet, 1999:38). (7) But, ah, yes, they’d go there and we’d do country dancing and things like that. (Female, 92, b. 1923) (8) My dad was born in England and he moved over when he was about twelve and he got a large amount of racism from his teachers and stuff. (Male, 26, b. 1989) In a paper that helped cement the applicability of variationism to the study of linguistic variables beyond phonology, Dines (1980) focuses on general extenders, which she labels “set-marking tags”, of the form AND/OR [PRO-FORM] (LIKE THAT) (e.g. and things like that). Drawing on interviews with 18 Melbournebased females from working- and middle-class backgrounds, Dines shows that working-class women are more likely than middle-class women to use general extenders (N = 58 versus N = 18), a finding also noted by Brotherton (1976). In considering general extenders, Dines (1980:22) argues that “the presence of a clause-terminal tag [i.e. a general extender] indicates that an underlying general notion has been realised by a specific example”. Norrby and Winter (2001) and Winter and Norrby (2000) also study general extenders in Melbourne English. Using the Monash Corpus of Spoken English, which includes interviews with speakers of Anglo-Celtic Australian English aged 15–16, they argue that general extenders are preferred to encode group belonging and affiliation. The three most numerous general extenders noted are or something, and stuff and and that, accounting for 40% of all general extender tokens in their corpus. Penry Williams (2011) analyses 727 general extenders in the speech of seven male and eight female Melbourne-born speakers aged 20–25. The data, obtained during face-to-face interviews, are rife with general extenders and Penry Williams (2011) decides against excluding low-frequency tokens. These inclusions evince a rich general extender inventory including forms such as blah blah blah blah blah and da di da dah. Phrases such as and gross disgusting stuff like that with specific lexical items are also considered, as Penry Williams (2011:307) correctly claims that these “functioned similarly to those with only generic forms”. Penry Williams’s (2011) or something and and stuff usage frequencies of 16.5% and


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11.5% are in line with those noted by Winter and Norrby (2000), who reported proportions of, respectively, 17.5% and 14.2%. Barnes et al. (2016) draw on 12 face-to-face sociolinguistic interviews with Melbourne-based males and females. They list the 10 most frequently used general extenders in Melbourne English and – because the bulk of the research into general extenders happens to have been carried out in Melbourne – they are graced with a time depth of 40 years. They show that the use of (and) stuff (like that) has seen a significant rise since Dines’s (1980) study (2.6%) through to Winter and Norrby’s (2000) (14.2%), Penry Williams’s (2011) (16.5%), and their own (17.8%). Conversely, once the most widely used general extender in Melbourne (36.8%; Dines, 1980), and things (like that) has plummeted to a mere 8.3% in Barnes et al.’s (2016) corpus. This “rise of stuff and fall of things” is in line with findings for Toronto English (Tagliamonte & Denis, 2010). The Melbourne (or at least Anglo-Celtic Australian) general extender system is undergoing change, and the authors contend the areas of politeness, opacity and intersubjectivity must be considered to obtain a full picture of discourse-pragmatic variation in this domain. Travis, González and Grama (2017) chart the evolution of the system of general extenders in real and apparent time in Sydney English. Drawing on the Sydney Speaks corpus (Travis, 2016–2021) and based on the speech of individuals born in the 1970s and the 2010s, they document the “rise of stuff and fall of things” also noted in Melbourne and Toronto English (see previously). They also address the social conditioning of general extenders and claim that and things is a middleclass feature while and that is common in the speech of working-class speakers “in Australia”. 2.3 Final but Drawing on a wealth of contemporary US- and Australia-based corpus data, including the ICE-AUS and the Monash Corpus of Spoken English, Mulder and Thompson (2008) argue that intonation unit-initial conjunction but is grammaticalising into an intonation unit-final discourse particle in Anglo-Celtic Australian English, as shown in (9) and (10). (9) I think, like, Kuala Lumpur’s like Singapore, where it’s like, if you wanna go shopping it’s really good, but if you wanna like see the country then you can’t stay in that city. (Female, 23, b. 1989) (10) But if you ever go there, it’s good like, (0.4) you don’t stay there for too long but (0.4) (Mulder, Thompson & Penry Williams, 2009:346).3 This development in Anglo-Celtic Australian English is suggestive of grammaticalisation and its pathway is conspicuously parallel to the evolution of though (Couper-Kuhlen & Thompson, 2000). Mulder, Thompson and Penry Williams (2009) expand on this work by considering 12 tokens of “final but” in the ICEAUS, the Monash Corpus of Spoken English, the Australian Talk Back Radio corpus and an additional 15 tokens obtained from “a variety of Australian film

Discourse-pragmatic features of AusEs 75 and television productions” (2009:343). The main distinction between US and Anglo-Celtic Australian English is that, they argue, whereas in the former, hearers interpret the utterance ending in but as finishing but with an implication “left hanging”, their Australian data show that “final but” is a “turn-yielding particle that marks contrastive content in the utterance it closes” (2009:357). The authors also argue that “final but” is emblematic of (Anglo-Celtic) Australian English and that it can be used to index “Australianness”. 2.4 Epistemic/evidential parentheticals: I think Based on her original corpus of informal, face-to-face conversations – housed within the La Trobe Corpus of English (Australian National Corpus) – Mullan (2010) examines the expression of opinion in French and Anglo-Celtic Australian English. The Australian portion of the study focuses on I think (example 11) which, she claims, is grammaticalising into a discourse marker, (example 12; see further subsequently). Mullan also argues that, in Anglo-Australian English, I think performs an “organizational” function, allowing conversationalists to delimit discourse boundaries such as topic initiation as well as to encode a different perspective from that of the prior speaker or turn. (11) Yeah. I think it depends on your socio-economic group, like um I know Australians of a certain lower socio-economic group and they’re very proud of the way they say ‘dance’. (Male, 25, b. 1986). (12) That’s enough I think. (Male, 58, 1953). Rodríguez Louro and Harris’s (2013) quantitative modelling of 1,992 tokens including the parentheticals I think, I believe, I guess, I suppose and I reckon reveals that, on par with other Englishes (e.g. Kaltenböck, 2013; Van Bogaert, 2010), I think stands as the most widely used parenthetical, accounting for 72% of the data. Drawing on State Library of Western Australia oral histories (see Section 2.1), and featuring 20 male and 19 female speakers of Anglo-Celtic Australian English born between 1874 and 1983, Rodríguez Louro (2015) poses questions about the longitudinal development of epistemic/evidential parentheticals. Her analysis reveals that it is not until the late 20th century that parenthetical I think emerges as a grammatically entrenched variable with pragmatic functions involving the expression of opinion and the mitigation of negative judgment. Moreover, Rodríguez Louro (2015:216) claims that I think’s “organisational function” (cf. Mullan, 2010) did not become established as a vehicle for the expression of one’s opinions or doubt until the late 20th century. 2.5 Discourse quotatives Discourse quotatives, including speech, thought and mimesis-introducers such as be like (example 13) have received ample attention in the peer-reviewed literature on World Englishes.


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(13) And I thought he was gonna complain about me because I’d been quite blunt and then he was like, “Oh thank you very much, what was your name?” [. . .] and I was like, “Oh crap, he’s asked for my name ‘cause he’s gonna complain about me”. (Female, 21, b. 1995) For Australia, Winter (2002) investigates discourse quotatives in the speech of Melbourne-based teenagers who were 15 and 16 in the late 1990s when her data were collected. Based on 30 sociolinguistic interviews extracted from the Monash Spoken English Corpus, she finds that be like was infrequent (8%; N = 18), occurring most readily with third-person subjects and with the historical present. Winter (2002:20) views be like’s preference for the third person as indicative of “a very different introduction pattern [. . .] from that documented for North American, Canadian and British English” but she is careful to point out that her data may not evince spontaneous adolescent talk: the interviews were conducted by older speakers. Contrary to Winter’s (2002) findings, and adopting a variationist approach whereby the entire variable grammar within a well-defined envelope of variation is analysed, Rodríguez Louro (2013) documents a massive rise in be like usage: with the form now representing 65% of all the quotatives. Rodríguez Louro (2013) draws on talk-in-interaction data collected in 2011 and obtained from the UWA Corpus of English in Australia and on logistic regression techniques. She finds that, once a minor contender, be like has forcefully encroached on the quotative system of Australian youth, displacing other popular quotative verbs such as say and go. Importantly, Rodríguez Louro (2013) argues that the overwhelming encroachment of be like in the quotative system of Anglo-Celtic Australian English is not an isolated development but is on a par with other English varieties. This claim is strongly substantiated in Tagliamonte D’Arcy and Rodríguez Louro (2016) who – based on four corpora reflecting the vernacular of more than 8.5 million speakers and spanning 16,235 kilometres – find that, despite vast geographical distance, mainstream Canadian, New Zealand and Australian English feature the same probabilistic constraints on be like. That is, be like is significantly favoured with firstperson subjects, in its encoding of internal thought and with the historical present. They also show that be like was first attested in the speech of speakers born in the 1960s across varieties, adding that be like itself did not cause changes in the system but that it slotted into an emergent area where the reporting of first-person inner states and monologues in narrative was on the rise. This finding is also empirically corroborated in Rodríguez Louro (2016), who analyses the speech of 44 speakers born between 1870 and 1980 and argues that quotative say – once the canonical introducer of direct speech by third parties – is progressively being replaced by a rich system including ZERO (example 14), think, go and be like. (14) So you’re thinking positive and the next thing you know, they find out you’ve got a record or something. ZERO , “Tough luck Charlie. You don’t get the job”. (Rodríguez Louro, 2016:139)

Discourse-pragmatic features of AusEs 77 Crucially, Rodríguez Louro (2016) shows that nonprofessional males born in the early 20th century contribute to variability in the Anglo-Celtic Australian quotative system through their use of the ZERO variant. Rodríguez Louro (2016) emphasises the role of nonprofessional males in the evolution of mainstream Australian English, citing Kiesling’s (2004:422) observation that the language of the working-class male population of early colonial Australia was a source of covert prestige and thus a driver of linguistic change.

3 The future of discourse-pragmatics in Australia The research reviewed in the previous sections has laid a strong foundation for the field of discourse-pragmatics in Australia, advancing the study of discourse and its implications for language change, including grammaticalisation, lexicalisation and related processes. Space limitations preclude an in-depth analysis of discourse and language change. Instead, here I focus on three emerging areas as we head into the future of Australian discourse-pragmatics: systematicity, sampling and inclusion. First, the latest discourse-pragmatic research shows that the nature of discoursepragmatic variation and change does not only revolve around how often a discourse-pragmatic feature is used but rather on how it is used (Pichler, 2016a:17). As explained in Section 1, discourse-pragmatic variation and change studies have successfully contributed theoretical explanations about the mechanisms underlying language change. The study of the entire system in which a discoursepragmatic feature occurs allows for a nuanced understanding of shifts in social and linguistic conditioning (sometimes as time elapses) but also, and crucially, of how these shifts influence the rise and fall of other related discourse-pragmatic features. Future studies will benefit from considering the variable system in their analysis of discourse-pragmatic features. Second, discourse-pragmatics is particularly fluid as speakers seek coherent and expressive communication. Speaker demographics are keenly important and sampling must be done with care. We must now properly account for speaker agency, for inclusive gender identification, for diversity. Samples extracted from TV and radio media are particularly problematic, as a speaker’s appearance or voice quality are taken as proxies for the researcher’s categorisation. Additionally, discourse-pragmatics in the speech of Australian children (in line with Stephen Levey’s (2016) work based on the Ottawa Child Language Corpus) is also in need of closer attention. How do children deploy discourse-pragmatic features, and what does that tell us about language change more generally? Another concern arising from some of the reviewed research is the lack of explicit attention to where the data were collected. Can urban and rural speakers be considered as belonging in the same speech community? What is the role of Butler’s (2001:157) claim that “there is indeed a marked distinction between the language of the city and the language of the bush that dates back to the internationalisation of the Australian economy”? An erstwhile relatively corpus-oriented field, Australian discourse-pragmatics is hard at work in the creation of locally meaningful


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collections which are (sometimes) also longitudinally rich (cf. Rodríguez Louro, 2011–2018; Travis, 2016–2021; Walker & Penry Williams, 2018). Because of its youth, and given the wealth of first-rate research carried out in other areas of the world, Australian discourse-pragmatics is well placed to design methodologically sound studies, to replicate, to challenge, to refine. Last, the field must broaden substantially to include studies on the Englishes spoken by minority communities in Australia. Luckily, we are on track. Travis and colleagues are tracing the longitudinal development of multiethnic Sydney English, drawing on Horvath’s (1985) and Travis’s (2016–2021) corpora in the context of the ARC-funded Sydney Speaks project. Walker et al. (2018) propose to examine Melbourne Englishes in comparative perspective, drawing on speakers of Anglo-Celtic, Chinese, Greek, Italian and South Sudanese ethnic backgrounds. Rodríguez Louro’s ARC-funded DECRA (2018–2021) is examining discoursepragmatic variation and change in Australian Aboriginal English as spoken in urbanised Nyungar country (metropolitan Perth).

4 Conclusion Although the international field of discourse-pragmatics has made striking progress in the last couple of decades and has seen promising advances in Australia, remnants of formalist-inspired criticism linger. For instance, for Macaulay (2002:285), discourse-pragmatics “refers to the messy bits that most other [linguists] stay clear of”. Discourse-pragmatics also runs the risk of being viewed as something language users can easily do without.4 But language is teeming with tools to make it possible to cooperate and express solidarity, to organise one’s accounts to render communication as efficient and expressive as is expected within a relevant culture. Kiesling (2006:78) has argued that “we should not divorce the linguistic system classically defined from norms for speech activities and acts, which are after all as normative and non-explicitly learned as grammar”. Indeed, those norms and acts allow us to interact as fluent and mature members of a speech community, or several. As such, we are now called to continue to expand the field to include not just those who have access to the mainstream slice of what the field has labelled “Australian English”. The time is ripe to also open it up to minority English varieties down under: to diasporic Englishes, to the Englishes spoken by Indigenous Australians who can no longer use traditional language because, in the vast majority of cases, it is too late.

Acknowledgements The writing of this chapter was supported by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), DE170100493. I am grateful to Cara Penry Williams, Catherine Travis, James Walker, Ian Malcolm, Alex D’Arcy and Sali Tagliamonte for their patience replying to my various emails and for sending through their latest work. I am also indebted to the editors, Louisa Willoughby and Howie Manns, for their generosity and wise advice. I also

Discourse-pragmatic features of AusEs 79 wish to thank an anonymous reviewer for their useful feedback. Any errors are purely my own.

Notes 1 Unless otherwise stated, all examples stem from the UWA Corpus of English in Australia (Rodríguez Louro, 2011–2018). Collected between 2011 and 2018, this corpus contains in excess of 400 recordings from Perth-born speakers. The materials contain over 550 hours of casual speech from speakers born between 1922 and 2002. All data were collected in the Australian city of Perth by an interviewer asking questions about the interviewees’ lives, including danger of death scenarios as well as childhood experiences and reminiscences. 2 Collected between 1963 and 2007, the UWA State Library of Western Australia Oral History Corpus contains oral histories by 67 West Australians (34 men and 33 women) born between 1874 and 1983. These materials stem from the State Library of Western Australia’s Oral History Collection. Further details are available on au/find/wa_collections/oral_history and in Rodríguez Louro (2016:142–143) 3 Mulder, Thompson and Penry Williams (2009:343) clarify that they “listened repeatedly to each [example], and selected those whose prosody and conversational context made it clear that they were functioning as Final Particle buts”. This, they explain, led to the exclusion of overlapping talk. 4 For example, Overstreet and Yule (1997:251) argue that general extenders “extend what is already grammatically complete”.

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Pichler, Heike. 2010. Methods in discourse variation analysis: Reflections on the way forward. Journal of Sociolinguistics 14(5). 581–608. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9841.2010.00455.x. Pichler, Heike. 2013. The structure of discourse-pragmatic variation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/silv.13. Pichler, Heike. 2016a. Introduction: Discourse-pragmatic variation and change. In H. Pichler (ed.), Discourse-pragmatic variation and change in English: New methods and insights. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1–18. doi:10.1017/CBO9781107295476.001. Pichler, Heike. 2016b. Uncovering discourse-pragmatic innovations: Innit in multicultural London English. In H. Pichler (ed.), Discourse-pragmatic variation and change in English: New methods and insights, 58–81. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781107295476. Rodríguez Louro, Celeste. 2011–2018. UWA Corpus of English in Australia. Discipline of Linguistics. University of Western Australia. Rodríguez Louro, Celeste. 2013. Quotatives Down Under: Be like in cross-generational Australian English speech. English World-Wide 34. 48–76. doi:10.1075/eww.34.1.03rod. Rodríguez Louro, Celeste (ed.). 2014. English in Australia: Variation and change in diverse speech communities. Australian Journal of Linguistics 34(4). doi:10.1080/07268602.2 014.929077. Rodríguez Louro, Celeste. 2015. The evolution of epistemic marking in West Australian English. In P. Collins (ed.), Grammatical change in English world-wide, 205–220. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/scl.67.09rod. Rodríguez Louro, Celeste. 2016. Quotatives across time: West Australian English then and now. In H. Pichler (ed.), Discourse-pragmatic variation and change in English: New methods and insights, 139–159. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/ CBO9781107295476.007. Rodríguez Louro, Celeste. 2018–2021. Aboriginal English in the global city: Minorities and language change. DE170100493. Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, Australian Research Council. Rodríguez Louro, Celeste & Thomas Harris. 2013. Evolution with an attitude: The grammaticalisation of epistemic/evidential verbs in Australian English. English Language and Linguistics 17. 415–443. doi:10.1017/S1360674313000105. Sankoff, Gillian, Pierrette Thibault, Naomi Nagy, Hélène Blondeau, Marie-Odile Fonollosa & Lucie Gagnon. 1997. Variation in the use of discourse markers in a language contact situation. Language Variation and Change 9. 191–217. doi:10.1017/S0954394500001873. Schiffrin, Deborah. 1987. Discourse markers. Cambrige: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511611841. Schourup, Lawrence. 1999. Discourse markers. Lingua 107. 227–265. doi:10.1016/S00243841(96)90026-1. Sharifian, Farzad & Ian Malcolm. 2003. The pragmatic marker like in English teen talk: Australian Aboriginal usage. Pragmatics and Cognition 11. 327–344. doi:10.1075/pc.11. 2.07sha. Tagliamonte, Sali. 2006. Analysing sociolinguistic variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511801624. Tagliamonte, Sali. 2012. Variationist sociolinguistics: Change, observation, interpretation. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell. Tagliamonte, Sali. 2018. Near done; awful stable; really changing: The suffixless adverb in dialects of the UK. Diachronica 35. 107–143. doi:10.1075/dia.16027.tag. Tagliamonte, Sali, Alexandra D’Arcy & Celeste Rodríguez Louro. 2016. Outliers, impact and rationalization in linguistic change. Language 92. 824–849. doi:10.1353/lan.2016.0074.

Discourse-pragmatic features of AusEs 83 Tagliamonte, Sali & Derek Denis. 2010. The stuff of change: General extenders in Toronto, Canada. Journal of English Linguistics 38. 335–368. doi:10.1177/0075424210367484. Tannen, Deborah. 1986. Introducing constructed dialogue in Greek and American conversational and literary narrative. In F. Coulmas (ed.), Direct and indirect speech, 311–332. Berlin/New York/Amsterdam: Mouton de Gruyter. Torrey, Cristen, Susan R. Fussell & Sara Kiesler. 2013. How a robot should give advice. Proceedings of the 2013 8th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), 275–282. doi:10.1109/HRI.2013.6483599. Travis, Catherine. 2016–2021. Sydney Speaks. Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, Australian National University. Retrieved from Travis, Catherine, Simón González & James Grama. 2017. General extenders over time in Sydney English: From or something to and stuff. (Paper presented at the Australian Linguistic Society Conference, Sydney, 5–7 December 2017). Van Bogaert, Julie. 2010. A constructional taxonomy of I think and related expressions: Accounting for the variability of complement-taking mental predicates. English Language and Linguistics 14. 399–427. doi:10.1017/S1360674310000134. Walker, James, John Hajek, Debbie Loakes, Chloé Diskin & Gerry Docherty. 2018. The sociolinguistics of urban multilingualism: Toronto and Melbourne. (Paper presented at the Australian Linguistic Society Conference, Adelaide, 10–12, December 2018). Walker, James & Cara Penry Williams. 2018. Melbourne English: A new corpus. (Paper presented at the Forum on Englishes in Australia, Melbourne, 2 November 2018). Wierzbicka, Anna. 1994. “Cultural scripts”: A new approach to the study of cross-cultural communication. In M. Pütz (ed.), Language contact and language conflict, 69–87. Amsterdam: John Banjamins. doi:10.1075/z.71.04wei. Winter, Joanne. 2002. Discourse quotatives in Australian English: Adolescents performing voices. Australian Journal of Linguistics 22. 5–21. doi:10.1080/07268600120122535. Winter, Joanne & Catrin Norrby. 2000. Set marking tags – “and stuff”. In J. Henderson (ed.), Proceedings of the 1999 Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society. Retrieved from Zhang, Grace Qiao. 2015. Elastic language: How and why we stretch our words. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781139236218.


The lexicon of Australian English1 Howard Manns

1 Introduction Other than accent, lexicon is the most distinctive feature of world English varieties (Barber, 2000). When English is “transported” to new lands (see Ramson, 1970a), English speakers require words to refer to the new flora and fauna they encounter. They also need words for new products, activities, national attitudes and experiences (Baugh & Cable, 1993; Delbridge, 2001; Kirkpatrick, 2007). In what has been called the first “scholarly dictionary” of Australian English (see Laugeson, 2014:54), E.E. Morris (1898:xii) wrote: there never was an instance in history when so many new names were needed, and that there never will be such an occasion again, for never did settlers come, nor can they ever again come, upon Flora and Fauna so completely different from anything seen by them before. Settlers to the Australian continent framed their new environment and experiences by either borrowing words from Indigenous Australian languages, developing new meanings for existing words or creating new words (Butler, 2001a; Peters, 2014). Australians of subsequent generations borrowed, changed and coined new words as new migrants arrived and new experiences unfolded. The outcome of these historical and lexical processes forms part of the collective consciousness of Australians (Butler, 2001b). Many Australians have worried in recent decades that their lexicon is being eroded through media, globalisation and the encroachment of American English (e.g. Butler, 2001b; Sussex, 1989; Taylor, 1989). However, lexicographers and linguists have sought to reassure the Australian public their lexicon is changing, but it is not dying (e.g. Burridge & Manns, 2018; Butler, 2001b; Moore, 2019). This chapter joins prior works in viewing the Australian lexicon as a useful entry point for understanding Australian beliefs, attitudes and identity (e.g. Butler, 2001b; Collins & Blair, 2001; Moore, 2008; Seal, 1999; Wierzbicka, 1986).2 Overall, the Australian lexicon more closely resembles that of British rather than American English (Jenkins, 2009; Trudgill & Hannah, 2002). However, the Australian lexicon has many idiosyncrasies, which have fascinated Australians and non-Australians alike. Butler (2001b:160–161) writes:

The lexicon of Australian English 85 Australians pitch the border between formal and informal language at a point that seems relaxed and colloquial to the rest of the world. And the national style still has some of that traditional black humour and laconic understatement that typified the humour of the bush. An investigation of Australian words reveals positive and negative aspects of Australian history and society. On the one hand, words like mateship, battler and a fair go invoke positive Australian ideals like egalitarianism and hard work (Collins & Blair, 2001; Moore, 2010). On the other, words like pom (‘person of British descent’), wog (‘person of Mediterranean descent’), chink (‘person of Asian descent’) and seppo (‘person of US descent’) represent those points in history when Australians have been less than tolerant of newcomers. But Australians “know each other . . . by the special words we use” (Butler, 2001b:151), and the current chapter seeks to uncover the knowledge, history and experience conveyed by these words. The chapter opens with a discussion of words and lexical processes considered stereotypically “Australian” in the wider global community (e.g. Indigenous Australian words like kangaroo, shortenings like journo for journalist). It then discusses the lexicon in relation to its origins in the British Isles and the important historical events and figures that helped give the lexicon its distinctively Australian feel. The chapter then examines the impact of nonAnglo-Celtic migration to Australia, including a discussion of non-Anglo-Celtic borrowings and migrants’ take up of Australian colloquialisms. The chapter closes by addressing the changing nature of the Australian lexicon as well as its impact on the global lexicon

2 Local and global knowledge of key Australian words For those outside of the antipodes, exposure to the Australian lexicon often comes through stereotypes in television and film, and popular and scholarly books. For instance, many in the British public have encountered elements of the Australian lexicon through the popular Barry “Bazza” McKenzie character, created by Barry Humphries (Hughes, 2000). Humphries called McKenzie a “pastiche figure”, essentially an amalgamation of Australian national stereotypes (Hughes, 2000). McKenzie exposed Brits to Australian words like cobber (‘mate’ or ‘friend’), root (‘sex’) and bonzer (‘a positive exclamation’), Australian word processes like the rhyming slang Captain Cook (‘for to have a look’) and Australian idioms like dry as a nun’s nasty (‘thirsty’) (though it is worth noting that many of these perceived “Australianisms” actually have their origins in British English, as discussed subsequently). Americans have often encountered the Australian lexicon through the Paul Hogan and the Crocodile Dundee films and Steve Irwin, otherwise known as the “Crocodile Hunter”. Australians, and some in the wider global community, get their information about their lexicon through popular books published in Australia and internationally. For example, media personalities like Kel Richards (2015) and Max Harris (1989) have provided popular Australia-centric takes on the Australian lexicon, Jonsen (1999) provides the perspective of an American


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living in Australia and Keesing (1982) reviews the Australian language of women and families in Lily on the Dustbin (Australian slang for ‘woman left waiting on the corner for a friend who doesn’t show’). From the 1960s, lexicographers worked together and separately to compile and publish what are considered the definitive texts on the Australian lexicon: the Macquarie Dictionary (1981) and the Australian National Dictionary (1988) (see Laugeson, 2014; Ramson, 2003; Peters, this volume).3 Indigenous borrowings are perhaps the best known and most widespread Australian words. However, Australian English has borrowed only around 400 words from the land’s original inhabitants (Dixon, 2008), which is fewer Indigenous words than its American and New Zealand cousins (Jenkins, 2009; Melchers & Shaw, 2003; Moore, 2008). By comparison, New Zealand English has integrated more than 740+ Maori borrowings (Moore, 2008). The words boomerang, dingo, kangaroo, koala and wombat are among the most widespread Indigenous borrowings, appearing in English and foreign-language dictionaries (Dixon, 2008).4 These words have often evolved idiomatic and phrasal usages in Australian and beyond. For instance, kangaroo, labelled the “first and best-known borrowing of an Aboriginal word” (Moore, 2008:1), has come to refer to the Qantas flight to London (kangaroo route), a travesty of justice (kangaroo court) and the jerky movements made by an automobile starting out (kangaroo start) (Moore, 2008; Wilkes, 1993). Kangaroo has also had an impact on global politics, with phrases like kangaroo ticket (largely unknown in Australia), which denotes a presidential ticket in which the vice-president is more popular than the president. The insinuation here is that the ticket’s strength can be found in its hind legs. The label dingo is often applied to someone who is cowardly or treacherous and wombat to a person who is slow or stupid (Moore, 2008, 2010). A wombat crossing is a pedestrian crossing with a speed bump, and the wombat trail is the campaign trail travelled by Australia’s National Party. Indigenous terms are not limited to flora and fauna, but also include borrowings like the Dharuk words cooee ‘a call’ and corroboree ‘an Aboriginal dance ceremony’ and the Yagara word yakka ‘work’ (Moore, 2001, 2008). Australian English also makes use of calques like dreamtime (from the Arrernte word altyerre), and Aboriginal English words like walkabout ‘to travel around one’s country, especially without restriction’ (Moore, 2001). Another well-known feature of Australian English is its shortened or clipped words (e.g. bickie for biscuit, pollie for politician, reffo for refugee, arvo for afternoon). Australian -ie/-o shortenings are most commonly discussed as “hypocoristics” (Kidd et al., 2016; Kidd, Kemp & Quinn, 2011; Simpson, 2001, 2008), (though they have also been discussed as “depreciatives” [Wierzbicka, 1986], “diminutives” [Sussex, 2004] or, more playfully, “the incredible shrinking word” [Richards, 2015]). Hypocoristics are common in English and other languages, but many have argued they are greater in number and used across more social contexts in Australian English (e.g. Gunn, 1970; Kidd, Kemp & Quinn, 2011; Sussex, 2004). Sussex (2004) claims to have collected a database of approximately 4300 hypocoristics, and proposes that they may account for 4% of the Australian lexicon. In spoken interactions, such shortenings outnumber their more standard

The lexicon of Australian English 87 equivalent (Kidd, Kemp & Quinn, 2011). Moore (2008) traces the origins of Australian hypocoristics to the mid-19th century.5 For instance, he notes the earliest evidence of the -o ending as 1865, and links it to milkmen calling out milk-oh when doing their rounds. In a similar vein, Moore notes the use of smoke-oh to call a smoke break or spell-oh to call a work break. Over time, milko came to refer to the person delivering the milk, and smoko and spello to the breaks themselves. It is argued that Australian hypocoristics perform an in-group identity function, indexing solidarity, informality and positive politeness for face-threatening acts (Kidd et al., 2016; Kidd, Kemp & Quinn, 2011; Sussex, 2004). Studies of Australian hypocoristics have shown some semantic, regional and social differences. For instance, some have proposed the -o form is more likely to denote a person (e.g. sickie ‘sick day’ vs. sicko ‘someone mentally unwell’) or that the -ie form is more sympathetic (e.g. kiddie vs. kiddo) (Moore, 2010; Simpson, 2008). However, these observations have been called into question in light of any number of co-occurring pairs (e.g. commo and commie for ‘communist’). Regionally, words ending in -o are used more in Australia than New Zealand, and the use of -o endings in place names is more common in Australia’s eastern states (Bardsley & Simpson, 2009; Simpson, 2001). Socially, work by Kidd et al (2016) suggests young people are using the -o ending less than the previous generation, and it may well be on the way out. Some Australian English words have been highlighted as “key” for understanding Australian culture and history. Wierzbicka (2010) argues that investigations of English (Australian or otherwise) words can reveal the hidden cultural legacy of those words and the conceptual world inhabited by their speakers. While some have vociferously opposed Wierzbicka’s methods (see Ramson, 2001), suffice it to say some words are elevated or celebrated by scholars and members of the public as being particularly Australian. Mate (and the corresponding concept of mateship) emerges as one such word. While not exclusively Australian, it has a “special resonance” in Australia (Moore, 2010:113; see also Hornadge, 1980; Ronowicz & Yallop, 2007; Wilkes, 1993). Mate has historically been used to reflect Australian ideals like companionship and egalitarianism and is used in conversation in greetings, disagreement, jocular teasing and to call attention to a topic (RendleShort, 2010; Sinkeviciute, 2014). Next, much is made of the Australian affinity for swearing, and a series of “b-words” bastard, bloody, bugger and bullshit have been cited as central to the Australian vernacular (Allan & Burridge, 2009; Goddard, 2015; Wierzbicka, 2002). Bastard can be used negatively in Australia (as it is in other Englishes), but it may also be used affectionately and in a good-natured way, in a manner not unlike that for mate (Moore, 2010; Musgrave & Burridge, 2014). For some, the word bloody is viewed as the “great Australian adjective” and is used to index defiance at perceived injustices, belonging to everyday people and adopting an active attitude in fighting bad attitudes/injustices (Allan & Burridge, 2009; Goddard, 2015; Wierzbicka, 2002). Overall, those words and phrases most often highlighted as “key” to Australians point to egalitarianism (e.g. fair go), maintaining group loyalty (e.g. you don’t dob in ‘inform on’ your friends), hard work (e.g. one shouldn’t whinge ‘complain’ or be a bludger ‘someone who


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doesn’t do their fair share of work’) and Australian humour and informality (e.g. plonk ‘alcohol’, from a tongue-in-cheek malapropism of the French vin blanc).

3 Origins and sources of the Australian lexicon Australian English, including its lexicon, draws most of its core from the British English spoken in the southeast of England in the late 18th and early 19th century (see Willoughby & Manns, this volume).6 Convict colonies were established in New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land (modern-day Tasmania), and from 1788 to 1852, more than 150,000 English and Irish convicts were transported to the colony (Laugeson, 2002). These convicts brought with them their own English varieties as well as the “flash” or “kiddy” language of the British criminal underworld, and these words gained currency in the new colony (Laugeson, 2002). Many of these words have since died out of the Australian lexicon, but a few notable survivors include swag and gammon. Swag was originally a flash term referring to a thief’s booty. It then subsequently evolved into the bundle in which the booty was carried, and then again into our modern understanding of ‘the collection of possessions and daily necessaries carried by a person travelling, usually on foot, in the bush’ (Moore, 2010:166). Gammon ‘deceit, cheat, nonsense’ can be traced to 18th-century thieves’ slang and was used in pidgin interactions between settlers and Indigenous communities in the 19th century. In modern English, it is largely considered archaic (Laugeson, 2002). However, it has been maintained in Australian English through language contact between Indigenous Australians and the wider English-speaking community in Northern Territory (NT). The city/bush divide is an important one in Australia and consequently relevant to any discussion of the Australian lexicon (Butler, 2001b). Most convicts and administrators came from urban environments and on arrival in Australia had to coin and adapt existing words to frame the new environment they faced (Melchers & Shaw, 2003). Perhaps among the most famous of these words is bush, which derives from the South African Dutch bosch ‘wood, forest’. Bush takes on a special significance in Australian English, denoting “an Australian landscape zone” but also “additional sense related to culture and human geography” (Bromhead, 2011:445). From bush, we see many derivations (the Macquarie dictionary notes 97 listings under bush) denoting Australian history, culture and geography, including bushranger ‘an escaped convict (and later anyone) who roams the bush robbing people’, bush tale ‘a folk tale of the bush’ and bush lawyer ‘a person who claims legal knowledge without the relevant qualifications’ (Moore, 2010). Bush has also come to be used along with wild and native to label the flora and fauna in Australia (note previously the paucity of Indigenous terms adopted relative to other varieties of settler Englishes). So, Australians have spoken of the native bear and native sloth (later using the Dharuk word koala), the native or bush cucumber and the wild or bush onion (Moore, 2008). Settlers also named the flora and fauna based on appearance or behaviour. Among early settlers, the bird now known as the kookaburra (a Wiradjeri word) was called the laughing jackass, laughing johnny, the bushman’s clock, the breakfast bird, the ha-ha duck,

The lexicon of Australian English 89 the ha-ha pigeon and the woop woop pigeon (Baker, 1945; Ramson, 1970b). Yet Indigenous words often win out over other formulations (see Peters, this volume), and this is sometimes for practical or social reasons. For instance, there is a fish which has been varyingly labelled black bream, black perch, darkie and nigger because of the distinctive black stripes on its back (Butler, 2001a). This fish is now officially called luderick (from the Ganay language of the Gippsland, Victoria) because the other variations are both offensive and imprecise (it is neither a bream nor a perch). Early Australians coined and developed a new series of words to frame the city landscape and the people within it. The larrikins and the wowsers arguably come to the fore in the battle between good and evil in 19th-century urban Australia. They also shed light on the origin of some Australian words in British dialects, from which approximately 175 borrowings have been drawn, mostly from the mid-19th century onwards (Moore, 2008). Wowsers are puritanical to the extreme, and through wowserism seek to stamp out vices like gambling, drinking and sex (Butler, 2001a). The likely origin of wowser is a British dialect (Scottish, northern English and Cornish) word wow meaning ‘howl, bark, wail, mew’ and ‘whine, grumble or make a complaint’ (Moore, 2010). Some competing (but less likely) origins listed by Moore (2010:192–193) see the word linked to Newcastle, NSW, newspaper editor John Norton (who often used it in his editorials, and was eventually fired for ‘episodes of drunkenness’) or an acronym slogan used by a puritanical group (We Only Want Social Evils Removed). Larrikin is likely another British dialect word (from Warwickshire or Worcestershire) and originally referred to gangs of youth roaming Melbourne looking for trouble (Butler, 2001a). Competing (but once again less likely) etymologies see larrikin linked to a word from Cockney thieves’ slang leery (leary or lairy) ‘wide awake, knowing’ or the Irish pronunciation of larking (Moore, 2010). The Irish larking origin is linked to a popular but unsubstantiated story of an Irish police Sargent by the name of Dalton, who accused a young Melbourne prisoner of “a-larrr-akin about” (see Morris, 1898:260). The wowsers and larrikins remain part of the modern Australian cultural landscape. Yet where the wowsers remain an annoyance and even un-Australian to many (see Moore, 2010), the negative connotations of larrikin have given way to a positive sense of a person “who defies social or political conventions in an interesting or often likable way” (Moore, 2010:110). The Irish have had surprisingly little impact on the Australian lexicon. This is despite early waves of migration to Australia consisting of large numbers of Irish convicts and settlers (Fritz, 2007). Influence has likely been scant because the early Irish migrants were Irish Gaelic speakers and because the Irish were viewed with suspicion and derision in the Australian settlement (see Burridge & Musgrave, 2014). In fact, such was this derision that the Chinese migrants were said to find it offensive to be called paddy (Baker, 1945). Irish influence on the Australian lexicon boils down to a handful of borrowings, the pronunciation of the letter ‘h’ as haitch by some and the epenthetic insertion of schwa into words like film and known (pronounced by some as fill-um and know-un). In terms of borrowings, presence of the second-person, plural pronoun youse in Australia is linked to the


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Irish, as is the use of sheila to refer to a woman and the use of utterance-final but (e.g. I don’t have much food. I’ve got lots of drink but) (see Mulder, Thompson & Penry Williams, 2009). The Australian sporting term barrack ‘to cheer for’ has likely come from northern Irish English despite earlier, competing beliefs it had been derived from a Wathawarung word meaning ‘no, not’ or from the Victorian military barracks in Melbourne (Moore, 2010). The more likely northern Irish English word meant ‘to brag, be boastful of one’s fighting ability’ and has notably sprouted the opposite meaning in Britain (now, ‘to shout criticism or protest’). Because of the number of Irish Gaelic speakers, it is worth acknowledging Lonergan’s (2003, 2004) arguments as to that language’s potential impact on the Australian lexicon (arguments which often emerge as less compelling than alternative explanations). For instance, lexicographers link didgeridoo to the sound non-Indigenous people made in imitating the instrument (Moore, 2010). Lonergan, in contrast, promotes links the word to the Irish word dúdaire ‘trumpeter or horn-blower’ and the Irish and Scots-Gaelic dubh ‘black’ and dúth ‘native’. She argues that Irish and Scots-Gaelic speakers encountering the instrument may have called it dúdaire dubh or dúdaire dúth (pronounced respectively ‘doodereh doo’ or ‘doojerreh doo’). Of course, Australia’s history, tradition and wars have led to a continual refreshing and evolution of the lexicon (see Peters, this volume). Many of these words reflect the hardworking Australian (battler, digger), an egalitarian ethos (fair go) and an undying loyalty to cause (true blue). Australians came to look down on those who were not fair dinkum ‘authentic, genuine’, didn’t do their fair share (bludgers) or became arrogant (tall poppies). A few of these words find their origins or folk etymologies in the goldfields of the 1850s (known as the roaring fifties) and became popularised in the period from Federation (1901) to WWI. For instance, fair dinkum has erroneously been linked to two separate goldfields origins: gambling and Cantonese-speaking Chinese miners. At least one source claims goldfield gamblers, concerned with the advantage sober players might have, agreed to fair drinking (see Moore, 2010). Non-native Englishspeaking miners reputedly pronounced this fair dinkum. A second folk etymology traces fair dinkum to the Cantonese, who assured government assayers that their goldfields hauls were ding kam ‘top gold’. Dinkum’s actual origin is likely British dialect (Lincolnshire or Derbyshire) (Moore, 2010). Digger can also be traced to the goldfields, with the original meaning of ‘someone who digs, prospector’, and possibly through contact with American miners (see Blair (1989)). But both dinkum and digger gained traction in Australian English during WWI, along with other words, which came to the fore in a fervour of Australian patriotism and Australians’ experiences with the world-at-large.7 Digger came to refer to the Australian soldier much in the way that Tommy referred to the British soldier and the Doughboy the American soldier. The dinkum digger, in Laugeson’s (2015:31–32) words, came “to imply the archetypal Australian soldier and his alleged qualities, such as independence, disregard for military authority and discipline, mateship, and a laconic sense of humour”. Dinkum oil stood for true information, and stood in contrast to the gossip and rumours one might hear standing next to J. Furphy

The lexicon of Australian English 91 and Sons’ iconic water-cart. From the cart, these rumours and gossip gained the eponymous name furphies.

4 Mobility and migrant influence on the Australian lexicon Australians have labelled newcomers from the earliest days of the settlement, and new words emerged for each new wave of migrants. At best, those words reveal Australians’ often laconic and jocular sense of humour. At worst, these words reflect those darker points at which Australians have been less than tolerant of newcomers. In convict days, the label new chum was given to the new prisoners, and by the 1820s it had come to refer to any new immigrant, free or convict (Laugeson, 2002; see also Burridge, this volume; Peters, this volume). But from the earliest days, newcomers faced the exclusionists or exclusives, free settlers or officials who sought to prevent the convicts achieving full civil and social rights (Baker, 1945). A distinction emerged early in the colony between currency (‘those born in Australia’) or sterling (‘those born in England’) (Wilkes, 1993). As a unit of money, sterling could be exchanged more readily abroad, and the label sterling came to reflect the British-born settlers’ views of their own wider acceptance in the world-at-large vis-à-vis the native-born Australians. From the mid-19th century, rhyming slang provided some of the earliest tongue-in-cheek but controversial references to migrants. Immigrants were called jimmygrants, Jimmy Grants and later pomegranates or poms or pommies for short (Moore, 2010). The British whinging poms or pommy bastards drew ire for their vocal complaints that Australia did not measure up to their expectations and/or the mother country. Rhyming slang also gives us septic (yank) or seppo for Americans (from ‘septic tank’) and sago and rice for Italians and Greeks (from the derisive term dago). Wog is a more common word for Italian and Greek migrants in Australia and probably derives from the golliwog books and dolls (Moore, 2010). However, the children of these migrants notably took ownership of wog and began to use it as an ingroup label (Warren, 1999). Beyond group labels, Australian English abounds with words for the perceived qualities and practices of its migrant communities. For instance, the Irish were said to be guided by paddy’s lantern ‘the moon’, their homes adorned with Irish curtains ‘cobwebs’ and in town were said to be guided by Rafferty’s Rules ‘no rules at all’) (Keesing, 1982). Shouting ‘buying a round of drinks’ is a time-honoured tradition in the Australian pub, and when a drinker ends up paying for their own drinks, it is derisively called a Chinese shout, a Dutch shout or a Yankee shout or a Yankee (Baker, 1945). It is worth noting, however, that the Australian shout itself may result from a calque of the Irish phrase glaoch ar dheoch ‘to call or shout for a drink’ (Lonergan, 2004). The languages of non-Anglo-Celtic migrants, especially those of the postWWII populate or perish period (see Willoughby & Manns, this volume), have had a noticeable impact on the Australian lexicon. Sometimes this influence goes unnoticed or is misunderstood, as is the case with words for some Australian animals. For instance, some are surprised (see Wilkes, 1993) to find that emu finds its origins in Portuguese, goanna in Spanish (from iguana), cockatoo in Malay,


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bandicoot in the Telugu language of southeast Indian and possum in the Virginian Algonquian language of the United States (from opossum). And many are equally surprised to find that bonzer may have its origins in the Spanish bonanza, and it has been argued that jackaroo has origins in the Spanish vaquero (Turner, 1989). German migration in the mid- to late 19th century underlies some South Australian regionalisms, including cliner ‘girl’ (from the German kleine ‘small, little’), butcher ‘200-ml glass of beer’ (from the German Becher ‘cup, mug or tumbler’) and fritz for a ‘large bland sausage’, a sausage known in other parts of Australia as devon, polony or Windsor (Jauncey, 2004). Notably, WWI prejudices led South Australians to rename the Fritz the Austral, but the latter name didn’t stick (Jauncey, 2004). Another German word, Reibach ‘profit’, likely accounts for the Australian word ryebuck ‘good, excellent’. Ryebuck was once used interchangeably with dinkum, but was obsolete by the 1950s (Moore, 2010). Its links to Australia can most likely be traced to Australia’s Yiddish-speaking community, which has also contributed shickered ‘drunk’ and schmick ‘stylish, excellent’, among others (Moore, 2010). In other domains, multiculturalism has led to a proliferation of food-related terms like cappuccino, goulash, nasi goreng, pita and chop suey (though use of these terms is not limited to the Australian lexicon) (Clyne, Eisikovits & Tollfree, 2001). Waves of migration and multiculturalism have led to interest in the degree to which, and for what purposes, migrants are taking up the Australian lexicon. The Australian lexicon has presented issues for newcomers, who have at times have less exposure to Australian English than American and British varieties before they arrive (see Kaldor, 1970). For instance, Kaldor (1970) studied Asian students and found they struggled with words like dinkum, which interestingly one student took to mean drinkum (see folk etymologies of dinkum previously). Moreover, the Australian lexicon has at times been used against non-Anglo-Celtic migrants. Mythical notions of the Australian bush render non-Anglo-Celtic migrants (and even Australia’s Indigenous people) invisible (Bromhead, 2011). Australia’s Liberal (conservative) Party raised fears about how hardworking Aussie battlers might find what little they had taken away by migrant reffos ‘refugees’ or queue jumpers ‘asylum seekers arriving by boat’ (Clyne, 2002). Controversies aside, Australians from non-English speaking backgrounds (NESBs) have been shown to use Australianisms at the same rate or slightly less than Australians from English-speaking backgrounds (see Alimoradian, 2014; Oliver, McKay & Rochecouste, 2003). Notably, migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds (e.g. Poles, Russians) are more likely to integrate Australianisms into their repertoires than migrants from English-speaking backgrounds (e.g. Americans) (Gnevsheva, Szakay & Jansen, 2018). Australian lexical features like mate and hypocoristics index in-group solidarity among Australians, migrant or otherwise (Alimoradian, 2014; Kidd et al., 2016), with the caveat that use of Australianisms with a nonnative accent may reduce perceived common ground on the part of an Australian hearer (Kidd et al., 2016). Migrants often use Australianisms alongside and interchangeably with lexical items from languages other than English (LOTEs). For instance, Tabar (2007) illustrates how Australians from Lebanese backgrounds

The lexicon of Australian English 93 frequently use mate as an Anglo-Celtic Australian might, but switch to the Arabic habiib (literally ‘darling’) for serious topics or to index a closer kind of intimacy than that implied by mate. Global mobility has not only meant migrants bringing new words to Australia but also native-born Australians engaging with the wider world through travel, commerce or media. Recent editions of the Macquarie Dictionary have included overseas words, including from Thailand acharn ‘teacher’, farang ‘foreigner’, klong ‘canal’ and sanuk ‘fun’ (Bolton, 2003, cited in Saraceni, 2015). Australian overseas borrowings are sometimes corruptions of the original language and represent the often playful, self-effacing and irreverent Australian sense of humour. Arabic was a rich source of borrowing for the WWI diggers, who were reputed to yell imshi yalla (Arabic for ‘let’s go, hurry up’) at Gallipoli and maleesh ‘never mind, doesn’t matter’ in Egypt (from the colloquial Arabic mā alayhi shay ‘there is nothing in it, don’t worry about it’) (Laugeson, 2015). Diggers also used French, albeit in a misheard and/or playful way, such as when they had to move toot sweet (from the French tout de suite ‘quickly, immediately’) or in more relaxed times might say san fairy ann (from the French ça ne fait rien ‘it does not matter’) (Laugeson, 2015). Such playful corruptions are not limited to WWI diggers, but sometimes appear in Australians’ playful and self-effacing use of wine and other French products. This is immortalised in Kylie Minogue’s appearance on the Australian television program Kath & Kim (Riley & Turner, 2004) in which Minogue settles a dispute between the mother and daughter over the pronunciation of chardonnay, saying: “I’ve been to Paris, and the h is silent, it’s car-donnay”. Along similar lines, recent additions to the Australian National Dictionary include such playful references to box or cask wine as cardy chardy and chateau cardboard. There is, however, a darker side to Australian’s mispronunciation of foreign words and names. In 2018, SBS World Cup host Lucy Zelić faced a storm of abuse for accurately pronouncing players’ foreign names. Zelić said she did it out of respect for the players and to continue a legacy started by former host Les Murray (Smith, 2018).

5 The myth of the ‘dying’ Australian lexicon Australia’s engagement with the wider world, especially the United States, engenders perhaps its greatest linguistic fear: the loss of the Australian lexicon. Media outlets and public commentators often lament the loss of the Australian idiom in the face of perceived American influence (e.g. Harris, 1989; Lunn, 2006). This concern has long been a topic of interest for scholars, who generally agree American English wields some influence on Australian English, but this influence is overstated (Butler, 2001b; Korhonen, 2017, this volume; Peters, 2014, this volume; Taylor, 1989, 2001). Suffice to say Australians have been complaining about American influence since the arrival of the ‘talkies’ in the 1920s (Damousi, 2010), and continue to do so. In complaining, Australians often overlook that many beloved Australianisms (e.g. bonzer, bushranger, waltzing) appear in American English first and may have entered Australian English through contact with


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Americans miners in the goldfields (Moore, 2008). Australian English has been under the influence of other varieties of English for more than 150 years (Peters, 2014), yet, in the words of Kel Richards (2015:267), “Aussie English . . . remains resilient, vigorous and lively”. Many if not most American borrowings fade away with the youth of the Australians who borrow them. Australian youth known as the bodgies and widgies were much maligned in the 1950s for their use of American slang like slipping skin ‘dancing’. Now, bodgies, widgies and slipping skin have been lost to the sands of time. That said, Americanisms like you guys, wow and jeans have been borrowed into Australian English and have withstood the test of time. However, as Peters (2014:121) points out, American words often undertake new shades of meaning in Australian English; this “is clear evidence that [Australian English] is not becoming ‘Americanised’ but rather loan words are becoming ‘Australianised” (see Korhonen, this volume, for a further discussion of Americanisation). The Australian lexicon is changing rather than dying, and we see this by examining the evolution of terms for Australian people, concepts and activities. For instance, mate and cobber are address terms with special significance to Australians (see previously), but people have decried their decline at various points. Digger and dig were reputedly replacing cobber and mate first on WWI battlefields and subsequently in Australia at large in the 1930s (Baker, 1945). Then, in the 1980s, we once again read that mate and cobber are on the decline, this time yielding to the American terms pal and buddy (Taylor, 1989). In more recent years, the American dude is the offending party. This is not to say some words don’t fade away. From the early 19th century to the 1970s, Australians attended shivoos ‘parties’ before this word gave way to the ragers, which were en vogue until the 1990s. Bogan has come to overtake ocker as the preferred word for Australia’s rough uncultured types (cf. American white trash or the British chav; Moore, 2010). Ocker has taken on positive connotations in some contexts, simply meaning ‘Australian’, with ockerisms meaning ‘Australianisms’. The second edition of the Australian National Dictionary (AND) shed some light on new additions to the Australian lexicon (Moore, 2016), adding thousands of new entries, many hailing from the 1980s and 1990s, including words like hornbag, checkout chick, houso, reg grundies, ambo, rurosexual, spunk rat, firie, tradie and trackie daks.8 With the internet, we no longer need wait for new dictionary editions to hear about new words. The AND (Ozwords, 2019) and the Macquarie Dictionary (Macquarie Dictionary Blog, 2019) run active blogs, providing occasional updates of new words. The online presence of these dictionaries leads to some pleasant surprises, such as when the Macquarie Dictionary’s KiD (Kids Internet Dictionary) saw children making Australian entries like grouse ‘very good, excellent’ (Butler, 2001b). This lends some credence to arguments that even among the youngest generations, older aspects of the Australian lexicon remain alive and kicking. Australians, in their concern over Americanisation and the perceived loss of their lexicon, often overlook the interest and impact Australian English is having overseas. For instance, the 2000 Sydney Olympics, in the words of Sussex (2004:14), “propelled Australian English onto the world stage”, and the American

The lexicon of Australian English 95 broadcaster NBC ran a series of segments on Australian English, which emphasised its “distinctiveness and disconcerting, good-humoured disrespectfulness” (Sussex, 2004:14). Disney’s 2003 film Finding Nemo included a few Australianaccented characters, especially a particularly popular shark named Bruce (voiced by Barry Humphries) (Richards, 2015). Disney released a companion dictionary called Finding Nemo: Bruce’s Aussie Dictionary (Disney, 2004), which had on its cover Bruce saying: It’s grouse mate! The Australian lexicon is also making strides in the popular word of the year competitions. Selfie was named Oxford Dictionaries word of the year in 2013, with research showing its use increased 17,000% since the previous year (Oxford Dictionaries Online, 2013). The origin of selfie has been traced to Australian Nathan Hope, who posted the following on an ABC online forum on September 13, 2002: Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer [sic] and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hold about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie. The word selfie has since spawned such derivations as a helfie (a picture of one’s hair), a belfie (a picture of one’s butt), a welfie (a workout selfie) and a drelfie (a drunken selfie) (Oxford Dictionaries Online, 2013). But the global impact of the -ie suffix is not limited to selfie. AND editor and researcher Mark Gwynn (2015) notes the global spread of Australian words like greenie (conservationist or environmentalist), mozzie (a mosquito), pollie (a politician) and surfie (a surfer).

6 Conclusion The Australian lexicon is a powerful symbol of the Australian identity and speaks to the fascination of Australians about their own identity (Butler, 2001b; Collins & Blair, 2001). Australians have at various times in their history been insecure or proud of the Australian lexicon and in more recent years have become concerned it might be dying. This chapter has taken up the calls of previous scholars who have argued that a review of the Australian lexicon tells us much about the history, attitudes, values and self-identity of Australia and its people. Butler (2001b:151) writes: we know each other by the sound of the language we speak, by the special words we use, by the sense of shared experience and a common history that filters through it. . . . Our understanding has historical depth, in that it includes words that are part of our collective consciousness, words which are markers of different periods of our experience in this place. Those early words were decidedly British, and more than a few regional dialect words stand out as key to the Australian lexicon. Irish, on the other hand, has surprisingly little impact on the lexicon. Since WWII, the impact of non-AngloCeltic migrants has been significant, but notably these migrants have taken up the


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Australian lexicon with gusto. The Australian lexicon represents the best and worst of the Australian character: humorous, irreverent, egalitarian but also at times intolerant. Those who decry its demise need not fear. Australians are also creative, and while the Australian lexicon is changing, it is most certainly not dying.

Notes 1 This chapter has benefited from my collaboration with Kate Burridge in writing pieces for the online website The Conversation. In specific terms, the discussion of Irish influence (Section 3) was informed by Manns and Burridge (2018) and arguments against the death of Australian slang (Section 5) informed by Burridge and Manns (2018). 2 Ramson (2001), reviewing Wierzbicka (1997), cautions against extrapolating too much about Australians and Australian culture from the Australian lexicon. The current chapter notes this caution, but reviews work by any number of scholars who demonstrate (in the words of Butler [2001b:151]) how ‘shared experience and common history’ filter through the Australian lexicon. 3 Also of note is A Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms (Wilkes, 1978), which is considered the most comprehensive account of Australian colloquialisms (Delbridge, 2001). Scholars involved in the production of all three dictionaries have released complementary books on, among other things, the lexicon of specific Australian states (e.g. Brooks & Ritchie, 1994, 1995; Jauncey, 2004) and the history of specific words and their etymologies (e.g. Laugeson, 2002, 2005, 2015; Moore, 2008, 2010; Wilkes, 1993). 4 Boomerang, dingo, koala and wombat have been borrowed from Dharuk, the Indigenous language spoken around Sydney (Dixon, Moore, Ramson & Thomas, 2006). Kangaroo has been borrowed from the Guugu Yimithirr language, spoken in far North Queensland. 5 But, notably, the -ie suffix appears in the early 19th-century croppies, used to refer to Irish convicts. Croppies originally referred to members of the Irish rebellion of 1798, who kept their hair short in sympathy with the French Revolution (Laugeson, 2002). They were known to be particularly difficult prisoners in the Australian colony. 6 See Burridge (this volume) and Peters (this volume) for a discussion of the history and evolution of Australian English. Peters makes specific reference to some aspects of the Australian lexicon. 7 A competing etymology for digger sees it linked to the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces and from a clipped form of the New Zealand gumdigger, ‘one whose occupation is retrieving and selling fossil gum’ (Laugeson, 2005:61). 8 (from Moore, 2016) Hornbag ‘a sexually attractive person’; checkout chick ‘a women working at register at a supermarket’; houso ‘a person living in public housing’; reg grundies ‘rhyming slang for underwear’; ambo ‘a person working in an ambulance’; rurosexual ‘a fashionable man living in a rural area’; spunk rat ‘an attractive or promiscuous person’; firie ‘a firefighter’; tradie ‘a tradesperson’; trackie daks ‘tracksuit bottoms’.

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Part 2

Internal variation in Australian English


Sociophonetics of Australian English Debbie Loakes

1 Introduction to sociophonetics In this chapter, we focus on the ways in which social variables correlate with phonetic variability in Australian English (AusE) and how language users access and categorise social meaning in speech. This is sociophonetics, a field which uses “the integration of the techniques, principles and theoretical frameworks of phonetics with those of sociolinguistics” (Foulkes & Hay, 2015:292) to examine the social patterning of speech variants. Sociophonetics is on the one hand a relatively new field, while on the other it is steeped in a long tradition of socially oriented linguistic research; accordingly, it has been described by sociophonetician Paul Foulkes as having “a long past but a short history” (Foulkes, 2010). Sociophonetic research focuses on the way that speakers use indexical information in speech production to signal and process macrosocial categories such as age, regionality, sex and finer-grained microsocial variability such as stance, accommodation to or distance from an interlocutor, as well as aspects of identity, such as religious affiliation or sexuality. Foulkes, Scobbie and Watt (2010) note that since the mid-1990s, the field has been steadily growing. In Australia, research in the area of sociophonetics, and general academic discussion about the field itself, is only now beginning to grow rapidly.1 The types of sociophonetic research into AusE tend to be focused on macrosocial variability, but there are also some recent examples of microsocial sociophonetic research in AusE which will also be addressed in this chapter. Before describing this work, it is important to discuss sociophonetic research related to other Englishes which will contextualise the various types of social information that can drive people’s categorisation and processing of language variation. These studies are particularly interesting because some have been replicated in the AusE phonetic literature and will be discussed throughout this chapter. Previous pioneering research in the field will be explained to garner the wider relevance of the AusE examples. A large body of sociophonetic research has shown that the same acoustic stimulus may be categorised differently depending on listeners’ beliefs about a speaker’s social category. Jannedy and Weirich (2014), for example, have shown that listener perceptions of fricative sounds (undergoing change in Berlin German) changes


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when they are primed to believe the speaker is from a high vs. low socioeconomic background. Jannedy and Weirich (2014) showed that listeners responded differently when they were primed (by a handwritten word on the experiment sheet) to believe the speaker lived in a traditionally high socioeconomic neighbourhood compared to a low one. Another example of a priming study is Hay and Drager’s (2010) investigation of how the presence of a stuffed toy in the experimental room (koalas or kangaroos priming Australia and kiwis priming New Zealand) influenced listener categorisation of vowels. In that study, listeners had to match synthesised vowels on a continuum to naturally produced New Zealand English KIT, DRESS and TRAP vowels. Hay and Drager (2010) observed that responses changed depending on which stuffed toys listeners had been exposed to; female listeners responded as might be expected, with those exposed to Australian-like toys selecting more Australian-like KIT vowels, while males selected more AusE like KIT vowels in the New Zealand condition. There were also some other nuances in the patterns of behaviour observed depending on the vowel and social characteristics of the listener (age, gender). However, a later study carried out in Australia by Walker, Szakay and Cox (2019), which had a greater number of listeners and also used the listener as a random factor in the analysis (unlike Hay & Drager, 2010), found no effect of stuffed toys when a similar study was conducted in an Australian context. Taken as a whole, these studies suggest that listeners’ previously formed ideas about the social variation in phonemic categories may shape speech processing, but the effects may vary according to the nature of the task and the linguistic/cultural contexts involved. Another way of addressing sociophonetic knowledge is to look at spontaneous phonetic accommodation. Babel (2012:178) defines this as occurring when “a talker takes on acoustic characteristics of the individual they are interacting with . . . important, since it may account for a wide range of phenomena such as historical sound change and dialect acquisition”. In an illustrative example of an accommodation study, Babel (2012), has also shown how listeners may translate social biases into their own patterns of behaviour. She has shown (inter alia) that positive listener feelings toward the speaker influence the likelihood of accommodation. Looking at the effects of social biases, Babel (2012) carried out a lexical shadowing task to determine how listeners feel about the “attractiveness” of a speaker influenced degrees of accommodation. Participants produced words to determine baseline productions, then some of the participants were shown faces of the “speaker” while hearing words (some were shown no face), then they were asked to shadow the pronunciations (i.e. repeat immediately after hearing). Participants who saw a face were also asked to rate attractiveness of the speaker. Results showed “phonetic selectivity”, with more convergence for higher attractiveness ratings, as well as for open vowels. While only a small selection, these studies suggest that biases toward/about the speaker affect listener performance and also that speakers make adjustments based on social characteristics of other speakers. The remainder of this chapter focuses on studies which make up the body of knowledge surrounding sociophonetics of AusE. The studies include speakers of Mainstream AusE (MAusE) (defined in

Sociophonetics of Australian English 105 Cox, this volume), as well as some sociophonetic studies of Aboriginal English, defined later in the current chapter and also addressed in more detail by Dickson (this volume). Ethnolectal variation is addressed by Clothier (this volume)

3 Sociophonetic studies of Australian English Sociophonetic studies into AusE are based on the production and processing of vowels, consonants, connected speech processes and, to a lesser extent, prosody. Studies such as these will be addressed in the current chapter. Social variation across vowels While not described as such at the time, the first sociophonetic study of AusE is really Mitchell and Delbridge’s comprehensive observation of three socially marked accent types (e.g. 1965, described in Cox, this volume). After that, a handful of studies in the late 1970s and mid 1980s from the sociolinguistic tradition can be considered “sociophonetic” in their focus on speech patterns in AusE, again despite not being described at the time using this terminology. For example, Shnukal (1978) undertook a PhD thesis based on data from a regional Australian town, and Horvath’s (1985) study examined the sociolects of Sydney. Shnukal and Horvath had hailed from American universities, and both credit earlier work by Labov, Wolfram, Shuy, Fasold and Trugill (see, e.g. Schnukal 1978 [abstract]; Horvath & Sankoff, 1985:187). Shnukal’s thesis was in fact carried out under the tutelage of Wolfram at Georgetown University (along with advisors Donna Jo Napoli and Roger Shuy), and Horvath’s earlier doctoral thesis (not on AusE) was also carried out under the supervision of Roger Shuy in the same department. Shnukal’s study (1978) was based on data collected in the small NSW town of Cessnock, north of Sydney and to the west of Newcastle. Her study sampled 32 speakers and ultimately focused on five syntactic variables and two phonological variables – the realisation of suffix -ing and word final -thing, which were treated separately in the analysis. The variants included [n] [ŋ] [ŋk]. Only 4 of 32 speakers used [ŋ] consistently in their production, while the remaining 28 speakers had variable -ing and -thing endings. The analysis used the predetermined social categories of speaker age, sex and class to look at how social and linguistic factors covaried. “Class” was determined by education and occupation, with participants assigned to either a middle- or working-class group (further discussion of how this classification was employed is described in Shnukal, 1982). Shnukal (1978) found that adjectives ending in -ing (i.e. getting) were more likely to be realised with [n], while the nominalising suffix inhibited [n] (i.e. forms like listening, reading). The [ŋk] variant occurred more often with -thing endings (i.e. nothing). The social factors age, sex and class were shown to govern the distribution of variants. More [ŋ] observations occurred for older speakers, for females and for participants with higher socioeconomic status (occupation/education) or people who were considered to exert some “power” in their communities.


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As well as this, Horvath (1985) carried out a sociolinguistic survey of English in Sydney, specifically following the methodology used by Labov in New York City. She considered studies into AusE prior to this time to be quite homogenous with respect to speaker background, but the changing demographics of Sydney due to migration from Europe after WWII (see Willoughby and Manns, this volume) warranted inclusion of non-Anglo speaker groups. She collected a corpus known as the Sydney Social Dialect Survey which ultimately included over 177 people born in the 1930s and 1960s, from interviews conducted in 1977 and 1980 (Horvath, 1985; also described by Horvath & Sankoff, 1987; Grama, Travis & González, 2019). This study was instrumental in observing behaviour with respect to a group of phonological variables: vowel, consonant and prosody (the high-rising tune, discussed in more detail subsequently). Using principal component analysis based on the results of an auditory survey of 130 speakers, Horvath identified further “sociolects” within the categories Broad, General and Cultivated. In particular, Horvath observed that social characteristics marking these lects were age (teenage and adult), gender, ethnicity (Anglo, Italian, Greek) and “social class” (see esp. Horvath, 1985:167). Clothier addresses ethnolectal findings in his chapter later in this volume. While it has been quite some time since this research was carried out, it is still especially relevant. Horvath has recently shared her corpus with researchers at The Australian National University in Canberra, and this is being matched with a modern-day sample, The Sydney Speaks Project (see, e.g. Grama, Travis & González, 2019). While in the early stages, Grama, Travis and González (2019) have carried out some sociophonetic comparisons between a selection of vowels from Horvath’s corpus and the newly recorded corpus. Using an analysis of around 10,000 vowel tokens taken from conversational data, they present two main findings. These are: 1 2

that the distance between pre-nasal DRESS and TRAP has effectively reduced over time and that variance has also reduced as the “targets” stabilise (also see Cox & Palethorpe, 2014 regarding the raising of TRAP before nasals), and retraction of the BATH vowel predated movement of the TRAP vowel and may have initiated the change in the short-front vowels.

This contrasts with findings of other studies showing TRAP to be the instigator of change (see especially Cox, 1999). In a “phonetic archaeology” study looking specifically at the low vowels in conversational speech through historical AusE audio records (Cox & Palethorpe, 2017), evidence was shown for BATH fronting during the 20th century, with cultivated speakers retaining a more retracted vowel. The Grama, Travis and González (2019) study is highly quantitative, but only has five speakers per cell, and because different variants were present in the community historically, it may be that individual differences are over-represented; depending on the comparisons made, this variation could look like a retracting change (Cox, pc). Regardless of the exact details of these changes, the studies both show changes in the open vowels over the years, and these changes are

Sociophonetics of Australian English 107 generally associated with sociophonetic differences between speakers, which ultimately result in relatively dramatic shifts in vowel production. This split pre-nasal TRAP vowel has also been observed by Cox and Palethorpe (2014), who note that a durational distinction is made between words such as Ben and ban. Their study is addressed further in the processing section of this chapter. Another relatively large study of AusE, effectively also a sociolectal study, has also been carried out by Cox and Palethorpe (2012). They analysed vowels known to be “broadness” markers across 116 female speakers living in northern and western Sydney, higher and lower socioeconomic areas, respectively. They also looked at females who had attended Private, Independent and Government schools (because those variables had impacted findings in Mitchell & Delbridge, 1965). Cox and Palethorpe ultimately found that vowels differed according to school type, place of birth, area of upbringing and parents’ occupation. One of the most interesting findings sociophonetically was that the speakers from Government schools (expected to have the broadest forms) in fact used the least broad forms. While some social differences were observed in the cross-Sydney comparison, the overall conclusion was that “the effects are rather subtle, and only perceptual experiments will be able to ascertain for certain whether these differences are salient enough to be perceived” (Cox & Palethorpe, 2012:312). A final study to mention here, while looking at general variation in the vowels of AusE, is research carried out on conversational speech produced by 18–22-year-olds from Perth, Western Australia (Docherty et al., 2018). This study uses a sociophonetic approach to analyse speaker behaviour. Speakers were organised according to neighbourhood of residence, described as a “proxy for social class” (Docherty et al., 2018:2). Using only a static analysis (F1/F2 targets), no significant sociophonetic differences were observed, but a dynamic analysis (discrete cosine transform, DCT) showed significant differences in the TRAP vowel for male speakers. Regional variation Regional variation is considered part of sociophonetics, in the sense that “speech . . . indexes a person’s geographical identity” (Foulkes, Scobbie & Watt, 2010:712). AusE is an interesting case when it comes to tapping into this area of sociophonetics, because it is known to have “relative homogeneity [as it is] a comparatively new dialect” (Cox & Fletcher, 2017:19). This relative lack of variability was also discussed by Willoughby and Manns (this volume) and has been acknowledged since Mitchell and Delbridge’s work (e.g. 1965). With respect to vowel variables, the most recent and comprehensive study of regional variation has been carried in an acoustic-phonetic analysis by Cox and Palethorpe (2019), who used the AusTalk corpus (see, e.g. Cassidy, Estival & Cox, 2017) to compare variation across four capital cities in Australia from 109 speakers aged under 35. Focusing on 12 monophthongs and 6 diphthongs, the aim of the study was “to establish the first published baseline investigation for regional variation for vowels”, across Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. Of the large


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number of vowels studied, only some vowels were shown to be statistically different across (some) regions, and in relatively complex ways. GOAT and NEAR had the most complex findings, and some differences were also observed for the GOOSE, THOUGHT, TRAP and PRICE vowels. The GOAT vowel showed a strong regional effect, with Adelaide and Perth patterning similarly to one another, with a “phonetically retracted onset with a steeply rising and fronted glide”. They note that this had been previously observed as a South Australian realisation and had not previously been observed for Perth. The NEAR diphthong also showed some regional effects. Cox and Palethorpe (2019) show that “dynamicity” of diphthongisation was reduced in Sydney, but, again, regional effects are complex. A snapshot of findings surrounding NEAR are that Sydney females produce this variable differently from females in Adelaide and Perth (but not Melbourne) and Melbourne females produce the vowel differently from females and males in Adelaide, while the Melbourne males are also significantly different from the Perth males. While these fine-grained differences have been presented, the relative lack of regional variability across urban centres in Australia remains one of the findings of the study, with Cox and Palethorpe (2019) summarising that “we found evidence for region-specific variation for a small set of vowels . . . [highlighting] the need for more detailed analysis of a wider range of phonetic, stylistic, social and regional contexts”. Looking backwards, some other studies have also highlighted regional variability in the vowel system of AusE, but it is often difficult to draw exact conclusions about this due to differing methodologies and time spans between studies. For example, Butcher (2006) has shown variability in diphthong variation in Adelaide compared to Sydney (comparing his data to Cox, 1999), and Billington (2011) has conducted a similar analysis for Melbourne, but both are hampered by the time difference between data set collection and may be tapping into vowel change rather than regional variation. /el/-/æl/ merger in Melbourne: regional and social variation One specific regional variable which has received a lot of sociophonetic attention in recent years is the prelateral merger of /el/ → /æl/ (where words like celery and Melbourne are realised with a TRAP vowel in the first syllable, and words like Alan/Ellen are pronounced in the same way). This feature has been observed in the south-east of Australia, in the state of Victoria (see, e.g. Bradley, 2004; Cox & Palethorpe, 2004; Loakes, Hajek & Fletcher, 2017). It is best described as a merger in progress, not occurring for all speakers/listeners; this is unlike New Zealand English, where the merger occurs for most of the population (see the review of such research in Loakes, Hajek & Fletcher, 2017). Cox and Palethorpe (2004) carried out the first acoustic-phonetic study into this phenomenon, observing it in the speech of young women in Wangaratta (70 km from the NSW/Victorian border) but not in towns in New South Wales. Research primarily undertaken by Debbie Loakes and colleagues at the University of Melbourne has shown that the merger occurs in the southern but not the northern border region of Victoria (e.g. Loakes et al., 2014a, b, submitted; Loakes, Hajek & Fletcher, 2017). This

Sociophonetics of Australian English 109 effectively locates an isogloss between Wangaratta in Victoria, where Cox and Palethorpe’s (2004) study observed the merger, and Albury-Wodonga, which is on the NSW-Victorian border just 70 kilometres away (i.e. Loakes, Hajek & Fletcher, 2017). People in southern communities of Victoria (Melbourne, Warrnambool) who merge in production are quite unable to distinguish /el/-/æl/ in perception, often answering at random when faced with an /æl/ token in particular (e.g. Loakes et al., 2014; submitted), and they also take much longer to make decisions (Loakes et al., submitted) compared to others in the same community. Additionally, in the studies discussed so far, this vowel merger has been observed more often, but not solely, in participants who are in younger age brackets (Loakes et al., 2014; Loakes et al., submitted), and this is a clear change over time (Bradley, 2004; Loakes, Hajek & Fletcher, 2017). Some other interesting findings going beyond regional variation of the /el/-/æl/ merger have emerged from studies which look at sociophonetic variation across different groups in the same communities. These studies compare L1 Aboriginal and MAusE speakers who have lived in the same regions their entire lives, yet results surrounding the realisation and processing of merger are different depending on who is listening. Loakes et al. (submitted) also included one L1 Aboriginal English group from western Victoria in the study, which showed these speakers have entrenched merger in perception and also much earlier category crossovers from KIT-DRESS and DRESS-TRAP when compared to the MAusE listeners. In other words, in KIT-DRESS continua, they switch to hearing an /e/ sooner in the continuum than the MAusE listeners, and, similarly, they switch to TRAP sooner in DRESS-TRAP contexts. This links in with what is known so far about production behaviour by the Aboriginal English group. Loakes et al. (2016) focused on the production of short front vowels produced by 22 Aboriginal speakers and observed that the vowels were markedly different from descriptions of MAusE, with a more compressed vowel space in particular and more so for the male speakers. This compression has also been described by Butcher and Anderson (2008) for L2 Aboriginal speakers and results in vowels being overall higher (closer) in the vowel space than is seen for MAusE listeners. The resulting higher vowels correlate with the perception behaviour described for this group previously. A later preliminary study reported in Vaughan and Loakes (forthcoming) describes perception behaviour of another L1 Aboriginal group in Mildura, a northern community located just inside the border of NSW and Victoria close to the South Australian border. In Mildura, the non-Aboriginal speakers do not participate in the /el/-/æl/ merger (i.e. Loakes et al. in prep), while the Aboriginal English speakers from this community do. In fact, the processing behaviour of the L1 Aboriginal English listeners in both Warrnambool and Mildura (approximately 528 kilometres apart) is more similar than the processing behaviour between the L1 Aboriginal English and mainstream speakers in the same communities. There are few articulatory studies on AusE, but they are known to be a highly fruitful way of addressing sociophonetic variability. For example, Docherty et al. (2018:8) state that “if our goal is to understand how the speech production system executes the observed sociophonetic variability, we must delve further into


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the articulatory or gestural level”. One of the most recent studies on the /el/-/æl/ merger (Diskin et al., 2019) has looked at a small sample of speakers of MAusE using ultrasound data coupled with acoustic analysis. That study focused on a sample of 12 speakers born and raised in Melbourne, who produced a wordlist of vowels in pre-/t/ and pre-/l/ conditions. Acoustic data suggested only some merger behaviour for these speakers, but actually less than seen previously in Melbourne and southern Victoria more generally, that is, Loakes et al. (in prep., 2014b). Interestingly, the articulatory analysis did not show a one-to-one relationship between tongue splines and the acoustic data. Some speakers who merged acoustically had distinct tongue shapes for /el/-/æl/, while some speakers who did not merge acoustically had overlapping splines. While still leaving a number of open questions about merger and articulation, the study highlights the importance that articulatory studies can bring to sociophonetics of AusE. In particular, it highlights the complex input listeners are exposed to in this prelateral environment.

4 Sociophonetic variability in Australian English consonants For a time, studies on consonantal variation in AusE were quite sparse, with Horvath’s work on the sociolects of Sydney being an exception (discussed this section subsequently) (see also Ingram, 1989). Horvath (1985) listed a number of variants of /t/ in the Sydney region, with the heavily aspirated variant strongly correlating with ethnicity. Since Horvath’s study, a much wider range of variants have been observed for /t/, including canonical aspirated forms, affricated, fricative, glottalised, voiced, tapped and approximated realisations and even ejectives and full glottal (see Cox, this volume). Typically, /t/ realisation has been shown to covary with linguistic factors such as phonetic environment and social factors such as speaker age, sex, socioeconomic and ethnolectal background (Horvath, 1985; Tollfree, 2001; Penney, Cox & Szakay, 2018). The study on Perth conversational speech described in Docherty et al. (2018) also analysed intervocalic /t/ variability. Using detailed sociophonetic methodology, they found /t/ realisation patterns with speaker’s neighbourhood, the lexical item and individual speaker idiolect. They observed that men produced more approximated medial /t/, and people from higher socioeconomic neighbourhoods produced more fricative /t/. This finding regarding the sociophonetic covariation of /t/ has also been observed in Tollfree (2001) and Ford and Tabain (2016). Some other recent studies also show complex sociophonetic patterning of /t/ in different communities. In another comparison of L1 Aboriginal English and MAusE speakers from Warrnambool, Loakes et al. (2018) showed that there were significant differences in patterns of /t/ variants across the speaker groups. MAusE speakers tended to use aspirated, affricated and fricative /t/ variants, while the Aboriginal English speakers also used these but a range of other variants; in particular, full glottal stops and ejectives were quite prevalent in the data. Loakes et al. (2018) attribute this to being potentially governed by voice quality. This finding about the extreme variability in Aboriginal English /t/ also aligns with findings by Mailhammer, Sherwood and Stoakes (accepted). They

Sociophonetics of Australian English 111 included Aboriginal English speakers in a study of stop variation in Australian languages, finding extreme variability for L2 Aboriginal English speakers off the northern coast of Australia (Croker Island). Interestingly, in Loakes et al.’s (2018) study, more parallels are observable with the L2 Aboriginal English speakers in Mailhammer Sherwood and Stoakes’s (accepted) study compared to the MAusE speakers in the same town in southern Victoria. Penney, Cox and Szakay (2018, 2019) have carried out production studies on glottalisation in AusE focusing on coda /t d/ (2018) and /p b t d k g/ (2019), defined as occurring when a laryngeal gesture overlaps with the supralaryngeal gesture. Glottalisation is common in many forms of English, but in AusE, it is a relatively new development. In the first study of the pair, Penney, Cox and Szakay (2018) describe vowel length and glottalisation occurring in a trading relationship; they find that younger speakers make less use of a vowel distinction to signal final voicing than older speakers but that younger speakers use glottalisation in the voiceless context, which would have an effect of preserving the voicing contrast. Penney, Cox and Szakay (2019) carried out another study looking at the phonetic detail of glottalised stops, with additional places of articulation (mentioned previously) and restricted to unstressed syllables. This particular study has further sociophonetic implications for AusE (beyond age-related differences); women in this study were shown to glottalise more coda stops than men. In the previous study focusing only on /t/ in stressed syllables, Penney, Cox and Szakay (2018) did not observe any male/female differences in behaviour. Like the Docherty et al. (2018) study in Perth and the ultrasound merger study in Melbourne (Diskin et al., 2019), the additional analyses have again highlighted previously unobserved sociophonetic patterning, showing the value of adding further variables and techniques to sociophonetic analyses where possible. Ford and Tabain (2016) and Ford, Tabain and Docherty (2018) have also looked at consonantal variability, in children’s speech. Children’s speech can be especially enlightening in sociophonetic research, as has been seen in various studies, because gendered behaviour is observable even before the emergence of biological sex differences (see the review in Foulkes, Scobbie & Watt, 2010:706). Ford and Tabain (2016) based their analysis on the speech of monolingual MAusEspeaking primary school children in Prep, Grade 3 and Grade 6 from a small town in Victoria. They found that the children used “gendered” variants, even at the youngest age groups. For example, the girls of all groups use pre-aspiration and frication with greater frequency than the boys. There is also some interesting sociophonetic details in the effects, where “female” variants decrease in frequency as the girls get older. By Grade 6, they are using more glottalised and tapped variants of /t/, for example. Ford and Tabain (2016:68) also suggest that decreased use of gendered variation by increased age could be due to a growing awareness of more “casual” variants in that community amongst the adult speakers, with these variants being generally associated with male speech. In a later study looking at the acoustic characteristics of /s ʃ/ by the same speakers, Ford, Tabain and Docherty (2018) found clear sociophonetic patterning of their production. Again, girls’ and boys’ consonant production was different despite biological


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differences in sex not having yet emerged. At each of the age groups, Ford, Tabain and Docherty (2018) found girls had higher spectral mean and lower skewness than boys. The differences become especially evident at the oldest age group. Both of these studies (Ford & Tabain, 2016; Ford, Tabain & Docherty, 2018) are important because they show that emergence of sociophonetic variation in AusE consonants starts very early in life.

5 Processing studies with implications for sociophonetics Aside from the “Melbourne merger” studies described earlier, a growing number of AusE processing studies are providing insights into how listeners process social and phonetic information together in speech, as well as some studies showing how priming of these features might influence linguistic behaviour. Along with the production studies on /t/, Penney and colleagues (Penney et al., 2018; Penney, Cox & Szakay submitted) have also analysed perception of /t/. While younger and older speakers clearly used glottalisation differently in speech production, when their categorisation and reaction time behaviours are compared, the processing studies showed that there is actually no difference in behaviour in perception. Reaction times were similar for older and younger groups, with glottalisation facilitating categorisation when paired with realistic vowel lengths (Penney et al., 2018; Penney, Cox & Szakay submitted). Penney Cox and Szakay (submitted) attribute the lack of difference between older and younger groups in perception as a sound change led by perception; this also accords with exemplar modelling in the sense that the older speakers are exposed to glottalisation in their speech environments, despite not necessarily using it themselves. As mentioned earlier, some sociophonetic studies include visual priming (e.g. Hay & Drager, 2010). Such studies are rare in the AusE phonetics community, but a very recent project by Walker, Cox and Szakay (2019) explicitly modelled Hay and Drager’s (2010) study using stuffed toys as visual primes to test the notion that inferred social information will affect listeners’ vowel categorisation judgements. In this study, Walker, Cox and Szakay (2019) primed listeners with AusE phrases that ended in KIT, DRESS AND TRAP monosyllabic words. They were then exposed to KIT-DRESS and DRESS-TRAP contrasts in perception; vowels were synthesised and the listeners were exposed to six-step continua. Using the visual primes of koala and kiwi toys to prime “New Zealand” and “Australia” (replicating the 2010 study in the New Zealand context), as well as a control condition with no visual prime, Walker, Cox and Szakay (2019) assessed how well listeners would be able to match synthesised tokens to real tokens. Their predictions based on the findings of Hay and Drager (2010) were that the presence of the toys would affect listeners’ choices. Two different ordering presentations for the stimuli were used. The results showed no effect of priming but a strong effect of presentation order, raising questions about the usefulness of stuffed toys as primes and the efficacy of the task in eliciting a priming response. Another feature of AusE consonants which has not yet been discussed in this chapter is /s/-retraction, which can occur in /sCɹ/ clusters, causing the sibilant

Sociophonetics of Australian English 113 to sound more like [ʃ]; this has been the subject of a small number of listening experiments in which the results are sociophonetically stratified. An example of /s/-retraction is the /s/ in street sounding more like the /ʃ/ in sheet (e.g. Stevens & Harrington, 2016). This phenomenon is widespread in some varieties of English and has been observed to occur to differing degrees in AusE, but a comprehensive regional survey has not been conducted. For example, Stevens and Harrington (2016) found /s/-retraction to be relatively marginal in a small NSW town – in particular, they observed that phonetic preconditions were present in the community (i.e. /s/ had a lower first spectral moment in /sCɹ/ clusters) but that actual sound change had not taken place. In both an apparent-time and real-time study using speech from Sydney, Boylan (2019) showed an increase in /s/-retraction over time and also different timeframes for retraction depending on the following vowel context (rounded vowels promoted /ʃ/-like production). The listening experiment in Stevens and Harrington (2016) involved listeners being exposed to over 200 seat/sheet tokens, with some stimuli spliced from /s/ and placed into /ʃ/ contexts (and vice versa), some stimuli spliced from /sCɹ/ clusters and some from /Ci:/ contexts. Twenty-two listeners made a forced choice between seat/sheet. Results showed that phonetic context had a bearing on results, with more /ʃ/-like responses observed when the /s/ was spliced from clusters – showing that listeners’ categorical perception was affected depending on the original phonetic context. In other words, /s/ was heard as /ʃ/ when drawn from a /sCɹ/ cluster because of the inherently lower spectral moment in clusters. Additionally, more /ʃ/-like tokens were attributed to male speakers compared to female speakers. Production findings by Boylan (2019) showed that gender (and phonetic stress) interact with /s/-retraction in AusE, but gender in and of itself was not a factor in its patterning. In observing different acoustic trajectories for males and females when it comes to /s/ production, however, Boylan (2019) states that this may be some evidence that /s/ may be emerging as a social variable in Australian English. Another listening experiment on /s/-retraction was carried out by Stevens and Loakes (2019), who analysed priming and accommodation of /s/-retraction in the same NSW town as Stevens and Harrington (2016) in the context of individual variation and sound change more generally. Stevens and Loakes (2019) used (1) baseline recording, (2) exposure to a model talker and (3) post-exposure recording (of which results have not yet been reported) to determine whether exposure to /s/-retraction would in fact promote /s/-retraction amongst a group of speakers. During (1), participants read written words as they appeared on a laptop computer screen while wearing a headset microphone. During (2), participants heard over headphones the same words and were instructed to “identify the word you hear by repeating it out loud”, following shadowing task methodology by Babel (2010). At this time, listeners were exposed to greater amounts of /s/-retraction. Sixteen speakers took part, and results were varied. Individuals who already used /s/-retraction accommodated further, whereas individuals who had no /s/-retraction in the baseline recording did not take on this feature. Stevens and Loakes (2019) discuss the fact that this variable may be socially marked, and so some speakers


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are likely actively avoiding using it. Interestingly as well, the processing results did not predict participant behaviour in any way, and in fact listeners who were more likely to classify an ambiguous token as /ʃ/-like were less likely to actually use such tokens in their own speech. This study ultimately showed that increased exposure did not result in direct imitation of a variant and that social markedness appears to inhibit convergence. A handful of processing studies on AusE prosody have also been carried out over the years. These, and their implications for sociophonetics, are discussed in the following section.

6 Prosodic variability: sociophonetics and the high-rising tune One of the most iconic features of AusE is arguably the high-rising tune, also known as uptalk (see, e.g. Warren, 2015). This is a feature of AusE, as well as some other English varieties around the world such as New Zealand English (e.g. Warren, 2015), in which a statement is realised with intonation that resembles a question; that is, the intonation phrase ends in a high rising contour (see, e.g. Horvath, 1985; Guy et al., 1986; Fletcher et al., 2002; McGregor & Palethorpe, 2008). As reported in Fletcher and Loakes (2010:4) only about 11%–19% of interactional discourse is truly uptalk (where the end of the intonation phrase rises to the highest part of the speakers’ range). Various linguistic functions of high-rising tunes and associated prosody have been reported in linguistics literature (e.g. Fletcher et al., 2002; McGregor & Palethorpe, 2008; Warren, 2015; Fletcher & Loakes, 2018), and so the functions of this feature are fairly well understood in MAusE. Studies with implications for sociophonetics have also been carried out on this feature since the 1980s, when it was first reported as a feature of young women’s speech (i.e. Horvath, 1985; Guy et al., 1986). Likely due to a rapid change over time (Warren, 2015), highrising tunes are now observed in AusE in both male and female speech in around equal measure. McGregor and Palethorpe (2008), for example, observed more high-rising tunes in male compared to female speech in their study looking at communicative functions of rises. In a processing study analysing listener reactions to high-rising tunes, Fletcher and Loakes (2006) presented listeners with various utterances in which pitch accents and rise heights were manipulated and listeners had to decide if they had heard a question or a statement. There was both a male and female voice, and listeners also needed to provide confidence ratings on their answers. Both the voices used, and the listeners who took part, were MAusE speakers. As well as various linguistic findings (e.g. higher pitch accents coupled with higher rises contributed to more question responses), sociophonetic implications were also observed. The female voice attracted more question responses in general, which may correlate with listeners drawing on previous experience/biases; aside from the relative pitch height, all other factors were equal in Fletcher and Loakes (2006). A recent study by Fletcher and Loakes (2018) which looked at prosodic behaviour in AusE showed that women use more rising pitch accents than men, and as well as having

Sociophonetics of Australian English 115 a more expanded pitch range, this may in fact give listeners the impression of more uptalk overall. While high-rising tunes might be iconic, Cox and Fletcher (2017:93, referencing McGregor & Palethorpe, 2008) point out that the variant is not prized as such, often being “stigmatised . . . even by those people who use it themselves”. Another recent study which looked specifically at such negative associations was carried out by Tobin and Benders (2018). That study assessed three main questions: how listeners’ judgements about a speaker alter when high-rising tunes are present or not, how listener interpretations change when presented with socially biased information about a speaker (e.g. education level, occupation) and also the effect of listener gender. In this study, the experimental voice was a female voice (in different guises). The results of the study have a range of implications for sociophonetics. With respect to finality ratings, Tobin and Benders (2018) found that male listeners were more likely to judge an utterance containing a high-rising tune as final compared to female listeners. In general, uptalk was “associated with lower confidence, reduced emphasis and clarity and unfinished speech compared to falling contours” (Tobin & Benders, 2018:9). Tobin and Benders (2018) did not find any differences in listener responses across the speaker guises, so this is another example of primed social categories not affecting listener ratings of uptalk in the ways expected. Finally, a study by Jespersen (2016) compared how six Aboriginal English and six MAusE speakers from Sydney used high-rising tunes. Jespersen (2016) found no difference in the number of declarative rises used across Aboriginal English and MAusE speakers, but differences in the height of the rises were observed; MAusE speakers used rises with a higher pitch expansion. Speaker gender was not significant with respect to rise frequency, and age only had minimal effects, which had not been predicted. Jespersen (2016) suggests that the minimal variation between younger and older speakers with respect to rise frequency may mean there is some stability in usage now. A final finding to mention is that male Aboriginal English speakers used significantly lower-pitched rises than females, while the MAusE speakers had a (non-significant) reversal of this trend.

7 Conclusion Research described by Cox, this volume, characterised what we know about the AusE sound system, and sociophonetics research discussed in this chapter gives an insight into how language users (speakers, listeners) store and use phonetic variability to signal things about themselves and to process information about the people and sound categories they are listening to. Sociophonetics in AusE is an exciting field, and researchers are continuing to highlight complexities in patterns of variation that have been until recently under-described. As the field continues to evolve, examples of untapped areas which would be promising for future research into AusE sociophonetic variation include the role of social networks in people’s speech production and processing, more understanding of how phonetic variation unfolds and changes in dynamic interaction (which to date has only been


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studied for prosodic variation, i.e. Fletcher et al., 2002) and the role of voice quality in promoting and inhibiting some variants over others.

Acknowledgements Debbie Loakes would like to acknowledge The ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language for funding support. Thanks also to Janet Fletcher, John Hajek, Josh Clothier and Chloé Diskin for their collaboration on projects discussed in this chapter, and to Felicity Cox for insightful comments during the review process.

Note 1 For example, a one day Social Side of Speech workshop was held at Western Sydney University in 2012, and two two-day SocioPhonAus workshops have also been held in Brisbane, first in 2016 (and again in 2018). As well as this, the Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association biennial SST conference has had a dedicated sociophonetics theme since 2014, and sociophonetics-themed papers have been presented steadily since 2004.

References Babel, Molly. 2010. Dialect convergence and divergence in New Zealand English. Language in Society 39. 437–456. doi:10.1017/S0047404510000400. Babel, Molly. 2012. Evidence for phonetic and social selectivity in spontaneous phonetic imitation. Journal of Phonetics 40. 177–189. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2011.09.001. Billington, Rosey. 2011. Location, location, location! Regional characteristics and national patterns of change in the vowels of Melbourne adolescents. Australian Journal of Linguistics 31. 275–303. Boylan, Sean. 2019. /s/ retraction in /stɹ/ onsets in Australian English – Is sound change in progress? Sydney: Macquarie University. (Masters dissertation). Bradley, David. 2004. Regional characteristics of Australian English: Phonology. In Bernd Kortmann, Edgar W. Schneider Kate Burridge, Raj Mesthrie & Clive Upton (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English. Vol. 1: Phonology, 645–655. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Butcher, Andrew. 2006. Formant frequencies of /hVd/ vowels in the speech of South Australian females. Zealand English. Proceedings of the 11th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 459–453. Butcher, Andrew & Victoria Anderson. 2008. The vowels of Australian Aboriginal English. Proceedings of Interspeech 2008 incorporating SST, 347–350. Cassidy, Steve, Dominique Estival & Felicity Cox. 2017. Case study: The AusTalk Corpus. In Nancy Ide and James Pustejovsky (eds.), Handbook of linguistic annotation, 1287–1302. Springer: Dordrecht. doi:10.1007/978-94-024-0881-2_49. Cox, Felicity. 1999. Vowel change in Australian English. Phonetica 56. 1–27. Cox, Felicity & Janet Fletcher. 2017. Australian English: Pronunciation and transcription. 2nd ed. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781316995631. Cox, Felicity & Sallyanne Palethorpe. 2004. The border effect: Vowel differences across the NSW/Victorian border. Proceedings of the 2003 Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society, 1–27.

Sociophonetics of Australian English 117 Cox, Felicity & Sallyanne Palethorpe. 2012. Standard Australian English: The sociostylistic broadness continuum. In Raymond Hickey (ed.), Standards of English: Codified varieties around the world, 294–317. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/ CBO9781139023832.016. Cox, Felicity & Sallyanne Palethorpe. 2014. Phonologisation of vowel duration and nasalised /æ/ in Australian English. Proceedings of the 15th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 33–36. doi:10.13140/2.1.1096.6087. Cox, Felicity & Sallyanne Palethorpe. 2019. Vowel variation across four major Australian cities. Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, 577–581. Diskin, Chloé, Debbie Loakes, Rosey Billington, Hywel Stoakes & Sam Kirkham. 2019. The /el/-/æl/ merger in Australian English: Acoustic and articulatory insights. Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, 1764–1768. Docherty, Gerry, Paul Foulkes, Simón González & Nathaniel Mitchell. 2018. Missed connections at the junction of sociolinguistics and speech processing. Topics in Cognitive Science 10. 1–16. doi:10.1111/tops.12375. Fletcher, Janet & Debbie Loakes. 2006. Patterns of rising and falling in Australian English. Zealand English. Proceedings of the 11th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 41–47. Fletcher, Janet & Debbie Loakes. 2010. Interpreting rising intonation in Australian English. Speech Prosody 2010. Paper No. 124. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. Fletcher, Janet & Debbie Loakes. 2018. Pitch accent variation and realization in interactive discourse in Australian English. Proceedings of the 17th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 93–96. Fletcher, Janet, Lesley Stirling, Ilana Mushin & Roger Wales. 2002. Intonational rises and dialog acts in the Australian English map-task. Language and Speech 45. 229–253. doi: 10.1177/00238309020450030201. Ford, Casey & Marija Tabain (originally published as Tait and Tabain). 2016. Patterns of gender variation in the speech of primary-school aged children in Australian English: The case of /p t k/. Proceedings of the Sixteenth Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 65–68. Ford, Casey, Marija Tabain & Gerry Docherty. 2018. Gender differences in the spectral characteristics of voiceless sibilants produced by Australian English-speaking children. Proceedings of the 17th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 97–100. Foulkes, Paul & Jen Hay. 2015. The emergence of sociophonetic structure. In Brian MacWhinney & William O’Grady (eds.), The handbook of language emergence, 292–313. Oxford: Blackwell. Foulkes, Paul, James Scobbie & Dominic Watt. 2010. Sociophonetics. In William Hardcastle John Laver & Fiona E. Gibbon (eds.), The handbook of phonetic sciences, 703–754. Oxford: Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9781444317251. Fletcher Janet & Debbie Loakes. 2018. Pitch accent variation and realization in interactive discourse in Australian English. Proceedings of the 17th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 93–96. Foulkes, Paul. 2010. Exploring social-indexical knowledge: A long past but a short history. Laboratory Phonology, 1(1), 5–39. doi:10.1515/labphon.2010.003. Grama, James, Catherine Travis & Simón González. 2019. The short-front vowel shift in Australia: Initiation, progression and conditioning. Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences.


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Guy, Gregory, Barbara Horvath, Julie Vonwiller, Elaine Daisley & Inge Rogers. 1986. An intonational change in progress in Australian English. Language in Society 15. 23–51. doi:10.1017/S0047404500011635. Hay, Jen & Katie Drager. 2010. Stuffed toys and speech perception. Linguistics 48. 865–892. doi:10.1515/ling.2010.027. Horvath, Barbara. 1985. Variation in Australian English: The sociolects of Sydney. Sydney: Cambridge University Press. Horvath, Barbara & David Sankoff. 1987. Delimiting the Sydney speech community. Language in Society 16. 179–204. doi:10.1017/S0047404500012252. Ingram, John. 1989. Connected speech processes in Australian English. Australian Journal of Linguistics 9. 21–49. doi:10.1080/07268608908599410. Jannedy, Stefanie & Melanie Weirich. 2014. Sound change in an urban setting: Category instability of the palatal fricative in Berlin. Laboratory Phonology 5. 91–122. doi:10.1515/ lp-2014-0005. Jespersen, Anna. 2016. A first look at declarative rises as markers of ethnicity in Sydney. Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2016, 143–147. doi:10.21437/SpeechProsody.2016-30. Loakes, Deborah, Josh Clothier, John Hajek & Janet Fletcher. 2014a. An investigation of the /el/-/æl/ merger in Australian English: A pilot study on production and perception in south-west Victoria. Australian Journal of Linguistics 34. 436–452. doi:10.1080/07268 602.2014.929078. Loakes, Deborah, Josh Clothier, John Hajek & Janet Fletcher. Submitted. Sociophonetic variation in vowel categorization of Australian English. Submitted to Language and Speech. Loakes, Deborah, Janet Fletcher, John Hajek, Josh Clothier & Ben Volchok. 2016. Short vowels in L1 Aboriginal English spoken in Western Victoria. Proceedings of the 16th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 33–36. Loakes, Deborah, John Hajek, Josh Clothier & Janet Fletcher. 2014b. Identifying /el/-/æl/: A comparison between two regional Australian towns. Proceedings of the 15th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 41–44. Loakes, Deborah, John Hajek & Janet Fletcher. 2017. Can you t[æ]ll I’m from M[æ] lbourne? An overview of the DRESS and TRAP vowels before /l/ as a regional accent marker in Australian English. English World-Wide 38. 29–49. doi:10.1017/S00251 00319000045. Loakes, Deborah, Kirsty McDougall, Josh Clothier, John Hajek & Janet Fletcher. 2018. Sociophonetic variability of post-vocalic /t/ in Aboriginal and mainstream Australian English. Proceedings of the 17th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 5–8. Mailhammer, Robert, Stacey Sherwood & Hywel Stoakes. Forthcoming. The inconspicuous substratum: Indigenous Australian languages and the phonetics of stop contrasts in English on Croker Island. English World-Wide. Accepted 10/18. McGregor, Jeanette & Sallyanne Palethorpe. 2008. High rising tunes in Australian English: The communicative function of L* and H* pitch accent onsets. Australian Journal of Linguistics 28. 171–193. doi:10.1080/07268600802308766. Mitchell, Alexander & Arthur Delbridge. 1965. The speech of Australian adolescents: A survey. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. Penney, Joshua, Felicity Cox, Kelly Miles & Sallyanne Palethorpe. 2018. Glottalisation as a cue to coda consonant voicing in Australian English. Journal of Phonetics 66. 161–184. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2017.10.001.

Sociophonetics of Australian English 119 Penney, Joshua, Felicity Cox & Anita Szakay. 2019. Glottalisation of word-final stops in Australian English unstressed syllables. Journal of the IPA 49. 1–32. doi:10.1017/ S0025100319000045. Penney, Joshua, Felicity Cox & Anita Szakay. Submitted. Effects of glottalisation, preceding vowel duration, and coda closure duration on the perception of coda stop voicing. Submitted to Journal of Phonetics. Shnukal, Anna. 1978. A sociolinguistic study of Australian English: Phonological and syntactic variation in Cessnock, NSW. Washington, DC: Georgetown University. (Doctoral dissertation). Shnukal, Anna. 1982. You’re gettin’ somethink for nothing: Two phonological variables of Australian English. Australian Journal of Linguistics 2. 197–212. doi:10.1080/ 07268608208599291. Stevens, Mary & Jonathan Harrington. 2016. The phonetic origins of /s/-retraction: Acoustic and perceptual evidence. Journal of Phonetics 58. 118–134. doi:10.1016/j. wocn.2016.08.003. Stevens, Mary & Debbie Loakes. 2019. Individual differences and sound change actuation: evidence from imitation and perception of English /str/. Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, 3200–3204. Melbourne, Australia. Tobin, Elise & Titia Benders. 2018. Interpretations of uptalk in Australian English: Low confidence, unfinished speech and variability within and between listeners. Proceedings of the 17th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 9–12. Tollfree, Laura. 2001. Variation and change in Australian consonants. In David Blair and Peter Collins (eds.), Varieties of English around the world: English in Australia, 17–44. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/veaw.g26.06tol. Vaughan, Jill & Debbie Loakes. forthcoming. Language contact and Australian languages. In Raymond Hickey (ed.), Wiley handbook of language contact. 2nd ed. Walker, Michael, Anita Szakay & Felicity Cox. 2019. Can kiwis and koalas as cultural primes induce perceptual bias in Australian English listeners? Laboratory Phonology 10 (Article 7). 1–29. doi:10.5334/labphon.90. Warren, Paul. 2015. Uptalk: The phenomenon of rising intonation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781316403570.


Lexical and morphosyntactic variation in Australian English Lee Murray and Howard Manns

1 Introduction Australian English (AusE) is among only a handful settler English varieties to have entered the “Differentiation Phase” of English dialect evolution (along with American English, Canadian English, New Zealand English) (Peters, 2014, this volume; Burridge, this volume). The Differentiation Phase entails a greater sense of political, cultural and linguistic self-dependence (Buchfeld et al., 2014). Such self-dependence allows for economic, social and persona differentiation, which in turn leads to a reorientation to regional and social environments (Buchfeld et al., 2014). This in turn leads to regional and social diversification and the “birth” of new social and regional dialects (Schneider, 2007). Australia has comparatively recently entered this Differentiation Phase. Whereas American English entered this Phase in 1898 (with the Spanish-American War), Australia’s entry is only decades old. This is not to say that social and regional variation did not exist in Australia before the Differentiation Phase, but merely that it has been less obvious or prominent than one might expect (Peters, 2014). Peters (2014:110) notes “Raw material for linguistic differentiation has existed in Australia since the first settlements”, through contact with speakers of indigenous languages and through waves of migration (see also Willoughby & Manns, this volume). Indeed, chapters in the current volume (e.g. Clothier, Cox, Dickson, Loakes) illustrate regional and social phonological variation. Yet early work on morphosyntactic features revealed little regional variation and made only general remarks on social variation (Peters, 2014). Early work on regional lexical differences was limited to “well-worn” anecdotal evidence on how speakers in different states referred to, among other things, plain-tasting sausages (e.g. devon, fritz, paloney) (Butler, 2005). In sum, up to the 1980s and even into the 2000s, little systematic work had been done on Australian regional variation in lexicon, and the work that had been done on Australian morophosyntactic features revealed little. Yet there is growing interest in variation within AusE, and there are more sophisticated ways of studying this variation. This chapter reviews contemporary lexical and morphosyntactic variation in Australia. In terms of lexicon, two key types of work have been conducted: that

AusE lexical and morphosyntactic variation 121 by lexicographers and that by linguists working in the tradition of dialectology. We begin with the latter by reviewing the work of linguists like Pauline Bryant, who sought to survey Australians and establish isoglosses for Australian regional usage. We then examine the work of lexicographers, whose work tells us something about the differing history, personalities and social geographies of Australia’s regions. We next turn our attention to variation in morphosyntactic features and discuss work on these features in two ways. We begin with those studies that make general observations on nonstandard usage in AusE and link this variation to, among other things, working-class males (e.g. Eagleson, 1972, 1976; Pawley, 2004, 2008). We then discuss those studies that seek to provide more nuanced information on variation in AusE, such as which, if any, morphosyntactic features or usages might be distinctively Australian (e.g. Collins & Peters, 2008; Eisikovits, 1989a, 1989b; Peters, 2009, 2014). We close by positioning variation within AusE as a growing area of interest, and one of growing possibilities.

2 Lexical variation within Australian English 2.1 Introducing lexical variation within Australian English Australians in different states or regions often use different words for the same, similar or locally relevant referents. This variation is discussed in earlier accounts of AusE like Sidney Baker’s (1945) The Australian Language and W.S. Gunn’s (1970) Twentieth-Century Australian Idiom. Baker (1945:195) notes difficulties in collecting localised expressions in his overview of AusE and provides “a selection of local materials” for the reader. These materials include uniquely localised words such as tongue-in-cheek references to King’s Cross (a Sydney area known for street sex work) as Rooty Hill1 and in Melbourne the Collins Street twist (an unfinished cigar or cigarette butt picked up from the street for smoking). Baker’s (1945:198) list also highlights the inter-city rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne and how Sydneysiders boast they are three hours ahead of Smellburn (our harbour, our bridge and our Bradman).2 Later work by Wilkes (1993:72) suggests Melbournians mockingly responded by calling the Sydney Harbour Bridge the coathanger. Gunn (1970:64) provides a more thorough description of state-to-state variations in lexicon and highlights many of the words discussed subsequently. Gunn (1970:64) notes, “it is quite obvious that special naming does exist in different places”, but “no scientific work has been done on this”. This began to change in the 1980s with a series of surveys by sociolinguists and through the work of lexicographers developing the Macquarie Dictionary and The Australian National Dictionary (see Peters, this volume). 2.2 Sociolinguistic studies of lexical variation in Australian English Regional lexical variation underwent more systematic sociolinguistc study from the 1980s. The largest formal study of AusE lexical variation to date has been conducted by Pauline Bryant (1985, 1989b, 1989a, 1991, 1992). Bryant saw two


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key challenges in understanding regional variation: mapping the limits of regional variation and what words to include within the relevant regions. She set out with the intention of drawing isoglosses or heteroglosses to delineate words and regions. To do so, Bryant conducted oral and written surveys of approximately 1000 informants throughout Australia (see Bryant, 1992 for a complete discussion of her methods). At the outset, she assembled a list of 86 possible words from her own personal observations in the prior decades but also from the list suggested by Gunn (1970). The list of lexical variants grew to 696 overall through a search of literature and newspapers, the contributions of informants and her own personal observations (see Bryant, 1992). Bryant found that some of these words were not regional variants but rather synonymous within the same region. For instance, Gunn (1970:64) notes sweets-pudding-desserts as regional variants in Australia, whereas Bryant (e.g., 1991) finds these used more broadly. In the end, Bryant found identified four key usage areas for regional words: 1 2 3 4

North-east: New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland; South-east: Victoria, Tasmania, and the Riverina area of southern NSW; South-centre: south-east South Australia and neighbouring parts of NSW; and, South-west: south-western Western Australia.

Some regions of Australia (e.g. the Northern Territory, much of Western Australian and much of South Australia) are not represented in the list due to insufficient data. Bryant also notes considerable out-of-area usage of regional terms in Australia (Bryant, 1989a). For instance, if you give someone a ride on your bicycle handlebars, it is known as a dink (or dinking) in the south-east, but a dinky in most parts of the south-centre. However, there are also sporadic out-of-area uses of dink in the south-central region. Border areas overlap considerably in the use of one region’s lexical variant or the other (Bryant, 1989b). Mount Gambier is approximately equal distance from Melbourne and Adelaide. Of the 11 variables that differ across South Australia and Victoria, Bryant (1989b) finds that residents of Mount Gambier use four South Australian words (slippery dip, gutter, recess, Salvation Jane), six Victorian words (snib, mudlark, nature strip, dixie, peanut butter, marrow)3 and synonymous use of fritz or German sausage for the remaining referent. Such variation ultimately made it difficult in many, if not most, instances to draw isoglosses and heteroglosses in Australia. Yet Bryant’s work gives us a significant sense of regional variation in the Australian lexicon. The most frequently cited variable in Bryant’s work (e.g. 1991) relates to the item Australians wear to the beach – a bathing suit or swimsuit in American English, but togs in Queensland, swimmers in NSW and bathers in Victoria, Tasmania and West Australia (but see recent crowdsourced work by Billington et al., 2015 for intra-regional variation in these terms and others, including cossie, swimsuit, boardies and budgie smugglers).4 Yet, by far the most frequently cited “category” in Bryant’s work related to food, with 576 mentions. After that, the most commonly mentioned items were those associated with neighbourhood

AusE lexical and morphosyntactic variation 123 and home environments (Bryant, 1991). As noted previously, Bryant found that many of these words were not regional variants, but rather synonymous within a region. For instance, pillow case and pillow slip were found to varyingly be used for the cover one puts on their pillow, and bitumen, asphalt or tar for the surface of a road (Bryant, 1991). Synonymous variation was sometimes driven by the formality of the context (Bryant, 1989b). In NSW and Queensland, garbage bin was a general word for what we put our rubbish into, but garbo would be used in informal or intimate contexts. In Victoria, Bryant (1989b) found rubber band to be a general word, but lacker bands might be used informally. But, of course, there are many words which do vary by region (such regional words are described subsequently with reference to lexicographers, who have sought to understand how and why these words have come to be used in these regions). Bryant’s and other scholars’ works have also highlighted social variation in the Australian lexicon. For instance, Bryant (1991) found a large vegetable known as a marrow by younger South Australians was called a trombone by those 45 years old or older. She found that the word servo for service station was only used by males from eastern states and raised the question of whether and to what degree such shortenings were localised and/or gendered. Questions on social variation in the Australian lexicon are taken up in greater detail and with greater rigor by later scholars. For instance, in reference to the -o ending on words like servo (see also Manns, this volume), Simpson (2001) indeed finds these sorts of words to be more common in the eastern states of NSW and Queensland. Kidd, Kemp and Quinn (2011) investigate the -o ending and find no statistical evidence for gender variation but do find age-related differences. Kidd, Kemp and Quinn find younger people using this ending less and suggest it might be dying out among younger people. One interesting, and perhaps under-explored, aspect of the Australian lexicon remains gender (with notable exceptions including Lee & Collins, 2009; Strahan, 2008). For instance, Holmes, Sigley and Terraschke (2009) analysed written and spoken corpora of American, Australian, British and New Zealand English and found that AusE speakers used a greater number of words indexing gender neutrality than speakers of the other Englishes. In other words, Australians were more likely to use words like chairperson or chair instead of chairman. Holmes, Sigley and Terraschke posit this may reflect greater inclusion of women in the Australian workplace and/or results from a societal push to use more inclusive language. In any case, the mentioned studies reveal some exciting new possibilities for future scholars, especially when it comes to social variation and the Australian lexicon. 2.3 Lexicographers and lexical variation in Australian English A group of Australian lexicographers worked together and separately from the 1960s to better understand how Australians used English and the history and origin of those words that might be considered distinctively Australian (see Laugeson, 2014; Ramson, 2003; Manns, this volume; Peters, this volume). This resulted in the publication of the Macquarie Dictionary (1981), which was concerned


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with the Australian use of English, and the publication of The Australian National Dictionary (1988), which was concerned with the history and origins of Australian words. The development and publication of these dictionaries, and their subsequent editions, led to side projects on Australian regional variation. For the Australian National Dictionary (AND), this meant the publication of a series of books on the regionalisms used in specific states, including books on Queensland (Robinson, 2001), South Australia (Jauncey, 2004), Tasmania (Brooks & Ritchie, 1995) and Western Australia (Brooks & Ritchie, 1994). For the Macquarie dictionary, this meant a collaboration with the Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC). An online website (“Australian Word Map”) was used to crowd-source regionalisms from throughout Australia (see Butler, 2005), and this resulted in the publication of a book (Richards, 2005) and the development of an interactive website, in which users can discover the meanings and regions of a range of Australian words (Macquarie Dictionary, 2019). The AND and Macquarie/ABC projects and work by other lexicographers (e.g. Wilkes, 1993) link lexical variation to the differing histories and social geographies of each state. For instance, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia maintain British usages lost to, or never used in, other parts of Australia (Brooks & Ritchie, 1994; Jauncey, 2004). Jauncey (2004:2) writes, “Since settlement there has always been an undeniable Englishness about many aspects of South Australian life” (see also Loakes, this volume, for sociophonetics). This Britishness remains in everyday terms like villa (for “a large and impressive house”), and pusher for what might be called elsewhere a stroller or pram (Jauncey, 2004:2). In Western Australia, Brooks and Ritchie (1994:9) write, isolation led to a closer affinity with Britain than the tothersiders (those from other parts of Australia) and consequently the preservation of British words lost to tother side. For instance, Western Australian cars park in bays, roads are bordered by a verge and fertile land is said to be in good heart (a phrase lost even in Britain) (Brooks & Ritchie, 1994). Isolation and separation are also common themes in the Tasmanian lexicon, but, unlike Western Australians, Tasmanians differentiate themselves by looking to their convict past (Brooks & Ritchie, 1995). This is seen in a number of local compounds like convict brick, convict building, convict garden, convict relic and convict settlement (Brooks & Ritchie, 1995: viii). Yet the Tasmanian countryside has invoked a sense of Englishness commented upon by writers such as Patrick White in The Leaves of Grass. This countryside is described in decidedly English ways, with words such fens (marsh) and highlands (which elsewhere might be called high country) (Brooks & Ritchie, 1995:ix). The bush and contact with Australian Indigenous communities underlies lexical variation in most states, but especially Queensland and Northern Territory. Brisbane is the first white settlement in Queensland, which is on the land of Yagara-speaking people. Consequently, more words have been borrowed from the Yagara language than any other Australian Indigenous language in Queensland. Of particular note is humpy, which referred to a temporary shelter but has since extended in AusE to mean any “makeshift or temporary dwelling, especially one made of primitive materials” (Moore, 2010:20). Yagara has also contributed yakka

AusE lexical and morphosyntactic variation 125 “work” and bung “broken” (from an earlier meaning “dead”) to AusE, but use of these words is not limited to Queensland. Northern Territory has seen the influx of a number of Indigenous Australian words. For instance, Aboriginal English speakers in Northern Territory have preserved a pair of archaic Standard English words: gammon “rubbish, nonsense” and humbug, though the latter has shifted in meaning to “sham, pretence” (Moore, 2010:171; see Manns, this volume and Dickson, this volume). In recent years, the Arrernte word minga “ant” has come to be used for “tourist”, and the Larrakia word buju has come to be used by the wider community in Northern Territory to mean “a sexually attractive person” (Moore, 2010:172). Three final points about the work of lexicographers and lexical variation in AusE relate to migrant groups, government impositions and shared cultural injokes. First, migrant groups have left their mark on the regional lexicon, perhaps most famously German migrants in South Australia (Jauncey, 2004). For instance, the German name Fritz came to be the name used for German sausage (Jauncey, 2004:114). Anti-German sentiment in WWI led to attempts to relabel this sausage the Austral, but to no avail: fritz remains the name for the sausage in South Australia. However, similar renaming efforts were successful in other parts of Australia. When the British Royal family changed their surname from SaxeCoburg-Gotha to Windsor in 1917, Queenslanders followed suit by renaming the German sausage a Windsor sausage (Moore, 2010:138). We also see influence of German migration on what South Australians call a 200-ml glass of beer, butcher, likely from the German Becher “drinking vessel” (a similarly sized glass, when available, is called a seven [ounce] in Hobart, a seven in Sydney and Darwin, a beer in Brisbane and a glass in Melbourne and Perth) (Moore, 2010). Next, Butler (2005) cites government impositions as a contributing factor to lexical variation across states. For instance, historically, the first year of primary school (now officially known as Foundation) was called kindergarten in NSW, prep in Tasmania and Victoria, and reception in South Australia (Butler, 2005: vii). Lastly, Australians have shared in-jokes about certain social types and social practices, but these are referred to differently across states (see Richards, 2005, in particular, for an extensive account of such variation). For example, there is a nationally known term bogan for an “uncultured, unsophisticated” person, but there are also local variants (e.g. the bevan in Queensland, the westie in Sydney and more recently Melbourne, the chigga in Tasmania, the booner in Canberra) (see Richards, 2005; Moore, 2010). At the other end of the social spectrum, there are a range of words for the all-too-large cars/SUVs driven by cashed-up Australians, words mostly derived from affluent suburbs and including the Toorak tractor (Victoria), Kenmore tractor (Queensland), North Shore tractor (NSW), the Double Bay shopping trolley (NSW) and Mosman shopping trolley (NSW) (see Wilkes, 1993; Richards, 2005; Moore, 2010). There are also regional jokes around drinking, with a Darwin stubby (a stubby normally a small bottle of beer) being an old term for a 2.25-litre bottle of beer in Northern Territory (Richards, 2005). The words for cask or box wine vary across Australia, often reflecting working-class neighbourhoods. This style of wine may varyingly be called a Dapto briefcase


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(NSW), Broadmeadows briefcase (Victoria), Coraki handbag (NSW) or Balga handbag (Western Australia) (Richards, 2005).

3 Morphosyntactic variation in Australian English 3.1 Introducing morphosyntactic variation in Australian English There have been two primary ways of investigating AusE morphosyntax: survey/ elicitation and the study of corpora (Collins & Peters ,2008). In these studies, age and social factors emerge as the most powerful influence on morphosyntactic variation (Peters, 2014). This section begins by briefly reviewing some of the earlier studies of morphosyntactic variation in AusE. Earlier work, such as that by Pawley (2004, 2008), often considers AusE in terms of the degree to which its morphosyntactic features are “vernacular”, “colloquial” or “formal”. But such work is limited in some ways in its methods, and data from such work (much of it collected in the 1970s) is now dated. This section next examines newer, more nuanced work on social variation in AusE morphosyntax. Such studies show gender to be an important dimension of social variation in AusE, but age-graded variation emerges as the most dominant element in AusE (see Peters, 2014). Findings point to the need for further investigation of social and regional variation to better understand the exciting new directions AusE might be taking within the Differentiation Phase. 3.2 Nonstandard features and Australian English Many earlier works on AusE (e.g. Eagleson, 1972, 1976; Pawley, 2004, 2008) considered the degree to which its features might be considered in terms of labels like “vernacular”, “colloquial” or “standard/formal” (echoing work by Labov, 1972). Pawley (2004, 2008) described a range of morphosyntactic features he associates with “Australian Vernacular English (AusVE)”. Pawley claims that AusVE is a “basilectal” variety, which is at the opposite end of a continuum to the “acrolectal” Standard Australian Formal English (StAusFE). For Pawley, between the acrolect and basilect may be found “Standard Australian Colloquial English (StAusColE)”. StAusColE is the “dominant variety of many Australians”, and it is the variety used by Australians with middle-class backgrounds or aspirations (Pawley, 2008:365). However, he notes that many Australians are polylectal and might shift to AusVE in less formal contexts or to StAusFE in restricted, formal contexts. StAusFE is mostly self-conscious speech; it is used in restricted, often written contexts and it has a grammar not unlike those of UK and North American Englishes (Pawley, 2008). Yet Pawley’s work is most concerned with AusVE, which he links to the informal speech of many Australians, but especially men with working-class and/or rural backgrounds. Pawley (2004, 2008) describes a range of variables associated with AusVE and attempts in many cases to link use of these variables to social or contextual factors. Pawley (2008) investigates AusVE through a review of transcribed conversations

AusE lexical and morphosyntactic variation 127 of 15 different (but mostly male) speakers in Tasmania, written notes he has taken on overheard conversations and several works of fiction focused on regional contexts (e.g. The Sentimental Bloke, They’re a Weird Mob). The notes and fictional texts enable him to compare his Tasmanian findings to those in other Australian regions as well as to consider longitudinal aspects of the features (some of the books were up to 100 years old). Pawley (2008) highlights 25 morphosyntactic features relevant to AusVE (many of which are revisited in the next section). He does not propose that these are exclusively Australian morphosyntactic features, and few may be considered so (e.g. utterance-final but; see Mulder, Thompson & Penry Williams, 2009). In fact, many of Pawley’s features overlap what have been labelled “vernacular universals” or “vernacular angloversals” (Chambers, 2004; Kortmann & Szmrecsanyi, 2004). Vernacular universals are those features most common to nonstandard varieties of English worldwide, and among the universals found in Pawley’s data are (adapted from Pawley, 2008:362–363): (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

Never as a past negator (e.g. he never did it meaning “he didn’t do it”) Adjective/adverb merger (e.g. quick, good, nice as adverbs) Special forms or phrases for second-person pronouns (e.g. youse, yiz) Merger of simple past/present perfect (e.g. I only been there once) were subject-verb agreement (e.g. They was)

But Pawley goes some way in establishing how these “universals” and other nonstandard features might be considered a part of AusVE. He does this in the first instance by highlighting how in AusVE these features appear with nonstandard (but, again, not exclusively Australian) phonological variables. For instance, these informal morphosyntactic features often appear with “h-dropping” and the use of -in (i.e. alveolar nasal) instead of -ing (i.e. velar nasal) word endings (see Loakes, this volume). Pawley in the second instance sets out some of the contextual reasons AusE speakers might shift into AusVE. For instance, focusing on one specific variable, Pawley (2008, 2016) discusses how and why AusE speakers use grammatically gendered pronouns for inanimate objects and animals (of which the sex might not be known). For instance: (6) What we’ll be looking for is a tree with a straight barrel on ‘im. (Pawley, 2016:152) (7) That river, she is dangerous with all them crocodiles. (Pawley, 2016:157) (8) That timber gun, she splits the log open. (Pawley, 2016:161) Three inanimate objects are assigned gendered pronouns in examples (6) to (8) (i.e. the tree [masculine], the river [feminine] and the timber gun [feminine]). Pawley (2008) attempts to explain the selection of one gendered pronoun or the other. For example, trees and plants are generally masculine, and inanimate


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aspects of the natural world are feminine. Tools or portable goods might engender either a masculine or feminine pronoun. This depends on the attachment that one feels to the object (e.g. if it is valuable or a person is attached to the object, it engenders a feminine pronoun; less attachment or neutrality engenders a masculine pronoun). Pawley (2008) also reflects on when a speaker might choose to “animate” an “inanimate” referent with a gendered pronoun. Among other things, Pawley notes that the less formal the interaction is, the more likely it is a speaker will use an animate pronoun for an inanimate object. However, Pawley’s work on the whole does not establish the previous variables as distinctively Australian but rather as general informal variants, which male, rural Australians might prefer, and to which other Australians might shift. Yet Pawley’s discussion of these variables does intersect with, and include references to, research that sought to better understand the social variation of morphosyntax in Australian English, and we now turn to this work. 3.3 Social variation of morphosyntactic features in Australian English Few, if any, morphosyntactic features may be considered distinctively Australian. However, scholars have been able to identify some social variation in morphosyntactic features within Australia. For instance, work by Eisikovits (1987, 1989a, 1989b, 1991) and Shnukal (1978, 1989) has revealed age- and gender-related variation among young people in Sydney and Cessnock, NSW, respectively. For instance, for some speakers of AusE, don’t is invariant across third-person singular contexts: (9) Mum don’t have to do nothing. (Eisikovits, 1989a:37) Eisikovits (1989a) found adolescent boys in Sydney were more likely to use this variant than adolescent girls. Moreover, results suggest adolescent boys increasingly used this form as they got older. Boys studying in year 8 used 13/78 tokens of invariant don’t (16.7%), whereas year 10 boys used 31/60 tokens (51.7%). Adolescent girls stayed consistent in their relative non-use of invariant don’t across age groups. The use of past participle for past tense [see also example (4) previously] also emerged as statistically relevant in Eisikovitz’s work: (10) He woke up an seen something.5 (Eisikovits, 1989a:37) Eisikovits (1989a) found that adolescent girls in year 8 used this feature at a greater rate (134/313, 42.8%) than adolescent boys (139/481, 28.9%). However, adolescent girls seemingly reduce their use of this variant as they get older (86/307, 28%), and boys increase their use of this feature (137/411, 33.3%). Drawing on Labov (1972), Trudgill (1972) and Wolfram (1969), Eisikovitz links sex variation to women’s orientation to prestige norms and men’s to covert prestige. She conducts interviews with her participants and links age-based variation to the way in which

AusE lexical and morphosyntactic variation 129 the adolescents orient to adulthood. The adolescent girls see the need to “grow up” and “settle down”, whereas the adolescent boys also see the need to “grow up”, but for the boys, this means being more “assertive” and projecting “toughness”. While perhaps the gender dimension requires further work in AusE, age-related variation emerges as “the dominant factor” in studies of morphosyntactic variation in Australia (Peters, 2014). Peters and colleagues (e.g. Collins & Peters, 2008; Peters, 2009, 2014) have occasionally illustrated this point by drawing on surveys conducted for the magazine Australian Style. Australian Style (1993– 2012), edited by Peters, billed itself as “a national bulletin” on “issues in Australian style and the use of English in Australia”. Surveys conducted in 2002 and 2007 are particularly revealing in terms of age-based variation and possible shifts in the Australian linguascape. For instance, strong verbs have experienced a significant decline in the number of possible conjugations since the Norman invasion (Collins & Peters, 2008). No strong verbs have more than three parts (give/gave/given) and show a general pattern of reducing to two (bring/brought) or even one part (hit) (Collins & Peters, 2008). Collins and Peters (2008) looked to the 2002 Australian Style survey (consisting of over 1100 participants) to investigate how this might be impacting irregular verbs in Australia. They found that younger Australians showed a trend of reducing these verb paradigms from three to two parts. For instance, 79% of Australians 65 years or older used the irregular past tense verb shrank, whereas only 31% of Australians 10–24 years old used this (instead preferring shrunk for the past tense). We see similar trends with the irregular past tense verbs for sink and spring, with older people preferring sank and sprang, and younger sunk and sprung. Age-related variation also emerges as relevant in the study of tense and aspect in narratives. Two key tense/aspect constructions are known to be features of AusE narratives: the historical present (Rodríguez Louro & Ritz, 2014) and the narrative present perfect (Rodríguez Louro & Ritz, 2014; Richard & Rodríguez Louro, 2016). The historical present is the use of the present tense when the speaker is recounting past events: (11) So he came home from work, he sat in there and he’s rocking away . . . (Rodríguez Louro & Ritz, 2014:553) (12) And then one day I heard someone knock on my door and she’s just like standing there with this bird in her hand . . . (Rodríguez Louro & Ritz, 2014:555) Rodríguez Louro and Ritz (2014) compare the use of the simple past tense, the historical present and the present perfect in narratives. They find a significant relationship between age and tense/aspect choice; speakers aged 36–62 favour the simple past, while those aged 12–28 favour the historical present with quotative6 verbs. The narrative present perfect has a similar function to the historical present: (13) So she’s come in, and she’s gone, “Oh I need to fill out this form . . .” (Richard & Rodríguez Louro, 2016:129)


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(14) So I’ve – I’ve took Tim down the back. (Richard & Rodríguez Louro, 2016:131) Richard and Rodríguez Louro (2016) find three types of speakers more likely to use the narrative present perfect: nonprofessionals, males and older people. In other words, age matters, as mentioned, but other social factors emerge as relevant to morphosyntactic variation, and this offers exciting possibilities for future work on AusE (see also Severin, 2017; Willoughby, this volume).

4 Conclusion This chapter provided a brief overview of lexical and morphosyntactic variation within Australian English. We first focused on lexical variation by reviewing the regional work of sociolinguists and then the thorough socio-historical work done by lexicographers. Among other things, we set out some of the difficulties in drawing isoglosses in the Australian context but also how the regional lexicon could shed light on the history and characteristics of each state. We also noted how Australia has emerged in some studies as a comparatively progressive context when it comes to lexicon and gender neutrality and how this stands out as one area for exciting new research opportunities. This chapter next turned its attention to morphosyntactic variation within Australia. We set out some of the earlier work, which considered variation in terms of labels like “vernacular”, “colloquial” and “formal”, but we also noted how this work intersected with exciting work on social variation in Australia, especially that relating to age and gender. Age emerges a powerful theme throughout studies of morphosyntactic variation in Australia. Age is a particularly important category for further exploration as AusE progresses in the Differentiation Phase. Peters (2009:396) writes, “Age graded data is particularly useful in providing insights into the extent to which linguistic innovations are accepted across the community, or likely to be, if used regularly by younger and middle-aged people”. Reviews of Australian Style suggest some exciting changes are afoot in AusE. The previous studies hint at how age intersects with a range of other social categories (e.g. gender, urban/rural divide, socioeconomic class) and how more work needs to be done to understand this intersection. Innovative ways of studying this variation have been set out in volumes such as Peters, Collins and Smith (2009). Variation within Australian English is clearly a growing area of interest and one of growing theoretical and methodological possibilities.

Notes 1 Root is an Australian slang term for “sexual intercourse”. 2 Don Bradman is a cricket player acknowledged by many as the best batsman of all time. Hailing from country NSW, Bradman played in Sydney before moving on to Adelaide in the 1930s. 3 However, Bryant also notes a general shift from trombone to marrow among younger speakers in South Australia, as discussed subsequently.

AusE lexical and morphosyntactic variation 131 4 Billington et al. are part of “The Linguistics Roadshow” – run by the University of Melbourne and The Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. The Roadshow comprises a team of researchers who travel Australia to introduce school students to linguistics. The Roadshow team conducted an online survey to elicit the words speakers used for 12 different objects or concepts, receiving over 22,000 responses. 5 Eisikovits (1989a) uses an for and here and other places to represent the simplification of consonant clusters and the lenition of sounds in informal speech. 6 For further discussion of quotatives, see Rodríguez Louro, this volume.

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Aboriginal English(es) Greg Dickson

1 Introduction Indigenous people of Australia – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders – have an incredibly rich linguistic heritage. When the British illegally claimed the entire continent in 1788, around 300 or more distinct languages were spoken, comprising around 30 language families. Indigenous populations were, and still are, subjected to detrimental policies and practices by newcomers that have had and still have significant impacts on all aspects of life of the First Australians. Deaths by violence or introduced disease, forced removals and occupation of land, neglect and ignorance of Indigenous linguistic and cultural practices were all widespread aspects of the colonisation experience for Indigenous people, who were only granted citizenship and voting rights in 1967. Social forces like these were prime environments for Indigenous languages to become endangered and no longer used and for maligned populations to adopt and innovate upon the coloniser’s language and develop pidgins, creoles and ethnolectal dialects or varieties. As a result of brutal colonisation processes, currently only pockets of Indigenous Australians use only a handful of pre-contact languages for general daily communication. For over 90% of the 650,000 or so Australians who identify as Indigenous, English is the primary – often only – language of communication (ABS, 2017). This chapter discusses aspects of English associated with the nearly 600,000 Indigenous Australians who speak English as a first language. First, a brief look into the labels applied to such varieties is given and a summary of previous research highlighting some of the different perspectives and approaches evidenced in the past half century of research. The term Aboriginal English is probably the most widely used in linguistics to refer to the English spoken by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and a discussion on how these varieties are defined is offered. Notes on structural aspects on Aboriginal English varieties are provided, touching on phonology, morphology, syntax, the lexicon and pragmatics. The sociolinguistic situations of Aboriginal English(es) are discussed, covering variation, vitality and identity construction and notes on how Aboriginal Englishes relate to other Englishes and English-based creoles.

Aboriginal English(es) 135 1.1 Naming varieties Some distinguishing features that Aboriginal people use when speaking English are quite salient among Aboriginal people and also among non-Aboriginal people in regular contact with Aboriginal people. A natural consequence of this salience is a desire to label Aboriginal-associated varieties of English and formally distinguish them from other English varieties. In many cases, Aboriginal people use adjectival descriptions to describe Aboriginal-associated ethnolects: someone can sound “black” (or sound “white” too) or specific forms and features can take on degrees of “blackness”. Aboriginal people use a variety of informal terms to refer to Aboriginal ways of using English; these include “mission talk/speak”, “broken English”, “slang”, “lingo”, “blackfella talk” or “Koori English” (Enemburu, 1989). While Aboriginal people can readily discuss varieties in these ways, nominal descriptors like “Aboriginal English” are generally restricted to formal contexts and may not be used at all by some Aboriginal people. Generally, labels used by Aboriginal people differ to those applied by outsiders. Linguists, for example, are typically compelled to name the varieties that they research. Flint’s early work on English as spoken by Aboriginal people in various locations in Queensland used the term “Aboriginal English” (Flint, 1968). Malcolm and colleagues were also some of the first linguists to systematically research Aboriginal ways of speaking English and also applied the singular exonym “Aboriginal English” even when referring to varieties spoken by geographically distant populations such as La Perouse (Sydney) and Western Australia (e.g. Eagleson, Kaldor & Malcolm, 1982). Some scholars qualify the variety they have researched with a location, moving away from “Aboriginal English” standing in as a cover-all term and instead speak of different Aboriginal Englishes. Alexander’s work stemming from Flint’s Queensland Speech Survey refers to “Yarrabah Aboriginal English” (Alexander, 1965) and “Woorabinda Aboriginal English” (Alexander, 1968). Harkins’s research on Aboriginal children’s English in Alice Springs uses the term Aboriginal English but with the disclaimer that “it must not be assumed . . . that there is a single dialect or variety . . . that can be labelled ‘Aboriginal English’” and says the label is applied “too loosely to be very useful” (Harkins, 1994:3). Scholars like Malcolm (2008, 2018) and Butcher (2008), however, maintain the monolithic label Aboriginal English but allow variation within it. Malcolm’s explanation (2008:124) is that “there is one major variety of Aboriginal English, which embraces a number of regional varieties”. With clear diversity across Australia in how Aboriginal people use English, it may seem odd to subsume varieties under a single umbrella term. Such approaches are referred to as essentialism or strategic essentialism, and Eades (2013:10–15) offers a useful discussion of problems as well as the utility of such an approach. In recent years, other linguists have sought to work with speech communities to determine endonyms to refer to localised varieties, such as “Woorie Talk” for varieties spoken in Woorabinda, Queensland (Munro & Mushin, 2016:84–85), and “Yarrie Lingo” to refer to the contact language spoken in Yarrabah, Queensland (Sellwood & Angelo, 2013).


Greg Dickson

In naming and writing this chapter, I chose to maintain the use of the term “Aboriginal English” to tie it to the extant body of research that also uses this label more often than not. The term, however, has been optionally pluralised, conveying the diversity and distance across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander users of English. Eades (2013) leans towards a newer expression – Aboriginal ways of using English – which circumvents the application of a language name, and the current chapter also uses this expression frequently.

2 A timeline of research Research into Aboriginal English has been impacted by the uncomfortable fact that almost all linguists working in Australia are non-Indigenous. This has not only backgrounded Indigenous perspectives and understandings but also risked the othering of Indigenous people. The history of research into Aboriginal English traces a narrative demonstrating growing awareness and mitigation of these issues. One of the earliest in-depth studies of Aboriginal people’s use of English was a Queensland Speech Survey carried out in the 1960s, led by Elwyn Flint (1968). Several resultant theses describe Aboriginal English documented in key locations such as Palm Island, Woorabinda and Yarrabah (e.g. Alexander, 1965, 1968). Research commencing the 1970s such as work by Ian Malcolm had a focus on the use of English by Aboriginal children in classrooms (e.g. Eagleson, Kaldor & Malcolm, 1982). This early work focused on points of difference between Aboriginal users of English and a loosely defined notion of Standard Australian English and included descriptions of differentiating phonological and morphosyntactic features, as they tended to be salient to outsider researchers. Around this time, Aboriginal voices emerged calling for greater consideration and collaboration in how Australian linguistics dealt with Indigenous people and communities (e.g. Australian Linguistic Society, 1984). In line with advocacy for Indigenous perspectives, new research methodologies emerged (e.g. Wilkins, 1992), fostering more nuanced and detailed studies by non-Indigenous scholars that embedded cultural contexts and understandings into analyses and were carried out under significant supervision and control by relevant Indigenous groups. Two noteworthy studies of this kind from this period were those by Diana Eades (1983) and Jean Harkins (1994). It may be tempting to view the timeline of work on Aboriginal Englishes as paralleling evolutions on related fields of research such as sociolinguistics (see, e.g. Eckert, 2012 for categorisation of waves of sociolinguistic research). The reality of research on Aboriginal Englishes is not so linear. Eades’s early work (in the early 1980s) is faithful to ethnography of communication methods that share features with “third wave”-type community of practice studies. Harkins’s work from the late 1980s utilises an ethical framework of research under Aboriginal control (Wilkins, 1992) that, in a backward step, is rarely used in contemporary linguistic research in Australia. Scholars like Malcolm and Butcher tend to adhere to more “classical” descriptive-type approaches which have not been usurped but continue through to the present (e.g. Butcher, 2008; Malcolm, 2018).

Aboriginal English(es) 137 Comparatively little formal research on Aboriginal Englishes has been carried out by Aboriginal people, meaning that the existing body of research probably lacks native speaker insights and intuitions that can enrich our understanding of these varieties. The present chapter is no exception to this. While non-indigenous researchers work collaboratively with Indigenous people or, in cases such as Harkins and Eades, have their research significantly controlled or influenced by those who are also research “subjects”, research outputs instigated and/or authored by Aboriginal people are thin on the ground. An exception is early work on the speech of Aboriginal people in Melbourne by Eve Fesl (1977), a topic briefly explored further by Enemburu (1989). Aboriginal scholars working in education have made contributions to work on Aboriginal English varieties in applied and descriptive contexts. For example, Glenys Collard is a Nyungar educator and researcher in Western Australian who has contributed to research on Aboriginal English (e.g. Malcolm et al., 1999) and continues to do so (e.g. Rodriguez Louro & Collard, 2019). Robyn Ober has similarly made numerous academic contributions to research on Indigenous education (e.g. Ober, 2009) and is presently conducting doctoral research on Aboriginal English. Ober collaborated with Aboriginal linguist Jeanie Bell in a survey of social functions and recognition of Aboriginal English in Australia with particular reference to education (Ober & Bell, 2012). Despite the relative dearth of Indigenous-led and authored research on Aboriginal English varieties, the agency Aboriginal people have in presenting and describing their own ways of speaking should not be underestimated. Particularly in recent decades and with the explosion of social media, many Aboriginal people are highly engaged in the implicit promotion and acceptance of Aboriginal ways of using English. The ABC Indigenous unit’s Black Comedy sketch comedy program is just one popular production presenting (and in their case, satirising) Aboriginal ways of using English. For example, one skit creates a mock language course led by Aunty Dor where Aboriginal English (or “Haboriginal H’English”, as stated in the video description) is taught to non-Indigenous adult learners (Jeffries, 2018): (1)


Now today, I want you to let us know your word and what it means to Aboriginal people and to the white community, you know? Okay? And maybe use it in a sentence. What wants to go first? Mark? MARK: Thanks for this opportunity Aunty Dor. Um, I’m doing the word ‘fork’. Now to Aboriginal people, ‘fork’ means vagina, and for white people it’s the utensil we use to eat with. AUNTY DOR: Nice. Now did you want to use it in a sentence, son? MARK: I don’t like Maxine. She can scrape her big fork along the ‘ot bitumen. AUNTY DOR: That was beautiful! Well done!

Across the arts, pop culture and social media, astute portrayals created and delivered by Aboriginal people are evident, and several examples are utilised as data in this chapter. Although such data is not traditional linguistic data, self-portrayals – even exaggerated ones – can illuminate sociolinguistic variation (Meyerhoff, 2019:45; see also Willoughby, this volume, on media’s


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sociolinguistic utility). This data also highlights the diversity of Aboriginal ways of using English, generally created by speakers themselves, on display through contemporary media.

3 Defining Aboriginal English(es) – social or structural From the earliest studies into Aboriginal ways of using English, scholars have been interested in describing formal features that characterise varieties: phonological, morphological, syntactic, lexical and semantic ways in which Aboriginal English varieties stand out from other Englishes. But Aboriginal Englishes are social dialects and so can also be defined in social terms. However, with linguistic research traditionally focusing on formal description, defining varieties in social terms is less common. Ober and Bell (2012), however, foreground social aspects of Aboriginal English in their characterisation of it. While they acknowledge that some non-Aboriginal people use Aboriginal English, they also say that: a non-Aboriginal person, who may appear competent in speaking Aboriginal English in social interactions, can often be caught out when the invisible language and cultural rules are overstepped. (Ober & Bell, 2012:72–73) They point to the crucial role of language socialisation: To be truly communicatively competent in Aboriginal English, one must grow up learning the cultural and linguistic rules and protocols of the Aboriginal social group to which one is connected. (Ober & Bell, 2012:73) Ober and Bell state that relationship and respect are two features of central importance that define Aboriginal English. Relationship values are found in the use of kinterms in person reference and following correct social protocols in their application, while respect is also shown through indirectness in interaction (2012:73). Other work on Aboriginal English(es), particularly earlier work, has a more structural focus in how varieties are characterised. Malcolm (2018) offers the most thorough presentation of structural features of Aboriginal English(es), and readers are referred to that volume for in-depth coverage, particularly of phonological and morphosyntactic features. The following sections briefly review some of the major structural linguistic features that have been linked to Aboriginal ways of speaking English. It is worth reiterating, however, that features described subsequently are highly variable. They do not apply to all varieties or speakers of Aboriginal English, and speakers of Aboriginal English who do use the features described are unlikely to use them all the time. It is worth keeping in mind that some of the features mentioned subsequently may be listed because of a subconscious analytical bias that seeks out differentiating features rather than

Aboriginal English(es) 139 representing an objective quantitative or usage-based description (see Kulick, 2000 for a discussion on how perception rather than objectivity has affected linguistic research of gay men and women’s speech). 3.1 Phonological features Probably the most widely cited descriptions of phonological features of Aboriginal English are from Butcher (2008), who appears to build upon previous work such as Butcher and Anderson (2008) on Aboriginal English and Butcher (2006) on traditional Aboriginal languages. Malcolm (e.g. 2008, 2018) has also provided thorough accounts of phonological aspects of Aboriginal English. These studies lean towards emphasis on speech forms that are most contrastive with that of non-Indigenous Australians (see further discussion subsequently) and therefore may not necessarily represent the speech of the majority of Aboriginal users of English. Malcolm and Butcher characterise the vowel system as having fewer vowels and diphthongs than other Australian Englishes. Readers may refer to tables of vowels (e.g. Wells’s wordlists) presented by Butcher (2008:630) and Malcolm (2008:132), but I have not relayed them here to avoid implying they represent all Aboriginal users of English. Butcher (2008:630) and Butcher and Anderson (2008) describe diphthongs as exhibiting less movement than in other Australian varieties. Butcher (2008:630) also identifies a widespread feature of vowels of Aboriginal users of English: a “lack of anticipatory assimilation of nasality” (as compared to many non-Indigenous Australian speakers of English), producing “sing” as [sıŋ] rather than [sĩŋ] (for example). Consonant inventories described by Butcher and Malcolm also appear to exemplify Aboriginal English varieties most different to mainstream Australian English (see Cox, this volume). Descriptions such as variability in stop voicing (e.g. good as [kʊt]) and the replacement of fricatives with stops (very as [bɛɹi]) (Butcher, 2008:628) may be used by some Aboriginal users of English, particularly if they speak a traditional language as their L1 or live in an area where traditional languages or creoles form part of local linguistic ecologies (Butcher & Anderson, 2008). However, with most Indigenous Australians living in urban environments in English-dominant contexts, it is difficult to class these as categorical features of a general dialect that can be labelled “Aboriginal English”. If we are seeking nationwide characteristics of the phonology of Aboriginal users of English, it is possible to consider “stereotypes” (e.g. Labov, 1972). Butcher, for example, describes phenomena around the /h/ sound, which can be deleted in initial positions (compared to standard forms), as in e rather than he, or be subject to hypercorrection where it can be added to vowel-initial words, as in huncle rather than uncle. Although Butcher states that /h/ is “generally omitted . . . even in lighter varieties” (2008:629), there is a lack of evidence to show how frequent or widespread these phenomena are. Yet it is a feature salient to Aboriginal people, seen in (1) previously and in social media commentary, as in Figure 9.1.


Greg Dickson

Figure 9.1 Popular social media meme related to stereotypical features of Aboriginal English phonology Source: Murri’s Be Like, 2018

Online comments on Figure 9.1 show followers of the popular “Murri’s Be Like” Facebook Page proffering their own examples such as honion (onion), hown (own) and happles and horanges (apples and oranges). The salience of features like h-hypercorrection suggests they may not be ubiquitous (i.e. Labovian indicators) but rather quite marked features (i.e. Labovian stereotypes) (Labov, 1972) indexing Aboriginal identities. Variationist studies would inform how frequent such features might be and what factors contribute to their variability. Intonation and stress are typically harder to describe facets of phonology, but these are also a salient feature of stereotypically Aboriginal ways of using English. The examples in (1) and also (11) are taken from videos where the signalled “Aboriginal” utterances include changes in pitch, volume and stress. Indeed, Butcher mentions that Aboriginal English has “a very distinctive rhythm” (2008:631). Accounts in works like Butcher (2008) and Malcolm (2018) are useful in building a picture of why some Aboriginal people may have accents that are

Aboriginal English(es) 141 distinguishable from other Australian varieties, but issues can be noted such as (a) lack of detail regarding data sources, (b) using data from L2 speakers (hence exhibiting transfer factors from L1) and (c) using examples based on constrastiveness rather than frequency. For example, Butcher (2008) is not clear about data sources, while Butcher and Anderson (2008) describes vowels in Aboriginal English based on a small study from Alice Springs but drawn from bilingual L2 English speakers. Malcolm’s work (e.g. 2008, 2018) also tends to under-specify precise data sources and, like Butcher (2008), appears to focus on basilectal speech. Indeed, Malcolm (2008:131) tells us that his description is focused on places and features that show the “most contrast with Standard English”,1 a deviation from quantitative sociolinguistic research methods that are often applied to the study of ethnolects and social dialects. Existing phonological descriptions of Aboriginal English are, admittedly, requiring further work; Malcolm acknowledges that there has been no focused study on phonology of Aboriginal English (2008:131), and Butcher points out that there is noticeably little acoustic phonetic research and no study of intonation (2008:630–631). Despite the issues, recapping aspects of existing descriptions of phonological characteristics of Aboriginal English is worthwhile, as they describe features that may be considered prototypical, salient or Labovian stereotypes, even if there is limited evidence as to their frequency or distribution. 3.2 Morphology and syntax English used in recognisably Aboriginal ways has, as with phonology, some readily distinguishable morphological and syntactic features that represent points of difference with other Englishes that may be considered “standard”. Two widely reported features are omission of the copula be and abandonment of the remnants of English’s person/number agreement on third-person singular forms. Example (2) demonstrates both features, uttered by the character “Uncle Tadpole” (played by Wajarri Yamatji actor Ernie Dingo) in the feature film Bran Nue Dae (Kershaw, Isaac & Perkins, 2009), set in Western Australia: (2) This fire look lovely and warm. . . . Come here, we not gonna eat you! Some verb forms are salient features across many Aboriginal people and groups, such as the use of seen and come as a simple past of see and come, respectively. Was can be used to mark past tense for more than just second-person singular, as in this example from Woorabinda (Qld): (3) We was up da hill, ‘ere la (Munro & Mushin, 2016:86) Aks as a variant of ask is also common.2 All of these features can similarly appear as features of working-class speech of non-Indigenous Australians (see Murray and Manns, this volume), but the prevalence of their use among Aboriginal people results in the perception of them as markers of Aboriginal English.


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Syntactically, Aboriginal users of English are seen as using topicalisation at higher rates than non-Indigenous Australians (Butcher, 2008:632). In negative clauses, Aboriginal people may use double negatives more often than other Australians, as in: (4) When we go in ‘ere, don’t fuckin’ ask for nothin’ and don’t grab nothin’. (Wymarra, 2018) Never can also be commonly used as a simple past negative marker, as in: (5) You never called me back Thursday night.3 Certain formulaic clause structures are also associated with speech of Aboriginal people and could be considered types of idiomatic syntactic frames that serve to index Aboriginality in addition to their primary, communicative functions. An example familiar to many Aboriginal users of English is the frame “too X that Y” as in: (6) Too stiff that back (i.e. their back is so stiff/they are very upright) In this frame, X can also be a verb, as in: (7) Too stretching that ear (i.e. they are really trying to listen in/eavesdrop) A simplified version of this frame is the declarative “too X” where X can be an adjective, verb or a prepositional phrase as in (8): (8) Too under the blanket (i.e. completely buried under a blanket for warmth) Idiomatic syntactic frames like the previous demonstrate distinguishably Aboriginal ways of structuring English clauses (e.g. topicalisation) and may also connote observational humour that is a part of positive social interactions between Aboriginal people. 3.3 Lexicon and semantics Words of Indigenous origin are a feature of Aboriginal English varieties, particularly as regionalisms, with some examples provided in Table 9.1. However, lexical items considered to be features of Aboriginal Englishes are, perhaps surprisingly, mostly English derived rather than derived from precontact Indigenous languages (grab, fork, gammon, shame and further examples are mentioned elsewhere in this chapter). Aboriginal people, however, have in many instances innovated semantic ranges upon lexemes, making their semantics opaque to non-Indigenous people. The satirical example (1) is a case in point. Perhaps the most salient example known to non-Indigenous Australians is the

Aboriginal English(es) 143 Table 9.1 Sample of Indigenous language-derived lexemes used in various varieties of Aboriginal English Lexeme






Collard (2019)

Malaga, muliga(r) Budju

man, male partner 1. vagina 2. attractive person white person crazy

SW Western Australia Qld/NT Northern NT Queensland Northern Queensland

Arika (2012) Murri’s Be Like (2019)

Migaloo, migloo Womba

Hodge (1993) Gosford (2012)

adjective deadly, which has only a literal and negative meaning to most Australians, but to Aboriginal people the term serves as a positive adjective and exclamation similar to awesome. (Note, though, that this usage is not unique to Aboriginal Englishes but also shared by Irish English speakers.) Examples of semantic innovation and extension of English words in Aboriginal Englishes are prolific and run through all parts of speech. Only a very limited sample of items can be discussed here. In some cases, differences in semantic ranges can have serious consequences. Across Englishes, the verb grab can have more physical, forceful meanings (“grab someone by the collar”) as well as senses that are synonymous with obtain (“grab some lunch”). Aboriginal people appear to use “obtain” senses more widely, as in (9) – another quote from Bran Nue Dae’s Uncle Tadpole (Kershaw, Isaac & Perkins, 2009).4 The context of (9) is Uncle Tadpole telling his nephew to pursue his crush but is not suggesting the use of physical force. (9) Ay you been find ‘im. You wanna get up there an’ grab ‘im. Eades (2012) details a controversial court case referred to as the “Pinkenba Six” in which six police officers were charged with depravation of liberty of three Aboriginal teenagers. One of the boys in an interview with lawyers had said that police had “grabbed the three of us” but in court said they were “told to get into police cars”. This was framed as an “inconsistency” in cross-examination, weakening the Aboriginal teenagers’ prosecution case after defence counsel pursued the matter enough to make the court believe the teenager had lied by using the verb grab. In-depth research into semantics of distinctly “Aboriginal” meanings of words is fairly scant, but Harkins’s exploration of the term shame (1990) is a valuable contribution. Arthur (1990) provides a short useful summary of semantics of kinterms as used by Aboriginal English speakers. The domain of kin terminology is one with perhaps the highest rate of semantic distinctiveness when compared to mainstream users of English. As mentioned previously, Ober and Bell (2012) point to this


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aspect as central to the ethnolect, conveying not just linguistic points of difference but also social values of Aboriginal cultures. Many Aboriginal people regularly refer to other Aboriginal people of the same generation with terms such bro, sis, bub, cuz, bruss and more, not necessarily restricted by whether they are immediate family. Such terms connote politeness, respect and a willingness to treat nonfamily members in family-like ways. Referring to people of older generations as aunty and uncle performs similar functions and additionally connotes gerontocratic social structures that are typically much stronger in Aboriginal families/societies than in Anglo-Australian families/societies.5 It is not only the form and semantics of kinterms that are central to Aboriginal ways of using English, but they are also used with high frequency in discourse (Eades, 1988), an observation also made for traditional Indigenous languages (Garde, 2013; Dickson, 2015). Kinterms can also used be euphemistically to speak about third persons discreetly, as in: (10) Aunty gettin’ wild (uttered while watching a nearby [non-relative] sports competitor become angry) These pragmatic aspects relating to kinterms are reminiscent of the circumspect quality of person reference in traditional languages (Garde, 2013) and also the indirect qualities of Aboriginal ways of using English discussed further in the following section. 3.4 Discourse and pragmatics Eades’s pioneering doctoral research in the 1980s (Eades, 1983, 1988) revealed how Aboriginal people in South-east Queensland use English in ways that may not superficially seem greatly different to English used by non-Aboriginal people (e.g. in terms of phonology or syntax), but that pragmatic features stand out as a significant differentiating feature. Eades argued that although English was used as the language of interaction, aspects of language use corresponded with pragmatic features used in pre-contact Indigenous languages. A major theme of Eades’s research was identifying indirectness as a key feature of Aboriginal ways of using English (similarly identified by Ober & Bell, 2012). Eades observed that Aboriginal social life could be very public but that personal knowledge is private and allowed to remain private through indirectness of social interactions. Examples of this indirectness include: • • •

Giving and seeking information: uninverted questions, e.g. that’s his brother? Making and refusing requests: to outsiders, requests may sound vague, but within tight-nexus social/family networks, vague requests and refusals can be appropriate and clearly understood. Seeking and giving reasons: may involve reason-seekers demonstrating own knowledge or hypothesis rather than direct why questioning, e.g. I saw X was a bit upset. Maybe Y happened, or . . . ? There is also less onus on reasongivers to provide reasons and indicate such a response indirectly as well.

Aboriginal English(es) 145 Eades further utilised her research to show that miscommunication between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians is linked to a deceptive trap. AngloCeltic and Aboriginal Australians can be speaking the same language using similar vocabulary and syntax, but the way it is used differs. Indeed, all linguistic domains – phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicon and pragmatics – have the potential to catalyse conflict and confusion when Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people’s Englishes interact. In contexts where clear communication is paramount – in domains like health, justice and education – there are serious risks to well-being, liberty and human development when Aboriginal ways of using English are misunderstood and not accommodated for (see, e.g. Cass et al., 2002 for a health-related discussion of these issues). For the most part, these domains are dominated by non-Aboriginal people, their Englishes and their ideologies and ultimately perpetuate ongoing disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal people in these systems. 3.5 Variation The ways in which Aboriginal people use English are understood to be highly variable, across all linguistic domains and corresponding with many factors. Intraspeaker variability can be dramatic, with diglossic situations obvious for a number of Aboriginal people, such as the thousands employed in public service who may use Standard Australian English in many work contexts and may then use English in recognisably Aboriginal ways in social and home life. The sketch comedy program Black Comedy (source of example 1) provides a parody of this diglossia in its depiction of a worker (male, middle-aged) at an Indigenous organisation who code-switches from standard-like English to Aboriginal English when his Aboriginality is questioned by a female caller (also middle-aged; ABC Indigenous, 2014): (11)


Welcome to Black On Track. This is Jesse, how can I help you? Yeah my son, he’s goin for a job interview. I need you to pick ‘im up from the airport. Unfortunately, we’re not funded to provide that service. So you’re tellin’ me my son is stranded at the airport? Well, how old is he? 27. 27? Well, he’s a big boy. I’m sure he can make his own way. He’s got no money. I’m sorry but that’s not our responsibility. What kinda black organisation are you? Sorry? You’re white aren’t you? Ah, no, I’m not. You might as well be white cos I can tell you’re a coconut, you don’t care about his people.


Greg Dickson JESSE:

‘Eya. You don’ know me. You don’ know what I’ve done for our mob. What have you done, apart from push out big useless kids from your big useless fork. What kinda 27 year old wanna get driven around like ‘e a celebrity. You wanna do something for your community? How about you teach your son about self-determination. Stop bein’ a enabler by ringin’ up people tryna get them ta pick up your no good, can’t do shit, big useless hairy do:::g of a son. Now was that black enough for you?

The code-switch in this example is not only shown in vocabulary choices and phonological and morphological variation evident in the transcript, but is also signalled prosodically (shifts in pitch and pitch contours) and pragmatically (by a shift in illocutionary force), thereby representing some of the multiplex ways in which Aboriginal ways of using English can be characterised. Jesse’s signalled switch can also be seen as a stance-taking move, indexing a strong Indigenous identity, ready to retaliate when challenged. Interspeaker variation in Aboriginal ways of using English is similarly evident along multiple axes – geography, age, gender, class and more. Geography is probably the most salient factor Aboriginal people identify as linked to variation. The handful of lexical items offered in Table 9.1 links each one to a particular region. Geographic variation can also can seen across Aboriginal English research, where varieties are regularly labelled according to a research site on the implicit understanding that data and descriptions are not necessarily applicable to other locales. Many examples exist, whether they are broad descriptions of a variety in a particular locale (e.g. Alice Springs Aboriginal English in Harkins [1994], descriptions of a particular linguistic domain in one area [e.g. Pragmatics in South East Queensland (Eades, 1983)] or a single feature, such as Gourlay & Mushin’s work [2015] on the discourse particle la used in regional areas in Queensland). Quantitative descriptions of English as used by Aboriginal people in Englishdominant contexts has not been the focus of attention in linguistic research.6 A current project, however, has begun to address this gap, with the ARC-funded project Aboriginal English in the global city: Minorities and language change led by Celeste Rodriquez Louro (University of Western Australia), which seeks to “document patterns of variation and change in metropolitan Aboriginal English” (Research Data Australia, 2019). 3.6 Relationships with other Englishes and English-based creoles Features that are seen as part of Aboriginal English are often not exclusive to Aboriginal speech communities and may also be common among some nonAboriginal speech communities, albeit less frequent. In cities and towns with relatively high proportions of Indigenous residents, features typically associated with Aboriginal English may be used broadly across entire communities, towns or cities. This seems to be the case in Northern Australia in particular, but cannot be robustly tested, as little baseline sociolinguistic or variationist data is available

Aboriginal English(es) 147 from Northern Australia. People across centres like Mount Isa, Cairns, Darwin and Broome may commonly use terms considered to be Aboriginal English such as gammon and mob, items which may be general regionalisms as well as features of speech of Aboriginal people. An example taken from the popular reality TV program My Kitchen Rules (2015) shows two non-Indigenous contestants from Mount Isa, Shaz and Jac, using the term gammon and then briefly defining it to puzzled co-contestant Drasko, who hails from Perth: (12)


Traditional true proper silverware doesn’t have green rubber on the bottom. It’s not traditional, it’s gammon. DRASKO: It’s what? SHAZ: Gammon. JAC: Gammon. DRASKO: What does that mean? SHAZ: Not real. “You’re gammon, mate.”

Similarly, some lexical items in Australian English derived from Indigenous languages such as yabber (talk, chat) and yakka (work) may no longer be strongly associated with Aboriginal speech communities and have gained currency across many speech communities. Dixon, Ramson and Thomas (1990:219) identify 400 words originating from Indigenous languages that are attested in general Australian English (see also Manns, this volume). Aboriginal Englishes also interact with English-based creoles: Kriol in parts of the Northern Territory and Western Australia and Yumplatok in Torres Strait and Far North Queensland are two main examples. In many respects, Aboriginal Englishes are intertwined with Australian creoles. Both types of languages exist, maintain and continue to innovate in spite of the dominance of more standard forms of English in wider Australian society. They do so because of the tight social networks (e.g. large, close, intergenerational families) that are conduits for their maintenance and ongoing development as well as the identity aspects that Indigenous people in Australia derive from using varieties that are their own. Linguistically and historically, Australian creoles and Aboriginal Englishes share features with pre-contact traditional languages as well as contact languages spoken by forebears, whether that be a pidgin, L2 English or a “heavier” form of Aboriginal English. So where could we delineate Aboriginal Englishes and Australian creoles? Certainly some people and communities use both codes. If there are boundaries, it becomes a somewhat arbitrary exercise to find them, useful possibly only to the few who see a need to make such categorisations. One way to distinguish creoles and Aboriginal Englishes is using communicative definitions: a non-Indigenous English-speaking monolingual would probably not find Kriol comprehensible, but they would find an average Aboriginal English speaker generally understandable. Geographically, creoles are restricted to parts of Northern Australia, whereas Aboriginal English varieties are used across the continent. Most people who speak Aboriginal English do not speak an Australian creole,


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whereas speakers of creoles typically use features of Aboriginal Englishes when code-switching into English. Structurally, we can also point to aspects such as creoles marking transitivity via a verbal suffix (e.g. -im), which would probably be foreign to, for example, the thousands of Aboriginal people living in capital cities like Sydney and Perth. Phonologically, creole varieties tend to include phonemes not found in English, while Aboriginal English varieties tend not to. The boundaries that may separate these two kinds of varieties are blurry, however, not absolute. 3.7 Vitality, prestige and identity The political dominance of Anglo Australians – and the English varieties they speak – and discrimination of Aboriginal people as through-lines in Australian history have created situations where ways of using English that are considered “Aboriginal” have historically been low prestige. Historically, salient features of Aboriginal English have rarely been accepted in domains such as education, media, government and professional workplaces, leading to diglossic situations that many Aboriginal people have to negotiate. Low-prestige perceptions of “black” linguistic features can be taken on by speakers themselves, overwhelmed by the prestige of standard forms of English used on people in power. Someone sounding myall can be an in-group term used to negatively assess someone deploying Aboriginal English features in contexts where standardlike features are more appropriate. Covert prestige is also clearly evident: the same features deployed in Aboriginal-dominant contexts may be perceived positively as a demonstration of group membership, whereas deploying certain standard-like features could be considered conceited or even risk application of the heavily derogatory label coconut (i.e. black on the outside, white on the inside). Shifts are evident, though, as Aboriginal media grows in size and popularity and more Aboriginal people move into positions of power and public influence. Similarly, social media provides ways to circumvent classic media hierarchies and amplify voices that were previously unheard. Examples used in this chapter are drawn from cinema, television, Twitter, Facebook, online videos and memes – data from the last decade underpinned by Aboriginal people placing importance and prestige on presenting Aboriginal ways of using English to larger audiences, Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Most Aboriginal people in Australia have Standard English as a significant part of their language ecologies, if not within close-nexus social networks, then at least in media, compulsory education and other institutions. Yet recognisably Aboriginal ways of using English maintain and develop despite contact with more overtly prestigious Englishes and despite the varieties being largely misunderstood and undervalued by non-Indigenous people. The ongoing maintenance is underpinned by a positive in-group identity creation that Aboriginal people consciously and unconsciously derive from how they use English. This is summarised by Ober and Bell, who point out that:

Aboriginal English(es) 149 While many Australian indigenous people now recognise that SAE (Standard Australian English) is necessary for survival in the globalised Western world, they continue to resist giving up their right to speak their own form of English. These modern ways of speaking are considered as important markers of our identity and the main form of communication within our extended families and community groups. The unique features associated with our language use set us apart from the rest of the Australian population. (Ober & Bell, 2012:66–67) Yet Aboriginal identities are also diverse, and while Aboriginal ways of using English are often a strong component of identity, they may not necessarily be crucial either. Aboriginal people with high public profiles may not publicly exhibit recognised features of Aboriginal English, but this typically does not undermine their identity or acceptance by other Aboriginal people of that identity. Members of the Stolen Generation may have had limited opportunity to be socialised into Aboriginal English–speaking communities through no fault of their own, and, similarly, their identities as Aboriginal people do not have to be tied to using English in Aboriginal ways. Despite this proviso, Aboriginal ways of using English described in this chapter and in the literature are often strong indicators by which Aboriginal people mark and construct identity. Questions also exist relating to non-Indigenous Australians speaking an Aboriginal English variety or using features of Aboriginal Englishes. As mentioned earlier, in smaller communities in some regional areas, features associated with Aboriginal speech may be more widely used in those communities. Ober and Bell (2012:60) appear not to negatively judge the “small numbers of non-Indigenous Australians” who use Aboriginal English but do suggest non-Indigenous people cannot obtain a full range of competencies due to reduced language socialisation experience. Some public commentary does see the use of features of Aboriginal Englishes by non-Indigenous people as inappropriate, for example, “Aboriginal English is NOT . . . OK for non-Aboriginal people to speak” (Davis, 2018). Such sentiments can be useful in terms of marginalised people advocating against the appropriation of indicators of Aboriginal identities. However, such views may overlook features of Aboriginal Englishes that are also general regionalisms or features of working-class speech. It is also worth considering that a number of non-Aboriginal people are embedded within social networks and communities of practice where Aboriginal people predominate and where some features of Aboriginal ways of using English may be accepted parts of repertoires available to all members within those networks and communities to use.

4 Conclusion In surveying work that has been done on Aboriginal ways of using English, it is clear that in the past 50 years, significant developments have been made in linguistic research to legitimise Aboriginal English varieties as recognised varieties


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with a broad spectrum of proposed distinguishing features. This has helped to bring demonstrated benefits in how the broader Australian community has treated Aboriginal users of English in institutional domains such as education and justice. Aboriginal people have often not been the drivers of relevant linguistic research, but there are exceptions, as well as examples of non-Indigenous researchers conducting research under Aboriginal control. Outside of linguistics, Aboriginal people have shown clear agency in fostering acceptability and pride in Aboriginal ways of using English – particularly in media, the arts and social media – and been able to reduce or eliminate negative perceptions and increase prestige and vitality. Yet despite progress, outstanding issues remain. Linguistic research on Aboriginal people’s use of English still leans towards a focus on form, often decontextualising speech from its social contexts, meanings and significance. This creates a point of difference to other scholars, including Indigenous scholars, who lean towards defining Aboriginal English in social, rather than structural, terms. There is also a history of describing Aboriginal Englishes by comparing features that are most salient and contrastive to a loosely defined Standard Australian English rather than describing Aboriginal ways of using English as highly variable and acknowledging that most Aboriginal people are urban dwellers who may use English in identifiably Aboriginal ways but may also use English in ways that demonstrate few or any “Aboriginal” features. There is a risk that if a social dialect like Aboriginal English is defined in contrast to a somewhat mythical Standard Australian English, implicitly linking Aboriginal identity to those highly contrastive features, we risk erasing the experiences and identity of many Aboriginal people who use English in less obviously contrastive ways to other Australians. In this chapter, I have attempted to portray some of the diverse and dynamic ways in which Aboriginal people use English and avoided presenting decontextualised lists of linguistic features. Reflecting this dynamism, I have used data from contemporary and disparate sources, including academic research, popular culture and social media. I avoided basilectal data that presents Aboriginal English as disproportionately different to standard Englishes. Almost four out of five Indigenous Australians live in cities (ABS, 2017), and many regularly utilise Standard English in contexts in which they see it appropriate to do so while also using Aboriginal English features when appropriate and to index Aboriginal identities. I have sought to avoid othering Aboriginal English and acknowledge some of the volition Aboriginal people show in their use of English. In the time of social media and greater Aboriginal control and accountability over how Aboriginal people are presented and perceived, Aboriginal ways of using English are now in public view more than ever, displaying an incredible degree of diversity, innovation, humour and deftness. Linguistic research has set a strong foundation in capturing some of the remarkable features of Aboriginal Englishes. Now, with a significant increase of Indigenous-led content in social and traditional media, opportunities exist to further re-imagine the description and understanding of Aboriginal ways of using English.

Aboriginal English(es) 151

Acknowledgements Thank you to Lewis Lampton for a 13-year immersion program into Aboriginal ways of using English, plus many other friends, colleagues and students who demonstrate fantastically diverse, lively modes of expression. Thanks to UQ folk from both undergrad and postdoc days and to trailblazers who put Aboriginal English out there in social and scholarly contexts, especially when it was risky to do so.

Notes 1 Standard English or Standard Australian English is itself often not well defined. See Preston (1996) for a relevant discussion on the slippery idea of a “Standard” American English. 2 I hesitate to label this as metathesis because if Aboriginal children acquire this verb simply as aks and we consider Aboriginal ways of using English as independent, legitimate varieties of English, then no phonological “process” needs to be posited. See Milroy (2001) for commentary on sociolinguistic labelling of “processes” in relation to dominant varieties rather than considering nonstandard vernaculars as autonomous systems. 3 Examples 5–8 and 10 are own data, from a male, born 1960s, raised in Townsville (Qld). Example (5) is constructed, while (6–8) and (10) are spontaneous utterances. 4 Grab also appears coincidentally in example (4). 5 Non-Indigenous Australians are increasingly using respect titles of aunty and uncle, e.g. when referring to local Indigenous elders. 6 Although see Dixon (2017) for a rigorous study of variation in a variety of Aboriginal children’s English (“Alyawarr English”) in a remote Northern Territory community where traditional languages are a significant feature of the local language ecology.

References ABC Indigenous. 2014, November 13. ABC Black Comedy Series 2: Black on Track [video file]. Retrieved from Alexander, Diane. 1965. Yarrabah Aboriginal English. Brisbane: University of Queensland. (Honours dissertation). Alexander, Diane. 1968. Woorabinda Aboriginal English. Brisbane: University of Queensland. (Masters dissertation). Arika [@ArikaBiara]. 2012, June 16. Think it’s time to begin dating some sexy blackfella men . . . Enough of these migloo boys! [Tweet]. Retrieved from ArikaBiara/status/213916576750125057. Arthur, Jay. 1990. What’s your family? A report on the language of kinship in Aboriginal English. English Today 6(4). 33–36. doi:10.1017/S0266078400005137. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2017. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, 2016. Retrieved August 11, 2019 from[email protected]/Lookup/ by%20Subject/2071.0~2016~Main%20Features~Aboriginal%20and%20Torres%20 Strait%20islander%20Population%20Article~12. Australian Linguistic Society. 1984 [2019]. Linguistic rights of Aboriginal and Islander communities. Retrieved August 11, 2019 from Butcher, Andrew. 2006. Australian Aboriginal languages: Consonant-salient phonologies and the “place-of-articulation imperative”. In Jonathan Harrington & Marija Tabain


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(eds.), Speech production: Models, phonetic processes and techniques, 187–210. New York: Psychology Press. Butcher, Andrew. 2008. Linguistic aspects of Australian Aboriginal English. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics 22. 625–642. doi:10.1080/02699200802223535. Butcher, Andrew & Victoria Anderson. 2008. The vowels of Australian Aboriginal English. Proceedings of the 9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, 22–26 September 2008, 347–350. Brisbane, Australia. Cass, Alan, Anne Lowell, Michael Christie, Paul Snelling, Melinda Flack, Betty Marrnganyin & Isaac Brown. 2002. Sharing the true stories: Improving communication between Aboriginal patients and healthcare workers. Medical Journal of Australia 176. 466–470. doi:10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04517.x. Davis, Sharon [@AETLCEWA]. 2018, February 20. Aboriginal English is NOT: 1. broken English; 2. an indicator of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder; 3. slang; 4. a speech disability; 5. OK for non-Aboriginal people to speak; 6. something that we should be ashamed to speak, any time, any place; 7. to be taken from our children. [Tweet]. Retrieved from Dickson, Greg. 2015. Marra and Kriol: The loss and maintenance of knowledge across a language shift boundary. Canberra: The Australian National University. (Doctoral disseration). Dixon, Robert, William Ramson & Mandy Thomas. 1990. Australian Aboriginal words in English: Their origin and meaning. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Dixon, Sally. 2017. Alyawarr children’s variable present temporal reference expression in two, closely-related languages of Central Australia. Canberra: The Australian National University. (Doctoral dissertation). Eades, Diana. 1983. English as an Aboriginal language in Southeast Queensland. Brisbane: University of Queensland. (Doctoral dissertation). Eades, Diana. 1988. They don’t speak an Aboriginal language, or do they?. In Ian Keen (ed.), Being Black: Aboriginal cultures in ‘settled’ Australia, 97–115. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press. Eades, Diana. 2012. The social consequences of language ideologies in courtroom crossexamination. Language in Society 41. 471–497. doi:10.1017/S0047404512000474. Eades, Diana. 2013. Aboriginal ways of using English. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press. Eagleson, Robert, Susan Kaldor and Ian Malcolm. 1982. English and the Aboriginal child. Canberra: Curriculum Development Centre. Eckert, Penelope. 2012. Three waves of variation study: The emergence of meaning in the study of sociolinguistic variation. Annual Review of Anthropology 41. 87–100. doi:10.1146/annurev-anthro-092611–145828. Enemburu, Irruluma Guruluwini. 1989. Koori English. Melbourne: Ministry of Education, Victoria. Fesl, Eve. 1977. Melbourne Aboriginal English. Melbourne: Monash University. (Honours dissertation). Flint, Elwyn. 1968. Aboriginal English: Linguistic description as an aid to teaching. English in Australia 6. 3–21. Garde, Murray. 2013. Culture, interaction and person reference in an Australian language. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Gosford, Bob. 2012, July 12. Would you like a c**t with that? When a coke promotion goes weird [Blogpost]. Retrieved from would-you-like-a-ct-with-that-when-a-coke-promotion-goes-weird/.

Aboriginal English(es) 153 Gourlay, Claire & Ilana Mushin. 2015. “Up dere la”: Final particle la in a Queensland Aboriginal vernacular. Australian Journal of Linguistics 35. 76–101. doi:10.1080/072 68602.2015.976902. Harkins, Jean. 1990. Shame and shyness in the Aboriginal classroom: A case for “practical semantics”. Australian Journal of Linguistics 10. 293–306. doi:10.1080/0726860900 8599445. Harkins, Jean. 1994. Bridging two worlds: Aboriginal English and cross-cultural understanding. St Luica, Queensland: University of Queensland Press. Hodge, Dino. 1993. Did you meet any malagas? A homosexual history of Australia’s tropical capital. Nightcliff, NT: Little Gem. Jeffries, Hiallie. 2018, September 7. Black Comedy Series 3, 9:30pm Weds. 19 September, ABC + iview [video file]. Retrieved from Kershaw, Robin, Graeme Isaac (Producers) & Rachel Perkins (Director). 2009. Bran Nue Dae [Motion Picture]. Roadshow Films: Australia. Kulick, Don. 2000. Gay and lesbian language. Annual Review of Anthropology 29. 243–285. Labov, William. 1972. Sociolinguistic patterns. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Malcolm, Ian. 2008. Australian creoles and Aboriginal English: Phonetics and phonology. In Kate Burridge & Bernd Kortmann (eds.), Varieties of English 3: The Pacific and Australasia. 124–141. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter. Malcolm, Ian. 2018. Australian Aboriginal English: Change and continuity in an adopted language. Boston/Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. Malcolm, Ian, Yvonne Haig, Patricia Königsberg, Judith Rochecouste, Glenys Collard, Alison Hill & Rosemary Cahill. 1999. Towards more user-friendly education for speakers of Aboriginal English. Perth: Centre for Applied Language and Literacy Research, Edith Cowan University and Education Department of Western Australia. Meyerhoff. Miriam. 2019. Introducing sociolinguistics (3rd edition). London/New York: Routledge. Milroy, James. 2001. Language ideologies and the consequences of standardisation. Journal of Sociolinguistics 5. 530–555. doi:10.1111/1467-9481.00163. Munro, Jen & Ilana Mushin. 2016. Rethinking Australian Aboriginal English-based speech varieties. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 31(3). 82–112. doi:10.1075/ jpcl.31.1.04mun. Murri’s Be Like. 2018, December 3. Untitled [Facebook update]. Retrieved from www. Murri’s Be Like. 2019, March 15. Throwback meme [Facebook update]. Retrieved from www. My Kitchen Rules [@mykitchenrules]. 2015, April 27. Jac and Shaz are definitely not ‘gammon’! [Tweet]. Retrieved from 7934285825. Ober, Robyn. 2009. Both-ways: Learning from yesterday, celebrating today, strengthening tomorrow. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education 38(S1). 34–39. doi:10.1375/ S1326011100000806. Ober, Robyn & Jeanie Bell. 2012. English language as juggernaut – Aboriginal English and indigenous languages in Australia. In Vaughan Rapatahana & Pauline Bunce (eds.), English language as hydra: Its impacts on Non-English language cultures, 60–75. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Preston, Dennis. 1996. Where the worst English is spoken. In Edgar W. Schneider (ed.), Focus on the USA, 297–360. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.


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Research Data Australia. 2019. Discovery Early Career Researcher Award – Grant ID: DE170100493. Retrieved from [Accessed July 9, 2019]. Rodriguez Louro, Celeste & Glenys Collard. 2019. Yarnin’ the blackfella way: Quotation in urban Aboriginal English. (Paper presented at Language Variation and Change, Australia 4, Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society, Macquarie University, Sydney, 10–13 December 2019). Sellwood, Juanita & Denise Angelo. 2013. Everywhere and nowhere: Invisibility of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contact languages in education and indigenous language contexts. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics 36. 250–266. Wilkins, David. 1992. Linguistic research under Aboriginal control: A personal account of fieldwork in central Australia. Australian Journal of Linguistics 12. 171–200. doi:10.1080/07268609208599475. Wymarra, Elizabeth [Black Gin Chronicles]. 2018, June 11. #justforlaughs #yaknowyourablakmotherwhen #BGC #react #share #follow. [Video file]. Retrieved from www.

10 Ethnolectal variability in Australian Englishes Josh Clothier

1 Introduction It is almost twenty years since the last major review of ethnolectal variability in Australian English, Clyne, Eisikovits and Tollfree (2001), was published. Often returning to the chapter,1 I take from that work the foundation of my understanding of the function of the “ethnolect”: an ethnolect [. . .] offers a means of expressing linguistic identity, of demonstrating solidarity with one’s ethnic group. Importantly, it provides a means for those who may no longer be fluent in their ethnic language to continue to express their identification with, and sense of belonging to, their ethnic group. (226) I do, however, use slightly different terminology, influenced by the notion of the ethnolinguistic repertoire (Benor, 2010) and post-structuralist ideas about the problems in delineating boundaries between different varieties. I choose, instead, to talk of ethnolectal variability in order to acknowledge variation that is associated with ethnicity while avoiding some of the problems that go along with delineating and naming ethnolects, such as accounting for intra-group and interspeaker variation, and out-group use (for a thorough discussion of the problems with the bounded ethnolectal approach, and a proposed alternative, see Benor, 2010). So, in this chapter, I describe ethnicity and ethnic identity as a factor in variability in Australian English. My goal is to describe linguistic variables that have been shown to pattern within AusE and, as such, I refer primarily to research findings involving second-plus generation Australians of non-Anglo-Celtic heritage (the “mainstream” ethnicity in Australia) distinct paradigms. As discussed in Chapter 1, Australia is a multilingual and ethnically diverse country, where sustained immigration has created highly multiethnic/multilingual major cities and less diverse regional areas (see Willoughby and Manns, this volume). Multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual urban centres in Australia provide rich situations for contact between languages and people, which provides a


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potential site for language variation and change in the development of AusE into the 21st century (Cox, 2006). In this chapter, I explore the extent to which this context has given birth to ethnically marked ways of speaking. In considering research on this topic, I split research that has been conducted into two themes and paradigms. The first one, mostly conducted prior to 2010, portrays ethnicity and ethnolect as uncontested, linked directly to ethnic heritage. The second, which involves research mostly conducted after 2010, has begun to interrogate the complexity of ethnicity and ethnic identity, adopting new methodologies, constructs, and terminology in approaching ethnicity, and also, to some extent, addresses the language used by more recent migrant groups. I will conclude by providing my reflections on what we might expect in future: What kind of potential do we have for researching ethnolectal variability in AusE? What kind of fertile ground is being laid in Australian society for this work to be done? What kind of moral responsibility do we have to Australian society to do this valuable work?

2 Laying the foundations: ethnicity and ethnic heritage In the 1970s (through to 1980), when there had already been substantial change to the ethnic and linguistic composition of Australian society compared to the time of Mitchell and Delbridge’s (1965) pioneering work on AusE variation, research by Barbara Horvath (1985; Horvath & Sankoff, 1987; Horvath, 1991) into social variation in accents in “the Sydney speech community” identified two primary groups – the core and the periphery. This was based on the analysis of five vowels – FLEECE, FACE, GOAT, PRICE, and MOUTH – produced by over 170 speakers with Anglo-Celtic, Italian, and Greek ethnic backgrounds. Along with the descriptors traditionally used for vowel variation in AusE – Broad, General, and Cultivated – Horvath identified speakers of what she termed Ethnic Broad (EB) (composed primarily of native AusE speakers with Greek and Italian ethnic backgrounds). If the broad vowels, she argues, are a move away from the exonormative standard of Cultivated vowels, then the Ethnic Broad vowels, (excluding FLEECE) realised as [ɐ̝ɪ] (FACE), [ɐ̞ɯ] (GOAT), [ɒɪ] (PRICE), [ɛɒ] (MOUTH), respectively, are one step further away from that exonormative standard (this progressive movement away from the Cultivated can be seen in Table 6.1 of Horvath [1985:61]). Having identified the “core” and “periphery” of the speech community, Horvath then considers how speakers who use these EB vowels fit within the speech community. The majority of these EB speakers’ accents led to their categorisation within the periphery; however, a considerable number of teenagers from Italian and Greek backgrounds used an accent that fell within the core. Thus, even in this early work on AusE ethnolectal variability, it was evident that ethnicity alone does not constrain a speaker’s sociolectal categorisation. While Horvath’s statistical analysis of sociolectal variability in Sydney places speakers with different ethnic backgrounds in different groupings primarily based on vowels, there are also some consonantal features associated with different ethnic groups in her study. For those with Italian ethnicity, these include

Ethnolectal variability in AusEs 157 /θ/ being realised as [f], word-initial deletion of [h], and (ing) being realised as [ɪn]. Consonantal variants strongly associated with Greek Australians included /t/ being realised as [tH] (highly aspirated, potentially affricated), which is now widespread in mainstream AusE Loakes & McDougall, 2007; Jones & McDougall, 2009; Clothier & Loakes, 2018). Some twenty years later, Felicity Cox and Sallyanne Palethorpe (2005, 2006, 2011) conducted laboratory phonetic investigations into vocalic and prosodic patterning of “Lebanese Australian English”. In terms of vowel quality differences, while overall vowel space shapes are similar to those of mainstream AusE speakers, Cox and Palethorpe found a few significant differences between their sample of Lebanese Australians and a group of Anglo-Celtic Australians in a word list task (Cox & Palethorpe, 2005). These include F2 differences in the STRUT vowel /ɐ/, with Lebanese Australians producing a backer variant than Anglo-Celtic Australians, and F1 differences in the LOT /ɔ/ and NURSE /ɜː/ vowels, with Lebanese Australians producing a higher LOT and lower NURSE. For diphthongs, they found a fronted first target in the GOAT vowel, and a raised second target of the PRICE vowel, relative to the mainstream Australian English sample (Cox & Palethorpe, 2005). Further, they also found a raised first target in the CHOICE diphthong, /oɪ/. Overall, though, they conclude that there is no evidence of transfer from Lebanese (Arabic) in the vowel system. In each of these three studies, Cox and Palethorpe (2005, 2006, 2011) also investigate differences in durations of VC rhymes, which yield a complex set of syllable timing differences between Australian English speakers with Lebanese and those with Anglo-Celtic heritage. Briefly, they find that those with Lebanese heritage produced overall longer rhymes (vowel + consonant closure + consonant burst) and that these timing differences are present in the different components of the rhyme: a reduced vowel length contrast between short and long vowels (e.g., hut, heart) was found for Lebanese Australian English speakers; the Lebanese Australians in their study produced significantly longer vowels before voiceless codas (e.g., in hat compared to had), longer closure durations, and longer bursts. Taken together, Cox and Palethorpe argue that these findings suggest a temporal restructuring of the VC rhyme in Lebanese Australians’ English, which may reflect the influence of the metrical structure of Arabic. Lebanese Australians have been the focus of another study in this period, conducted by Verna Robertson Rieschild (2007), who looked at speakers with varied ethnic backgrounds, but included Arabic L1 speakers, some of whom were born in Australia and others who were visitors to Australia with English as an additional language. Focusing on those who were Australian born, Rieschild first identifies some distinctive features of what she calls Arabic-heritage-AusE, including: • • • • •

Raised pitch Atypical contractions Non-contraction of BE in 3P.SG.PRES Some vowel length differences assumed to be the result of Arabic transfer Glottal stopped realisations of word final /t/


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Next, she identifies what she calls “Lebspeak”, which she defines as “an urban youth ‘street slang’ that blends elements of Arabic-heritage-AusE, global hip hop formulae and stances, and Arabic words” (2007:44). She notes that it marks a “merged Australian identity rather than a minority group language of protest” (2007:44). This “Lebspeak” may be spoken by people of different nonAnglo-Celtic ethnicities, and ethnicity is not a strong predictor of reported use based on her survey’s results. However, gender does play a role, with a large majority of men attesting their use of “Lebspeak” and the majority of women disavowing it.2 There may, however, be other ways of marking Lebanese identity for women that were not identified by Rieschild. A similarly named “variety” – “w*gspeak”3 was discussed by Jane Warren (1999). Warren conducted interviews in a high school in Melbourne with secondgeneration Australians of various ethnicities. Based on these interviews, she identifies: • • • • • •

Rising intonation on phrase-final syllables, which she describes as “a variant of the rising intonation or high rising tone”, a lexical marker “I swear”, fronted /ʉ/, (th)-stopping (i.e., /ð/ → [d]), use of an open vowel for schwa in open syllables, and double comparative constructions (e.g., more better).

Warren argues that this is a stylistic practice, that it’s pan-ethnic, and that speakers have agency, giving the example of approaching people in public, asking them if they speak in a certain way, which they understand to mean “w*g”, having them admit using it, but refuse to do so for her.

3 From heritage to identity: adopting the constructivist turn in Australian ethnolectal research In the 2010s, several research projects have been conducted which have begun to frame ethnicity with a strong focus on the social psychological construct of speakers’ ethnic identities. These projects are inspired by work conducted in North America; research groups in Toronto (Hoffman & Walker, 2010) have used an ethnic orientation (EO) questionnaire in their study of ethnolectal variability, as well as heritage language usage (Nagy, Chociej & Hoffman, 2014). This questionnaire, as administered by, among others, Hoffman and Walker (2010) and Nagy (2015) in Canada, comprises thirty-seven questions derived from a much larger questionnaire (in Keefe & Padilla, 1987). The questions used in the EO questionnaire relate to such dimensions of “ethnic identity as language use, make up of social network, participation in community activities, attitudes toward cultural heritage, and discrimination” (Nagy, Chociej & Hoffman, 2014:12). As discussed by Nagy, Chociej and Hoffman (2014), responses to the EO questionnaires can be combined in different ways to then be implemented as predictor or independent

Ethnolectal variability in AusEs 159 variables in statistical analyses of linguistic variables. The different methods of implementation Nagy, Chociej and Hoffman (2014) suggest include: a simple averaging of the scores for each of the questions across the entire questionnaire to derive a single overall score; using subsets of questions to create indices, which are derived using statistical techniques such as principal component analysis; and different methods of scoring responses (see Nagy, Chociej & Hoffman, 2014 for a full discussion). Other questionnaires have also been used in ethnolectal research in Australia. The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (Phinney, 1992; Phinney & Ong, 2007) is notable for its use in psychological studies and has also been used in linguistic studies (e.g., Zipp & Staicov, 2016; Clothier, 2019) and, along with the EO questionnaire, collects the kind of information encouraged by Hall-Lew and Wong (2014), who argue that “[m]eaningful intra-ethnic variation is revealed only if the researcher moves beyond coding a speaker’s ethnic identity with broad census labels only, and codes also for those behavioural and attitudinal domains that may impact a speaker’s ethnic orientation” (569). The current version – the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure – Revised (MEIM–R) (Phinney & Ong, 2007) measures just two dimensions of ethnic identity: commitment, which includes items that reflect “positive affirmation [derived from the ethnic group] based on social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1986)”, and exploration, which asks respondents about the degree to which they have actively sought out a personally meaningful understanding of their ethnicity. While it is thus brief (comprising just six questions), providing “a concise measure of the core aspects of group identity that determine the strength and security of ethnic identity” (Phinney & Ong, 2007:278) the authors encourage users to include additional items relevant to the specific research questions being asked (278). The MEIM–R is thus amenable to sociolinguistic research, as it can provide a base of thoroughly tested items around which to build additional items about, say, linguistic behaviour and respondents’ social networks, as is done in my own work (e.g., Clothier, 2019). Such questionnaires as the EO and MEIM–R are based on the premise that ethnic identity is, while fluid, measurable, and they measure aspects of ethnicity that are key to the achievement and construction of ethnic identity. Of course, these aspects of ethnic identity vary depending on the specific case and the ontological and epistemological approaches taken to ethnic identity.4 Such questionnaires have also been administered in different ways; in Toronto, the ethnic orientation questionnaire is administered as part of a Labovian sociolinguistic interview (Hoffman & Walker, 2010; Nagy, Chociej & Hoffman, 2014), while locally in Australia, they have been administered in pen-and-paper format embedded within a larger questionnaire (Alimoradian, 2014), following a sociolinguistic interview (Bharadwaj, 2014) and in an online form in a laboratory phonetics context (Clothier, 2014b; Clothier, Fletcher & Loakes, 2018; Clothier & Loakes, 2018; Clothier, 2019). Researchers on the Sydney Speaks project led by Catherine Travis (2019) embed their interrogation of ethnicity within a sociolinguistic interview and also examine social networks, which are key factors in sociolinguistic


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variation (Milroy & Llamas, 2013) and play important roles in the development of ethnolinguistic repertoires (Cheshire et al., 2011). Another commonality between the recent studies to be discussed in this section (i.e., Alimoradian, 2014; Bharadwaj, 2014; Clothier, 2014b; Clothier, Fletcher & Loakes, 2017; Grama, Travis & González, 2017; Clothier, Fletcher & Loakes, 2018; Clothier & Loakes, 2018; Travis, Grama & González, 2018; Clothier, 2019; Grama, Travis & González, 2019), which use a more granular approach to ethnic identity compared to those studies in the previous section, is that there is a refocusing, away from named varieties and group-based linguistic behaviour, instead focusing on the variable use of language by groups of speakers or individual speakers. This is in line with ideologies which resist reinforcing the power relations between a standardised language variety and other language varieties (although the ideological stance varies from study to study and researcher to researcher). The coverage of ethnicities by these studies is broad and involves those groups with established communities (e.g., Lebanese Australians) and those whose numbers have recently seen vast increases in terms of migration seeing them “overtake”, numerically speaking, traditional major migrant groups to Australia (e.g., Indian Australians, who hailed from the twelfth most common country of birth in 1996 to the third most common in 2018 [ABS, 2019]). The first of these recent Australian studies, conducted by Kiya Alimoradian (2014), had the widest coverage of different ethnicities, with large groups of respondents having Iranian, Chinese, and “European” backgrounds. As noted by the author, the latter grouping is less than ideal, as it includes respondents with a wide array of national and linguistic backgrounds and would not compose a cohesive identity group in the way that the other two groups may be expected to;5 however, the grouping was maintained presumably for the sake of statistical convenience. The study examines reported use of the vocative mate, both in terms of the respondents’ own reported use and their reported being called mate. The study uses a pen-and-paper version of the EO questionnaire, with Likert-type items between 1 and 5, calculates an overall mean score for each participant, and then sorts participants into low EO, mid EO, and high EO groups on the basis of these scores. One of the noteworthy findings in the study demonstrates that across all respondents, age of arrival in Australia is strongly positively correlated with EO (2014:609), suggesting that, given sufficient duration residing in the heritage country, a strong sense of ethnic identity may be established prior to arrival in Australia and maintained throughout the lifespan. However, in my own research with Lebanese Australians (Clothier, 2014a, b, Clothier, Fletcher & Loakes, 2017, 2018; Clothier, 2019), participants, who were all born in Australia as second-generation Australians, range in ethnic orientation and identity6 scores between 1.7 and 4.4 out of 5. In Sana Bharadwaj’s (2014) study, whose sample is wholly composed of first-generation Australians born in India, the average EO score is around 4 (out of 6), with a range of EO scores between 2 and 5 (out of 6) for speakers living in Australia for between 11 and 20 years, and, furthermore, there is no evident relationship between EO and

Ethnolectal variability in AusEs 161 length of residence (LOR) in Australia (where one might expect EO to decrease with increased LOR). The variability exhibited between these three studies using similar instruments is an important reminder that ethnic identity is variable for individuals and groups and considerable (preferably empirical) consideration needs to go into the application of an instrument to a group before proceeding. While some comparability between measures is ideal – and, indeed, it is to some extent here: even with slightly different instruments used among different ethnic groups, we’re able to draw comparisons – the goal of a single instrument that can be used with any ethnic group in any place runs contrary to the nature of ethnic identity: it is relational (Fishman, 1989:5, Fought, 2006:13), it is highly context dependent (Fought, 2006:16–17), and it is situated in specific socio-historical contexts (Fought, 2006:14). The use of these kinds of measures allow us to talk about the granularity of ethnic identity within specific communities with a great degree of confidence, but comparing between communities, we have to remain comfortable with less granular comparisons, instead relying on fuzzier categorical comparisons between, for example, “high” and “low” identifying, or oriented groups. Given such variability between distinct groups in terms of their ethnic identities, as measured by such instruments, what kinds of linguistic information can be predicted by or, at the very least, associated with these constructs? The three studies present findings in different domains: Alimoradian (2014) examines address terms, Bharadwaj (2014) researches pragmatics, and my own work (Clothier, 2014b, a; Clothier, Fletcher & Loakes, 2017, 2018; Clothier & Loakes, 2018; Clothier, 2019) and that of the Sydney Speaks project (Travis, 2019) consider phonetic and phonological features. I present a summary of the findings of these studies subsequently. Kiya Alimoradian’s (2014) study examines the use of the vocative mate, a term which is supposed to index a very particular kind of Australian identity – one traditionally associated with classic Ocker masculinity and traditional Australian values like egalitarianism, but now also used by young women “as a friendly and fun term [. . .] to show intimacy” (Rendle-Short, 2009:245). To address the relationship between ethnicity and the use of mate, Alimoradian uses a questionnaire, with 101 respondents across three Australian urban centres (Canberra, Melbourne, and Perth). As well as the EO groupings discussed previously, the respondents in Alimoradian’s study are classified as “newcomers”, first-generation Australians and second-generation Australians, and are ethnically Iranian, Chinese, and “European”. Overall, compared to a previous study, which looked at mainstream Australians’ use of the term and found 75% of respondents reported using mate (Rendle-Short, 2009), Alimoradian finds that only 53% of respondents in his study report using the term. Within his study, there is no effect of ethnic grouping on address term use; however, there is an effect of ethnic identity, with those with low EO scores more likely than those with high EO (i.e., those with strong affiliation with and orientation towards their ethnic heritage group) to use mate and to be called mate. There’s also a significant difference between


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generations, with 38% of first-generation Australians reporting using the term, and 68% of the second generations doing so. Alimoradian also asked his respondents to whom they address the vocative mate, and overall, the participants in this study most commonly reported using it with Anglo-Celtic Australians and male addressees. Here, those in the high EO group had the most restricted use, mostly with Anglo-Celtic Australians and males, and the low EO grouping had the least constrained and thus innovative use of the term. Even more stark differences are reported by Alimoradian when EO groups are split up by gender; most markedly, only 1 out of 13 female respondents with high EO used mate, whereas there is little difference among men on the basis of EO grouping. Also adopting the ethnic orientation questionnaire to quantify ethnic identity, Bharadwaj (2014) studied English epistemic/evidential (e/e) complement-taking phrases (CTPs) used by native speakers of Indian English who were firstgeneration Australians living in Perth. By comparing these speakers’ use with reference values cited in Rodríguez Louro and Harris (2013), Bharadwaj found clear differences between the e/e CTP systems of IndE and AusE speakers in her study. Furthermore, she found differences in the use of e/e CTPs was constrained by EO, along with gender and age (although not LOR). Overall, IndE speakers in her study used I feel the most, which aligns with AusE and other varieties of English, which, as Bharadwaj points out, is understandable given the British-colonial history of India and its influence on the development of Indian Englishes. Considering the effect of ethnic orientation, she found that speakers with lower scores tended to use I think the most, while those with a high EO preferred I would say – an e/e CTP which is not common in AusE. This leads to the conclusion that this e/e CTP can be used as a marker of a particular Indian Australian ethnic identity which is strongly oriented towards the Indian community, towards Indian culture, and towards the use of and proficiency in the Indian heritage language. Bharadwaj also finds significant differences in the gendered use of the two verbs: women are more likely than men to use I think, and men are more likely than women to use I would say. This is interpreted as women leading the charge in the acquisition of a more mainstream AusE-like interactional style. Given that the speakers in Bharadwaj’s study are all first-generation Australians and speakers of Indian English, this also raises interesting questions about how we should categorise their speech. Are they necessarily speaking AusE now that they reside in Australia? Is there a tipping point where their Indian English becomes AusE – or, perhaps, Indian Australian English? While there is a reticence in contemporary ethnolectal studies to name varieties, these questions are certainly interesting, and there is much to be learnt from speakers acquiring second dialects. Bharadwaj’s findings could, then, be interpreted as demonstrating that, along with the classic sociolinguistic interpretation of women as innovators in situations of language change in a speech community (Labov, 2001), that they could, too, be more advanced in acquiring features of additional dialects (although results across studies are mixed; see Siegel, 2010).

Ethnolectal variability in AusEs 163 In my own work, which to date has addressed the use of voice onset time and /l/ clearness and darkness by Lebanese Australians, I have found complex interactions between ethnic identity (as measured by a modified, internet-based EO questionnaire combined with the MEIM–R [Phinney & Ong, 2007]) and other social factors, including gender. Analysis of voice onset time shows that, for positive VOT (i.e., tokens where VOT measured is greater than or equal to 0), ethnic identity interacts with gender. For each of the voiceless stops /p, t, k/, Lebanese Australian women’s VOT increases in duration as the strength of their ethnic identity increases. Lebanese men’s VOT for these stops are shorter overall, and this is not uncommon in Englishes (Whiteside, Henry & Dobbin, 2004), but an analysis of the subscales of the ethnic identity questionnaire with respect to VOT in voiceless stops showed that, for men, the aspect of identity which provided the most explanatory power was social networks. Lebanese Australian men with more densely Lebanese social networks – more specifically, those who scored higher on items that asked about how many of their friends, schoolmates, and neighbours shared Lebanese heritage – had shorter voice onset times in their voiceless stops (Clothier, Fletcher & Loakes, 2018). When looking at variability in the voiced series /b, d, ɡ/, there was little variability of note in the positive region of the VOT scale. However, we found that Lebanese Australian men were much more likely than any other group (i.e., Lebanese Australian women, Anglo-Celtic women and men) to produce pre-voiced tokens – something that is not entirely unexpected, but also not entirely typical for a variety of English in the prosodic context (post-pausal, word initial) under study. It must be stressed that these speakers were not adopting a Lebanese (or Arabic) VOICING phonology, which has fully voiced /b d ɡ/: their voiceless stops /p, t, k/ were long lag (following the English pattern) not short lag (following an Arabic pattern) (Clothier & Loakes, 2018). I have similar findings in my acoustic analysis of Lebanese Australians’ production of /l/ (Clothier, 2019), particularly focusing on darkness and clearness. Here, Lebanese Australians contrast pre-vocalic and post-vocalic /l/ using relatively clear [l] and dark [ɫ] variants, respectively. Comparing Lebanese Australians’ /l/ to Anglo-Celtic Australians’ /l/ shows little difference: both groups use clearer /l/ word initially and darker /l/ word finally, and for both groups, women have clearer /l/ overall. Clear-dark /l/ is more of a continuum than a categorical difference, and the finegrained variability found in Lebanese Australians’ /l/ production can be accounted for by social networks and gender. Similar to findings for positive VOT, the variability in /l/ for women is most marked and sociolinguistically valent. While the overall ethnic identity score was also predictive, the social network subscore was even more predictive of /l/ darkness (or clearness). For men, as social network score increases – as their social network becomes more densely Lebanese – then /l/ production becomes clearer word initially. For women, as social network score increases, /l/ production similarly becomes clearer word initially, but their word final /l/s become darker – that is, as their social networks become more densely


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Lebanese, these women are performing a very particular Lebanese Australian identity that enhances the English contrast between the two prosodic contexts. It is interesting to note that in each of these studies (Alimoradian, 2014; Bharadwaj, 2014; Clothier, Fletcher & Loakes, 2018; Clothier & Loakes, 2018; Clothier, 2019), adopting the kind of granular approach to operationalising ethnic identity put forth by Hall-Lew and Wong (2014), there are interactions with gender. That is, each of these studies find that men and women use linguistic means to perform their ethnic identities differently, which goes to the crucial point made by Hall and Bucholtz (1995) that ethnicity and gender are inseparable and must be considered together in our analyses. Aside from these smaller, focused studies, there is currently a large-scale sociolinguistic project which began in 2015 as part of the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. This large project, Sydney Speaks (Grama, Travis & González, 2017; Travis, Grama & González, 2018; Grama, Travis & González, 2019; Travis, 2019), focuses on ethnic and linguistic diversity in Sydney. The project aims to provide real-time analysis of change by combining instrumental reanalysis of the data used in Horvath’s (1985) study along with new data collected in the 2010s. Along with some of the original ethnic groups studied by Horvath (Anglo-Celtic and Italian), Sydney Speaks adds a “newer” migrant group, Chinese Australians. The first of these reanalyses has focused on the speech of Anglo-Celtic and Italian Australian teenagers, looking specifically at vowels that typically mark “broadness” in AusE: FLEECE, FACE, GOAT, PRICE, and MOUTH. While Horvath (1985) found that, for these vowels, Anglo-Celtic Australian teenagers showed social conditioning by gender and SES, the same could not be said for Italian-Australian teenagers. So, Anglo-Celtic Australian teenage males produced broader vowels than their female counterparts, while there was no gendered differentiation for the Italian-Australian group. For social class, the lower workingclass group exhibited the broadest vowels, but there was no social class effect for Italian-Australian teens. The acoustic reanalysis supports Horvath’s findings that the lower working-class group had the broadest vowels and that the middle class had the most cultivated, but only for female speakers; male speakers’ vowels didn’t overall vary as a function of class. When it comes to the Italian Australian group, the reanalysis shows class-based patterning for the female speakers, but not in the same ways as for the Anglo-Celtic group (Grama, Travis & González, 2017). To sum up, the acoustic reanalysis of Horvath’s findings appears to refute the claims that the Italian Australians’ vowel production was homogenous and that only the Anglo-Celtic group patterned as a function of gender and class. As mentioned previously, the Sydney Speaks project also looks at “newer” migrant groups, including those with Chinese heritage. Another variable that has been analysed by this team of researchers is word final (er). Travis, Grama and González (2018) examined this variable’s acoustic properties (duration and formants one and two), showing that it has become longer, lower, and backer over time. The incipience and spread of this change might be, they argue, forecast by the behaviour of Greek Australian teens in the 1970s (in data collected by Horvath [1985]), who show evidence of lowering, backing, and lengthening (Travis,

Ethnolectal variability in AusEs 165 Grama & González, 2018). They also show evidence of these changes being taken up by contemporary speakers of AusE in Sydney, including Chinese Australians. These findings are in line with those of others: this variable has also been studied by Scott Kiesling (2005) and Clothier (2014b). Compared to mainstream AusE speakers, Kiesling found F2 differences (backing) for Greek Australians and an interaction with high rising tune (i.e., more back variants were more likely when produced with HRT). For Lebanese Australians, he found variants that were significantly different from the mainstream, but more variant in F1 and F2. My own work (Clothier, 2014b) showed that Lebanese Australian men’s7 word final (er) schwa increased in F1 (became lower) and longer as ethnic identity score increased. Findings from recent work by Cox and Palethorpe (2018) on mainstream AusE suggest a reframing of this variable beyond just word final (er) to look at schwa more generally across different prosodic and morphological contexts. Their findings show that word final schwa (not simply in [-er] words) are longer, lower, and backer than schwa in other contexts, while interconsonantal schwa are prone to coarticulatory effects, so this broader kind of analysis might add more to our understanding of ethnolectal variability in schwa production (for comments on schwa variation in ethnic Australian Englishes, see Warren, 1999; Clyne, Eisikovits & Tollfree, 2001; Rieschild, 2007).

4 Concluding discussion Since the last major review of ethnolectal variation in AusE was published in 2001, much has changed in Australian society: we have seen a demographic restructuring of the minority ethnic groups that contribute to the ethnolinguistic diversity of our society, and we have seen multiple turns against different “new” groups of Australians. That chapter was published during the year of the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, and the social and cultural ramifications have been felt in Australia, as certain sectors of the media and other public institutions constructed Muslims and by extension Lebanese Australians as “folk demons” in our midst (Noble, 2008). As linguists (and thus social scientists), we have sought to make sense of the ways that minority groups, like Lebanese Australians, construct their identities in what is often a hostile environment for them. We find that, despite processes of marginalisation they may face, most seek to identify as Australians (Rieschild, 2007; Clothier, 2014a), and this is evident – not only in their avowed ethnonyms, often hybrids (Harris, 2006) like Lebanese Australian, and not only the ratings they may produce in response to ethnic identity questionnaires, but also in their unique use of AusE: their distinctive use of the AusE VOT system and their use of /l/ clearness-darkness in Australian but ever so unique ways. I look forward to research on newer migrants, currently the targets of a similarly cruel gaze – research that supports their claims to unique Australian ethnic identities, research that contributes to their ethnolinguistic sense-making of their complex ethnic identities that are expressed through yet more distinctive expressions of ethnically AusE repertoires. In an increasingly complex social world, we require an increasingly rich toolkit of “approaches informed by theoretical


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advances from adjacent fields such as sociology and anthropology” (Foulkes, Scobbie & Watt, 2010:708) in our research of the AusE of other migrant Australians who form an increasing proportion of the population, alongside the AngloCeltic majority and this nation’s First Peoples. Furthermore, looking ahead to increasingly diverse AusEs, those of us who conduct research on ethnolectal variability are increasingly bound by what Meyerhoff has recently described as “the unique genius of linguistics” in that it is at once analytic and moral (Meyerhoff, 2019:314). I look forward to work on ethnolectal variability in Australian Englishes that addresses the nexus between linguistic diversity and social justice (Piller, 2016). Rickford (2009), while discussing primarily sociolinguistic research on African American language in the US context, argues that researchers have a responsibility to return something of value to the communities of people they research. He argues that our field owes a lot in terms of theoretical and methodological developments from research involving minority groups, but often we leave nothing in return. Drawing on the work of Cameron et al. (1992), Rickford points to different ways of framing research that benefit the researcher and the researched: to be ethical, to advocate, and to empower. What, though, will be the shape of studies of ethnicity in linguistics in Australia as we push further into the 21st century? As the turn taken in the 2010s demonstrates, looking to the methods and approaches being used overseas can be truly fruitful. One question that is often raised but remains unanswered is whether there is any “multicultural” variety or “multiethnolect” – ethnolectal varieties used by “several minority groups [. . .] collectively to express their minority status and/ or as a reaction to that status to upgrade it” (Clyne, 2000:87) – as seen in Multicultural London English (Cheshire et al., 2011) and Copenhagen Multiethnolect/ Copenhagen Street Language (Quist, 2008; Pharao et al., 2014). Perhaps we will uncover “multiethnolectal” features shared between different minority groups, as is seen in other large cities – there is a hint of this in the studies by Rieschild (2007), by Warren (1999), and perhaps on the research around /ə/ (Kiesling, 2005; Clothier, 2014b; Cox & Palethorpe, 2018; Travis, Grama & González, 2018), but further research is required. Furthermore, we must move beyond studies of production to studies of social perception and start examining how speakers perceive ethnicity (and other social meanings) in the linguistic signal, as has been done abroad (e.g., Pharao et al., 2014; Pharao & Maegaard, 2017). It is also key that we continue to take up new ways of theorising and practising with regards to ethnicity and other intersecting identities (see, e.g., Stuart-Smith, Timmins & Alam, 2011; Eckert, 2014; Kirkham, 2015; Levon, 2015). And we must consider ways that we may undo imbalances between the research and the researched (Rickford, 2009). Given the extraordinary range of diversity in ethnic and linguistic heritage groups in Australia, there is great opportunity for us to uncover extraordinary diversity in the ethnolectal variability of AusE.

Acknowledgements I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which this work was produced, the Wurundjuri peoples of the Kulin Nations, as well as traditional

Ethnolectal variability in AusEs 167 custodians on the various lands upon which the works cited took place. I pay my respects to elders, past, present, and emerging. I thank Simon Musgrave for his valuable comments on the draft of this chapter, and Rosey Billington for her generous comments and suggestions during the revision stage. Thank you also to Nicole Holliday for her thoroughly helpful suggestions around researcher responsibilities to researched communities. The author is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend and RTP Fee-Offset Scholarship and various support from the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (Project ID: CE140100041).

Notes 1 Given space limitations, it is impossible to cover all work dealing with issues of language and ethnicity in Australian English, so I direct the reader to that chapter as a stillvaluable resource. 2 Crosstabulations between attested use of “Lebspeak” features, gender, and ethnic heritage are not presented; however, the entire sample comprises people whose fathers’ “country of origin” include Brazil, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, and Yemen. 3 The Macquarie Dictionary (2017) defines “wog” as “a person of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern extraction, or of similar complexion and appearance”. Its usage notes state “This word is generally derogatory but may sometimes be used within the community of those with Mediterranean or Middle Eastern background without being offensive.” I have thus decided to censor its use in this chapter as its use by outgroup speakers in 2019 is not deemed appropriate, even if no slur was intended by the original author. 4 For a thorough review of social psychological approaches to ethnic identity, including literature on and instruments used to measure the construct, see Phinney (1990). 5 Although it should be noted that “Chinese” as an ethnic grouping is potentially fraught, encompassing many linguistic and ethnic groups. However, given that ethnicity is constructed in relational terms (i.e., between self and other), it remains an empirical question as to how granular Chinese identities are realised in the Australian context. 6 A combination of the MEIM–R, items from the EO, and additional items aimed at measuring aspects of ethnic identity not captured by the other two questionnaires. 7 This pilot analysis does not include analysis of women’s speech.

References Alimoradian, Kiya. 2014. “Makes me feel more Aussie”: Ethnic identity and vocative mate in Australia. Australian Journal of Linguistics 34. 599–623. doi:10.1080/07268602.20 14.929083. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2019. Migration, Australia, 2017–18, Cat. No. 3412.0. Retrieved July 16, 2019 from[email protected]/Latestproducts/ 3412.0Main%20Features22017-18. Benor, Sarah Bunin. 2010. Ethnolinguistic repertoire: Shifting the analytic focus in language and ethnicity. Journal of Sociolinguistics 14. 159–183. doi:10.1111/ j.1467-9841.2010.00440.x. Bharadwaj, Sana. 2013. Ethnic orientation and language use: Expressing opinions in Australian and Indian English. Paper presented at Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society, Melbourne. Bharadwaj, Sana. 2014. Ethnic orientation and language use: Expressing opinions in Indian and Australian English. Perth: University of Western Australia. (Honours dissertation).


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Cameron, Deborah, Elizabeth Frazer, Penelope Harvey, Ben Rampton & Kay Richardson. 1992. Researching language: Issues of power and method. London: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780429436246. Cheshire, Jenny, Paul Kerswill, Sue Fox & Eivind Torgersen. 2011. Contact, the feature pool and the speech community: The emergence of multicultural London English. Journal of Sociolinguistics 15. 151–196. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9841.2011.00478.x. Clothier, Josh. 2014a. Adapting the Ethnic Orientation questionnnaire for use in a sociophonetic investigation of ethnolectal variation in Melbourne. (Paper presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation – Asia Pacific (3), Wellington, 1–3 May 2014). Clothier, Josh. 2014b. Heading south: Phonetic differences in word final -er in speakers from Lebanese- and Anglo-Celtic Australian ethnic groups. (Paper presented at Australian Linguistic Society Conference, Newcastle, 10–12 December 2014). Clothier, Josh. 2019. A sociophonetic analysis of /l/ darkness and Lebanese Australian Ethnic Identity in Australian English. Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, Australia, 1888–1892. Clothier, Josh, Janet Fletcher & Deborah Loakes. 2017. Voice onset time in the Australian English stops of speakers with Lebanese heritage. (Paper presented at the Australian Linguistic Society Conference, Sydney, 5–7 December 2017). Clothier, Josh, Janet Fletcher & Deborah Loakes. 2018. The relationship between English voice onset time and ethnic identity among Lebanese-Australians in Melbourne. (Paper presented at Sociolinguistics Symposium 22, Auckland, 27–30 June 2018). Clothier, Josh & Debbie Loakes. 2018. Coronal stop VOT in Australian English: Lebanese Australians and mainstream Australian English. Proceedings of the Seventeenth Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 13–17. Clyne, Michael. 2000. Lingua franca and ethnolects in Europe and beyond. Sociolinguistica 14. 83–89. doi:10.1515/9783110245196.83. Clyne, Michael, Edina Eisikovits & Laura Tollfree. 2001. Ethnic varieties of Australian English. In David Blair & Peter Collins (eds.), English in Australia, 223–238. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/veaw.g26.21cly. Cox, Felicity. 2006. Australian English pronunciation into the 21st century. Prospect 21. 3–21. Cox, Felicity & Sallyanne Palethorpe. 2005. A preliminary acoustic phonetic examination of Lebanese Australian English. Retrieved July 15, 2019 from www.researchgate. net/publication/248539671_A_preliminary_acoustic_phonetic_examination_of_Leba nese_Australian_English. Cox, Felicity & Sallyanne Palethorpe. 2006. Some phonetic characteristics of Lebanese Australian English. Retrieved July 15, 2019 from 248539671_A_preliminary_acoustic_phonetic_examination_of_Lebanese_Australian_ English. Cox, Felicity & Sallyanne Palethorpe. 2011. Timing differences in the VC rhyme of standard Australian English and Lebanese Australian English. Proceedings of the 17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, 528–531. Cox, Felicity & Sallyanne Palethorpe. 2018. Rosa’s roses – Unstressed vowel merger in Australian English. Proceedings of the 17th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 89–92. Eckert, Penelope. 2014. The problem with binaries: Coding for gender and sexuality. Language and Linguistics Compass 8. 529–535. doi:10.1111/lnc3.12113. Fishman, Joshua. 1989. Language and ethnicity in minority sociolinguistic perspective. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Ethnolectal variability in AusEs 169 Fought, Carmen. 2006. Language and ethnicity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Foulkes, Paul, James M. Scobbie & Dominic Watt. 2010. Sociophonetics. In W. Hardcastle & J. Laver (eds.), Handbook of phonetic sciences. 2nd edn. Oxford: Blackwell. Grama, James, Catherine Travis & Simón González. 2017. Class, gender and ethnicity in Sydney: Revisiting social conditioning in 1970s Australia. (Paper presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation 46, Madison, 2–5 November 2017). Grama, James, Catherine Travis & Simón González . 2019. The role of ethnolectal variation in language change: A real time study of vowels in Sydney English. (Paper presented at International Conference on Historical Linguistics 24, Canberra, 1–5 July 2019). Hall, Kira & Mary Bucholtz. 1995. From Mulatta to Mestiza: Language and the reshaping of ethnic identity. In Kira Hall & Mary Bucholtz (eds.), Gender articulated: Language and the socially constructed self, 351–374. Arbingdon: Routledge. Hall-Lew, Lauren & Amy Wing-mei Wong. 2014. Coding for demographic categories in the creation of legacy corpora: Asian American ethnic identities. Language and Linguistics Compass 8. 564–576. doi:10.1111/lnc3.12117. Harris, Roxy. 2006. New ethnicities and language use. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Hoffman, Michol F. & James A. Walker. 2010. Ethnolects and the city: Ethnic orientation and linguistic variation in Toronto English. Language Variation and Change 22. 37–67. doi:1017/S0954394509990238. Horvath, Barbara. 1985. Variation in Australian English: The sociolects of Sydney. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Horvath, Barbara. 1991. Finding a place in Sydney: Migrants and language change. In Suzanne Romaine (ed.), Language in Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Horvath, Barbara & David Sankoff. 1987. Delimiting the Sydney speech community. Language in Society 16. 179–204. doi:10.1017/S0047404500012252. Jones, Mark & Kirsty McDougall. 2009. The acoustic character of fricated /t/ in Australian English: A comparison with/s/ and /ʃ/. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 39. 265–289. doi:10.1017/S0025100309990132. Keefe, Susan E. & Amado M. Padilla. 1987. Chicano ethnicity. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Kiesling, Scott F. 2005. Variation, stance and style: Word-final -er, high rising tone, and ethnicity in Australian English. English World-Wide 26. 1–42. doi:10.1075/eww.26.1.02kie. Kirkham, Sam. 2015. Intersectionality and the social meanings of variation: Class, ethnicity, and social practice. Language in Society 44. 629–652. doi:10.1017/s004740451500 0585. Labov, William. 2001. Principles of linguistic change: Social factors. Oxford: Blackwell. Levon, Erez. 2015. Integrating intersectionality in language, gender, and sexuality research. Language and Linguistics Compass 9. 295–308. doi:10.1111/lnc3.12147. Loakes, Deborah & Kirsty McDougall. 2007. Frication of Australian English /ptk: Group tendencies and individual differences. (Paper presented at 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Saarbrücken, 6–10 August 2007). Macquarie Dictionary. 2017. 7th edn. Macquarie University: The Macquarie Library. Meyerhoff, Miriam. 2019. In pursuit of social meaning [Review of Meaning and linguistic variation: The third wave in sociolinguistics by Penelope Eckert]. Journal of Sociolinguistics 23. 303–315. doi:10.1111/josl.12341. Milroy, Lesley & Carmen Llamas. 2013. Social networks. In J.K. Chambers & Natalie Schilling (eds.), The handbook of language variation and change, 407–427, 2nd edn. West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.


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Mitchell, A.G. & A. Delbridge. 1965. The pronunciation of English in Australia. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. Nagy, Naomi. 2015. A sociolinguistic view of null subjects and VOT in Toronto heritage languages. Lingua 164. 309–327. doi:10.1016/j.lingua.2014.04.012. Nagy, Naomi, Joanna Chociej & Michol F. Hoffman. 2014. Analyzing ethnic orientation in the quantitative sociolinguistic paradigm. Language & Communication 35. 9–26. doi:10.1016/j.langcom.2013.11.002. Noble, Greg. 2008. The face of evil: Demonising the Arab other in contemporary Australia. Cultural Studies Review 14. 2. doi:10.5130/csr.v14i2.2069. Pharao, Nicolai & Marie Maegaard. 2017. On the influence of coronal sibilants and stops on the perception of social meanings in Copenhagen Danish. Linguistics 55. 1141–1167. doi:10.1515/ling-2017-0023. Pharao, Nicolai, Marie Maegaard, Janus Spindler Møller & Tore Kristiansen. 2014. Indexical meanings of [s+] among Copenhagen youth: Social perception of a phonetic variant in different prosodic contexts. Language in Society 43. 1–31. doi:10.1017/ s0047404513000857. Phinney, Jean S. 1990. Ethnic identity in adolescents and adults: Review of research. Psychological Bulletin 108.3. 499–514. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.108.3.499. Phinney, Jean S. 1992. The multigroup ethnic identity measure:Anew scale for use with diverse groups. Journal of Adolescent Research 7. 156–176. doi:10.1177/074355489272003. Phinney, Jean S. & Anthony D. Ong. 2007. Conceptualization and measurement of ethnic identity: Current status and future directions. Journal of Counseling Psychology 54. 271–281. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.54.3.271. Piller, Ingrid. 2016. Linguistic diversity and social justice: An introduction to applied sociolinguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Quist, Pia. 2008. Sociolinguistic approaches to multiethnolect: Language variety and stylistic practice. International Journal of Bilingualism 12. 43–61. doi:10.1177/13670069 080120010401. Rendle-Short, Johanna. 2009. The address term mate in Australian English: Is it still a masculine term? Australian Journal of Linguistics 29. 245–268. doi:10.1080/07268 600902823110. Rickford, John Russell. 2009. Unequal partnership: Sociolinguistics and the African American speech community. Language in Society 26. 161–197. doi:10.1017/s004740 4500020893. Rieschild, Verna Robertson. 2007. Influences of language proficiency, bilingual socialization, and urban youth identities on producing different Arabic-English voices in Australia. Novitas-ROYAL (Research on Youth and Language) 1. 1. Rodríguez Louro, Celeste & Thomas Harris. 2013. Evolution with an attitude: The grammaticalisation of epistemic/evidential verbs in Australian English. English Language and Linguistics 17. 415–443. doi:10.1017/S1360674313000105. Siegel, Jeff. 2010. Second dialect acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Stuart-Smith, Jane, Claire Timmins & Farhana Alam. 2011. Hybridity and ethnic accents: A sociophonetic analysis of “Glaswasian”. In Frans Gregersen, Jeffrey Parrott & Pia Quist (eds.), Language variation: European perspectives III, 43–57. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Tajfel, Henri & John Turner. 1986. The social identity theory of intergroup behavior. In S Worchel & W Austin (eds.), Psychology of intergroup relations. Chicago: Nelson-Hall.

Ethnolectal variability in AusEs 171 Travis, Catherine E. 2019. Sydney Speaks project. Retrieved February 25, 2019 from www. Travis, Catherine E., James Grama & Simón González. 2018. Ethnolectal variation ov(er) time: Word-final (er) in Australian English. (Paper presented at the Australian Linguistic Society Conference, Adelaide, 10–12 December 2018). Warren, Jane. 1999. “Wogspeak”: Transformations of Australian English. Journal of Australian Studies 23. 85–94. Whiteside, Sandra P., Luisa Henry & Rachel Dobbin. 2004. Sex differences in voice onset time: A developmental study of phonetic context effects in British English. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 116. 1179–1183. doi:10.1121/1.1768256. Zipp, Lena & Adina Staicov. 2016. English in San Francisco Chinatown. In World Englishes: New theoretical and methodological considerations, 205–228.

Part 3

Historical development of Australian English

11 History of Australian English Kate Burridge

1 Historical backdrop – the early story of the colony* At last a great idea arose in the mind of England. Little was known of New Holland, except that it was large enough to harbour all the criminals of Great Britain and the rest of the population if necessary. Why not transport all convicts, separate the chaff from the wheat, and purge out the old leaven? By expelling all the wicked, England would become the model of virtue to all nations. (Dunderdale, 1870:14)

In 1779 the House of Commons recommended that a penal settlement should be established at the other end of the earth, and on 13 May 1787, the First Fleet left for Australia from Spithead, outside Portsmouth – their arrival in Sydney (New South Wales) eight months later marked the establishment of the first British penal colony. Following this, penal colonies were set up in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) in 1803 and in Queensland in 1824. Isolated coastal settlements then appeared in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia; these communities were founded as free colonies, although considerable numbers of convicts were later transported to Western Australia (between 1850 and 1868). The first arrivals were largely prisoners, prison officers and their families, but exact figures are hard to establish from official records. Robson’s (1994) history of transportation estimates total convict numbers to be around 163,000, only about 25,000 of which were women (p. 4). Yallop (2003:131) gives a helpful snapshot of the population demographics in New South Wales in 1828 based on census figures. Notwithstanding the notorious inaccuracies of such data-collecting practices (especially in these early times), the figures confirm that convicts and ex-convicts (emancipists) did make up a sizable proportion of the population in these early days, at a little over 63%. The convicts came from all over the British Isles, and although the majority appeared to come from urban centres, the names of these cities are not always reliable clues to a convict’s origins, since many were tried away from home. A number of Irish, for example, had emigrated to England and Scotland before they were then transported. Nicholas and Shergold (1988) examined the birthplace records of around 20,000 convicts transported to New South Wales (1817–1840); these


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Table 11.1 Population figures for New South Wales in 1828 (based on Yallop, 2003) Type


Convicts Ex-convicts (pardoned or freed) Adults born free Adults arrived free Children under 12

15,668 7,530 3,503 4,121 5,780

suggest the majority originated in “the heartland of England” (over-represented were the counties of Middlesex and Warwickshire) and also eastern Ireland (with around a quarter coming from Dublin alone). By the time transportation ceased in New South Wales in 1840, free settlers to the early colony were starting to outnumber convicts and emancipists, although they didn’t reach significant numbers until the middle of the century. These immigrants came mainly from Britain and Ireland via government-assisted passage schemes. As discussed in Chapter 1, a series of gold rushes beginning in the 1850s triggered a massive increase in migration and injected more diversity into the population. Those seeking their fortune flocked from England, Ireland, Scotland and North America; but notably it was the gold rush era that also saw the influx of large numbers of Chinese miners, introducing a significant Asian presence for the first time. 1.1 The social world of the colony “What!” exclaimed Mr. Johnson, “do you call England abroad? I always considered England at home.” “That’s a matter of opinion,” retorted the Police Magistrate, “you may call it at home, but we Currency lads call it abroad, and this our home.” (Corbyn, 1854 (1970):97)

The complexities of early colonial society have been well documented, in particular the conflicts between convicts, ex-convicts and free settlers (e.g. see Chapters 3 and 4 of Moore, 2008). Descriptions like currency (for those born in Australia) versus sterling (for those born in Britain) speak to these tensions (originally these terms distinguished between the many different colonial currencies and the superior British notes and coins). It wasn’t long, however, before the original pejorative connotations of labels such as currency lads and lasses elevated, as illustrated by the altercation cited previously between an unnamed police magistrate and solicitor Mr. Johnson. This exchange is part of a police court report originally recorded and published by Charles Adam Corbyn.1 Corbyn’s reports feature a variety of characters, many of whom nicely illustrate the breaking down of traditional social and religious barriers in the colony. Take as one example George Robert Nichols, a prominent

History of Australian English 177 figure among his legal characters. Born on 27 September 1809 in Sydney, Nichols was the first native-born Australian admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales; he was also the son of Isaac Nichols, a convict who arrived in the colony in 1791 and who ended up flourishing there after his sentence had expired. Corbyn himself had been transported to Australia as a young man. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (Thursday 18 June 1835) reported that he confessed to stealing gold watches and other valuable property belonging to Sir Charles Forbes, after which he ended up as one of 280 convicts transported on 26 October 1835. Described in the newspaper as “a fine youth about eighteen years of age, the son of a captain in the navy”, Corbyn clearly came from a prestigious background (he had been dining with Sir Charles Forbes at the time of the robbery).2 As Fritz (1996:12) explains in the introduction to his collection of colonial letters, “[e]verybody who was willing and able to work was respected and a high status was assigned to the successful and not necessarily to those of noble birth”. To illustrate, Fritz quotes from a letter written in 1884 by John Maxwell, an Irish immigrant (see also Fritz, 2007:21–25, on the social make-up of the colonial speech community): I saw M. Hawthorn [his social superior] today. He was telling me he had got a situation. [. . .] He [Mr Hawthorn] is very sociable here and stops and shakes hands with either Hugh or I when he meets us but Australia and the crossing of the line makes a great change on people’s sociability. We know that from the earliest time of settlement, a range of socially relevant linguistic variation would have been present in Australia; in other words, early equivalents of the so-called Cultivated and Broad ends of the pronunciation spectrum would have been transplanted, the accents of administrators and clergy representing a kind of proto form of Received Pronunciation or later Cultivated Australian (the minority sociolect), and those of the convicts showing the low prestige features (the majority sociolect, later to become Broad Australian). However, with the erosion of class barriers came social mobility and the movement of linguistic features both up and down the social scale – this had the effect of bringing the end points of the accent spectrum closer together. It is worth foregrounding the high percentage of young people in early colonial society: in the 1850s, at the height of immigration, the proportion of people aged 65 or more was around 1%. The numbers varied from territory to territory: In Victoria, where immigration was the highest, the percentage of older people was around 0.5, while in more remote areas, this figure was even as low as 0.01 (Davison, 1993:4). Early colonial Australian society was based on nuclear families consisting of parents and their children, where the latter often grew up not knowing their grandparents (Benczes, Réka, Burridge, Allan & Sharifian, 2017). It was thus literally a “young society”, and the high mobility of the population during these early years resonates with this youthfulness – first the booming wool industry and then the gold rushes triggered massive internal migration (the gold diggers were described as “wandering tribes” [letters to the Editor of the Geelong Advertiser


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and Intelligencer, 10 October 1854]). As Moore writes, “Australians were on the move” (2008:88), and this movement of people and their dialects is what helped to shape the Australian English (AusE) we find today.

2 Vernaculars in contact – new dialect formation There is a continuity in the story of Australian English back to 1788 and possibly beyond. (Mitchell, 2003:126)

Theories about the origins of AusE fall roughly into two camps. One prevailing view, dubbed “the single origin theory”, was that the English spoken in Australia was a form of British English – London English uprooted and simply transplanted in the new colony. Focusing largely on phonological features, linguists such as Hammarström (1980) and Cochrane (1989) argued that the London accent was established early, with other influences like the Scottish and Irish appearing later. Evidence for this was the similarity in the sound systems of AusE and London English, also in the range of socially relevant variation (the features of Received Pronunciation, Popular London and Cockney roughly consistent with the features Cultivated, General and Broad Australian). While there is no disputing this resemblance, the accepted wisdom these days is that postcolonial dialects such as AusE emerge via koinéization – the creation of a new and stable dialect via the mixing and subsequent levelling and simplifying of dialect features during the face-to-face interactions of speakers (see Kerswill, 2002; Kerswill & Trudgill, 2005). This view has grown out of the “mixing bowl/ melting pot” tradition, going back as early as Bernard (1969) and Blair (1975) for AusE, and Gordon and Deverson (1985) for New Zealand English (NZE). Crucial to the koinéization process is the social theory of accommodation (Giles, 1984) – speakers of different regional and social backgrounds mutually adjusting their language in order to enhance understanding and to reduce the distance between themselves and those they are communicating with (as the polite thing to do). With accommodation comes the levelling out of differences and the emergence of a relatively homogeneous variety (features of strong difference in particular will be avoided). We can look to the homogeneity of Canadian English (or further afield to the Pennsylvania German spoken in parts of North America) to see similar results from this melting pot effect. Applied to the AusE context, when the contact dialects from the British Isles came together, the blending of features produced a new compromise dialect with the features of transported south-eastern British English figuring prominently (why this variety dominated is something that is addressed subsequently). Trudgill (1986 and later 2004) elaborates the theory of dialect mixing and new dialect formation, identifying a number of stages in the dialect’s formation (each stage roughly equating to a generation):

History of Australian English 179 • •

Stage 1: contact (the speech of the first settlers [the pre-koinéization generation] shows rudimentary levelling and elimination of minority [or socially marked] features); Stage 2: variability (the speech of the first generation of native-born settlers is characterized by considerable intra-speaker variability [variation between speakers sharing linguistic backgrounds] and inter-speaker variability, though this is less evident than in Stage 1); and Stage 3: focusing (the speech of the second generation of native-born settlers undergoes further mixing and levelling towards majority features to produce an identifiable stable new dialect).

Nice support for Trudgill’s stages occasionally comes from the language of the speakers themselves.3 In the court reports of Charles Adam Corbyn mentioned earlier, we hear directly from the dialect “mixing bowl/melting pot” of urban Sydney in the 1850s (see Taylor, 2003; Burridge, 2010). And what is immediately striking about these reports is the curious potpourri of different dialect features shown by individual speakers. Corbyn depicts mixtures of features here that we do not encounter anywhere in the dialects of the British Isles around that time.4 Consider the bolded items in following extract (labelled “Assault”) featuring the Irish woman Margaret O’Brien. Mingled with her Irish English features are typical Cockney traits such as the hypercorrection of /h/ (“hinnercent” for “innocent”) and [w] for [v] substitution (“wiolence” for “violence”). Such un-Irish English features illustrate the sort of unusual feature combinations that is predicted for this stage of a new dialect. “On Monday night,” quoth Mrs O’Brien, “my blessed husband went to St Pathrick’s a’cos ‘tis a taytotaler he is. I sends my darter arter a pound and a-half of pork sasingers jist to have reddy ‘gainst [“in time for”] he cumed home, for that taytolling work allers makes him mortal hungry; when that baste of a woman as his huffing and blowing afore the Court, hits my darter, who screeches, and out I runs. I axked her in purlistest terms the raison of her wiolence, when she ups with this sthone, runs arter me, and just as I gets into my own door, she sends it arter me. If it had only hit me, I should not have been here to tell the tale.” [. . .] Hevings forgive you, Mary Han, for telling sich a whopper; yer an hinnercent gal, Mary Han, and expects to be married; Hevings forgive you! Hickey (2007) describes the position of /h/ in Irish English as stable; indeed, Irish influence is sometimes given as the reason for its retention in AusE (cf. Hickey, 2004b:110; Trudgill, 2004:72–77: 116 on H-Retention in NZE). Yet Corbyn’s Irish speakers come across as exuberant H-droppers; H-hypercorrection is also well represented. The appearance in the Irish dialogues of other salient Cockney features, such as the [v]-[w] two-way transfer, must also be part of this variability.5 These reports also reveal considerable variation between speakers (even


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those of similar backgrounds) and within individuals. And while irregularity is not uncommon in speakers generally, the idiolectal inconsistencies shown by many of Corbyn’s speakers are striking. It is precisely this sort inter- and intra-variability that is predicted by Trudgill’s model – speakers at the second stage making idiosyncratic selections of features from the dialects they heard around them (cf. the findings for New Zealand English in Gordon & Trudgill, 2004:450). While this model suggests a clear-cut delineation of stages, it is evident that with the continued arrival of convicts and increasing numbers of free settlers (added impetus coming from gold rushes and the wool business), the pattern in each place of settlement would have been one of overlapping stages. Moreover, given that the individual histories of the early colonies within Australia were all so very different, and there were constant fluctuations and changes, the stages and different dialect mixes would have also differed slightly around the country. Despite these different mixes, a striking feature of AusE was, and continues to be, its geographical uniformity (despite it being a country some 30 times the size of Britain). This uniformity is not simply the fall-out of dialect mixing and levelling, but also arises from the long-term changes underway before the contact situation. Drawing on Sapir’s notion of “drift”, Trudgill (2004:133) argues that in all the colonial Englishes there was a “dynamism inherent” in the changes taking place that caused these varieties to continue in parallel in their different locations. In short, the seeds of change were sown in English long before the Englishes were transplanted. Aiding this uniformity was also the transience of settlers in those early years. As emphasized earlier, the mobility of the population was high, especially given the remoteness and distance of settlements. Travel was largely by sea, and the swift spread kept the language uniform (Bernard, 1969; Moore, 2008). The rapid pastoral expansion and gold rushes all around the continent also meant that any emerging regional distinctiveness was soon diluted by floods of new arrivals – mini mixing bowls would have helped to foster the homogeneity. Hickey (2003:236) offers a different account, one that attributes the lack of regional variation to the collective processes of something he calls “supraregionalisation”: [D]ialect speakers progressively adopt more and more features of a nonregional variety which they are in contact with. The contact does not have to be through speaker contact, indirect exposure to the non-regional variety can be sufficient. Supraregionalisation is distinct from accommodation which does require such contact and it is different from dialect levelling in which the input varieties lose salient or minority variants, resulting in a new mixture not present before. Hickey views a supraregional variety as emerging after focusing (Trudgill’s Stage 3) in mixed population settlements of relatively high density and size, subsequently spreading to settlements with speakers of more distinctly local dialects. The supraregional variety for AusE becomes an important identity marker for speakers nationally, while the vernacular dialect features survive as markers of the local.

History of Australian English 181 2.1 The levelling of dialects began early – “ship English” Another way of exploring the migrant mind is through the reaction to an experience common to all immigrants, the voyage out to Australia. The accounts included here of shipboard life, 1838–1884, suggest that the mixing and physical proximity of people on board to some extent dissolved their old social relationships and disposed them to accept more readily the egalitarian and tolerant Australian environment: the ship was, in some important ways, the colony in microcosm. It prefigures the erosion of class and religious barriers, and the length of the voyage disrupted traditional life patterns and hastened the collapse of old practices, particularly in relation to religion and social authority. In contrast with the shorter trip to America, the interminable voyage to Australia wrought subtle sea-changes in the migrant disposition. (O’Farrell, 1989:2)

These processes of dialect mixing and levelling would have begun early, even before colonization. Even though it was a time of flourishing regional diversity in Britain, and linguistic differences could be striking, dialect boundaries had been blurring, especially in large urban centres like London, Manchester, Bristol, Portsmouth, Southampton and Liverpool. A series of agrarian revolutions (starting mid 17th century) and the industrial revolution caused people to leave the land and move into cities in search of work – dialects would already have been in contact. For example, the influx of different dialect speakers to London meant London English had itself become a kind of dialectal hybrid. Basically it was Southern, but with a strong East Midlands flavour (some Modern English words reflect this mixture: busy has a London pronunciation [bɪzi] and bury a Kentish pronunciation [bɛri]; the spelling is West Midland). This long and cramped journey to Australia would also have provided perfect conditions for some form of basic linguistic levelling to take place. When the First Fleet left Spithead on 13 May 1787, there were almost 1,500 people crowded onto 11 small ships (see Blainey, 1966; Hill, 2008 for details); it wasn’t until 18 January 1788 that one of the smaller and faster of these ships, the Supply, finally arrived in Botany Bay. Even though subsequent journeys became shorter, the distances were always startling and, as social historian Patrick O’Farrell describes in the previous quotation, shipboard life was “the colony in microcosm”. Unfortunately, while the spellings in ships’ logbooks can give us some insights into the linguistic features on deck (e.g. the raising of /ɛ/ to /ɪ/ before nasals, as in ‘frind’ and ‘inemy’), we will never have a full picture of “Ship English” and know the extent of the levelling (cf. Hickey, 2004a:50; Matthews, 1935). 2.2 Early linguistic commentary – “a new dialect is growing up” The children born in those colonies, and now grown up, speak a better language, purer, more harmonious than is generally the case in most parts of England. The amalgamation of such various dialects assembled together, seems to improve the mode of articulating the words. The children are tall and well made. (Dixon, 1822:46; emphasis added)


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The uniformity of AusE is something that has been commented upon and written about since the early 1800s. A number of the early observers of AusE, like James Dixon quoted previously, remarked on what they described as the “purity” of the speech. By purity they were not referring to the absence of “foul language” which, as described subsequently, was rife in the early colony; what they seem to have meant by this was the absence of marked dialectal features (see also discussions in Moore, 2008:73–75; Damousi, 2010:107–108). These early observations suggest that the dialect was already stabilizing and ahead of schedule. Some of the most telling descriptions are by Samuel McBurney in the Argus (Melbourne, Victoria). McBurney (signing himself S.M.B.) had placed several advertisements in the newspaper, calling for “all persons interested in pronunciation” to answer questions about the colonial variety. These questions are still ones being asked today: are there peculiarities of different districts; are these differences involving more than pronunciation and intonation; are there differences between state schools and grammar schools; is the variety distinct enough to be called a dialect. The following account appeared 24 April 1886 (1886:4): [B]y the courtesy of the press, I was able to obtain much valuable information from correspondents in different parts of the colony which in a great measure confirmed my own observations. Before reaching shore, however, Fate was good enough to throw two Canadians in my way, and being full of the subject I said, “Have you noticed any difference in pronunciation or special peculiarities in the various colonies you have visited?” The answer was “No, except that they are all intensely English” – a response that will undoubtedly be extremely pleasing to all colonials who pride themselves on the purity of their speech. Such was the opinion of a Tasmanian correspondent who wrote to the effect that “there were no peculiarities in the colonies, but a general tendency to speak a pure English. At the same time,” he added naively, “we can always tell anybody coming from England. (emphasis added) In the same article, he wrote of his experiences in a Hobart school (emphasis added): One of the most remarkable alterations came upon me quite unexpectedly when examining a class of boys and girls whom a Hobart teacher kindly picked out for me. It was thoroughly representative, embracing children of English, Irish, Scotch, German and Tasmanian parentage to three generations. All spoke very much in the same way. (McBurney, 1886:4) McBurney’s accounts, strengthened by reports from all around the country, tell a story of koinéization – in his words, “a new dialect is growing up”.

History of Australian English 183

3 Vernaculars in contact – sociocultural factors Why do changes in a structural feature take place in a particular language at a given time, but not in other languages with the same feature, or in the same language at other times? (Weinreich, Labov & Herzog, 1968:102 on the actuation problem)

Children in the new English-speaking settlements were choosing variants from all the different dialects they were immersed in – so how do we explain the features they selected? Trudgill (2004) explicitly argues against the role of social factors (prestige, stigma, identity) as having any part to play in the formation of postcolonial dialects like AusE. In particular, he rejects the notion that the cachet of south-eastern English had any influence on the outcomes of Australia’s dialect melting pot – who was accommodating and to whom at that time was not a matter of status and prestige but rather demographic factors, such as proportions of different dialect features. In other words, the features that emerged triumphant were those variants that were in the majority. For example, the fact that neither AusE nor NZE has H-dropping (loss of /h/ in lexical words like house, discussed previously) is explained by the fact that most speakers in Britain at this time showed H-retention; in other words, it was a majority variant in the mixing bowl – Scottish, Irish, Northumbrian, West Country and East Anglian, among others, were maintaining /h/ at this time.6 Occasionally, however, historical trends meant that some majority variants didn’t triumph. A striking example of this is rhoticity (the pronunciation of /r/ in non-prevocalic positions, as in car and cart). There is no doubt the majority of speakers in the early colony would have been rhotic and showing the full gamut of rhotic variants that were around in urban and regional Britain at the time (including tapped and retroflexed versions).7 Despite this, Australia and New Zealand are non-rhotic today and this can be attributed to the fact that the drift towards non-rhoticity was already underway in English well before colonization – and, as predicted, R-dropping won. It is difficult, however, to imagine how social and behavioural aspects could have escaped being part the story of a new variety like AusE. The etiology of innovation and change is complex; in addition to pressures coming from the linguistic system, there is usually a variety of extra-linguistic forces working to coerce languages in particular directions – psychological (the mental makeup of speakers), physiological (the production of language), social and political (the speech community and the individual, the sociopolitical environment), external (contact and borrowing) and so on. There are even human wildcard factors to consider; the cultural preoccupations of speakers can be powerful triggers for dramatic and often unexpected changes (Enfield, 2002; De Busser & LaPolla, 2015). Linguistic structures do not exist outside these forces, and this goes to the heart of “actuation” – the fundamental problem for language change (as quoted at the start of this section).


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This interaction of factors is nicely illustrated by H-retention in AusE. As just described, Trudgill’s account explains this feature in terms of “majority rules”. And yet H-dropping, like R-dropping, was part of a long-term trend. Pressure from the system (e.g. its defective distribution) suggested its days were numbered. With /h/ already gone from all positions except syllable-initial, speakers continued the trend, dropping it from the beginning of words – indeed, into the 1700s it was fashionable to do so. Corbyn’s H-dropping Irish speakers were following a trend when they were accommodating to the H-droppers of London and elsewhere. So why was /h/ retained in the Antipodes? A spelling-obsessed 18th century stigmatized the loss of many consonants, and H-dropping fell from grace (Beal, 2004:159). Now branded with the stamp of the “vulgar”, it was avoided by a population ever attentive to the written word and its best pronunciation. Support for this is also comes from the recommendations of Benjamin Suggitt Nayler’s Commonsense Observations on the Existence of Rules (not yet reduced to System, in any Work extant) Regarding the English Language, a work published in Melbourne in 1869 and intended to assist the “Schoolmaster (or Mistress) in the Colony” (p. 125).8 By contrast, what allowed R-dropping to sneak under this prescriptive radar was probably the gradual nature of de-rhoticization (see also endnote 7). Given what we know about other linguistic settings, it is hard to see how a new dialect could have formed without some involvement of social conditions and identity constructions (both at the level of the individual and the speech community). Certainly, other accounts have been positioning sociocultural factors prominently in the dialect formation picture, among them Kerswill (2002) and Hickey (2003) (see also the discussion in Gordon et al., 2004:283–284 on NZE). Extra-linguistic factors are particularly foregrounded in Schneider’s theoretical model for analyzing postcolonial varieties of English (2003, 2007). His “Dynamic Model” places the emphasis squarely on individuals, their social identity and its linguistic expression. While it also proposes there are shared underlying processes driving the formation of the postcolonial Englishes, it characterizes these as being variously shaped by the social, cultural and political background at the time. The model identifies a sequence of five stages that characterize the development of transported varieties such as AusE. Operating within each of these are four interconnected parameters (Schneider, 2007:30–35; see also Peters, this volume): (1) the historical and political background, (2) identity constructions, (3) sociolinguistic context (language contact conditions, language attitudes and use) and (4) linguistic effects (the development of lexical, phonological and grammatical features). Schneider’s dates given in the following outline roughly coincide with significant historical episodes (e.g. what he dubs an “event X”, an incident that inspired a shift of allegiances away from a British self-image towards one more locally based). However, as Schneider himself describes (p. 120), the transition between phases is often not clearly discernible, as between Phases 1 and 2 (his date of 1830s–1850s coincides with the growth of free settler numbers and the accompanying regional expansion and notably also the granting of selfgovernment to several colonies in 1850):

History of Australian English 185 • • • •

Phase 1, 1788–1830s: foundation (dialect contact and koinéization – initial accommodation, simplification and levelling; language contact with local Indigenous languages and cultural and toponymic borrowings); Phase 2, 1830s–1901: exonormative stabilization (outpost of the mother country – increasing numbers of free settlers with a “British-plus” identity, also for their language; the start of a complaint tradition); Phase 3, 1901–1942: nativization (the central phase of cultural and linguistic transformation – Federation of the colonies in 1901 and weakening of political ties with the mother country encouraging local patterns of use); Phase 4, 1942–1980s: endonormative stabilization (“Australian self-confidence” fostered by World War II experiences – acceptance of local norms and their codification in dictionaries and grammars marking the independence of the new variety); and Phase 5, 1980s–: differentiation (the birth of new dialects – linguistic differences associated with different regional, social and ethnic subgroups heralding the recognition of new varieties of Australian English).

At Stage 4 of Schneider’s model, English in Australia becomes Australian English and, as identified in the final phase, fragmentation typically follows.9 Loakes (this volume) and Murray and Manns (this volume) document the increasing regional and social variation in the country. All it requires are the three ingredients – time, physical/social distance and the processes of linguistic change. With time, all languages change, but they don’t have to change the same way when they’re in different locations. English hasn’t been long in the country (not even 300 years), and with time will come more changes. Standardising influences aside, the distances between population centres are considerable, and regional chauvinism, as evident in the sort of strong rivalry between places such as Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, is a major incentive for people to start highlighting their distinctiveness linguistically. Moreover, the fact that there is no single prestige regional variety in Australia means that, if groups want to be identified regionally, varieties are free to go their separate ways. The separation of urban and rural communities currently looks to be inspiring notable regional diversity, and contact with languages other than English is seeing the rise, particularly in recent years, of new multicultural identities for AusE in the form of migrant ethnolects (Clothier, this volume). Varieties of Aboriginal English and creoles have also been adding vibrant new socially relevant dimensions to English in Australia (Dickson, this volume). 3.1 The linguistic clout of the cockneys The really troublesome among them seldom exceed one in ten; and by keeping your foot upon the necks of these, all the rest will follow like lambs. The cockneys are, of course, beyond all dispute the worst, and a leaven of a dozen of these is enough to infect a thousand of the country yokels, with whom peace is generally the order of the day. Such a number of these townies will keep a hundred of the others in subjection, from the manner in which they cling together, and


Kate Burridge from their overwhelming oratorical abilities. – The less gifted yokels have not a chance with them, if the strong hand of power is not stretched out for their protection. (Cunningham, 1827:252; emphasis added)

AusE closely resembles London English both in features of accent and social distribution – but why is this? Clearly, there would have been a hefty dollop of London English in that original mixing bowl. However, as suggested previously, there is more to the story than sheer numbers. In the introduction to Corbyn’s police reports (1854/1970:1), Pearl describes the Sydney of the 1850s as “a dirty, intimate, hard-drinking, evil-smelling town”. Economist William Stanley Jevons arrived in the city in 1854, and of the district The Rocks, he had this to say, “I am acquainted with some of the worst parts of London . . . and with the most unhealthy parts of Liverpool, Paris and other towns, but nowhere have I seen such a retreat for filth and vice as The Rocks of Sydney” (Corbyn, 1854/1970:3). Though we shouldn’t paint too bleak a picture of Sydney (after all, Jevons also describes it as a “pleasant and cheerful place”), these conditions were perfectly suited to a thriving vernacular identity. Numerous eyewitness accounts highlight the abundance of slang and “bad” language at the time: A number of the slang phrases current in St. Giles’s Greek [underworld cant] bid fair to become legitimatized in the dictionary of this colony [. . .] the dross passing here as genuine, even among all ranks. (Cunningham, 1827:59) Young Australia makes a specialty of swearing. High and low, rich and poor, indulge themselves in bad language luxuriantly; but it is amongst the rising generation that it reaches its acme. The lower-class colonial swears as naturally as he talks. He doesn’t mean anything by it in particular; nor is it really an evil outward and visible sign of the spiritual grace within him. On the prevalence of larrikinism I wrote at length in a former epistle. (Twopenny, 1883:224–225) It is altogether frightful to what extent cursing and blaspheming are carried on and have increased among the people in the bush. People are apt to fancy that this is one of the chief and most striking vices of sailors, who are but too prone to give vent to their feelings in this manner. But sailors are surpassed by the “old hands” in the bush: indeed, no comparison can be made between the two. Almost every word they speak, even the most indifferent, is accompanied by an oath, which is but a friendly and well meaning locution among them. (Gerstäcker, 1857:9–10)10 Notwithstanding their possibly over-keen noses for linguistic impurity, these commentators identify the informal culture and colloquial style of discourse that

History of Australian English 187 were emerging as the “mark of the Antipodean”.11 This victory of the vernacular is hardly surprising when we consider the main ingredients of the mixing bowls during those crucial years of dialect formation – the slang and dialect vocabularies of London and the industrial Midlands, Ireland and Scotland; the cant (or “flash”) of convicts; the slang of sailors, whalers and gold-diggers mingled with features of the emerging standard language (Ramson, 1966:49–50) to produce the new “colonial parlance”. Fuelled by anti-authoritarian sentiment, the colloquial part of the language was expanded to become the feature that best distinguished the established citizen (or old chum) from the stranger (or new chum).12 Colonial commentary makes clear that new chums stood out spectacularly and were the butt of much humour, the label even becoming a term of general abuse, as Fowler’s anecdote reveals (1859/1975:26): I have already said the young Australian is systematically insolent to the new-chum; so is every one indeed. How I, who had pretty well run the gauntlet of London life, was branded and fleeced during the first three months of my residence in Sydney! A new-chum is fair game for any one. Your villanous bullock-driver in the interior, when he cannot by any stratagem get his cattle to budge, culminates his oaths and imprecations by striking the leader of the refractory beasts over the head, and grunting from the depths of his stomach – “Oh! you – NEW-CHUM! move on!” Telling is also the following exchange between Gilbert and Arthur in Alexander Bathgate’s novel Waitaruna (1881:135). Although it takes place in New Zealand, it shows the onus was clearly on new chums to accommodate linguistically. “What a pleasant place to live in this must be!” said Gilbert. “I notice,” he continued, “that you are picking up a good many of the colonial phrases, Arthur.” “Oh! well, you must do at Rome as Rome does, you know and there is no use letting every one know you are a new chum.” Commentary of the time particularly emphasized the pull of Cockney speakers. In the quotation given at the start of this section, Cunningham outlines in very plain terms the clout and magnetism of these “London individuals”. Earlier on in his book, he describes how “individuals from London” have “stamped the language of the rising generation with their unenviable peculiarity”: [T]he London mode of pronunciation has been duly ingrafted on the colloquial dialect of our Currency youths, and even the better sort of them are apt to meet your observation of “A very fine day,” with their improving response of “Werry fine indeed!” (Cunningham, 1827:60) Even in the sort of “tabula rasa” conditions described by Trudgill (2004:26ff), where there is no prior existing population speaking the same language, either


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in the colonial location or close by, it is not clear how children in the melting pot settlements could have escaped being socialized into the values and social views of these rough and extremely macho times. Stage 2 and Stage 3 children must have been selecting linguistic features to create distinctive linguistic identities. And, fittingly, the few Irish traits that survived in AusE were also vernacular features; the Irish had an important part in shaping the Australian self-image, an image that has always been closely linked to the vernacular (see Hickey, 2004b, 2019).

4 Conclusion – the “mark of the Antipodean” The base language of English thieves is becoming the established language of the colony. Terms of slang and flash are used, as a matter of course, everywhere, from the gaols to the Viceroy’s palace, not excepting the Bar and the Bench. No doubt they will be reckoned quite parliamentary, as soon as we obtain a parliament. (Wakefield, 1829:106)

Though Wakefield had never been anywhere near Sydney when he wrote this, his prediction was correct – much of colonial underworld cant can indeed these days be “reckoned quite parliamentary”. Just as slang was an important way of fitting in and avoiding the condemnation new chum, it continues to define the gang (see Kidd et al., 2016). As various corpora of modern AusE attest, slang, swearing and terms of insult remain important features of the variety, continuing to express such cherished ideals as friendliness, nonchalance, mateship, egalitarianism and antiauthoritarianism (see Allan & Burridge, 2009). True, the current climate of growing informality has seen an increasing informality of English usage worldwide; moreover, the positioning of English as a worldwide “lingua franca” has also seen nonstandard and vernacular features become even more meaningful signals of cultural identity and the expression of the local. Yet, as Peters and Burridge (2012) suggest in their study of areal features of AusE and NZE, these two varieties go well beyond the kinds of vernacular and informal grammar and lexis noted for varieties elsewhere (see also Leitner, 2004). Recent support for this comes in the form of Collins and Yao’s (2018) diachronic account of the role of colloquialization in the endonormativization of AusE grammar; their study indicates that the penchant for informality is stronger in AusE compared to British and American English (see Collins and Yao, this volume, for more on this point). In AusE and NZE, we can see both language internal and language external forces working in concert, the effect of which is to privilege nonstandard morphosyntax and vernacular phonology and lexis. Collectively, the intensified use of colloquial features in the southern hemisphere has become a regional point of difference – one fostered by the historical and sociocultural context.

History of Australian English 189

Notes * I am extremely grateful for the valuable feedback provided by the reviewers; their comments have taken me to some extremely interesting places in Australian colonial history. 1 Cyril Pearl republished Corbyn’s work in 1970, adding reports from Bell’s Life in Sydney and taking the collection up to 1859. 2 The news article can be found at; thanks to Anthea Fraser Gupta for unearthing these facts about Corbyn. 3 There is no corpus of spoken AusE at this time, certainly nothing resembling ONZE, the recorded reminiscences of 325 first-generation Anglo New Zealanders born in New Zealand between 1850 and 1900 (Gordon et al., 2004). Felicity Cox’s Ancestors Project is the closest we come to such material for AusE (recordings of 21 elderly men and women from rural working-class backgrounds); this research is ongoing and promises to shed light on pronunciation prior to Federation ( felicity/index.htm). 4 Taylor (2003) dismisses this dialect mixing as errors, perhaps intentionally made to send up the characters. There is no doubt Corbyn selected some of his characters to provide humour. However, since stereotypes involve features that are associated with the norms of specific speech communities, it’s unlikely he would have chosen to represent such a linguistic jumble if his intention had indeed been to lampoon his characters (see Burridge, 2010). 5 Hickey (2004b, p. 45) has found [v][w] substitution in early Irish texts, attributing it to Irish interference (a good many of the early Irish would have been bilingual, or even monolingual, Gaelic speakers). Nonetheless, the [w]-[v] variation (in both directions) in these dialogues does suggest additional influences from the London English speakers at the time. 6 In current-day AusE, H-dropping in unstressed (function) words (like him and her) is usual in normal rapid speech, but in content words it remains stigmatized and tends to occur only at the Broad end of the accent spectrum. 7 In this regard, Nayler’s (1869) account of the “rough and smooth sound of r” is revealing. He explains that each type of sound “has its place in the utterance of correct readers and speakers”. He then goes on to point out that “one of the peculiarities of Irish pronunciation, consists in the prevalence of the rough, harsh sound; while the smooth and almost inarticulate sound, is a conspicuous singularity in the dialect of the commonalty of London, a characteristic of the so-called Cockney-twang” (p. 72). His recommendations suggest weakened intermediate rhoticity in postvocalic position, and this is in keeping with what we now know of gradual nature of de-rhoticisation (Scobbie, Stuart-Smith & Lawson, 2008). 8 According to Hickey (2003, p. 219), another nail in the coffin for H-dropping was the fact that it introduces considerable homophony into English. 9 Note Moore (2008) places the decline of Britishness in Australia as later than Schneider, identifying a constellation of different events in the 1960s/70s as the trigger. Collins and Yao’s (2018) corpus study of colloquialisation supports this later date; as they write, “[i]dentifiable shifts in mean AusE colloquiality scores in the 1961–1991 period coincide with an upsurge of nationalistic fervor in Australia at this time, epitomised most colourfully and infamously in the cult of ‘Ockerdom’ of the 1970s, and heralding the decline of Britishness in Australia” (p. 273). 10 Thanks to Brian Taylor (1994–5) for pointing out the joys of Frederick Gerstäcker. 11 Gordon and Deverson’s (1985:19) description of the early Australian and New Zealand accent. 12 The word chum (possibly a shortening of chamber-fellow) is defined in Frances Grose’s 18th-century Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue as “a chamber-fellow, particularly at the universities and in prison”; in the 1800s it expanded to cover more generally intimate


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or frequent companions. In the Australian context, new chum was convict slang for a newly arrived prisoner but later referred to any newly arrived immigrant.

References Allan, Keith & Kate Burridge. 2009. Swearing and taboo language in Australian English. In Pam Peters, Peter Collins & Adam Smith (eds.), Comparative grammatical studies in Australian and New Zealand English, 361–386. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Bathgate, Alexander. 1881. Waitaruna: A story of New Zealand life. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington. Beal, Joan. 2004. English in Modern Times: 1700–1945. London: Arnold. Benczes, Réka, Kate Burridge, Keith Allan & Farzad Sharifian. 2017. Ageing and cognitive linguistics: What naming practices can reveal about underlying cultural conceptualisation. In Farzad Sharifian (ed.), Advances in Cultural Linguistics, 607–624. New York: Springer. Bernard, John. 1969. On the uniformity of spoken Australian English. Orbis 18. 62–73. Blainey, Geoffrey. 1966. The tyranny of distance. Melbourne: Sun Books. Blair, David. 1975. On the origins of Australian pronunciation. Working Papers of the Speech and Language Research Centre, Macquarie University 1(2). 17–27. Burridge, Kate. 2010. “A peculiar language” – The linguistic evidence for early Australian English. In Raymond Hickey (ed.), Varieties in writing: The written word as linguistic evidence, 295–348. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Cochrane, Robert G. 1989. Origins and development of the Australian accent. In Peter Collins and David Blair (eds.), Australian English: The language of a new society, 177–186. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. Collins, Peter & Xinyue Yao. 2018. Colloquialisation and the evolution of Australian English: A cross-varietal and cross-generic study of Australian, British, and American English from 1931 to 2006. English World-Wide 39. 253–277. doi:10.1075/ eww.00014.col. Corbyn, Charles Adam. 1854/1970. Sydney revels (the Eighteen-Fifties) of Bacchus, Cupid and Momus; being choice and humorous selections from scenes at the Sydney Police Office and other public places, during the last three years. [Presented by Cyril Pearl]. Sydney: Ure Smith. Cunningham, Peter Miller. 1827. Two years in New South Wales. 2 Vols. London: Henry Colburn. Damousi, Joy. 2010. Colonial voices: A cultural history of English in Australia, 1840–1940. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Davison, Graeme. 1993. Old people in a young society: Towards a history of ageing in Australia. Lincoln Papers in Gerontology 22. Melbourne: Lincoln Gerontology Centre, La Trobe University. De Busser, Rik & Randy LaPolla (eds.). 2015. Language structure and environment: Social, cultural, and natural factors. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Dixon, James. 1822. Narrative of a voyage to New South Wales and Van Dieman’s Land in the ship Skelton, during the year 1820 by James Dixon, Commander of the Skelton. Australia. Edinburgh: John Anderson. Dunderdale, George. 1870. The book of the bush containing many truthful sketches of the early colonial life of squatters, whalers, convicts, diggers, and others who left their native land and never returned. London: Ward, Lock.

History of Australian English 191 Enfield, Nicholas (ed.). 2002. Ethnosyntax: Explorations in grammar and culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Fowler, Frank. 1859/ 1975. Southern lights and shadows (facsimile edition with an introduction by R. G. Geering). Sydney: Sydney University Press. Fritz, Clemens. 1996. Early Australian letters: A linguistic analysis. Regensburg: University of Regensburg. (MA dissertation). Fritz, Clemens. 2007. From English in Australia to Australian English 1788–1900. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Gerstäcker, Frederick. 1857. The two convicts. London: Routledge. Giles, Howard. 1984. The dynamics of speech accommodation. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Gordon, Elizabeth, Lyle Campbell, Jennifer Hay, Margaret Maclagan, Andrea Sudbury & Peter Trudgill. 2004. New Zealand English: Its origins and evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gordon, Elizabeth & Tony Deverson. 1985. New Zealand English: An introduction to New Zealand speech and usage. Auckland: Heinemann. Gordon, Elizabeth & Peter Trudgill. 2004. English input to New Zealand. In Raymond Hickey (ed.), Legacies of Colonial English studies in transported dialects, 40–55. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hammarström, Göran. 1980. Australian English: Its origins and status. Hamburg: Helmut Buske Verlag. Hickey, Raymond. 2003. How do dialects get the features they have? On the process of new dialect formation. In Raymond Hickey (ed.), Motives for language change, 213– 239. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hickey, Raymond. 2004a. Dialects of English and their transportation. In Raymond Hickey. (ed.), Legacies of colonial English studies in transported dialects, 33–58. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.. Hickey, Raymond. 2004b. The development and diffusion of Irish English. In Raymond Hickey (ed.), Legacies of colonial English studies in transported dialects, 82–120. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hickey, Ray. 2007. Irish English: History and present day forms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hickey, Raymond. 2019. Grammatical variation in nineteenth-century Irish Australian letters. In Raymond Hickey (ed.), Legacies of colonial English studies in transported dialects, 191–215. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Hill, David. 2008. 1788 – The brutal truth of the First Fleet. Sydney: Heinemann. Kerswill, Paul. 2002. Koineization and accommodation. In J. K. Chambers, Peter Trudgill & Natalie Schilling-Estes (eds.), The handbook of language variation and change, 669–702. Oxford: Blackwell. Kerswill, Paul & Peter Trudgill. 2005. The birth of new dialects. In Peter Auer, Frans Hinskens and Paul Kerswill (eds.), Dialect change: Convergence and divergence in European languages, 196–220. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kidd, Evan, Nenagh Kemp, Emiko Kashima & Sara Quinn. 2016. Language, culture, and group membership: An investigation into the social effects of colloquial Australian English. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 47. 713–733. doi:10.1177/0022022116638175. Leitner, Gerhard. 2004. Australia’s many voices. Vol. 1: Australian English – The national language. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Matthews, W. 1935. Sailors’ pronunciation in the second half of the seventeenth century. Anglia 47. 192–251.


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McBurney, S. 1886. Colonial pronunciation 11. Argus, April 24, p. 4. Mitchell, Alexander. 2003. The story of Australian English: Users and environment. Australian Journal of Linguistics 23. 111–128 (originally a public lecture delivered in 1993). doi:10.1080/0726860032000203137. Moore, Bruce. 2008. Speaking our language: The story of Australian English. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Nayler, Benjamin Suggitt. 1869. Commonsense observations on the existence of rules regarding the English language. Melbourne. Nicholas, Stephen & P. R. Shergold. 1988. Convicts as migrants. In Stephen Nicholas (ed.), Convict workers: Reinterpreting Australia’s past, 43–61. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. O’Farrell, Patrick. 1989. Letters from Irish Australia 1825–1929. Sydney: New South Wales University Press. Peters, Pam & Kate Burridge. 2012. Areal linguistics in the South Pacific. In Raymond Hickey (ed.), Areal features of the Anglophone world, 233–260. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Ramson, William. 1966. Australian English: An historical study of the vocabulary, 1788– 1898. Canberra: Australian National University Press. Robson, Leslie. 1994. The convict settlers of Australia: An enquiry into the origin and character of the convicts transported to New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land 1787– 52. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. Sapir, Edward. 1921. Language: An introduction to the study of speech. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World. Schneider, Edgar W. 2003. The dynamics of New Englishes: From identity construction to dialect birth. Language 79. 233–281. doi:10.1353/lan.2003.0136. Schneider, Edgar W. 2007. Postcolonial English: Varieties around the world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Scobbie, James, Jane Stuart-Smith & Eleanor Lawson. 2008. Having your cake and eating it: An articulatory perspective on vernacular variation and change in a socially stratified corpus. (Paper presented at LabPhon14, Wellington, 30 June–02 July 2008). Taylor, Brian. 1994–5. Unseemly language and the law in New South Wales. The Journal of the Sydney University Arts Association 17. 23–45. Taylor, Brian. 2003. Englishes in Sydney around 1850. Australian Journal of Linguistics 23. 161–184. doi:10.1080/0726860032000203173. Trudgill, Peter. 1986. Dialects in contact. Oxford: Blackwell. Trudgill, Peter. 2004. New-dialect formation: The inevitability of colonial Englishes. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Twopenny, Richard. 1883. Town life in Australia. London: Elliot Stock. Wakefield, Edward Gibbon. 1829. A Letter from Sydney: The Principal Town of Australasia. n.p.: J Cross [Original from the New York Public Library; Digitized 25 Sep 2007]. Weinreich, Uriel, William Labov & Werner Herzog. 1968. Empirical foundations for a theory of language change. In Winfred Lehmann & Yakov Malkiel (eds.), Directions for historical linguistics, 95–188. Austin: University of Texas Press. Yallop, Colin. 2003. A. G. Mitchell and the development of Australian pronunciation. Australian Journal of Linguistics 23. 129–142. 10.1080/0726860032000203146.

12 American influences on Australian English Minna Korhonen

1 Introduction American influence, or Americanisation, is a complex yet intriguing topic that is not solely limited to linguistic matters but is rather observed on many fronts of life. Even the term “Americanisation” does not have simple denotations in the Australian context, but is rather used to cover a variety of things, as Bell and Bell (1998:5) describe: The blanket term “Americanisation” is frequently no more than an assumption concerning the origins of a cultural example (language, dress, food) which may or may not be accurate. It is applied indiscriminately within Australian media discourse to label an array of factors seen as threatening to national(istic) identity, way of life or values. American influence is one of those topics that regularly surface in the public discourse, for example, in letters to the editor, talkback radio shows or discussion boards, and is, indeed, often seen as a threat and as something to be avoided in Australia. As Peters (1998:32) says, there are not many topics that “generate more heat and indignant calls to talkback radio than the ‘Americanisation of Australian English’”. In short, by and large, the Australian public seems to feel that “Australians are being Americanised out of their AusE heritage” as Butler (2001:157) describes it. In many cases, however, the complaints about AmE are not directly aimed at linguistic influences but are rather “couched in a more general bemoaning of American cultural influences” (Taylor, 2001:324). Anything new, especially in language, is easily seen as a sign of American influence, regardless of the fact that it may not be an Americanism at all (Burridge, 2010:7).1 These public views on Americanisation, however, are only one side of the story. American influence in Australia has also attracted the interest of linguists, and there are number of studies investigating whether Australian English (AusE) has been or is being Americanised. While the public commentary quite strongly speaks for the presence of American influence in Australia, linguists find the effects of American English (AmE) to be much more subtle. By taking into account both the public’s views as well as reviewing the scholarly research, this chapter attempts to give an overall picture of the kinds of linguistic


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features that have made their way from AmE to AusE as well as providing insights into how the speakers of AusE have reacted to and commented on these features over the years. Following this introduction, Section 2 provides a brief account of the history of Australian contact with America as a background for the discussions on the American linguistic inputs. Section 3 describes the kinds of attitudes and commentary that the Australian public has presented on the AmE influence in Australia, while Section 4 is devoted to discussions of scholarly investigations of the different areas of language and the types of AmE inputs that have been observed. The chapter finishes with a conclusion including suggestions for further research on the topic in Section 5.

2 Australia in contact with America As a background for the discussions on the linguistic influence of AmE on AusE, this section describes the main periods of close contact between America and Australia. The section is divided into “time before World War II” and “time after World War II”, reflecting what has sometimes been considered a watershed in the Australian-American relations (see Leitner, 2004:197). 2.1 Australian contacts with America before World War II Although Australia has been in contact with America since the very early years of settlement, the contact has not been constant but has rather occurred in waves. The earliest Australian-American contacts were through American whaling, sealing and trading vessels coming to Australia, with the number of American vessels visiting Sydney increasing from 1800 onwards (Greenwood, 1944:63–96, 123). The linguistic consequences of these trading visits, however, were limited due to the contact not being frequent enough but also because many of the ships’ crew members were actually from Britain or Africa and thus were not speakers of AmE (Fritz, 2007:205). After the close trade relations of the early settlement years quietened down in the early 19th century (Greenwood, 1944:138–139), the next more intense period of contact with Americans occurred during the Australian Gold rushes in the 1850s. These together with the American gold rush period a couple of years earlier led to a two-way migration across the Pacific – a number of Australian goldseekers went to America and American miners came to Australia. This period of close contact also led to some linguistic, mainly lexical, additions to AusE as both the American as well as the returning Australian miners and merchants brought American vocabulary to Australia (Fritz, 2007:44; Mosler & Catley, 1998:12). Another avenue for American vocabulary to enter AusE around that time was provided by people in the entertainment business, such as circuses, minstrel shows and live theatre (Waterhouse, 1998:48). On the whole, the gold rush period can be seen as the time when Australia had its first real contact with AmE. It is also the time when the fear of Americanisation was first observed in Australia (Mosler & Catley, 1998:11–12).

American influences on Australian English 195 Following the gold rushes, American influence in Australia continued in both economic and cultural domains. While trade relations with the United States cooled again during the 1930s depression and Australian loyalties to Britain were strengthened during World War I, World War II (WWII) saw Australia looking for new “allies” as a result of the British Empire being torn apart by the war. This marked the end of Australia’s reliance upon British protection and the beginning of a new alliance with the United States (Aitchison, 1986:92–98). As such, the period of WWII serves as the next more intense wave of American influence and also acts as a watershed from British to more American association in Australia. 2.2 Australian contacts with America from WWII onwards The close military association with the United States during WWII meant that a considerable number of American service personnel were either placed in or visited Australia, which resulted in a notable social impact (Bell & Bell, 1993:99), also in the form of linguistic transfers. After WWII, the contacts continued on all fronts (Leitner, 2004:198), in the form of military involvement (ANZAC Pact [1944], ANZUS Treaty [1951]; wars in Korea [1950–53], Vietnam [1962–75] and later on in Afghanistan [2001] and Iraq [2003]) as well as economic (AUSFTA [2005]) and of course cultural (radio, TV, films) association.2 All of these have also contributed both to the linguistic influence as well as to the public view of such influence. Since WWII, film, television, radio, advertising and sport have provided a constant channel for Americanisms to enter the Australian context, with television becoming the most significant medium for American influence (Waterhouse, 1995; cited in Waterhouse, 1998:47). American TV-shows as well as movies and music have been enjoying continued popularity for decades, and with the Internet providing yet another very pertinent way for the Australian people to access American media, today AmE is certainly part of every Australian’s life. Furthermore, there are plenty of opportunities for face-to-face communication with Americans, as the number of American-born residents in Australia has steadily increased since the early 20th century,3 and also through tourism, with Americans representing the second largest visitor group in Australia after the British (in numbers of visitor visas) (ABS, 2009–10). The continuous contact with America and the wave-like exposure to American influence has meant that Australians’ opinions on this influence have also varied during the years. Overall, the commentary on Americanisation did, towards the latter part of the 20th century, shift from the economic sphere more towards the cultural realm, concentrating especially on language, dress and sport (Bell & Bell, 1998:7). In terms of language, the fact that anything new is often perceived as coming from America has resulted in lively public commentary on the topic in a variety of mediums in Australia. These comments as well as speaker attitudes towards and perceptions of the American linguistic influence are the subject of the next section.


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3 Australians’ attitudes towards American English influence As noted in the previous section, the more prominent exposure to American influences in Australia has occurred in a wave-like fashion. This is also true of the attitudes that Australians have presented towards this influence. According to Leitner (2004:193), there was little commentary on Americanisms in Australia before the mid-20th century, but after WWII Australians seem to have started to notice the American slang that had made its way to Australia. Another wave of heightened preoccupation with American influence occurred around the 1970s at a time when Australian nationalistic feelings were also rising. In addition to public interest, issues related to Americanisation of AusE also started to attract scholarly interest around that time. The earliest comments on the AmE influence were often found in newspapers and were, indeed, closely tied to the introduction of American radio programs, movies and, later on, TV to Australia. Especially movies, or “talkies” as they were called, were seen as a threat to the English spoken in Australia. Damousi (2010:272) describes the Australians’ response to the introduction of American films as follows: The most profound response to American talkies was a belief that they corrupted the English voice, which meant the desecration of the voice trained by elocution: correct pronunciation, clear enunciation, pausation and clarity, and the purity of speech of the English middle-classes. American speech, it was believed, had none of these qualities. Similar fears of AmE taking over and corrupting the Australian way of speech were also brought up in the following newspaper comment. It must be already apparent to many thinking people that since the introduction of the American talking films . . . we are in grave danger of the Americanisation of our speech. Sydney Morning Herald, June 23, 1930. (cited in Damousi, 2007:394) The extent to which Americanisms were actually adopted was, however, questioned even in the early years as the subsequent comment indicates. The all-in [Australia] imitators of Americanisms are still in a minority, despite the enormous influence of the “movies”. The Age, September 9, 1942. (cited in Baker, 1976:399) In more recent years, commentary on the American influence has moved from newspapers increasingly to more digital forays with, especially, Internet discussion boards and social media facilitating the airing of opinions by the Australian people (see also Burridge, 2010).

American influences on Australian English 197 In terms of who are seen as the main users of Americanisms, it often is the young that are blamed (e.g., Damousi, 2007). This is also taken up by some of the writings in the media, exemplified by a quote from Nick Squires in The Telegraph (2005): Many younger Australians are now more likely to say “hi” than “g’day”, and “vacation” rather than “holiday”. “Bloke” and “mate”, long regarded as quintessentially Aussie, are giving way to “dude” and even “bro”. While scholarly investigations on the public’s views on the Americanisation of AusE are scarce, there is some evidence that the attitudes towards Americanisms or Americanisation of AusE are not becoming more positive. Both Ferguson (2008) and Korhonen (2017) found that the younger Australians are no more tolerant of Americanisms than are the older speakers. Ferguson’s study of university students (aged 18–30) found that, in fact, it was the younger participants (18–20 year-olds) that more strongly felt Americanisation to be bad for AusE (Ferguson, 2008:44). Korhonen’s (2017) interview-based study also provides evidence that, regardless of their age, a great majority of speakers think there is AmE influence in Australia.4 Although not all comments were negative, some presented very strong negative opinions on such an influence (see examples 1–2 from Korhonen, 2017:78–79). These kinds of comments confirm Burridge’s (2010:6) statement that, in terms of AmE influence, “reactions from older and also younger folk are typically hostile.” (1) the American influence [pause] peeves me off (G2_M03, middle-aged male) (2) It’s terrible. Deplorable. Shocking. (G1_F13, older female) Regardless of the fact that some of the participants reported positive or neutral feelings towards Americanisms or did not think there was AmE influence in Australia, both Ferguson (2008) and Korhonen (2017) report that even in those cases, people still found something to either complain about or consider American. In their accounts of AmE influence, people often mention different areas of language as being most strongly affected. The most regularly mentioned ones are vocabulary and spelling, followed by pronunciation (Korhonen, 2017). Grammatical features, on the other hand, are less salient for the speakers and thus much more seldom discussed in these accounts. People also readily express their opinion as to the reasons for the American influence, with TV and movies being the prime suspects, but with computers (and technology more generally) also getting their share of the blame. As Korhonen (2017:86) reports, Australians of all ages regard television to be the number one reason for the American influence in AusE. This section has described some of the attitudes and opinions that speakers of AusE have expressed regarding the AmE influence over the years. While these comments often bring up the fear of AmE taking over AusE, linguistic research has not found any overwhelming Americanisation of AusE in any area of language (e.g., Peters, 1998). Certain AmE words, spellings, pronunciations and also


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features of grammar have, nevertheless, made their way into current Australian usage, and these will be explored in the next section.

4 American English input in Australian English In Butler’s (2001:154) words, “the strongest external influence on AusE today is AmE”. This being so, it can be assumed that a number of features that are used in present-day AusE can be attributed to AmE influence. This influence features most prominently in the vocabulary of AusE, but traces of AmE can also be found in spelling and pronunciation and to a small degree in grammar. 4.1 Vocabulary As reported in Korhonen (2017), lexical items are most often mentioned by the speakers of AusE as presenting American influence in language and they do, indeed, provide the earliest signs of American usages in AusE. Vocabulary also contains the largest body of examples of AmE input in AusE. The first American words were borrowed to AusE already before the 1850s gold rush period and included such words as block, township, bush, bushranger and squatter (Ramson, 1966:135). However, rather than coming directly from America, those words were likely to have come through the British colonial administration (Peters, 1998:37). The second group of American words were borrowed during the gold rush periods, and they mainly included American mining vocabulary such as dipper, pan and prospect (Ramson, 1966:148–149). These were also the first words to be acquired directly from America as a result of the two-way immigration across the Pacific during the gold rushes (Peters, 1998:37). But again, some of the allegedly American lexical items borrowed at that time, were, in fact, originally from British English (BrE) (e.g., cradle, digger, goldwasher; Ramson, 1966:147). After the gold rushes, WWII marked the next period of heavy lexical borrowing from AmE. Taylor (1989:239) writes that “lexical items transferred from AmE into AusE since WWII can be numbered in their thousands”. Some examples of American lexical transfers that have become part of the AusE word stock are listed subsequently (combined from Taylor, 1989:239–244 and Sussex, 1995:2): • • • • • • • • •

exclamations: hi, so long, wow, sure, yuk, have a nice day, take care, OK, great! people: guy, dame, chick, dude, pal, buddy, nerd clothing: sneakers, jeans, baseball caps food: French fries, sub, candy, cotton candy, cookie housing: apartment, elevator, garbage/trash transport: freeway, truck, service station, gas sport: draft, rookie, turnover, high five money: dollar, cent, buck, grand5 medicine: Medicare, internship, registered nurse, paramedic

American influences on Australian English 199 • •

pejorative language: chicken, to chicken out, jerk taboo language items: to screw, to lay, boobs, dong, crap

In addition to these, Butler (1996:9, 2001:154) lists the following as examples of words that have entered AusE more recently as a result of the ever more widereaching contact: schmooze, schlep, smick, d’oh, dreck, high five, himbo, push polling, wannabe and zine. AmE borrowings such as the ones exemplified previously, may not, however, be considered American by the speakers after some time, or they may fall out of use. Baker (1976:401–402) notes that many of the words that were listed as American in the first edition of his book The Australian Language in 1945 were not actively used in AusE at the time of the second edition in 1966, concluding that “While the Australian has a considerable flair for borrowing linguistic innovations of this type, he grows tired of them rapidly”. In contrast, Peters (1998:37) states that rather than all those words disappearing from Australian use, they have become part of it, for example, by way of filling a lexical gap, and are thus not seen as Americanisms anymore. There are, however, exceptions to this. One example of such a word is guy that seems to be a type of stereotypical Americanism for Australians. Korhonen (2017) reports that it is the only word that speakers in all three age groups in her study mention as an example of AmE lexical influence. This is further supported by reoccurring public comments on the use of guy, as exemplified in the following newspaper comment in the Sydney Morning Herald in 2010: The waiter posed the usual question to our small group at dinner. “Are you guys ready to order?” Guys? There were two women among us, but this waiter seemed to be suffering the creeping American disease that makes a good proportion of young Australians wear their caps backwards and insert the word “like” into every second sentence. So everyone is now a genderneutral “guy”, just as they are in Obama-land, and “blokes” and “sheilas” are fast becoming exhibits in the Aussie vernacular museum. Even worse, “buddy” is occasionally replacing our cherished “mate”. As noted in Section 2.2, the introduction of the Internet and the overall increase in the use of home computers towards the end of the 20th century has resulted in American vocabulary being part of Australians’ everyday life. In the light of this, Butler’s (2001:154) claim that AmE is the strongest external influence on presentday AusE is justified. According to Sussex (1985:400), computer terminology, the drug scene, pop music, skateboards and American sports are some of the areas which are more prone to American borrowings, and many of these are also seen as such by the speakers of AusE (Korhonen, 2017). This continued exposure to AmE vocabulary is likely to bring in new AmE words also in the future. In addition to purely lexical transfers as exemplified previously, AmE has also provided AusE with new words through derivational/lexical morphology. First, the American tendency to form new expressions through zero derivation has


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resulted in AusE adopting verbs such as to access and to trial (Leitner, 2004:209; Taylor, 1989:232–233). Second, there are some new uses of well-established prefixes and suffixes that can be attributed to an AmE model. An example of the first mentioned is the use hyperbolic prefixes, such as hyper-, super- and mega- to form linguistic hybrids, such as hyperstore and megadeath (Peters, 1998:36). Of suffixes, the most noteworthy are -wise, as in timewise and -fully as in hopefully (Taylor, 1989; Peters, 1998, 2007). The first type is often produced ad hoc and used as a topicalising device in the beginning of a sentence, which makes it a conspicuous usage and thus an easy target for objection from the speakers (Peters, 1998:36, 2007:864). The second suffix -fully, as used in the formation of sentence adverbs such as hopefully and thankfully, has increased in frequency since the 1960s. Its assumed AmE origins, as well as criticisms presented in the popular press against its use, have led to it being objected to by some Australians (Peters, 2007:366). As discussed, it is often the young that are considered to be the prime users of Americanisms, with older generations quite readily commenting on this use, and it certainly is true in terms of vocabulary. Burridge (2010:6) mentions teenage slang as containing “identifiable American lexical items”, and Peters (2014:120) notes that the younger Australians tend to borrow American words freely. These borrowings are often considered by the public as constituting a threat to the original Australian terms, but linguistic research has shown that American words are rather alternatives to existing Australian words, or they may become part of the AusE word stock through nativisation and thus lose “their American flavour” (Peters, 1998:37). In other words, AusE does not seem to borrow Americanisms blindly but rather only accept items that have some relevance to Australia and, at the same time, ignore others that have not (e.g., advanced television, attack-fax) (Butler, 2001:156–157). Although vocabulary is often considered both by the public as well as by linguists to be the area with the most American transfers – as Burridge (2010:6) claims “the impact elsewhere on the language is minimal” – there are also a number of items that AusE shares with AmE in other areas of language. These are explored in what follows, starting with spelling. 4.2 Spelling Spelling is another area of language where AusE makes use of AmE conventions to some degree. Similarly to vocabulary, the high visibility of orthography may cause the use of certain AmE-style spellings in AusE to intensify the widespread public view of the Americanisation of AusE (Burridge, 2010:7). While AusE spelling traditionally derives from that of BrE and does not diverge from that to any great degree even at the present, there are also certain American spellings that are being regularly used in Australia. Some of these, such as -ise/-ize and -our/-or, are claimed to vary freely in Australia (Taylor, 1989:230). Some of this variability is, however, lexeme dependent, as Peters’s (2007) corpus studies

American influences on Australian English 201 have shown. In Australian usage, for example, labor clearly outnumbers labour (129:95),6 whereas behaviour is used much more often than behavior (99:10) (Peters, 2007:580). The -or spellings are, nevertheless, perceived by the public as American and thus easily attributed to AmE influence, although historically the use of these spellings is unlikely to have anything to do with American influence (Fritz, 2010:231; see also Korhonen, 2017). For example, the -or spellings were part of the house style of a number of Australian newspapers for decades (Peters, 1993:21, 2007:580). In fact, it was not until 2001 that the Melbournebased The Age changed into -our spellings under pressure from the readers (Burridge, 2010:7). Another spelling feature in which AusE seems to follow AmE practices is the use of simplified digraphs, such as medieval and fetal instead of mediaeval and foetal (Collins, 2014:452). Similarly to the spelling conventions mentioned previously, this variability is also lexeme dependent, with there being a clear change towards the simpler spelling for mediaeval, but not for aesthetic or diarrhoea (Korhonen, 2015; Peters, 2007). In addition to being lexeme dependent, many of these variable spellings are also confined to the more informal end of language use in Australia and are thus more likely to be found, for example, in writings on the Internet (Fritz, 2010:278). As reasons for Australians’ increasing use of AmE spellings in some words, factors such as pragmatism or fashion (Taylor, 1989:231) and the use of Microsoft’s AmE spellcheckers (Fritz, 2010:231) have been suggested. One of the reasons may also be the ease of learning, as one of the participants in Korhonen’s (2017:85) study suggests (example 3). (3) and I think the way they [Americans] spell a word is is probably easier to learn, isn’t it? (G2_F01, middle-aged) As has been shown, AmE spellings, while certainly an option for Australians, are not used systematically in Australia and are often lexeme dependent, which strongly indicates that there is no across-the-board Americanisation of AusE spelling going on. 4.3 Pronunciation In addition to vocabulary and spelling, pronunciation is also often the target of complaints about Americanisation from Australian speakers. They often consider pronunciation as being heavily Americanised, and again it is the young that are blamed for the situation (Leitner, 2004:205). In fact, the early debate on American films in Australia largely centred on the nature of the accent, pronunciation and voice (Damousi, 2007:395) and how these would be ruined by the American accent. However, it seems that while AmE pronunciations certainly are an option for Australian speakers, they are largely limited to certain areas of pronunciation, such as word stress or individual lexical items, and thus not affecting the


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overall sound of AusE (Sussex, 1978, 1985; Taylor, 1989). In order to discuss this in more detail, two aspects of pronunciation are covered in this section: the quality of the vowel/consonant and word stress. As examples of the changes in the quality of the vowel/consonant, Taylor (1989) claims that the AmE anti- /aɪ/ is often heard and that the pronunciation of schedule as /‘skedjul/ is widespread in AusE. Korhonen’s (2017) findings provided some support for these claims in that she found a steady increase across three age groups for the /‘skedjul/ pronunciation, with the adolescents presenting a 96% usage rate. Most of her participants did, however, still report using the /i/ pronunciation for the second syllable in antinuclear. Further evidence for the change in the pronunciation of schedule is provided by the Macquarie Dictionary in that while the 3rd edition mentions the /sk/ pronunciation to be “chiefly American”, the 5th edition does not. Another example of an AmE pronunciation given by Taylor (1989:228) is the prefix pro-, which Australians often pronounce as /prɒ/ instead of /proʊ/ in words like progress and process. In contrast to Taylor’s findings, Korhonen (2017) did not find the /prɒ/ pronunciations to be widespread in the Australians’ speech.7 This may, however, be a question of Australians having a tendency to use a different pronunciation for the verb (initial stress) and the noun (stress on the second syllable) as noted in the 5th edition of the Macquarie Dictionary. This brings us to the second area of pronunciation to be discussed, namely word stress, in which AusE is claimed to be moving towards AmE with increasing use of initial stress in some words (Sussex, 1985, 1995). This mostly applies to some noun-verb pairs, such as the ones mentioned in the previous paragraph. This type of stress shift is also commented on by the speakers, as the excerpt in example (4) from an interview with a female speaker shows (from Korhonen, 2017:121): (4) And we notice especially on television and even radio and so forth, people are pronouncing words in the American way like REsearch and that’s reSEARCH. ReSEARCH is the word. They call it REsearch and that really bugs me. I think that’s not the way to say it. You have a look in the dictionary and you can see how it should be pronounced. And that sort of thing really annoys me because everyone calls it REsearch (G1_F09, middle-aged) Linguistic investigations have, indeed, shown that there has been a tendency in AusE to move from what has traditionally been considered a British pronunciation to an American pattern in words such as frontier, finance, research and address (Taylor, 1989:228). Korhonen’s (2017) study confirms this for research, as there is a clear increase in the use of initial stress by younger speakers. However, it needs to be noted that this is not only happening in AusE (or AmE) but is a stress shift that has been part of the development of English since the 16th century (e.g., Chen & Wang, 1975:261). Another type of stress shift that Australians have been found to comment on is the move towards the AmE pronunciation of polysyllabic words with the

American influences on Australian English 203 suffix -ary or -ory, as well as with certain individual lexical items such as harass and controversy (Taylor, 1989:228–229). With -ary or -ory, AmE employs a secondary stress on the penultimate syllable (as in secretary: /ˈsɛkrəˌtɛri/), a pattern which has also become more commonly used in AusE (Leitner, 2004:204). Similarly, with harass and controversy, “the AmE pronunciation involving a stress shift is in strong competition with BE pronunciations in AusE” (Taylor, 1989:229). Again, these developments are confirmed by Korhonen’s (2017) recent findings for secretary and controversy, both of which show a preference for the perceived AmE pronunciation, especially among younger speakers. On the other hand, the pronunciation of harass seems to be well established in AusE, with speakers of all ages almost unanimously reporting using the variant with stress on the second syllable (Korhonen, 2017:121). It needs to be noted, however, that although speakers may easily see changes in pronunciation as being a direct result of AmE influence, they are often part of a larger change in English or possibly an independent development that is merely accelerated by the contacts with AmE. As shown previously, AusE makes use of certain AmE patterns in pronunciation, but no large-scale Americanisation of the way AusE sounds could be claimed. It is also often the case that AmE accents are used for special purposes rather than to replace the original AusE accent, as noted by a female speaker in Korhonen’s (2017:85) interview data (example 5). (5) and if there’s a play or something on and kids just want to change their voice a little bit it’s nearly always in American accent (G2_F08, middle-aged) In summary, despite the reoccurring comments on the effect of AmE through TV, movies and radio, Moore’s (2008:163) conclusion that “after sixty years of being subjected to American films, American television, and American music, the Australian accent has remained utterly unaffected by American accents” does not seem to be too far from the truth (see also Sussex, 1989:159; Peters, 1998:34–35). So even though some AmE pronunciations are used in Australia, they are to a large degree lexeme dependent and thus do not affect the overall sound of AusE. 4.4 Grammar The last area of language to be considered is grammar, an area that is clearly less accessible to the speakers and thus also far less frequently commented on in terms of the American influence. However, some grammatical (or morphosyntactic) features are also above the consciousness of the speakers (see Collins, 2003) and are thus occasionally found to be the topic of complaints from speakers. Scholarly research, on the other hand, has been conducted on a variety of grammatical features. The findings from these investigations have shown that AmE grammatical uses in AusE are rarely categorical; rather they present cases in which AusE is closer to AmE than to BrE. A number of previous studies have examined individual grammatical features and whether they are more often used in accordance with the British or American


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style in AusE. Starting with inflectional morphology, the AmE use of gotten is sometimes also mentioned by speakers as an example of American usage in AusE. In AmE, it is used to mean that something has been acquired or that there has been a change of state (the so called “actional” get), distinguishing it from the possessive has/have got (“statal” get), a use which is also attested in AusE (Taylor, 1989:231). According to Leitner (2004:208), however, this is not necessarily a direct American transfer but rather a co-occurring force of multiple varieties, including English, Scottish and American English. Nevertheless, Collins and Peters (2004:596) report that the use of gotten in AusE shows clear age stratification, with younger speakers favouring it, which may add to its potential of being perceived as American. A syntactic feature that has sparked public commentary regarding AmE influence in AusE in recent years is the increased use of like. Indeed, like used as a conjunction (example 5) is widely used in AmE and, according to Collins (2003:46), more acceptable in AusE than in BrE (see also Peters, 2001:166–167). In connection to this, the recent rise in the use of like both as a discourse pragmatic marker (example 6) and in the quotative be like (example 7) has added to the potential of like being commented on by the public. Both of these uses are especially prominent among the younger age groups in AusE and as such may be more easily perceived as signs of American influence (see Korhonen & Penry Williams, 2018 for the discourse pragmatic use; Rodríguez-Louro, 2013, 2016 and this volume for quotative be like). (6) Kaye, it looks like it’s Officers’ Night tonight (ACE W02) (from Collins, 2003:46) (7) There was like a play the other day at the high school (G2_F08, middle-aged) (from Korhonen & Penry Williams, 2018) (8) And they hear me swear and they’re like “what was that?” (G3_F10, adolescent) (from Korhonen, 2017:162) Other syntactic features that have sometimes been considered as having been influenced by AmE are the dropping of the article in sentences like I play (the) piano (Taylor, 1989:238) and the AusE preference for singular verbal agreement with collective nouns, such as government, family and team (Peters, 2007:32). With the latter, AusE (and AmE) are more likely to have singular verbs, especially in printed materials, but not so much in speech (Peters, 2007:32). In comparison with the previously discussed features of grammar, however, these do not seem to attract much public commentary. In addition to studies on individual grammatical features, the most recent syntactic studies of AusE by Collins (2015) and Collins and Yao (2018) examine collections of such features. Based on his corpus-based study on historical developments in ten morphosyntactic variables, Collins (2015:38) reports that AusE grammatical patterns have started to differ from those of BrE and to “follow in the

American influences on Australian English 205 footsteps of AmE”. As examples of grammatical features that may be attributable to American influences in AusE, he mentions the increase in the use of mandative subjunctive as well as the spread of do-support with negation (Collins, 2015:39). In contrast to this, however, in their recent study of 83 morphosyntactic features, Collins and Yao (2018:267) did not find a tendency for AusE to pattern more closely with AmE in its morphosyntactic preferences. In conclusion, then, there does not seem to be any overwhelming Americanisation happening in the AusE grammar, although it is evident that some uses that are perceived as American are present in current AusE.

5 Conclusion and future research directions This chapter has shown that while Australians have readily expressed their views and opinions on the American influence over the years, be it in language or on other fronts of life, scholarly research on the topic has not found any large-scale Americanisation of AusE. This being so, linguists often find themselves at odds with the views of the public (Burridge, 2010). Many Australians seem to think of American influence as a threat to the original Australian way of speech, but research on a variety of linguistic features from all areas of language use does not support this. Rather it has shown that AmE has certainly provided and continues to provide AusE with new linguistic variants as well as helping to accelerate ongoing developments, but is not taking over the traditional Australian uses. The uses that are adopted from AmE often fill a gap; that is, there is a need for new linguistic material in AusE, and are part of the informal style or slang, with only a few found in the more formal end of the spectrum (e.g., the mandative subjunctive) (Leitner, 2004:213). Often it is the young that more readily accept these new American style uses – or at least they are blamed for doing so – but there is no sign of the young being any more tolerant to these influences than the older generations (Ferguson, 2008; Korhonen, 2017). Furthermore, any new uses are, as Peters (1998) notes, quite swiftly nativised and thus not seen as American by the following generations of speakers. Despite the strong public opinions and the fact that Australians seem to have some favourite scapegoats when it comes to AmE influence, such as guy and some spelling variants, based on scholarly research, AmE is not taking over AusE by storm. Being such an interest-provoking topic, American (English) influence in Australia lends itself to a number of future research endeavours. First of all, the results reported on here on one of the most often commented on areas of Americanisation, vocabulary, are quite dated. In view of the rapid communication day-in and day-out with American sources, be it through the Internet or other mediums, these would certainly need updating. Second, the observed age-related differences provide another interesting area of future study – both in attitudes as well as usage – to see if the non-tolerance of American uses continues to be expressed by Australians of all ages and if the young continue to be in the forefront in the use of perceived Americanisms. This could be further complemented by a study on possible areal differences in Americanisation, as already suggested by Taylor (2001:334). Rural


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areas could be predicted to be more conservative in this respect, but without comparable data sets covering both rural and urban areas, the results cannot be truly generalised to cover the whole of Australia. Finally, as described in this chapter, Americanisation has been a hot topic in Australia for several decades, and it seems to reappear with new force every now and then. Whether these more active periods of public commentary on the American influence coincide with heightened American visibility in the world affairs has not been systematically surveyed in the Australian context but would surely bring some interesting insights into the more linguistically oriented investigations reported on here.8

Acknowledgements The author would like to thank Pam Peters and the anonymous reviewer for their very helpful comments on the manuscript.

Notes 1 For brevity, the term “America” is used to refer to the United States of America throughout this paper. 2 ANZAC = Australian and New Zealand Army Corps; ANZUS = The Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty; AUSFTA = Australia – United States Free Trade Agreement. 3 There were 108,270 American-born residents in Australia in 2017 as opposed to 57,630 in 1997 and 6,642 in 1911 (ABS, 2014, 2017). 4 As a response to the interview question “Do you think there is American influence in Australian English?” 81% of the 69 respondents answered “yes”, with the youngest participants presenting the highest percentage of yes answers (84%) (Korhonen, 2017:79). 5 Dollar and cent were adopted as a result of Australia changing to decimal currency in 1966. 6 References to the Labor Party were excluded from the counts (Peters, 1995:546). 7 The research was conducted through a word list task and, as such, the result may reflect the speakers’ interpretation of the word as a verb or a noun, as no further context was given in the task. 8 I wish to thank Dr Roderick McConchie for bringing this up during one of our many discussions on American influence in Australia.

References Aitchison, Ray. 1986. The Americans in Australia. Melbourne: AE Press. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2009–10. Australia’s bilateral relationships. Year Book Australia, 2009–10. Retrieved March 3, 2019 from[email protected] nsf/Lookup/9083718854BDBB26CA25773700169C49?opendocument. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2014. Australian Historical Population Statistics, 2014, data cube: Excel spreadsheet, cat. no. 3105.0.65.001. Retrieved March 3, 2019 from www.abs.[email protected]/DetailsPage/3105.0.65.0012014?OpenDocument. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2017. Migration Australia 1996–2017, data cube: Excel spreadsheet, cat. no. 34120DO005_201617. Retrieved March 3, 2019 from www.abs.[email protected]/DetailsPage/3412.02016-17?OpenDocument. Baker, Sidney J. 1976. The Australian language. 2nd edn. South Melbourne: Sun Books.

American influences on Australian English 207 Bell, Philip & Roger Bell (eds.). 1993. Implicated: The United States in Australia. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bell, Philip & Roger Bell (eds.). 1998. Americanization and Australia. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press. Burridge, Kate. 2010. Linguistic cleanliness is next to godliness: taboo and purism. English Today 26. 3–13. doi:10.1017/S0266078410000027. Butler, Susan. 1996. New words of the 90s. Australian Style 5. 9. Butler, Susan. 2001. Australian English – An identity crisis. In David Blair & Peter Collins (eds.), English in Australia, 151–162. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Chen, Matthew Y. & William S.-Y. Wang. 1975. Sound change: Actuation and implementation, Language 51. 255–281. Collins, Peter. 2003. Grammatical aspects of Australian English. In Pam Peters (ed.), From local to global English: Proceedings of Style Council 2001/2, 43–53. Dictionary Research Centre, Macquarie University. Collins, Peter. 2014. Australian English. In Harold Koch & Rachel Nordlinger (eds.), The languages and linguistics of Australia: A comprehensive guide, 449–484. Berlin/Boston: Mouton de Gruyter. Collins, Peter. 2015. Diachronic variation in the grammar of Australian English: Corpusbased explorations. In Peter Collins (ed.), Grammatical change in English world-wide, 15–42. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Collins, Peter & Pam Peters. 2004. Australian English: Morphology and syntax. In Bernd Kortmann, Edgar W. Schneider Kate Burridge, Raj Mesthrie & Clive Upton (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English. Vol. 2: Morphology and syntax, 593–610. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Collins, Peter & Xinyue Yao. 2018. Colloquialisation and the evolution of Australian English: A cross-varietal and cross-generic study of Australian, British, and American English from 1931 to 2006. English World-Wide 39(3). 253–277. doi:10.1075/ eww.00014.col. Damousi, Joy. 2007. “The filthy American twang”: Elocution, the advent of American “talkies,” and Australian cultural identity. The American Historical Review 112(2). 394–416. Damousi, Joy. 2010. Colonial voices: A cultural history of English in Australia, 1840– 1940. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ferguson, Naomi. 2008. Americanisation of Australian English: Attitudes, perceptions and usage. Melbourne: Monash University. (Honours dissertation). Fritz, Clemens. 2007. From English in Australia to Australian English 1788–1900. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Fritz, Clemens. 2010. A short history of Australian spelling. Australian Journal of Linguistics 30. 227–281. Greenwood, Gordon. 1944. Early American-Australian relations. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Korhonen, Minna. 2015. Spelling the extra letter? The case of Australian English. English Today 31(1). 5–9. doi:10.1017/S0266078414000492. Korhonen, Minna. 2017. Perspectives on the Americanisation of Australian English: A sociolinguistic study of variation. Helsinki. University of Helsinki. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Korhonen, Minna & Cara Penry Williams. 2018. Discursive like across apparent time in Australian English. (Paper presented at Discourse-Pragmatic Variation and Change 4, Helsinki, May 28–30).


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Leitner, Gerhard. 2004. Australia’s many voices. Vol. 1: Australian English – The national language. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Macquarie Dictionary. 1997. 3rd edn. Macquarie University: The Macquarie Library. Macquarie Dictionary. 2009. 5th edn. Macquarie University: The Macquarie Library. Money, Lawrence. 2010. Fight hamburgerisation; dig up some old Aussie lingo. Sydney Morning Herald, February 1. Retrieved March 3, 2019 from federal/fight-hamburgerisation-dig-up-some-old-aussie-lingo-20100201-n7u8.html. Moore, Bruce. 2008. Speaking our language: The story of Australian English. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Mosler, David & Robert Catley. 1998. America and Americans in Australia. Westport, CT/ London: Praeger. Peters, Pam. 1993. American and British English in Australian usage. In Pam Peters (ed.), Style on the move: Proceedings of Style Council 92. Dictionary Research Centre, Macquarie University, 20–27. Peters, Pam. 1995. The Cambridge guide to Australian English usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Peters, Pam. 1998. Australian English. In Philip Bell & Roger Bell (eds.), Americanization and Australia, 32–44. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press. Peters, Pam. 2001. Corpus evidence on some points of Australian style and usage. In David Blair & Peters Collins (eds.), English in Australia, 163–178. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Peters, Pam (2007) Cambridge guide to Australian English usage. Cambridge University Press. Peters, Pam. 2014. Differentiation in Australian English. In Sarah Buschfeld, Thomas Hoffmann, Magnus Huber and Alexander Kautzsch (eds.), The evolution of Englishes: The dynamic model and beyond, 107–125. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Ramson, William S. 1966. Australian English: An historical study of the vocabulary 1788– 1898. Canberra: Australian National University Press. Rodríguez Louro, Celeste. 2013. Quotatives Down Under: Be like in cross-generational Australian English speech. English World-Wide 34. 48–76. doi:10.1075/eww.34.1.03rod. Rodríguez Louro, Celeste. 2016. Quotatives across time: West Australian English then and now. In Heike Pichler (ed.), Discourse-pragmatic variation and change in English: New methods and insights, 139–159. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Squires, Nick. 2005. Strewth! Americanisms flush Aussie lingo down the dunny. The Telegraph, July 13. Sussex, Roland. 1978. North American English as a prestige model in the Australian media. Talanya 5. 36–41. Sussex, Roland. 1985. Linguistic evidence of the Americanization of Australian English: Preliminary report. In John E. Clark (ed.), The cultivated Australian. Festschrift in honour of Arthur Delbridge, 395–402. Hamburg: H. Buske. Sussex, Roland. 1989. The Americanisation of Australian English: Prestige models in the media. In Peter Collins & David Blair (eds.), Australian English: The language of a new society, 158–168. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. Sussex, Roland. 1995. Americanisms roll into Australian English. Australian Style 3(2). 2–3. Taylor, Brian. 1989. American, British and other foreign influences on Australian English since World War II. In Peter Collins & David Blair (eds.), Australian English: The language of a new society, 225–254. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press.

American influences on Australian English 209 Taylor, Brian. 2001. Australian English in interaction with other Englishes. In David Blair & Peter Collins (eds.), English in Australia, 317–340. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Waterhouse, Richard. 1995. Private pleasures, public leisure: A history of Australian popular culture since 1788. Melbourne: Longman. Waterhouse, Richard. 1998. Popular culture. In Philip Bell & Roger Bell (eds.), Americanization and Australia, 45–60. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.

13 The codification of Australian English Pam Peters

1 Introduction: the evolution of Australian English as regional standard This chapter concerns itself with the development and codification of Australian English as a distinct national variety. In the development of a standard language, codification is the final stage, according to Haugen (1966/1972). By then it is established as the national code for all communicative needs of the speech community (administrative, legal, educational, social). It is also the stage at which variability in the language has been minimised. Dialectal variation that preceded it has become homogenised, as in the formation of standard English in Britain from numerous regional dialects during the 16th century (Peters, 2017). Haugen’s model turns on the complementarity of the social and linguistic aspects of language use and their convergence in codification of the language. Similar linguistic and sociolinguistic components are enshrined in Schneider’s (2007) model for the evolution of varieties of English outside Britain into regional standards – although only 4 out of the 17 varieties he discusses are agreed to be fully evolved. They are American (US), Canadian, Australian and New Zealand, all “settler” varieties in Schneider’s terminology and members of Kachru’s “inner circle” (1992) by virtue of their origin as British colonial settlements. Each has evolved into a regional standard through a series of five identifiable phases, in which codification comes with the fourth phase. • • • •

Phase 1: foundation 1788–1830, establishment of Australian colony with convict transportation Phase 2: exonormative stabilisation 1830–1901, pioneering/pastoral development, interaction with Aborigines; gold rushes Phase 3: nativisation 1901–1942, Federation of Australia, World Wars I/II, broad European immigration Phase 4: endonormative stabilisation 1942–1980s, increasing Asian immigration, bicentenary, instruments of codification

The codification of Australian English 211 •

Phase 5: differentiation 1980s on; regional, social and ethnic diversification (Based on Schneider, 2007:118–127)

This evolutionary model foregrounds the colonial background by which the English transported and formed the foundation of individual varieties, and its “norms” or “standards” were still tied to those of Britain (thus “exonormative”). In the middle phase (“nativisation”), the regional variety absorbs linguistic elements at all levels of language in the new environment and restructured society, but they have yet to be recognised across the whole community as their characteristic patterns of speaking and writing. It typically comes in the wake of a historical event which sets the new nation on a path to political and linguistic independence. This, according to Schneider, was the fall of the British garrison in Singapore in 1942, after which it became clear to Australians that they could no longer depend on Britain for strategic defence and must seek their own allies as an independent player in strategic affairs. In this context, Australians were ready to embrace their own linguistic norms (i.e. become “endonormative”) and to codify them in published references such as such as dictionaries, grammars and usage guides – the instruments of codification (Schneider (2007:52). These have led us through to the 21st century and the final “differentiation” phase for Australian English (AusE). Yet the five phases of the evolutionary process are not as discrete as the model suggests, and the transitions between them were often marked by complex social dynamics, as discussed subsequently (see also Burridge, this volume). The overall time for AusE to evolve from a colonial settlement variety to a fully codified regional variety is remarkably similar to American English. Its significant instrument of codification was Webster’s Dictionary of the American Language (1828), published close to 200 years from the date when the Pilgrim Fathers set forth from Britain for North America. Likewise, Australia’s major dictionaries and other instruments of codification were published about 200 years after the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney 1788.

2 The foundations and early expansion of Australian English Lexical elements of AusE are on record from the beginnings of White settlement in the late 18th century, embedded in individual and administrative documents of the first British English settlers. The most extensive details are in the three notebooks of William Dawes (1790–1791),1 in his documentation of Aboriginal languages around Sydney, their grammar (notebook A) and their vocabulary (notebooks B and C). The vocabularies form a working Aboriginal–English glossary that includes striking examples of early loanwords now embedded in AusE, e.g. cooee, corroboree, dingo, waratah. Dingo is particularly interesting as a one of the set of Aboriginal words for fauna used during the 1700s and 1800s in parallel with native dog or wild dog (first recorded in 1788 and 1793, respectively), but the Aboriginal loanword has prevailed in the longer run. The earliest


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reference to the koala in NSW records spells it “koola(h)” or “coola” (transcribing the Aboriginal gula). However, the 1808 Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in London has it written as koala, the spelling which seems to have prevailed in Australia from 1930, along with its trisyllabic pronunciation. Words borrowed from the NSW Aboriginal languages are more numerous in AusE than from other states, despite some widely used examples from other states such as yakka “work”, originally from a QLD language. Dawes’s pioneering work ceased when he was posted away from Sydney to Antigua, and the documentation of Aboriginal languages was hampered by the increasingly hostile relationship between settlers and Aboriginal inhabitants of the country (Troy, 1990). But Australian Aboriginal pidgin was evolving from early contact between the British settlers with Aboriginal people in Sydney and went inland with agricultural development along the Lachlan and Darling Rivers (Wurm, Mühlhäusler & Tryon, 1996). This “pastoral frontier pidgin” provided words such as jumbuck which spread inland across NSW into the “braidedchannels country” of Central Australia and thence into Queensland and South and Western Australia, with some relexification through contact with other local Aboriginal languages (Leitner, 2004b:92). Despite the evidence of spoken and lexical elements of AusE emerging in the first half of the 19th century, there are few signs of a nativised style for written AusE: rather it remains exonormatively British in its language and orientation. The documentary journals of early explorers were written up for publication in London (Webby, 2000:51) and edited to the norms of contemporary British English. When compiling the COOEE corpus of late 18th- and 19th-century AusE, Fritz (2007) could find little by way of speech-based genres before mid-century in which early Australian vocabulary and expressions might be preserved (only records of parliament and courts). The first novelistic accounts of colonial life by Alexander Harris, Settlers and Convicts (1847) and The Emigrant Family (1849), were artificial in their construction of bush characters and the “workingman’s paradise” they construct (Webby, 2000:52–53).

3 Consolidation phase of Australian English from later 19th century to WWII The latter half of the 19th century saw substantial growth in the Australian population, with great influxes of settlers and visitors from Europe and from the northern Pacific rim during the Australian gold rushes (see Chapter 1). It was also the period in which systems of secular education were established in each Australian state, supporting widespread literacy, so that by the end of the century, almost all of the White adult population could read and write (Webby, 2000:50). There was vibrant local publishing in magazines and newspapers, a point noted by German visitor Karl Lentzer in an essay on Australian newspapers appended to his 1891 Colonial English Glossary. Rising Australian novelists could publish their works serially (as in Britain) but have them edited by those more in touch with AusE, so that the language was more likely to reflect current AusE norms.

The codification of Australian English 213 The late 19th century also saw pioneering works of lexicography, smaller and larger, reflecting the growing interest in AusE vocabulary. The most substantial and scholarly was that of Edward Morris (1898) Austral English: A Dictionary of Australasian Words, Phrases and Usage. Its subtitle adds: “with those AboriginalAustralian and Maori words which have become incorporated in the language and the commoner scientific words that have had their origin in Australasia”. Morris’s dictionary is a substantial work of lexical scholarship, with dated citations to document the usage of every headword from late 18th- and 19th-century Australian sources. His coverage of Australian flora, fauna and fish includes their scientific binomials, as well as their alternative common names where relevant. There are numerous terms from Australian farming practice and from gold mining. Words for certain Australian types: bushranger, cockatoo (in its sense of farmer), stockman, sundowner are documented with descriptions of their behaviour, and larrikin is treated to a mini-essay and 17 citations. But few colloquial or everyday expressions are recorded, reflecting the fact that Australian words and expressions were still regarded as add-ons to the transported British English used by colonialists and documented elsewhere. Morris’s lexicography was compiled in that essentially exonormative framework for colonial English – not intended to codify AusE at large. Its codification of Australian vocabulary was only partial (Peters, forthcoming). The use of Australian colloquialisms in print has been associated with the “new journalism” and the more democratic newspaper styles of the mid-19th century. In fact, the increased use of speech-based elements in later 19th-century fiction (such as contracted forms of auxiliary and modal verbs and not) correlates inversely with their use in later 19th-century journalism (Peters, 2014:111). The first monument to their wider acceptance is Rolf Boldrewood’s2 novel Robbery under Arms (1882–1888), first published serially, and then in London as a monograph in three volumes (1888). Boldrewood’s use of chatty first-person narrative in AusE paved the way for the continuously colloquial prose of Henry Lawson in his short story collection: When the Billy Boils (1896). Colloquial styles were espoused in contemporary magazine journalism by The Bulletin, and its editors and contributors were the source of many Australian colloquialisms that became the national idiom (Peters, 2014:116). The period 1885–1900 was one of great interest in AusE in the years leading up to Australia’s Federation in 1901, amid debates about cultural nationalism and identity (Moore, 2008:102). In the evolution of AusE, it prefigures the “nativisation” of Australian written style associated with the 20th century in Schneider’s model and is clearly part of the transition to it. During WWI, Australian colloquialisms and their New Zealand counterparts were freely exchanged by ANZAC troops as the language of solidarity among the diggers and their cobbers in the trenches. Bulletins and letters that came from the front were stocked with antipodean colloquialisms and countless new coinings. The abbreviation Aussie, used to refer to Australia (1915) and an Australian (1917), was coined during WWI, and many other Australian and New Zealand colloquialisms gained currency in interactions between the two armies. There was much deprecating slang for aspects of trench warfare, and the places one might escape to – including the funk hole and the giggle house, and euphemisms such as


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“get the full issue” to mean being killed (Laugeson, 2015). Soldiers wrote home using AusE to express their bonds with family and friends, reinforcing its use from halfway round the world. Their immersion in it through the intensity of war was a seminal stage in the nativisation of AusE and in extending its informal resources. Meanwhile, politics at home in Australia were on a different trajectory with the post-Federation “white Australia” policy. Immigration from Asia was curbed, anti-German sentiment was running high and a nostalgic orientation to Britain developed, as the “old country” in whose name thousands of Australian soldiers were fighting in Europe and the Middle East. This reactivated both the sense of Britain as “home” (even for third- or fourth-generation Australians) and fostered cultural aspirations that were exonormative, including the “cultural cringe”. It engendered critical attitudes to Australian speech, so that phonics were taught to Australian schoolchildren to help them acquire a more “English” (Received Pronunciation, RP) way of speaking (Moore, 2008:127–129). Instead of advancing the nativisation of AusE from the last decade of the 19th century, linguistic conservatism was on the rise. This was the context in which the Australian Broadcasting Commission (now Corporation – the ABC) was set up in 1929, to educate the nation and accustom them to the best English speech (Leitner, 2004a). Radio announcers were recruited from Britain, and their sober accents went with the then much larger quantities of scripted material. The national broadcaster was not then ready to accept the endonormative principle for radio voices. The practice was similar with commercial newsreel voiceovers from 1930 on, until TV took over in the 1960s. Newsreels created by the successful Australian Cinesound News used local speakers, but trained them to imitate RP vowels, with rapid enunciation and variable intonation like a southern British speaker – hence the rather contrived voice associated with Cinesound newsreels, which were nevertheless styled as “the voice of Australia”. During and immediately after WWII, there were noteworthy defences of AusE and Australian speech by two protagonists. One was Sidney J. Baker, whose monograph on The Australian Language (1945) channels that of H.L. Mencken’s The American Language (1919), which affirmed the legitimacy of American English. Baker’s essays on Australian Language found it in many walks of Australian life from the city and the bush, the underworld and the natural environment to drinking, gambling, horseracing and other sports. Though not a lexicographer, Baker offers a treasury of AusE words (and some others whose pedigree was otherwise), putting the spotlight on how much Australian vocabulary there was to codify. The second key figure of the era was Alex Mitchell, who published The Pronunciation of English in Australia (1946), the earliest description of variation within the Australian accent and strategic in affirming the use of Australian speech in the context of education. Mitchell was soon appointed to the ABC’s language advisory group (the Standing Committee on Spoken English [SCOSE]), where he was able to move its policy on radio speech towards general acceptance of the Australian accent (Leitner, 1984).

The codification of Australian English 215 The nativisation phase for AusE was marked by contrasting attitudes to it within Australia early and late in the period. But the events of WWII itself changed Australia’s orientation to the mother country, especially when it was forced to withdraw from the Indo-Pacific region with the Fall of Singapore (1942). This, in Schneider’s terms, was the historical “Event X” (2007:122– 123), which forced a radical change in Australia’s foreign policy and closer cross-Pacific interactions with the United States. It was the watershed prompting Australians to progressively reappraise their own culture and variety of English, led by Baker’s focus on the colloquial wordstock and Mitchell’s on Australian speech.

4 Australian English from WWII onward The transition to full endonormativity for AusE after WWII was gradual, underscored by other world events that confirmed Australia’s separation from Britain and the need for closer ties with the United States. From 1949 on, the label “British passport” on Australians’ travel documents was replaced by “Australian passport”, with the implementation of the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948. Closer ties with the United States were forged in the ANZUS treaty (1952), a three-way trans-Pacific alliance between Australia, New Zealand and the United States (Peters, 1985). At the same time, there were strategic changes in Britain’s own foreign policy, with the nationalisation of the Suez Canal by Egypt in 19563 and its application to join the then European Economic Community in 1961. These shifts in global relationships were the backdrop to rethinking of what it meant to be an Australian. It was thrust into the national conversation with seminal works of fiction on Australian culture: drama such as Ray Lawler’s Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (1955), movies such as A Town like Alice (1956) and The Shiralee (1957), John O’Grady’s comic novel They’re a Weird Mob (1957) and Russel Ward’s historical analysis of Anglo-Australian manhood and the egalitarian ethic in the Australian Legend (1958). In the next two decades, other influential works in Australian “cultural nationalism” appeared (Moore, 2008:158–159). They included dramas by Jack Hibberd such as Dimboola (1969), projecting Australian rural society, and acute characterisations of urban society by David Williamson in Don’s Party and The Removalists (1971), The Department (1974) and The Club (1977). Australian movies continued the celebration of national heroes in Breaker Morant (1980), Gallipoli (1981) and The Man from the Snowy River (1982). Works like these made significant use of AusE idiom by the characters they created and projected a strong Australian identity with it. Better understanding of the Australian accent was achieved through a nationwide research project conducted in the early 1960s by Mitchell and Delbridge, published with sample recordings as The Speech of Australian Adolescents (1965; see Chapter 2). While focusing on the variability of the key diphthongs in Australian speech (across the Broad, General and Cultivated accents), Mitchell and Delbridge’s work also identified socioeconomic factors in their distribution, including education, occupation and place of residence (city or country). This allowed the


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ABC’s Standing Committee on Spoken English under Delbridge’s chairmanship (1970–1985) to make “educated Australian” speech the focus of the broadcaster’s language policy and practice, and thus Australians could henceforward be appointed as radio and television announcers with the national broadcaster. At the same time, the role of Australian publishing was elevated with the formation of the Australian Government Publishing Service (AGPS), which published not only legislation and official government publications but also a great variety of reports and inquiries about matters of national interest. In 1966, it published the Style Manual for Authors and Printers of Australian Government Publications, still the only one of its kind in the Anglophone world, which has remained a key reference for commercial publishing within its borders (Howell, 1983). The Australian Government Publishing Service was the largest Australian publisher until its deconstruction in the 1990s, but by then a variety of local commercial publishers, larger and smaller (e.g. Angus & Robertson and University of Queensland Press), were well established, specialising in Australian fiction and nonfiction and publicising Australian authors. Major overseas publishers from Britain and the United Kingdom had by then established publishing branches in Australia, especially for the education market. Thus, the publishing industry in Australia grew and diversified in the decades following WWII, providing the publishing resources needed for AusE – as a variety of a pluricentric language – to support its own language norms (Clyne, 1992:495). Other national celebrations in the latter part of 20th century also contributed to the foregrounding of Australia’s identity as a nation, from the 1970 commemoration of Cook’s first visit to Australia to the sustained celebrations of the nation’s bicentenary in 1988. The recognition of AusE speech as the national voice in broadcasting and its written form endorsed in the Australian publishing industry were the foundations on which its status changed from “English in Australia to Australian English” (Leitner, 1984). It also confirmed its place as an “inner circle English” in Kachru’s model of world English and its recognition as of one of the “major varieties of English” (Lindquist et al., 1998). All these sociohistorical and cultural phenomena were part of the journey of AusE to full linguistic independence and endonormativity, achieved “during the 1980s”, according to Schneider’s model. But the codification of aspects of AusE can be seen before and after that decade, with publications that have become key language references for it. These instruments of codification were seminal in establishing the endonormativity of AusE, as well as becoming the yardstick for the following “differentiation” phase.

5 Instruments of codification for Australian English Three types of language references were noted as codificatory instruments in Schneider (2007:52): dictionaries, grammars and style guides. To this trio we would add the Style Manual, which was the earliest instrument of codification in Australia, the official reference for government publishing and ongoing with widespread takeup in all arms of publishing. There are no government style

The codification of Australian English 217 manuals in the United Kingdom or the United States with equivalent status. The nearest equivalents are the style manuals of university presses,4 which provide alternative editorial references for British and American publishing. With the addition of style manual to the types of codificatory instruments, AusE has been the subject of three of them, as discussed subsequently. 5.1 Dictionaries and style manuals The Style Manual for Authors and Printers of Australian Government Publications, first published in 1966, has remained a general reference for editing AusE publications by both government publishers (federal and state) and commercial publishers including newspapers, monographs (fiction and nonfiction) and educational and professional textbooks (Peters, 1985). This Style Manual was updated in each following decade of the 20th century through to its sixth edition in 2002, and the publication of its seventh edition is currently in preparation. The Style Manual’s advice is couched in terms of editorial practice, with a suite of chapters on points of language (grammar, spelling, capitalisation, abbreviations), which have been revised and extended with each edition. Since the 1990s (5th ed. 1995, 6th ed. 2002), its recommendations have been underpinned by reference to AusE corpora (see Section 5.2). Among the various dictionary publishing initiatives in Australia, the Macquarie Dictionary (1981) was the first to provide comprehensive coverage of AusE for everyday adult users, detailing the current spelling, pronunciation, grammar and meanings of all vocabulary current in Australia. It was embraced by the Australian Government Style Manual (4th ed., 1988) and with successive editions through to the 7th (2017) has maintained its place in the education sector, for broadcasting purposes by the ABC and as a reference in legal matters that turn on current usage. The Macquarie Dictionary is complemented by the Australian National Dictionary (1988), which focuses on Australianisms (i.e. words and expressions unique to Australia), documenting them with a sequence of historical citations from Australian literature, in accordance with the principles of the original Oxford Dictionary. Its enlarged second edition (2 vols, 2016) offers a wider range of Australian coinings from informal AusE to update the record. While it provides much for the analysis of Australianisms and their literary roots, it is sui generis a partial coverage of AusE from the point of view of codification (Peters, forthcoming). The first Australian usage guide was the work of Murray-Smith, published as Right Words, in two editions (1987/1989), drawing on his experience as an English-language educator in the Australian context. His awareness of alternatives within written AusE comes through in his analyses of issues, while his training as a teacher makes his advice rather conservative. In the following decade, Hudson’s Modern Australian Usage: A Practical Guide for Writers and Editors (1993) provides an engaging but personal view of AusE by an expatriate British publisher, updated in 2010. A third usage guide to appear in the 1990s was Peters’s Cambridge Australian English Style Guide (1995), which seeks to provide linguistic evidence of current Australian usage in discussing points of


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variation. It was updated in the Cambridge Guide to Australian English Usage (2007). All three usage guides draw attention to the ongoing variability found in AusE in the later 20th century, though they have different responses to it according to their professional orientations. Although usage guides scope some of the more visible examples of language variation, it continues in tandem with formal codification of a variety in large dictionaries. AusE does, however, lack a comprehensive grammar of its usage, and some assume that it lacks distinctive grammatical features (Moore, 2008:166). There are nevertheless numerous differences of degree rather than kind between the grammatical norms of AusE and those of British and other varieties, shown up by comparative corpus-based studies from the 1990s onwards, for example Collins (2014) and Yao and Collins (2019). The research findings have been dispersed in academic journals and edited monographs rather than being concentrated in a single volume, but are summarised in various chapters of this volume (see especially Collins & Yao and Murray & Manns) In sum, we can conclude that the codificatory instruments for AusE are fewer and less varied than those published over a much longer period for American English but on a par with those for Canadian English (Peters, forthcoming). 5.2 Corpora AusE corpora have been increasingly used since 1990 in the writing of codificatory instruments, since they provide empirical evidence of orthographic variation for style manuals, and on norms and variability in usage for dictionaries and style guides. The first Australian corpus was the ACE (Australian Corpus of English), compiled 1988–90 at Macquarie University to be comparable to the American Brown corpus and the British LOB corpus. Like those, ACE consisted purely of written samples and highlighted the need for corpora including spoken usage, which was initially addressed in the Australian ICE corpus (ICE-AUS, 1992–7), as a unit with the International Corpus of English. All these sample corpora were very small by 21st-century standards (just 1 million words) and tied to their respective dates and generic makeup – like any corpora. Other reference corpora of Australian English are likewise small and designed according to the parameters of specific research projects.5 The Australian National corpus website at Griffith University provides access to a range of them along with other linguistic archives (discussed in more detail in Haugh & Musgrave, this volume). The internet has since provided access to much larger though unfiltered sources of primary data on AusE and other regional varieties. Filtered regional corpora of internet material are now available through the GloWbE corpus (2012) compiled at Brigham Young University (BYU) by Mark Davies, which includes a 40-million-word segment of AusE blogs and websites. Other genre-specific regional corpora at BYU are the newspaper database (NOW), as well as a corpus of movies (1930–2018) and of TV programs (1950–2018). One other large source of data on AusE and others are the parliamentary Hansard records, many of which are now accessible online. Because Hansard data over the last 100 years

The codification of Australian English 219 is time-stamped to particular sitting dates, it too works as a historical corpus for researching usage trends in 20th-century Australian usage (Kruger & Smith, 2018). It brings to light changes in the editorial norms for Hansard itself, such as increasing allowance of contractions and certain colloquial features in the record, especially since the 1970s. This, too, is a measure of the wider acceptance of AusE elements in more formal writing during its endonormative phase.

6 From codification to differentiation The codification of AusE did not create a timeless standard form that precluded or smothered variation. Rather it provided a yardstick for recognising degrees of difference from the codified norm of “mainstream” AusE, in Leitner’s (2004a) terms. Codification gives way to the differentiation phase of the evolutionary model, in which internal ethnic, generational and regional variants can develop into distinctive sociolects for subgroups within Australia. Meanwhile, limited social and regional variation may simply continue in the short or longer term within the mainstream without being fully differentiated as belonging to a speech community or accepted by others as such. These issues are explored by Murray and Manns (this volume), while Dickson (this volume) and Clothier (this volume) explore variation within Aboriginal English(es) and ethnolectal varieties, respectively. From a codification perspective, it is important to note that Aboriginal English voices are now accepted on mainstream radio and on TV without subtitles, and writing by Aboriginals is much less heavily edited before publication (Jones, 2009). Indigenous writing can now be published for the general non-fiction market, instead of being framed as fictional recounts or children’s literature, as with the first generation of Aboriginal writers. Aboriginal English is written into educational materials for primary school children in WA (Collard, 2011) and into medical information written for distribution through Aboriginal health centres in NSW. This institutional acceptance of Aboriginal English confirms its status as a thriving and ongoing ethnolect of AusE, whether or not it is ultimately codified. One other parameter of ongoing differentiation in AusE is generational variation in attitudes to codified usage. Surveys conducted through Australian Style (1992–2008) continually highlighted the different preferences of younger and older Australians, that is, the under-25s and the over-65s, as the extremes of often stratified sets of results across the age spectrum. They emerged with issues such as the pronunciation of schedule, the past tense of strong verbs such as ring, sing, swim and grammatical agreement between collective nouns and the following verb, thus showing at all levels of language.6 Unsurprisingly, attitudes to American loanwords were also found to differ according to the age of respondents, with younger respondents more accepting of them. But as the older generation’s preferences fade from the national discourse, they are replaced by those of mid/ younger generations (see also Willoughby, this volume). Age differentiation itself is unlikely to disappear, though the linguistic objects preferred by older and younger Australians will change over time. Generational differences will


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continue to prompt adjustments to and replacement of previously codified norms and remain the matrix for longer-term trends in AusE.

7 Future 21st-century directions for Australian English AusE has evolved in response to continual changes in the relationship between the language and the society and culture in which it has been used over 200 years. Its evolution has thus been shaped by internal factors, by its use in a largely Anglophone society and the identity value it has for its users. In its post-codification phase, internal forces are likely to continue impacting it, prompting differentiation amid ongoing social and regional variation within Australia. Yet through global media, AusE and any variety of world English are now interconnected with others, ensuring there will be external influences impacting them (Buschfeld & Kautzsch, 2017). Some of these influences flow from Australia’s geographical proximity to other evolving Englishes in the South Pacific neighbourhood, especially New Zealand English; others come through supraregional contacts with individuals via the internet and Facebook, as researched by Mair (2016). Other “hyperregional” impacts come through the media created by US-dominated entertainment and information industries. The third of these external influences is the one most often discussed and complained about in public discourse about AusE. In fact, the impact of American English on AusE codification and its differentiation phase has so far been relatively lighter than on other languages and varieties of English. This emerged from Gonçalves et al.’s (2018) research on the use of 67 words with alternative American–British spellings and 49 sets of American–British heteronyms in 30 countries. Australia was one of the four most resistant to American spellings, along with Ireland, New Zealand and Britain itself, although, like New Zealand, it is amenable to using some American heteronyms. Considerable numbers of everyday American loanwords have been taken up in AusE (see Korhonen, this volume). Yet Australians do not seem inclined to adopt the more systematic features of American English, including its rule-governed spellings and regular verb suffixes (Peters & Burridge, forthcoming). For the moment, then, AusE does not seem destined to become more deeply Americanised, even if American English remains the major external influence and source of new words. Perhaps this is because they are seen as global rather than specifically American words – in accordance with Gilquin’s (2018) finding that some New Zealand informants were not aware that what they were espousing were American English expressions. The fact that AusE is already codified and capable of embracing further variation suggests its internal strength, stemming from its own history of internal diversity, and empowering it to resist the more pervasive forms of American influence.

Notes 1 Compiled by Nathan, Rayner and Brown (2009), online at .

The codification of Australian English 221 2 Pseudonym of Thomas Alexander Browne. 3 The Suez Canal opened and closed five times before its official reopening in 1975. 4 Butcher’s Copy-Editing 1st ed. (1975) et seq. Cambridge University Press; Rutter’s Oxford Guide to Style 1st ed. (2002) Oxford University Press; Chicago Manual of Style, 1st ed. (1896) et seq. Chicago University Press. 5 Recently completed additions to the Australian sample corpora are the diachronic AusBrown corpora, discussed in Collins and Yao (2019). 6 The results of these surveys are reported respectively in Australian Style for June 1994, December 2002, December 1994/2005.

References Australian Government style manual. 1st edn. 1966. Canberra: Commonwealth Government Printing Office. Australian style: A national bulletin on Australian style and the use of English in Australia 1992–2008. Retrieved from Baker, Sidney. 1945. The Australian language. Sydney: Currawong Press. Buschfeld, Sarah & Alexander Kautzsch. 2017. Towards an integrated approach to postcolonial and non-postcolonial varieties. World Englishes 36. 104–126. doi:10.1111/ weng.12203. Clyne, Michael. 1992. Pluricentric languages. Berlin: De Gruyter. Collard, Glenys. 2011. A day in the park. Western Australian Department of Training and Workforce Development. Collins, Peter. 2014. Australian English. In Harold Koch & Rachel Nordlinger (eds.), The languages and linguistics of Australia: A comprehensive guide, 449–484. Berlin: De Greyter. Collins, Peter and Xinyue Yao. 2019. AusBrown: A new diachronic corpus of Australian English. ICAME Journal 43. 3–29. doi:10.2478/icame-2019-0001. Dawes, William. [1790/1]. Notebooks 1,2,3. Retrieved from dnathan_etal_2009_dawes.pdf. Fritz, Clemens. 2007. From English in Australia to Australian English 1788–1900. Bern: Peter Lang. Gilquin, Gaetenelle. 2018. American and/or British influence on L2 Englishes – Does context tip the scale(s)? In Sandra Deshors (ed.), Modeling world Englishes: Assessing the interplay of emancipation and globalization of ESL varieties, 187–216. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Gonçalves, Bruno, Lucía Loureiro-Porto, José Ramasco & David Sánchez. 2018. Mapping the Americanization of English in space and time. PLOS ONE 13(5). e0197741. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0197741. Haugen, Einar. 1966/1972. Dialect, language, nation. In Janet Holmes & John Holmes (eds.), Sociolinguistics, 97–111. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Howell, John. 1983. Style manuals of the English-speaking world: A guide. Pheonix: Oryx Press. Hudson, Nicholas. 1993. Modern Australian usage. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jones, Jennifer. 2009. Black writers, White editors. Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing. Kachru, Braj. 1992. The other tongue: English across cultures. 2nd ed. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Kruger, Haidee & Adam Smith. 2018. Colloquialization and densification in Australian English. Australian Journal of Linguistics 38. 293–328. doi:10.1080/07268602.2018. 1470452.


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Laugeson, Amanda. 2015. Furphies and whizz-bangs: ANZAC slang from the Great War. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Leitner, Gerhard. 1984. Australian English or English in Australia: Linguistic identity and independence in Australian broadcast media. English World-Wide 5. 55–85. doi:10.1075/ eww.5.1.05lei. Leitner, Gerhard. 2004a. Australia’s many voices. Vol. 1: Australian English – The national language. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Leitner, Gerhard. 2004b. Australia’s many voices. Vol. 2: Ethnic Englishes, indigenous and migrant languages. Policy and education. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Lentzner, Karl. 1891. Colonial English: A glossary of Australian, Anglo-Indian, Pidgin English, West Indian, and South African Words. With an appendix. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Lindquist, Hans, Staffen Klintborg, Magnus Levin & Maria Estling (eds.). 1998. The major varieties of English. (Växjö University papers from MAVEN 97, Växȷ̈ o 20–22 November 1997). Mair, Christian. 2016. Beyond and between the “Three Circles”: World Englishes research in the age of globalisation. In Elena Seoane & Cristina Suarez-Gomez (eds.), World Englishes: New theoretical and methodological considerations, 17–35. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Mitchell, Alexander. 1946. The pronunciation of Australian English. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. Mitchell, Alexander & Arthur Delbridge. 1965. The speech of Australian adolescents. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. Moore, Bruce. 2008. Speaking our language. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Morris, Edward. 1898. Austral English: A dictionary of Australasian words, phrases and usage. Retrieved from Nathan, David, Susannah Rayner & Stuart Brown. 2009. William Dawes’ notebooks on the Aboriginal language of Sydney 1790–1791. London: School of Oriental and African Studies. Peters, Pam. 1985. Between Empire and ANZUS: Orthographic adjustments in Australia. In John Clark (ed.), The cultivated Australian: Festschrift in honour of Arthur Delbridge, 381–390. Hamburg: Helmut Buske Verlag. Peters, Pam. 2014. Australian narrative voices and the colloquial element in C19 written registers. Australian Journal of Linguistics 31. 100–117. doi:10.1080/07268602.2014. 875457. Peters, Pam. 2017. Epilogue: on establishing the standard language- and language standards. In Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade & Carol Percy (eds.), Prescription and Tradition in Language, 355–366. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters. Peters, Pam. (forthcoming). Pluricentricity and codification. In M. Hundt, D. Schreier & D. Perez (eds.), English and Spanish in interaction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Peters, Pam & Kate Burridge. (forthcoming). English in Australia: Extra-territorial influences. In Sarah Buschfeld & Alexander Kautzsch (eds.), Modelling world Englishes: A joint approach towards postcolonial and non-postcolonial varieties. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Schneider, Edgar W. 2007. Postcolonial Englishes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Troy, Jakelin. 1990. Australian Aboriginal contact with the English language in New South Wales 1788–1845. Canberra: Research School of Pacific Studies, ANU.

The codification of Australian English 223 Ward, Russel. 1958. The Australian legend. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Webby, Elizabeth. 2000. Cambridge companion to Australian literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Webster, Noah. 1828. Dictionary of the American language. New York: S. Converse. Wurm, Stephen, Peter Mühlhäusler & Darrell Tryon. 1996. Atlas of intercultural communication. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Yao, Xinyue & Collins, Peter. 2019. Developments in Australian English grammar from 1931–2006: An aggregate, comparative approach to dialect variation and change. Journal of English Linguistics 47. 120–149. doi:10.1177/0075424219837337.

14 Attitudes to Australian English Louisa Willoughby

1 Introduction Australians hold a range of complex and contradictory attitudes towards Australian English (AusE), which reflects an underlying ambivalence around national identity. The so-called “cultural cringe” – a pervasive perception of inferiority or deference towards British culture and cultural products (Phillips, 1950) – has long been viewed as a hallmark of how Australians perceive themselves and spills over into attitudes towards AusE. Yet the cringe exists alongside (indeed may even be a necessary part of) an ideology that celebrates Australian culture for its informality, mateship and egalitarianism and rails against a stultifying, classist British past. How these apparent contradictions play out is explored in this chapter, with a particular focus on developments in attitudes over the past 50 years. Leitner (2004a:114), following Delbridge (1998), identifies the following four periods in Australians’ attitudes towards their use of English: 1 2 3 4

English in Australia Phase: AusE primarily seen in a negative light in terms of its deviations from British English. Occasional positive evaluations of the variety. AusE Awareness Phase: Increasing interest and pride in the uniqueness of AusE from the end of the nineteenth century, intensifying around Federation. Much attention focused on lexicon/expressions and bush metaphors. Mainstream AusE Phase I: Ambivalent views on AusE accompany greater awareness of social stratification within the variety from the 1930s. Beginnings of the recognition of an “acceptable” (i.e. prestigious) local accent. Mainstream AusE Phase II: Full acceptance of (standard) AusE as the local norm and bearer of identity. Began with accent in the 1970s and gradually expanded to cover all aspects of the language.

These periods are relatively agreed upon in the literature, with the caveat that there is some scholarly disagreement as to whether shifts in attitudes towards notably Australian accents began as early as the 1940s (Horvath, 1985) or as late as the 1970s (Blair, 1993). They also clearly tie in with, and doubtless reflect, significant events in Australia’s history. For example, we see an upswing in positive evaluations of AusE at the point at which Australia as a nation was formed and

Attitudes to Australian English 225 gained independence from Great Britain (1901) and a second and more sustained upswing during the 1970s, which coincided with a renaissance of Australian film, television and literature asserting an independent national character (Bye, Collins & Turnbull, 2007; Moore, 2008). It is also important to note Leitner’s caveat on when each period ends, namely that old attitudes are slowly superseded by new ones but do not entirely disappear (2004a:114). While these four periods provide a useful overview of changing attitudes, it is also clear that attitudes to AusE have never been homogenous across the nation. As Leitner amply demonstrates in his two-volume survey of English in Australia (Leitner, 2004b; Leitner, 2004c), at any one time there have almost always been different voices celebrating and decrying the uniqueness of AusE. It can thus sometimes be difficult to determine the degree to which the views that survive in the historical record are representative of wider social sentiments at the time. There is also the wider issue that each person’s attitudes towards language varieties are often complex and potentially contradictory, leading to a great deal of debate among linguists as to the utility or best methods of attempting to capture and chart these views (for an overview of some of this debate, see Garrett, 2010; Jaworski, Coupland & Galasiński, 2004; Niedzielski & Preston, 2000). We might thus expect to see quite different attitudes depending on how exactly we conceptualise the beast that is “Australian English”. In this chapter, attitudes are explored through a variety of lenses, some of which are more explicitly sociolinguistic or experimental than others. In Sections 2 and 3, I consider what wider societal discourse might tell us about underlying attitudes to the variety. Section 2 does this via an examination of widely circulating stereotypes about the nature of AusE as a variety and the differing methods scholars have drawn on to tap into these. Section 3 is devoted to language and broadcasting, since the accents and varieties heard in different roles in the mediascape say something about societal attitudes attached to these linguistic forms. In Sections 4 and 5, I explore more experimental approaches to eliciting attitudes. Section 4 concerns itself with studies that explicitly asked speakers about their attitudes to the variety or speakers who use it, while Section 5 considers folk linguistic understandings of what is, or is not, standard AusE by exploring responses to a range of judgement tasks for acceptable usage.

2 Stereotypes about Australian English Attitudes to AusE and its speakers are often deeply tied to views of Australians’ perception of their national culture. Sussex (2004:12) contends that “stereotypes of Australians and their character often involve laconic, self-deprecating individuals, usually male, rather taciturn but prone to intermittent bursts of humorous, creative language”. Such characters become a recurrent trope in Australian literature, with Mulder and Penry Williams (2018) providing a detailed deconstruction of how one author (Kerry Greenwood) voices such characters in her novel Death at Victoria Dock, supplemented by interview material with Greenwood herself discussing how and why these linguistic choices were made. While Mulder and


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Penry Williams make clear that many factors combine to ensure that dialogue in novels is quite different to the way that people actually speak in real life, it nonetheless provides a useful proxy for assessing folk linguistic stereotypes about AusE – while also serving to reinforce such stereotypes insofar as these laconic, taciturn men become recurrent characters. Such stereotypes are not, however, only to be found in fiction or other creative arts. Wierzbicka concludes her analysis of five “uniquely Australian speech act verbs” (including shout, dob-in and whinge) and four characteristically Australian swearwords (bloody, bastard, bullshit and bugger) by stating that these words “reflect the traditional Australian cult of ‘toughness’, male solidarity, antiauthoritarianism, anti-sentimentality, cynicism, anti-intellectualism, dislike of verbosity, pretentiousness, snobbery, articulate speech, social graces, polite conventions and class distinctions” (1997:231). The double-edged sword of these national stereotypes is reflected in the fact that for much of its history AusE has been both derided and celebrated for its perceived informality. That the Australian accent is lazy and nasal is an enduring complaint that resurfaces time and again in accounts across Australian history (see, e.g. Collins, 1989; Leitner, 2004b; Sussex, 2004; Willoughby, Starks & Taylor-Leech, 2013). Such complaints are in fact common in folk linguistic accounts of varieties more generally (Niedzielski & Preston, 2000) so should not be seen as evidence of a unique stigma for AusE. However, what complicates matters for AusE is that in both the popular mindset and the earlier linguistics literature, the defining features of AusE are often thought to be the Broad accent (see Cox, this volume) and nonstandard elements (such as use of slang and shortenings) (Leitner, 1984; Turner, 1997), so it can be difficult to tell the extent to which negative attitudes are also held about more standard varieties of AusE spoken by middle-class people. Willoughby, Starks and Taylor-Leech (2013) sought to better understand popular conceptions by asking over 600 Australian high school students what they think of when they hear the term AusE. Students could provide up to three answers each, leading to 1720 statements which the authors categorised into three overlapping categories.1 Sixty-one percent of the students focused on particular features of the variety – such as its slang or use of shortenings – and, echoing Leitner’s and Turner’s previously noted views, these comments overwhelmingly focused on informal or nonstandard usage. A further 33% of comments focused on Australian cultural icons – such as barbecues or the beach – demonstrating the strong link in many students’ minds between AusE and cultural tropes, and once again these associations overwhelmingly focus on informal settings. Most relevant to the current chapter, though, are the 30% of comments which included an attitudinal component, such as describing the variety as casual or crude. Willoughby Starks and Taylor-Leech further subdivided these attitudinal comments according to whether they were judged to be positive, neutral or negative in tone. While the majority of comments (56%) were judged to be neutral in tone (perhaps better thought of as ambivalent), overly negative evaluations vastly outnumbered overly positive ones (32% vs. 12%). In particular, there was a strong association in the data between AusE and the term bogan – a generally pejorative Australian term that has proved

Attitudes to Australian English 227 difficult to define (Penry Williams, 2011; Rowen, 2017) but implies that a person or thing is uncouth, unfashionable, uneducated and/or lower class. Reviews of attitudes to AusE also frequently make use of newspaper and magazine columns and letters to public authorities – such as newspapers or broadcasters – about usage matters as a way of gauging public opinion (Bradley & Bradley, 2001; Burridge, 2010; Leitner, 2004b). Arguably the most systematic study in this vein is that of Reeve (1989), who reviewed letters to the ABC Weekly magazine between 1939 and 1959 to discern the views readers held about AusE. Many of their complaints – that Australian speech is lazy, drawling, careless and nasal – remain in wide circulation in 21st-century Australia. But it is also noteworthy that others – such as the assertion that AusE is “basically cockney” (which Reeve notes is the most widely circulating stereotype in the data) – have disappeared in the intervening period. Concerns about the supposed Americanisation of AusE were also frequently voiced then as now (cf. Collins, 1989; Burridge, 2010; see Korhonen, this volume, for more on this point). However, Reeve cautions about the types of inferences we might draw about wider societal attitudes to language from looking at a corpus like this, noting that the type of people who are motivated to pick up a pen to complain about language use may hold extreme views on the topic. In a similar vein, language columnists may also find it is to their commercial advantage to espouse strident or controversial views in their columns that do not reflect the prevailing zeitgeist. A more reliable way to use media texts to gauge language attitudes may thus be to look not at explicit views in the media but the implicit attitudes broadcasters show in their use of language, to which we now turn.

3 Broadcast voices The voices heard and not heard in Australian media at different points of time provide another window into widely circulating views and stereotypes of AusE and the people who speak it. Price (2012) provides an overview of the change of accents heard in 20th-century Australian news broadcasts. She notes that for the first half of the century, “BBC English” was the clear broadcast standard and it was only in the late 1960s that more authentic Australian accents and varieties gained traction in news and current affairs reporting (Price, 2012:342–344). Price attributes this shift squarely to an evolution and strengthening of Australian national identity, which has progressed to a point where the General accent is now the broadcast standard and “Cultivated is now considered inappropriate and undesirable by news directors and audiences alike” (Price, 2012:345). This change was not, however, without its critics at the time and serves to further illustrate the point that language attitudes are not monolithic across a society. Leitner (1984), Bradley and Bradley (2001) and Sussex (2004) all also discuss a more general shift in the accents heard in broadcasting between the 1950s and 1980s. These changes were not just a reflection of changing views of what sort of accents were acceptable in established genres such as news but also related to expansions in the type of media content being produced. During the 1970s, there


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was a widely acknowledged renaissance in Australian theatre, cinema and television. The telling of Australian stories became popularised, and the Australian Broadcasting Commission made a conscious investment in developing comedy and light entertainment programming (Bye, Collins & Turnbull, 2007). Where previously many programs shown on Australian television had been British or American imports, the growing market for locally produced content meant that Australians grew increasingly accustomed to hearing their own accents reflected back at them in broadcast media. As one might expect, criticism of this emerging genre often married linguistic concerns (objections to accents or the way the audience were addressed) with more general “cultural cringe” about the quality or educative value of these new programs (see, e.g. Bye, 2007). However, the commercial and ratings success achieved by shows such as Graham Kennedy’s In Melbourne Tonight as well as Aunty Jack and Norman Gunston on the ABC shows that a great many Australians responded very favourably to these offerings. Comedy is a genre that can be particularly illustrative of widespread stereotypes around accent, and from its inception Australian comedy has shown a strong association between the Broad accent (see Cox, this volume) and incompetent or inept characters (such as Norman Gunston; Bradley & Bradley, 2001). However, as the documentary series Stop Laughing . . . This Is Serious (2015 and 2017) makes clear, Australian comedy also has a longstanding tradition of satirising upper-class characters who speak in mock-cultivated accents and deploy a hyperformal speaking style (for example Dame Edna, Prue and Trude from Kath and Kim), and the Broad accent is not only used to show ineptness but also to draw characters that are likable for their lack of pretention and “battler” characteristics (for example, the title character of the film Kenny, the Kerrigan family from The Castle).2 It is also arguable that the proportion of “loving” portrayals of Broadaccented characters has risen over the years, perhaps reflecting a wider move in Australian society to see more good than bad in the stereotype of Australians being informal and anti-intellectual. Another trope clearly evident in the Australian mediascape is the association of a Broad accent and use of colloquialisms and nonstandard features with (authentic and authoritative) Australian bushmen. This trope first reached international fame in the comedy film Crocodile Dundee and garnered more recent international attention in the work of Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter. The ways in which Hogan, and later Irwin, drew on a range of linguistic and non-linguistic stereotypes to market their work internationally is often remarked upon (Rayner, 2007; Sussex, 2004) – not least because in other genres Australian actors who achieve success overseas generally do so by removing the more overtly Australian features from their language and self-presentation (Rayner, 2007). The strength of this trope is also seen in the ways in which the character Russell Coight draws on a General accent and a careful avoidance of swearing and colloquialisms as part of his characterisation as an incompetent city slicker in the mockumentary series All Aussie Adventures (Bye & Willoughby, 2012). Scholarly publications by Australian linguists on voices heard in the Australian mediascape have to date overwhelmingly focused on the language use of speakers

Attitudes to Australian English 229 from Anglo-Celtic backgrounds. But one of the more interesting developments we have seen in Australian television in the past 20 years has been the increasing presence of Australian voices from other backgrounds (see also Dickson, this volume). Here, the ground-breaking role of SBS television3 – a state-sponsored multicultural broadcaster founded in the 1970s – must be acknowledged. From its inception, SBS television news anchors have “embodied [the station’s] multicultural remit”, with the station requiring “verbal clarity . . . but not necessarily native speaker accents” of those fronting and reporting on their flagship Englishlanguage news bulletins (Bonner, 2016:100). Many of the programs broadcast by SBS television – and the vast majority of programs that it commissions – are in English but are made by and from the perspective of Australians from non-English-speaking backgrounds. The station thus has played (and continues to play) a very important role in normalising non-Anglo-Celtic accents in the Australian mediascape and encouraging the production of TV programs that reflect the diversity of the Australian population. Screen Australia (2016) examined diversity in Australian dramas and comedies broadcast between 2011–15 and backs up the idea that ethnically diverse voices have increased in prominence since the turn of the century. The report notes that 64% of programs had at least one character from a non-Anglo-Celtic background. It also highlights an exponential increase in the quantity of programs featuring Aboriginal voices, which is directly linked to the establishment of a dedicated Indigenous Department at the ABC. This department has supported the production of a number of Indigenous documentaries and dramas for the prime-time market, many of which have been highly successful in the ratings market. In fact, a point noted in the Screen Australia report is that many programs that had (linguistically and culturally) highly diverse characters rated much better than expected and were often subsequently picked up by overseas broadcasters.4 This is a potentially important linguistic development, since it may be a forerunner to changing the way AusE (and Australian identity) is stereotyped and perceived internationally.

4 Studies measuring attitudes The most straightforward way of measuring attitudes is to ask people what they think about different language varieties. Bradley and Bradley (2001) provide rare longitudinal evidence of how attitudes might change over time by interviewing the same 27 speakers 15 years apart.5 On each occasion, speakers were asked which variety of English they preferred, with suggested options of Australian, British (RP) and American. In 1980, British and Australian were equally preferred (11 each; 5 chose other options), but by 1995, 5 of those initially listing British changed their minds, leaving us with 15 who preferred AusE, 9 British English, and 3 preferring other options. The Bradleys’ work shows both that attitudes are (perhaps surprisingly) stable over time but also that there is a clear trend in the direction of changing attitudes towards a greater acceptance of AusE. In language attitude research, direct questions such as the Bradleys are often avoided because of fears that respondents will feel social pressure to answer in


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certain ways. One way around this is to use subjective reaction tests (SRTs), where participants listen to recordings of speakers with different accents reading the same passage and assign ratings to each speaker on predetermined characteristics, such as education, kindness, sincerity and social status. Pioneered by Lambert in Canada in the 1960s (e.g. Lambert et al., 1960; Lambert, 1967), these tests became popular in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s: both as a means of comparing Australian voices along the Broad-General-Cultivated continuum and exploring attitudes towards ethnically distinctive ways of speaking, such as Asian- or Italian-accented English (see Ball, Gallois & Callan, 1989 for an overview of work in this vein). Work from this period clearly shows that judges were attuned to the social class associations of different accents – for example, by judging speakers with Broad or nonstandard accents as less intelligent or less suitable for high-status employment than General or Cultivated speakers (Seggie, Smith & Hodgins, 1986; Ball, Gallois & Callan, 1989; Eltis, 1989). Broad speakers did, however, score highly on aspects such as humour and friendliness (Seggie, Fulmizi & Stewart, 1982; Al-Hindawi, 1998), mirroring a pattern seen across many such tests that low-status varieties score highly on solidarity features (Garrett, 2010). More recently, Bradley and Bradley (2001) found that their General (rather than Broad) speaker scored highest on solidarity and almost as high as the Cultivated speaker on status, suggesting that General is increasingly becoming the Australian reference norm (see Cox, this volume, for more on this point). Bayard, Donn, Weatherall, Gallois & Pittam (2001) give a slightly different take on SRT attitudes by asking university students from Australia, New Zealand and the United States to assess the likely personality and demographic traits of male and female guises from each of those countries (chosen to represent “the middle range of those accents”[2001:22]), as well as a UK male and female guise speaking with an RP accent. The Australian students rated their compatriot guises very highly on attributes relating to status, power and competence but lower than the American guises on solidarity and slightly lower than the New Zealand female guise on cheerfulness. Bayard, Gallois and Pittam view this as indicative of the persistence of at least some elements of the “cultural cringe”, as well as the pervasive influence of American media and “Pax Americana”. However, Garrett, Williams and Evans (2005) give a different reading of this result. They argue that the SRT methodology assumes that a high rating on a feature like friendliness is always positive but that this may not always been the case. In this particular instance, they argue that there is evidence that Australian and New Zealand speakers may be judging the American guise as excessively friendly/enthusiastic on each of the solidarity measures rather than indicating a true preference for this way of speaking. These sorts of methodological critiques have led to a reduction in the use of free-standing SRTs as attitude measures in recent years and a move to studies that place more emphasis on attitudes as complex and contextually bound. Focusing on just one area of attitudes to AusE, Starks, Taylor-Leech and Willoughby (2017) asked their participants – 564 Australian-born high school students – how important it would be to keep their Australian accent if they moved overseas. Of the 564 students, 43% said it was not at all important to keep their

Attitudes to Australian English 231 accent, 33% said it was important and 21% said it was extremely important (3% non-response). In analysing participant comments on why they held these views Starks, Taylor-Leech and Willoughby identified 10 different perspectives, demonstrating the complexity of reasoning that underlies superficially simple attitude statements. While many students saw their accent as an important identity marker, others welcomed the idea of adopting a new accent – not because they necessarily disliked their Australian accent but as part of the process of settling into life abroad. Still others argued forcefully that accents are not something that they care about one way or the other – reminding us that language attitudes vary not just in what people think but in the strength with which these views are held. The ways in which young people’s attitudes towards AusE change according to context or other aspects of stance-taking is a theme that is also developed in the work of Penry Williams (e.g. 2011, 2019). Through detailed discourse analysis of interview conversations with her participants (15 Australian-born young people aged between 20 and 25), Penry Williams unpacks the coalescence of folk beliefs that her speakers hold about AusE and the type of person who would speak in a particular way. Such work is useful not only for gaining insights into how/ why people think their own language choices vary across contexts (for example, whether they call the lexical item an elastic band or a lacker band) but also on the ways that they see linguistics features as fitting together to project different social identities (Penry Williams, 2019). Central to Penry Williams’s approach is an analysis of the “voicings” (see Bakhtin, 1981) that her participants produce. In discussing the social stereotypes that they attach to certain linguistic features, her participants often provide excerpts of mock dialogue (voicings) that they attribute to “people who talk in this way”, and such voicings give insight into how participants see multiple features working together to index certain social identities. While participants sometimes comment explicitly on features or their own attitudes towards them, detailed discourse analysis reveals the complex and multifaceted stance participants take towards the forms and claims that they are discussing – many of which would remain hidden in more traditional measures of language attitudes. Such work also reinforces the need for more Australian sociolinguistic work that explicitly addresses the relationship between sociolinguistic variation, indexicality and stance-taking in various settings and how this nexus contributes to attitudes towards Australian English(es). Finally, it is noteworthy that most attitude studies to date have focused on the perceptions of (often Anglo-Celtic background) native speakers of AusE. We have already seen in the introduction that Australia is home to increasing numbers of migrants from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and if and how these groups orient to features of AusE will have a marked effect on the future of the variety. It is also important to better understand the attitudes native speakers of AusE hold towards non-native speakers incorporating Australian elements into their speech. This is a question taken up in two recent studies, by Starks and Willoughby (2015) and Kidd et al. (2016). Drawing on data from the same larger questionnaire as Starks, Taylor-Leech and Willoughby (see previously), Starks and Willoughby (2015) found that only


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10% of students thought it was important for migrants to try to speak with an Australian accent, compared to 40% who thought it was important for migrants to learn Australian slang. Comments left by the students showed that a small minority were against migrants taking on elements (e.g. accent, slang) that the students felt belonged to “real” Australians but that the majority took a utilitarian view that as long as both parties understand each other, there is no need for migrants to actively use Australian features.6 The comments students left also showed complex and evolving views about national identity, belonging and racism and strongly suggested that students saw their opinions on migrants’ language use as closely connected to their more general views about migration and acceptance of diversity. Kidd et al. (2016) devised a complex experimental task to ascertain how AusEspeaking participants react to use of Australian accent and/or typically Australian hypercorisms by confederates from Asian backgrounds. The study found that confederates who used both the AusE accent and hypercorisms were rated highly on common ground by participants, but the other three conditions (non-use of AusE accent and/or hypercorisms) resulted in markedly lower common ground scores. While this study does not directly comment on the acceptability of migrants using or not using features of AusE, it suggests an openness to use by people from nonAnglo-Celtic backgrounds, albeit with a caveat that such use may not trigger the same attitudes of solidarity as engendered by use from Anglo-Celtic Australians. The studies by Starks and Willoughby (2015) and Kidd et al. (2016) hint at broader issues around how members of the Anglo-Celtic majority react to/judge speakers who come from minority backgrounds. Within sociolinguistics more broadly, raciolinguistics is emerging as an area of scholarship concerned with “analysing language and race together rather than as discrete and unconnected social processes and employing the diverse methods of linguistics to raise critical questions about the relations between language, race and power” (Alim, 2016:5). In Australia, this field is being actively pursued by Dovchin, whose current ARCfunded post-doc aims “to investigate how culturally and linguistically diverse young Australians experience discrimination in their daily lives because of how they speak”.7 In an early article emerging from the project, Dovchin (2019) explores not only the challenges faced by Mongolian immigrant women in being recognised as legitimate speakers of (Australian) English, but also the ways in which some participants make strategic use of what Dovchin describes as a heavy or caricatured Australian accent when speaking with Anglo-Australians as a passing strategy to build solidarity or seek acceptance. Clearly there is a lot more to be said on the role of language attitudes in processes of social inclusion and exclusion (including their use as a proxy for racist discourse) – an area that becomes even more important to investigate as globalisation sees the increasing diversification of the Australian population.

5 Tests of acceptable usage As noted in the introduction, AusE enjoys increasing acceptance as a mainstream or standard variety with its own usage norms (see also Peters, this volume). However, the degree to which certain grammatical forms are or are not accepted as part

Attitudes to Australian English 233 of mainstream/standard usage remains a bone of contention. The final measure of language attitudes considered in this chapter is thus the results of usage tests, designed to shed light on the degree to which participants accept potentially contentious points of usage as being acceptable or part of standard AusE. From tests conducted in the late 1970s, we know that Australian teachers at the time were relatively conservative and did not accept as correct a number of features that these days have become widespread in AusE – such as dangling participles and the use of between you and I (Watson, 1978; cited in Lee, 2002:110). Collins’s work with undergraduate students (reviewed in Collins, 1989) gives somewhat different results, perhaps because of the different social identities of the participants. He concludes that Australian speakers seemed to be much less conservative than speakers from the United Kingdom or United States in completing acceptability tests, particularly when it comes to who instead of whom and the use of the singular for Latinate plurals such as criteria, as well as singular they. More recently, Lee (2002) and Severin (2017) have sought to better understand if and how people’s responses to usage tests for AusE vary according to social dimensions. Lee’s study considered responses of both experienced English teachers and high school students to 27 items of disputable usage. These items are not necessarily unique to AusE, but, as noted previously, there is evidence that some (such as between you and I) are regarded as more acceptable in AusE than they may be in other parts of the English-speaking world (Lee, 2002:111–117). As one might expect, Lee’s sentence judgement task found a much higher tolerance of all disputable forms in a hypothetical “informal” context than in a “formal” context but also that the students were less conservative than teachers: across contexts, students judged 61% of forms to be acceptable, as opposed to 51% judged acceptable by teachers. Lee’s research also showed forms falling into three groups: those that were widely accepted by both groups, those that were condemned by both groups and a middle group of shifting norms where student and teacher scores were highly varied. Among the latter group, some of the larger differences were seen for different than, flat adverbs (e.g. he drives slow) and family + plural verb. Interestingly, though, when Lee gave participants slot-filling tasks, many of the forms that had scored well on acceptability with students (including the three mentioned previously) were hardly used. Severin’s (2017) work builds on Lee’s in attempting to tease out the difference between speakers’ judgement of terms as acceptable and their own (non-)use of these terms. She asked 307 Australians of varied ages to complete an acceptability task for sentences containing 25 items of varied levels of contentiousness in AusE. Participants were asked to mark each form as used by you, acceptable when used by others or unacceptable and encouraged to comment on the reason for their choice. Severin found statistically significant age differences in acceptability ratings for 13 of the forms under investigation, with younger speakers more likely to use these forms and also to list them as acceptable when used by others. In the comments section of Severin’s questionnaire, many younger participants stressed the acceptability of a number of features of nonstandard AusE (such as double negation and double comparatives, as well as ain’t and tautologies such as unique individual) in informal, but not formal, contexts. That younger speakers do not


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view nonstandard forms as inappropriate in all contexts may suggest an easing of cultural cringe in this generation. However, as in Lee’s slot-filling task, younger speakers were much less likely to use these terms than to say they are acceptable when used by others, suggesting that these forms continue to be somewhat stigmatised. When taken together, the results of these usage tests suggest that Australians are increasingly accepting of forms that are characterised as features of standard AusE but that may not be regarded as standard in other varieties of English. In this respect, the cultural cringe has arguably diminished. However, there remains a difference in most participants’ minds between standard and nonstandard usage of AusE in that only the former is seen as appropriate for widespread usage.

Conclusion Attitudes to AusE are intimately tied to the history and development of the variety and the nation more generally. A common narrative to emerge from language attitude research in Australia over the past 50 years is that Australians are becoming more accepting of the national variety and particularly no longer view standard or mainstream AusE usage as deficient compared to other varieties. However, there is evidence of an ongoing love-hate relationship with many nonstandard features of AusE due to their association with both informality and lack of pretention but also lack of education or social graces. Exactly when and why usage of these forms is viewed as acceptable and when it is not is a promising area for further research in the variety. Since the 1970s, Australian society has gained millions of migrants from around the globe and also seen the “tyranny of distance” reduced through technological advances and price drops in air travel and communications technologies. There has been relatively little research considering the impact of these changes on attitudes to AusE, but studies by Starks and colleagues (Starks & Willoughby, 2015; Starks, Taylor-Leech & Willoughby, 2017) and Dovchin (2019) suggest the processes of globalisation are impacting language attitudes in a variety of ways. These challenges are also taken up in Clothier (this volume) and invite us to reflect more generally on the relationship between language, nation and belonging in an era of increasing movement of peoples.

Acknowledgements Much of this chapter was written while a visiting scholar at the National Institute of Informatics, Japan. I thank Howie Manns, Lee Murray and Sender Dovchin for useful feedback on earlier drafts of this chapter.

Notes 1 The overlapping nature of the categories mean that the following percentages total more than 100

Attitudes to Australian English 235 2 The Australian Screen website ( has synopses and short clips from these and other films and television programs that may be interest to readers unfamiliar with these characters. Burridge and Mulder (1998:279–280) discuss that this tendency does not only run to Australian actors but can also be seen in TV series developed with an international audience in mind. Citing the work of Gleeson (1995), they discuss how producers of the soap opera Paradise Beach removed Australian colloquialisms from the script and sought actors with General to Cultivated accents who spoke in a very carefully enunciated way, with the seeming aim of “guarantee[ing] intelligibility to foreign audiences” (1998:280). 3 SBS also has a thriving radion network, but as it broadcasts principally in languages other than English, it is not relevant to this discussion. 4 A complex issue in any presentation of diverse voices in drama is the degree to which characters draw on or perpetuate negative stereotypes (cf. Lippi-Green, 1997). While not a central focus of the Screen Australia report, the issue is touched on at several points and gives the impression that many productions set out to implicitly challenge such stereotypes. 5 The initial sample included 40 speakers. All numbers given here relate solely to the 27 participants who completed both interviews. 6 Exactly how “strong” an accent can be before it impedes understanding is of course open to debate and is a point discussed at length in Starks and Willoughby’s article. However, somewhat hearteningly, we note that in a study of communication between Anglo and non-Anglo Australians, Colic-Peisker and Hlavac (2014) found that in both groups, the clear majority of participants reported that accents did not impede their communication with members of the other group. 7

References Al-Hindawi, Jayne. 1998. Attitudes towards Australian accents. Melbourne: La Trobe University. (Doctoral dissertation). Alim, Samy H. 2016. Introducing raciolinguistics: Racing language and languaging race in hyperracial times. In Samy H. Alim, John Rickford & Arnetha Ball (eds.), Raciolinguistics: How language shapes our ideas about race, 1–30. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bakhtin, Mikhail M. 1981. Discourse in the novel. In Michael Holquist (ed.), The dialogic imagination, 259–422. Austin: University of Texas Press. Ball, Peter, Cynthia Gallois & Victor Callan. 1989. Language attitudes: A perspective from social psychology. In Peter Collins & David Blair (eds.), Australian English in interaction with other Englishes, 89–102. Brisbane: University of Queensland Press. Bayard, Donn, Ann Weatherall, Cynthia Gallois & Jeffery Pittam. 2001. Pax Americana? Accent attitudinal evaluations in New Zealand, Australia and America. Journal of Sociolinguistics 5. 22–49. doi:10.1111/1467-9481.00136. Blair, David. 1993. Australian English and Australian identity. In Gerhard Schulz (ed.), The languages of Australia, 62–70. Canberra: Highland Press. Bonner, Frances. 2016. Personality presenters: Television’s intermediaries with viewers. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Bradley, David & Maya Bradley. 2001. Changing attitudes to Australian English. In David Blair & Peter Collins (eds.), English in Australia, 271–285. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Burridge, Kate. 2010. Linguistic cleanliness is next to godliness: Taboo and purism. English Today 26. 3–13. doi:10.1017/S0266078410000027. Burridge, Kate & Jean Mulder. 1998. English in Australia and New Zealand: An introduction to its history, structure, and use. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


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Bye, Susan. 2007. “Mothers like him”: Graham Kennedy and the great divide. Proceedings of the Australian Media Traditions Conference, np. Bathurst: Charles Sturt University. Retrieved July 2, 2018 from Bye, Susan, Felicity Collins & Sue Turnbull. 2007. Aunty Jack, Norman Gunston and ABC television comedy in the 1970s. ACH: The Journal of the History of Culture in Australia 26. 131–153. Bye, Susan & Louisa Willoughby. 2012. Using film texts to teach about the English language. Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Retrieved from www.acmi. Colic-Peisker, Val & Jim Hlavac. 2014. Anglo-Australian and non-Anglophone middle classes: “Foreign accent” and social inclusion. Australian Journal of Social Issues 49. 349–371. doi:10.1002/j.1839-4655.2014.tb00317.x. Collins, Peter. 1989. Divided and debatable usage in Australian English. In Peter Collins & David Blair (eds.), Australian English in interaction with other Englishes, 138–149. Brisbane: University of Queensland Press. Delbridge, Arthur. 1998. Lexicography and national identity. In Hans Lindquist, Staffan Klinthorth, Magnus Levin & Maria Estling (eds.), The major varieties of English, 49–58. Växjö: Växjö University Press. Dovchin, Sender. 2019. Language crossing and linguistic racism: Mongolian immigrant women in Australia. Journal of Multicultural Discourses (ahead of print). doi:10.1080/ 17447143.2019.1566345. Eltis, Kevin. 1989. Pupils’ speech style and teacher reaction. In Peter Collins & David Blair (eds.), Australian English in interaction with other Englishes, 103–110. Brisbane: University of Queensland Press. Garrett, Peter. 2010. Attitudes to language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Garrett, Peter, Angie Williams & Betsy Evans. 2005. Attitudinal data from New Zealand, Australia, the USA and UK about each other’s Englishes: Recent changes or consequences of methodologies? Multilingua 24. 211–235. doi:10.1515/mult.2005.24.3.211. Horvath, Barbara. 1985. Variation in Australian English: The sociolects of Sydney. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Jaworski, Adam, Nikolas Coupland & Dariusz Galasiński. 2004. Metalanguage: Social and ideological perspectives. Berlin: De Gruyter. Kidd, Evan, Nenagh Kemp, Emiko S. Kashima & Sara Quinn. 2016. Language, culture, and group membership: An investigation into the social effects of colloquial Australian English. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 47. 713–733. doi:10.1177/0022022 116638175. Lambert, Wallace E. 1967. A social psychology of bilingualism. Journal of Social Issues 23. 91–109. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.1967.tb00578.x. Lambert, Wallace E., Richard C. Hodgson, Robert C. Gardner & Samuel Fillenbaum. 1960. Evaluational reactions to spoken languages. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 60. 44–51. doi:10.1037/h0044430. Lee, Jackie. 2002. Attitudes towards disputable usages among Australian teachers and students. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics 25. 109–129. doi:10.1075/aral.25.1. 06lee. Leitner, Gerhard. 1984. Australian English or English in Australia – Linguistic identity or dependence in broadcast language. English World-Wide 5. 55–85. doi:10.1075/eww.5.1.05lei. Leitner, Gerhard. 2004a. Beyond Mitchell’s views on the history of Australian English. Australian Journal of Linguistics 24(1). 99–125. doi:10.1080/0726860032000203227. Leitner, Gerhard. 2004b. Australia’s many voices. Vol. 1: Australian English – The national language. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Attitudes to Australian English 237 Leitner, Gerhard. 2004c. Australia’s many voices. Vol. 2. Ethnic Englishes, indigenous and migrant languages. Policy and education. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Lippi-Green, Rosina. 1997. English with an accent: Language, ideology, and discrimination in the United States. London: Routledge. Moore, Bruce. 2008. Speaking our language: The story of Australian English. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Mulder, Jean & Cara Penry Williams. 2018. Understanding the place of Australian English: Exploring folk linguistic accounts through contemporary Australian authors. Asian Englishes 20. 54–64. doi:10.1080/13488678.2018.1422323. Niedzielski, Nancy A. & Preston, Dennis Richard. 2000. Folk linguistics. Berlin: De Gruyter. Penry Williams, Cara. 2011. Exploring social meanings of variation in Australian English. Melbourne: University of Melbourne. (Doctoral dissertation). Penry Williams, Cara. 2019. Appeals to semiotic registers in ethno-metapragmatic accounts of variation. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology ahead of print. doi:10.1111/jola.12213. Phillips, Arthur. 1950. The cultural cringe. Meanjin 9. 299–302. Price, Jenny. 2012. Old news: Rethinking language change through Australian broadcast speech. In Turttu Nevalainen & Elizabeth Traugott (eds.), The Oxford handbook of the history of English, 341–351. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Rayner, Jonathan. 2007. Live and dangerous? The screen life of Steve Irwin. Studies in Australasian Cinema 1. 107–117. doi:10.1386/sac.1.1.107_1. Reeve, Jan. 1989. Community Attitudes to Australian English. In Peter Collins & David Blair (eds), Australian English: the language of a new society, 111–126. St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press. Rowen, Roslyn. 2017. Bogan as a keyword of contemporary Australia. In Carsten Levinsen & Sophia Waters (eds.), Cultural keywords in discourse, 55–82. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Screen Australia. 2016. Seeing ourselves: Reflections on diversity in Australian TV drama. Sydney: Screen Australia. Retrieved from 05b4. . ./TV-Drama-Diversity.pdf. Seggie, Ian, Carmel Fulmizi & Judy Stewart. 1982. Evaluations of personality traits and employment suitability based on various Australian accents. Australian Journal of Psychology 34. 345–357. Seggie, Ian, Nancy Smith & Patricia Hodgins. 1986. Evaluations of employment suitability based on accent alone: An Australian case study. Language Sciences 8. 129–140. Severin, Alyssa. 2017. Vigilance or tolerance? Younger speakers’ attitudes to Australian English usage. Australian Journal of Linguistics 37. 156–181. doi:10.1080/07268602. 2017.1239521. Starks, Donna, Kerry Taylor-Leech & Louisa Willoughby. 2017. Young people’s perspectives on the mobility of Australian English accents. World Englishes 36. 541–553. doi:10.1111/weng.12283. Starks, Donna & Louisa Willoughby. 2015. The meta-pragmatic discourses of Australian high school students on language, migration and belonging. Language and Intercultural Communication 15. 550–566. doi:10.1080/14708477.2015.1051986. Sussex, Roland. 2004. Abstand, Ausbau, creativity and ludicity in Australian English. Australian Journal of Linguistics 24. 3–19. doi:10.1080/0726860032000203182. Turner, George W. 1997. Australian English as a national language. In Edgar W. Schneider (ed.), Englishes around the World: Studies in honour of Manfred Görlach. Vol. 2: Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Australasia, 335–348. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Willoughby, Louisa, Donna Starks & Kerry Taylor-Leech. 2013. Is the cultural cringe alive and kicking? Adolescent mythscapes of Australian English in Queensland and Victoria. Australian Journal of Linguistics 33. 31–50. doi:10.1080/07268602.2013.787904.

15 The Australian National Corpus (and beyond) Simon Musgrave and Michael Haugh

1 The development of an Australian National Corpus Large-scale corpora are recognised as important resources for language research, including many subdisciplines within language technology, and also for other disciplines. For example, McEnery states that: “one of the immense benefits of corpus data is that they may be used for a wide range of purposes in a number of disciplines . . . Corpora are multifunctional resources” (2003:449). From the early years of this century, various research communities in Australia have regarded the lack of such a resource of specifically Australian data as a significant gap in Australia’s research infrastructure. The Australian National Corpus initiative was therefore launched, aiming to build up Australia’s research infrastructure through establishing the platform necessary to make multiple collections readily accessible (Haugh, 2009; Haugh et al., 2009; Musgrave & Haugh, 2009). A national repository of language data has long been seen as having significant value for a number of research communities in Australia and overseas, as it increases access to Australian language data and thereby contributes to the global integration of research on language in Australia. The Australian National Corpus (AusNC) was established with the aim of facilitating collaborative ventures in collecting new language data to support multimodal research in human communication and to consolidate dispersed and relatively inaccessible collections of historical language data where possible. Such data are of interest not only to researchers in linguistics and applied linguistics but also to members of the broader humanities, social sciences and informatics research communities who have an interest in Australian society. A sufficiently large annotated language dataset would also provide invaluable training data for work in natural language processing, speech recognition and the further development of semi-automated annotation. In this section, we first briefly introduce precursors to the AusNC, before going on to outline the key motivations for its underlying assemblage structure and how it was developed iteratively over a period of five years. At least two projects can be considered to have made substantial contributions to corpus-building in Australia before the AusNC was developed. From 1986, the Australian Corpus of English (ACE) was compiled at Macquarie University (Collins & Peters, 1988).1 This corpus consists of 500 text samples of (minimally) 2,000 words each, giving a total size of approximately 1,000,000 words. This

The Australian National Corpus (and beyond) 239 corpus has been integrated into the International Corpus of English project (Greenbaum, 1991). The Australian National Database of Spoken Language (ANDOSL) was collected in the years between 1991 and 1995 (Millar et al., 1994).2 This corpus consists of recordings of various types of spoken language plus associated transcripts. Although some of the material in this collection is taken from pairs of speakers collaborating on a map task, the majority of the corpus consists of recordings of speakers reading carefully chosen prompts. The number of native speakers of Australian English who were recorded is 108. Additionally, 96 speakers from two migrant groups were recorded for a subset of the material, and a speaker from each of nine other migrant groups was also recorded. Given the nature of much of this material, that is, recordings of word lists, it is not useful to attempt an estimate of the size of this corpus in terms of number of words. Following the construction of these two corpora, members of various languagebased research communities in Australia increasingly began to see the importance of establishing a larger national corpus which would enable researchers to access other extant collections of language data (Haugh, 2009). Although primary interest in such a resource was envisaged as coming from linguists and applied linguists, it was also clear that a number of other groups of researchers would derive value from such a resource. In July 2008, the Australian Linguistic Society (ALS) and the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia both held their annual conferences in Sydney, and the opportunity was taken to hold a meeting of scholars interested in the development of a national corpus (Haugh et al., 2009; Musgrave & Haugh, 2009; Peters & Haugh, 2014). The outcome of this meeting was a “Statement of Common Purpose” which included the following wording: the aim of developing a freely available national corpus is that it can become an ongoing resource not only for linguists, but also historians, sociologists, social psychologists, and those working in cultural studies with an interest in Australian society or culture. We therefore see such a corpus as an important part of the development of research infrastructure for humanities researchers in Australia. Initial discussions concerning the establishment of a national corpus emphasised the diversity of research agendas that it might support and the corresponding diversity of content which might be desirable. The consensus that emerged through these discussions was that AusNC would bring together existing and newly collected samples together in one place and provide tools to help researchers annotate, analyse and work collaboratively on these data, building on earlier work collecting corpora in different disciplines. These broad aims and how they might be implemented were explored in two workshops held in 2008 and 2009, which formed a part of the activities of the research network for Human Communication Science (HCSNet), funded by the Australian Research Council (Haugh, 2009), alongside a workshop in 2009 on ethical and legal issues supported by the Australian Academy of Humanities


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(Musgrave & Haugh, 2009). A collection of papers resulted from the first workshop (Haugh et al., 2009), and an application to the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) to build the Australian National Corpus resulted from the second workshop (Cassidy et al., 2012). The AusNC was first launched at Griffith University on the 26 March 2012. Further work supported through an infrastructure grant from Griffith University was subsequently undertaken, which included adding further data, improving the search functionality and also enabling individual corpora to be downloaded in toto (where permissions allow) through the online portal.3 During that period of time, the 2012 version of AusNC was also made available to researchers through the Alveo Virtual Lab (Cassidy et al., 2014; Estival, 2015).4 The underlying structure of the AusNC was from the outset intended to be different from that of traditional national corpora, which attempt to be representative of a particular language. As Leech wrote in relation to the British National Corpus (BNC), for instance, although the intention is to be more than “just a random collection of whatever material is available: it should be as ‘representative’ as possible of the full range of variation in the language” (1993:13), the underlying aim is nevertheless to represent a single national language. One potential drawback of this approach, however, is that it is based on an – arguably outdated – ideology that equates a unitary national language with a unitary state. Although the title of the BNC does not mention English, the corpus only contains English data (aside from the odd word in other languages); there is no Welsh or Scots Gaelic and no Hindi or Bengali, although when the corpus was created there were substantial numbers of speakers of those languages in Britain. The AusNC, in contrast, has a somewhat different goal which differentiates it from projects such as the BNC in that what it aims to represent is the language practices of a community rather than the language of a community. The 2016 Australian Census reports that languages other than English are spoken in more than 22% of households in the nation.5 It has always been the intention of the AusNC to represent this diversity of language use in Australia, including both social and regional diversity in Australian English, as well as the many languages used by community or immigrant groups in their daily lives. Australian Indigenous languages also constitute a very important part of Australia’s linguistic and cultural landscape, but AusNC was from the outset not intended to include such materials, as another organisation, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), has primary responsibility for preserving such materials. However, we have remained keen to include collections of Aboriginal varieties of English and of Kriols, both of which are important linguistic resources for many Indigenous people and which are currently relatively underdocumented (see also discussion in Dickson, this volume).6 This broader aim of the AusNC initiative naturally leads to an important question: what is Australian about an Australian National Corpus? The aim of representing language practices of a community already suggests that the answer to this question is primarily geographic: Australian language data represent language

The Australian National Corpus (and beyond) 241 as used in Australia the physical entity. However, there are several areas in which the answer is not so simple. First, in assembling the historical sources in the Corpus of Oz Early English (CoOEE), Fritz relaxed the criterion in some cases: Material to be included had to meet with a regional and a temporal criterion. The latter required texts to be produced between 1788 and 1900 in order to become eligible for COOEE. It was mandatory for a text to be written in Australia, New Zealand or Norfolk Island. But in a few cases, other localities were allowed. For example, if a person who was a native Australian or who had lived in Australia for a considerable time, wrote a shipboard diary or travelled in other countries. (Fritz, 2007:64) Second, the AustLit database also allows for the inclusion of material by authors who were not writing in Australia. An “Australian author” in AustLit can be born in Australia, born in Australia and have spent formative years there but be expatriate at some time, born elsewhere but be Australian by “adoption” or born elsewhere but later resident in Australia. The AustLit database also includes material by international authors where various kinds of relationships to Australia or Australian literature obtain.7 The question “What is Australia?” is also relevant to computer-mediated communication. As we will see in the following section, this is an area in which AusNC has been lacking to date. However, we note that there are complex issues raised by the worldwide reach of such means of communication. For example, would an email exchange between two native Australians both resident elsewhere count as “Australian” data? If data were being collected from social media, would a post originating in Australia and comments originating elsewhere have equal status as “Australian” data? Undoubtedly researchers interested in English in Australia will have to deal with such questions in the near future.

2 Structure and content of the Australian National Corpus The Australian National Corpus is a gateway to a range of different spoken and written corpora representing aspects of English language usage in Australia. All data held in the Australian National Corpus can be interrogated through an online portal (, and, where permissions allow, specific corpora can be downloaded in their entirety for further analysis. However, searching across corpora held within the AusNC poses challenges for users, as the different corpora are not structured in the same way, and they are annotated with varying degrees of granularity, both with respect to (para)linguistic aspects of the language data itself and its accompanying metadata. In this section, we first describe the current holdings of the AusNC. We then outline how data in the AusNC can be accessed, before going on reflect on some of the advantages and disadvantages of the current model.


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2.1 Current holdings of the Australian National Corpus The AusNC currently consists of eight collections of published texts from many genres, transcribed speech, often with aligned audio files, and visual records of interaction, along with samples from two other collections that are archived externally to AusNC. AustLit The contribution from AustLit provides full-text access to selected samples of out-of-copyright poetry, fiction and criticism ranging from 1795 to the 1930s. The collection includes literature intended for popular audiences as well as literature intended for audiences concerned with literary quality or the establishment of a national canon. The collection includes bibliographic and production information for works of fiction and poetry, writing for the theatre, biographical and travel writing, writing for film and television, criticism and reviews and the people and organisations who produce them. Australian Corpus of English (ACE) The Australian Corpus of English (ACE) was compiled to match Australian data from 1986 with the American (Brown) and British (LOB) corpora of written English from the 1960s. It includes 500 samples of published texts taken from 15 different categories of nonfiction and fiction, including newspapers, reportage, editorials, reviews; magazines and journals: popular, academic; government and corporate documents; fiction monographs and short stories (both popular and literary). Australian Radio Talkback (ART) Australian Radio Talkback (ART) is a set of transcribed recordings of samples of national, regional and commercial Australian talkback radio from 2004 to 2006. It includes 27 audio recordings and transcripts of talkback from ABC National Radio (NAT), ABC Radio broadcasts to eastern Australian (ABCE) and ABC Radio broadcasts to southern and western Australia (ABCNE), as well as commercial stations broadcasting to eastern Australia (COME) and southern and western Australia (COMNE). Braided Channels The Braided Channels research collection includes materials collected on Australia women, land and history in the Channel country. The collection is constructed from some 70 hours of oral history interviews with women from Australia’s Channel Country, together with archival film, transcripts, photos and music. It includes both audiovisual recordings and transcripts of interviews.

The Australian National Corpus (and beyond) 243 Corpus of Oz Early English (CoOEE) The Corpus of Oz Early English (CoOEE) includes 1353 samples of texts written in Australia, New Zealand or Norfolk Island, or by native Australians on travels, between 1788 and 1900. It includes a selection of unpublished letters and published books and historical texts. Griffith Corpus of Spoken Australian English (GCSAusE) The Griffith Corpus of Spoken Australian English (GCSAusE) comprises a collection of 40 audio recordings and transcriptions of spoken interaction amongst Australian speakers of English, as well as users of English in Australia more generally, collected by staff and students at Griffith University in Brisbane from 2007–2015. The recordings are transcribed using conversation analysis transcription conventions.8 International Corpus of English (ICE-AUS) The Australian component of the International Corpus of English (ICE-AUS) is an approximately 1-million-word corpus of transcribed spoken and written Australian English from 1992–1995. It consists of 500 samples of Australian English (60% speech, 40% writing) that match the structure of other ICE corpora (associated with the International Corpus of English). The spoken data include recordings and transcriptions of face-to face spoken conversations, telephone conversations, monologues, broadcast dialogues and scripted speech. The written texts include samples of unpublished letters (personal and professional), student essays, newspaper writing, popular nonfiction, academic writing and fiction. Mitchell and Delbridge The Mitchell and Delbridge database contains recordings of Australian English as spoken by 7736 students at 330 schools across Australia, mostly collected in 1960. The contribution to AusNC includes a small selection of audio recordings of spoken word lists and monologues. Monash Corpus of English (MCE) The Monash Corpus of English (MCE) consists of a collection of audio recordings and transcriptions of interviews and conversations collected in Melbourne in 1997. The subjects of the interviews were adolescents from a variety of schools. La Trobe Corpus of Spoken Australian English (LTCE) The La Trobe Corpus of Spoken Australian English (LTCE) comprises a collection of six recordings and transcriptions of spoken interaction amongst Australian


Simon Musgrave and Michael Haugh

speakers of English – some in conversation with native French speakers speaking English – collected in Melbourne from 2001 to 2002. The recordings are transcribed using a combination of the Santa Barbara and conversation analysis transcription conventions. The collections currently held in the Australian National Corpus are summarised in Table 15.1. A criticism sometimes made of the original British National Corpus is that it is a now dated snapshot of (a variety) of British English at a certain time – a criticism that has since spurred the construction of BNC2014.9 This illustrates the importance for a resource such as AusNC of adding new data as often as possible. This is especially important, as AusNC not only aims to illustrate Australian English in all its variety – situational, social, generational and ethnic – but also aims to document languages other than English used in Australia, including Auslan (Johnston & Schembri, 2007) and the community languages of immigrants (Clyne, 2005). A notable absence in collections included to date is examples of electronic texts and computer-mediated communication. Given the importance of such media in current language use, this is a significant gap that remains to be addressed. However, while AusNC clearly remains to date a very partial representation of English in Australia, some significant steps forward have nevertheless been accomplished. First, it has made collections that were not previously widely available much more readily accessible to researchers, including Braided Channels, CoOEE, GCSAusE, MCE and LTCE. Second, it has provided another access point for collections that are currently only accessible through log-ins granted on a one-to-one basis, including ACE, ART and ICE-AUS.10 Third, it profiles other relevant collections, such as AustLit and the Mitchell and Delbridge collection. Fourth, it enables researchers to more readily search across different collections Table 15.1 Summary of AusNC holdings Collection

No. of Items % of total

No. of words % of total

AustLit Australian Corpus of English (ACE) Australian Radio Talkback (ART) Braided Channels Corpus of Oz Early English (CoOEE) Griffith Corpus of Spoken Australian English (GCSAusE) Australian component of the International Corpus of English (ICE-AUS) Mitchell and Delbridge Monash Corpus of English (MCE) La Trobe Corpus of Spoken Australian English (LTCE)

67 833 27 143 1354

2.2 27.3 0.9 4.7 44.3

4,234,314 757,024 251,677 363,670 1,545,163

50.5 9.0 3.0 4.3 18.4









16 49 6

0.5 1.6 0.2




(audio only) 95,584 49,133 8,384,618

1.1 0.6 99.9

The Australian National Corpus (and beyond) 245 and undertake comparative work. Finally, audio(visual) files are made available in a number of cases, including for Braided Channels, GCSAusE, MCE and LTCE, thereby further expanding the kinds of research about Australian English that can be undertaken. 2.2 Accessing data in the AusNC The main means of accessing the data held by AusNC is via the corpus website (, but it is also possible to work with the data in the Alveo virtual laboratory ( The AusNC website offers some basic functions for exploring the collections, which we describe here, as well as allowing some of the collections to be downloaded in toto. The ALVEO interface offers some more advanced tools (e.g. Voyant tools and Galaxy workflow). The AusNC website has a search interface from which a user can conduct searches. Currently, two types of search are supported: frequency and keywordin-context (KWIC). In each case, the user can choose which collections will be included in the search. Figure 15.1 is a screenshot showing the results of a frequency search, and Figure 15.2 shows partial results from a KWIC search.

Figure 15.1 Results of a frequency search across three collections in AusNC


Simon Musgrave and Michael Haugh

Figure 15.2 Partial results of KWIC search across three collections in AusNC

It is also possible to access the collections via a Browse tab. From this interface, it is possible to apply facets to the search covering: collections, genre types, document types and participant gender. The full content of files is available by clicking on the name of a file in any search result; files are also available via the landing page for each collection. The record includes links to other versions of the data which are stored. One type of data item . . . is a raw file, the plain-text version of the original file. It may contain some XML or special character encoding converted into plain text. These data are also stored as a text file, the text-only version of the original file, which has been sanitised to remove annotation such as XML and special character encoding, as well as an original file, the file format as originally uploaded. Levels of access vary depending on whether a user is logged in. Users with Australian Access Federation credentials can log in and access all items. There are three levels of access rights for users who are not logged in, and these apply at the level of the collection. The most restrictive is No Item Access; at this level, only metadata can be accessed. Restricted Access Only allows access to metadata for a collection and allows searching and downloading of text files in the collection.

The Australian National Corpus (and beyond) 247 The View/Search Collection level allows access to metadata for a collection, searching of text files and downloading of all types of files, including audio or audiovisual files where available. There are two ways to download material from AusNC. Individual files can be downloaded from the page on which they are viewed, while a whole collection can be downloaded as a .zip file from the landing page for the collection.11 2.3 Advantages and disadvantages of the AusNC model The aspect of the AusNC model which seemed most advantageous when the project began was that the entry cost for bringing additional datasets into the collection would be low. However, this has not really proved to be the case. Since the structure of the interface built at Griffith University was established, only two additions have been made to the collection: the La Trobe Spoken English dataset was added, and an extended version of GCSAusE replaced the original version. However, even these quite limited changes led to a new problem. The Alveo virtual laboratory project stores several datasets and serves them to users of its tools. AusNC is one of the datasets which was included in the original design of Alveo, but, for various reasons, it has not been possible to keep the Alveo data synchronised with the original AusNC portal and so there are now two versions of the AusNC collection available concurrently. This is only one of the problems which have emerged with the original design of AusNC. We will now briefly discuss some of the other issues and the lessons they provide for future developments of language research infrastructure in Australia. 2.3.1 Homogeneous data The primary interface for AusNC has search capabilities, but these depend on all the data being available in the same format (essentially clean text files). However, not all the original data came in this form and therefore standard versions of all the data had to be prepared. These files do not preserve all the annotations included in the original files. Original versions (or something close to them) are stored separately, but the overall structure adds an extra step to the process of accessing data in many cases. The interface search capability allows researchers to find relevant data, but they may then need to examine (and possibly download) multiple versions of the material in order to find the information which they seek. 2.3.2 Institutional responsibilities The AusNC interface and storage architecture were built as a short-term project by staff at the Griffith University eResearch section. While they were able to provide some ongoing maintenance, once the initial funding was expended, it was not clear that this organisation had any responsibility or capacity to handle tasks such as adding data to the collection. Making the problem just discussed more difficult was the fact that the lead in the project (Haugh) moved from Griffith University to


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another institution in 2016. At that point, the institution which hosted the data had no tie to any funding source or to any person responsible for the project. While Griffith University continued to host AusNC, the responsibilities of universities in relation to maintaining research infrastructure are not always clear when funding ends or key drivers move to other institutions. This raises questions about sustainability of AusNC, which future iterations need to address.

3 The Australian National Corpus in research and teaching AusNC has proved to be a very productive resource for research into different aspects of English in Australia, in spite of the issues discussed in the previous section. In this section, we first briefly overview published research on Australian English that has been enabled through AusNC. We then outline research on corpus-based methods encouraged by the aggregated nature of AusNC. Finally, we briefly touch upon the use of AusNC in teaching contexts. 3.1 Research on Australian English using AusNC Self-evidently, the empirical base of linguistic research is language data. Gathering such data can be expensive and time-consuming, however, and so enabling ready access to existing data is of enormous benefit for many areas of research. For example, to create another collection with the scope of the CoOEE would be difficult (and would in any case probably have considerable overlap). The fact that CoOEE is now freely accessible via AusNC has enabled a wide variety of research into historical aspects of English in Australia (see, e.g. Burridge & Musgrave, 2014; Musgrave & Burridge, 2014, both of which use data from both CoOEE and AustLit). It has also enabled researchers to readily combine and contrast language data from different collections. Burridge (2014), for instance, examines discourse-pragmatic uses of cos in Australian English using data from ART, CoOEE, GCSAusE and MCE, while Peters (2014a) draws from data in Braided Channels, ICE-AUS and MCE to examine key features in the development of regional variation in Australian English. The breadth of linguistic research on Australian English that has been enabled by AusNC is showcased in a special issue of the Australian Journal of Linguistics (Volume 34, issue 1, edited by Pam Peters and Michael Haugh), which was made up entirely of studies using material from the corpus, but various other studies have also been based on data from AusNC, as summarised in Table 15.2. There is not sufficient space here to adequately summarise these studies. It is worth noting, however, that research on Australian English using AusNC has extended beyond well-established areas in corpus linguistics to studies in historical linguistics, lexical semantics, phonology, discourse-pragmatics and sociopragmatics.12 This research has been enabled through three important affordances of AusNC: (1) it makes available previously inaccessible collections; (2) it allows access to multiple collections, which enables researchers to undertake regional/historical comparisons or assemble larger, aggregated datasets and (3) audio(visual) files are also made available for detailed interactional analyses.

The Australian National Corpus (and beyond) 249 Table 15.2 Studies on Australian English using AusNC Field of linguistics Study

Collection(s) in AusNC

Corpus linguistics



Bednarek (2014): pronouns and register Collins and Yao (2014): verb phrases Smith (2014): complex subordinators Vaughan and Mulder (2014): subjunctives Burke (2014): negative polarity items Burridge (2014): cos

Historical linguistics

Lexical semantics Phonology Sociopragmatics

Jaszczolt, Savva and Haugh (2015): incomplete disjunctive questions Peters and Wong (2015): backchannels Burridge and Musgrave (2014): “Irishisms” Musgrave and Burridge (2014): swearing Peters (2014b): written speech and formality Peters (2014a): regional development

ICE-AUS CoOEE + AusLit CoOEE + AusLit CoOEE Braided Channels + ICE-AUS + MCE Farese (2015): greetings AusNC complete Goddard (2014): interjections ACE + ICE-AUS Cox, Palethorpe and Bentink (2014): accent Mitchell and Delbridge Haugh (2014): responses to jocular ART + GCSAusE + mockery ICE-AUS Haugh (2017): jocular language play ART + GCSAusE + ICE-AUS Haugh (2019): consideration and politeness ICE-AUS + LTCE

3.2 Research on linguistic research methodology using AusNC We mentioned previously that the constituent collections of AusNC do not share a common schema of annotations. This could be seen as a disadvantage, but we will suggest here that it is better viewed as a challenge and a stimulus for the development of new research strategies and methods in linguistics. Indeed, the novel approaches to search that bringing together different language collections requires are both important and necessary – important because the collection of many types of language use is still relatively time consuming and necessary because some of the phenomena we are interested in do not occur frequently enough to be studied in the corpora of Australian English of size that have been produced to date (Haugh, 2009). One challenge facing attempts to aggregate data across collections, however, is that although there are some research communities which have managed to settle on more or less agreedupon formats for data collections (e.g. the format and tools associated with CHILDES research [MacWhinney, 2014]), this is by no means the rule in linguistic research, in part because the research aims of different communities differ. Projects are designed to collect the data needed for a specific research question and, at least to some extent, annotation practises reflect those aims. In order to access data, especially data representing language in use at a scale that is now coming to be seen as good practice, using multiple sources of data is almost inevitable, and thus having good strategies for accessing particular phenomena across such aggregations of data is essential.


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We have been considering such issues since the beginning of the AusNC project.13 Our initial research considered questions such as how phonetic variation is represented in different transcription practices and whether examples of such variation can be recovered from a source such as AusNC (Schalley, Musgrave & Haugh, 2014). We also experimented with the use of ontologies as a way of aligning the semantics of varied annotation schemes (Musgrave, Schalley & Haugh, 2014). More recently, we have been using combinatorial search strategies to look for possible cases of linguistic phenomena across data collections with different annotation practices. We sketch an example of that approach here, using three collections from AusNC; full details can be found in Haugh & Musgrave (2019). In our work on interactional dyads who had not previously met, we noticed that there seemed to be a pattern where lapses in the progressivity of talk (silences of a second or more) were sometimes followed by laughter. The laughter could be interpreted as having a dual function in such cases: the post-lapse laughter orients to the interactional trouble that has developed, namely the apparent breakdown in progressivity (Stivers & Robinson, 2006), but in so doing appears to also be retrospectively treating the lapse as possibly laughable. In other words, the postlapse laughter enables the interactional trouble (i.e. apparently momentarily running out of things to say) to surface, but simultaneously treats the resolution of this lapse as laughable, or at least as not entirely serious (Holt, 2013). However, in order to assess whether there really is a pattern and, if so, how it is distributed in different types of interaction, more data were needed. This problem is a test case of whether it is possible to search for a complex phenomenon in aggregated data. We wanted to search conversational data to look for examples of a long(ish) gap in talk followed by laughter with the possibility of a change of speaker before the laughter. Each of these is an aspect of language in use which we would expect to see represented in a transcription, but the representation of these features varies from one data source to another. We chose to work initially with three collections from AusNC: ART, GCSAusE and MCE. We first briefly discuss the problems encountered in dealing with varying annotations, concentrating on the coding of silences. In ART, short silences and long silences (longer than one syllable) are coded as and , respectively. MCE uses a similar but slightly different practice: silences are generally coded as one or two periods, with further repetition of periods being used to indicate markedly long silences. GCSAusE uses different conventions, with silences coded as durations to the nearest tenth of a second in brackets [e.g. (0.3), (1.5) etc.]. We therefore needed to make assumptions about how these different practices might correspond and what would therefore count as a long silence for our search. Our aim was to find a set of moments in interaction which were possible instances of the phenomenon in question; for examples which looked promising, we would expect to go back to the original recording (if possible), so the lack of precision in the ART and MCE coding was not problematic. The combinatorial search strategy was effective in recovering sets of candidate examples but at very different rates of occurrence across the three collections. Only four instances were present in ART (all of which turned out not to be

The Australian National Corpus (and beyond) 251 relevant), likely due to the nature of these interactions where lapses of progression are likely to be strategically avoided by radio hosts. We found large numbers of candidate examples in the other two collections: 33 in GCSAusE (normalised rate of occurrence = 10.3 instances per 10k words) and 372 in MCE (normalised rate of occurrence = 38 instances per 10k words).14 Examination of the transcriptions for these candidates allowed us to eliminate all but six examples from GCSAusE and all but 11 from MCE. This gave 17 examples for which it was worth returning to the original recording, and that process led to the elimination of two more examples, leaving 13 core instances and 2 borderline cases. This may seem like a small result, although in the context of conversation analysis in which we were working, it is not insubstantial. What we believe is most important, however, is that the collection was assembled efficiently. Also, we are confident that the precision of our search was good (we used regular expressions, and the results all matched the specified sequential environment), although we can make no claims for the level of recall which we achieved. Laughter used as an acknowledgment of and repair for problems in progressivity may occur at other points in conversation besides the one which we identified. We believe that the test case described here suggests strongly that combinatorial search is an effective strategy for investigating at least some linguistic phenomena using aggregated datasets and could be even more effective with a search interface which uses an ontology representing the equivalences between the codings of phenomena in each collection. Being able to move quickly from a large and possibly disparate collection of data to a much smaller set of candidate examples is of considerable benefit for many research questions. Employing such procedures may be one way of exploiting the potential of aggregated datasets. 3.3 AusNC in teaching The use of data from AusNC has been advocated as useful for raising awareness of sociopragmatic differences across languages, for instance, between “teasing” Australian English and Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan (Haugh & Chang, 2013; Haugh & Chang, 2015) in second/foreign language teaching contexts. AusNC has also been deployed more directly in the teaching of courses in linguistics in various Australian universities, including in courses in corpus linguistics (University of Sydney), computational linguistics (Monash University), English language and linguistics (University of Melbourne) and pragmatics (Griffith University). The use of AusNC in teaching has also been facilitated through being featured in textbooks on linguistics (e.g. Burridge & Stebbins, 2016). AusNC is therefore not only a research tool for studies of Australian English but evidently a useful teaching tool for students interested in Australian English.

4 Future prospects A large part of the initial thinking that motivated the establishment of AusNC was the idea that aggregating data is a cost-effective way to more rapidly enable access


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to large datasets, thereby allowing researchers to ask new questions or to develop new approaches to old questions. We have suggested previously that the problems associated with aggregated data may lead to new research methods, which can be of value in addressing challenges in working with diverse data sources, as well as leading to new research possibilities even beyond those made available by access to large bodies of data. The possibilities for extending our understanding of languages and language use, including Australian English and its place within the larger Australian linguistic landscape, will inevitably be deepened through engagement with large datasets. Since AusNC was launched, a number of other corpora of Australian English have been developed, including AusTalk (Estival, 2015; Estival et al., 2014) and the UWA Corpus of English in Australia (Rodríguez Louro, 2011–2018), with others currently in development, including Sydney Speaks (Travis, 2016–2021) and the Melbourne English corpus (Walker & PenryWilliams, 2018). These offer yet further opportunities for researchers of English in Australia, especially if ways can be found to link them in productive ways through a broader national language data commons. However, the limitations of the current structure of AusNC have also led us as drivers of the AusNC initiative to change our thinking about how language data can and should be made available to the Australian community – both the general community and various research communities. We believe that aspects of the AusNC model are still valid: the aim should be to enable access to data which represent the linguistic situation in Australia in all its diversity and that this aim is best accomplished by aggregating assets rather than by a process of constrained data collection. Such access should be ethical – it should make access available as widely as possible while respecting the rights and sensitivities of those who have contributed to the data – and it should be equitable – the barriers in accessing the data should be minimised as far as is consistent with those ethical commitments. In line with this thinking, our current preferred model is for a broader language data commons (Eschenfelder & Johnson, 2014; Grossman et al., 2016), that is, where data collections are distributed but access to them is made tractable through a single point of search. The main advantage of a distributed model is that it is arguably less vulnerable to changes in ties to individual funding sources, institutions and personnel. However, this entails key institutions in Australia accepting long-term responsibility for collections, along the lines of the commitment by the Max Planck Gesellschaft to ensure at least a 50-year life for material stored in The Language Archive (Drude, Broeder & Trilsbeek, 2011:8).15 The lesson from AusNC, then, is that even relatively modest efforts to establish language research infrastructure can create new opportunities, questions and challenges for researchers interested in furthering our understanding of English in Australia. The age of big data is upon us. It is up to us to fully embrace the opportunities of this new age by collaborating on building the next generation of language research infrastructure. While such work can take time, the analytical payoffs for research into Australian English, and the broader linguistic landscape in Australia, are potentially immense.

The Australian National Corpus (and beyond) 253

Notes 1 Australian Corpus of English: ; International Corpus of English: <> 2 ANDOSL: 3 4 5 6 In recent years, PARADISEC has increasingly played an important archival role for collections of Australian Kriols ( 7 For details, see 8 Time-aligned transcripts of GCSAusE are also available through Talkbank: https:// 9 10 linguistics/linguistics_research/a-z_research_list/corpora/ 11 Some collections cannot be downloaded for copyright reasons. 12 See also studies summarised in Rodríguez Louro (this volume) for a review of studies of discourse-pragmatic features of Australian English, some of which draw from corpora now made widely accessible through AusNC. 13 In our own work in this area, we have collaborated with Andrea Schalley. 14 We suspect that part of the difference here can be attributed to differences in transcription practice, in particular, the lack of precision in coding silence in MCE. 15

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accommodation 103–4, 113, 178, 180, 183–184 Adelaide 107–108, 122, 130 Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) 5 age differences 25, 27, 57, 72, 76, 103–106, 111–112, 115, 126, 128–130, 146, 160, 162, 177, 197, 199, 202–203, 205, 219 American English (AmE) 1–3, 21, 36–41, 43–46, 52–53, 56, 62, 84, 93, 120, 122, 188, 193–195, 198–200, 202–205, 211, 214, 218, 220 ART (Australian Radio Talkback) 38, 46, 137, 150, 242, 244, 248–250 aspect: perfect 7, 34–36, 38, 46; progressive 34, 39–40, 42 Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) 71, 95, 124, 137, 145, 151, 214, 216–217, 227–229, 242 Australian National Corpus (AusNC) 9, 71, 75, 218, 238–251 Australian National Dictionary 9, 86, 93–94, 121, 124, 217 Australian Style 129–130, 219 Australian Vernacular English (AusVE) 58–60, 126–127 British English (BrE) 1–4, 7, 16, 36–46, 62, 76, 85, 88, 178, 198, 200, 203–204, 224, 229, 244 Broad accent 3, 16–17, 27, 156, 164, 177–178, 228 broadcast language 70, 193, 195, 202–203, 216, 227, 229, 242 Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL) 116, 131, 164, 167 Corpus of Oz Early English (CoOEE) 36, 43, 71, 211, 241, 243–244, 248–249 creoles 59, 134, 147–148, 185

Cultivated accent 16–17, 106, 177, 215, 230, 235 cultural cringe 3, 9, 214, 224, 228, 230, 234 dictionaries 9, 94, 96, 124, 185–186, 202, 211, 213, 216, 218 Differentiation Phase 3, 6–9, 120, 126, 130, 211, 216, 219–220 diphthongs 18, 20–22, 26, 107–108, 139, 157 discourse markers 66–69, 71–72, 75–77 /el/-/æl merger 108–110 endonormative stabilisation 2–3, 210, 215–216 ethnic groups 155–156, 159, 161, 165, 167 ethnic identity 15, 155–156, 158–164, 167 ethnicity 15, 106, 110, 155–156, 158–161, 164, 166–167 ethnic orientation (EO) 158–162, 167 films 85, 89, 195–197, 203, 215, 218, 235, 242 final but 74–75 gender differences 17, 58, 70–74, 76, 104–109, 113, 115, 123, 126, 130, 146, 158, 162–164, 167 General accent 16, 227–228 general extenders 66, 68–69, 73–74, 79 gold rush 4, 90, 94, 177, 180, 195, 198, 210 grammaticalisation 34, 43, 71, 74–75, 77 Greek Australians 91, 157, 164–165 Griffith Corpus of Spoken Australian English (GCSAusE) 53, 243–245, 247–241 H-dropping 127, 183–184, 189 high rising tunes 106, 114–155, 158, 165



HKE (Hong Kong English) 37, 40–41, 43 humour 85, 90–91, 93, 150, 187, 189, 230 hypercorisms 86, 232 ICE corpora 40, 46, 53, 58, 70, 74, 218, 243–244, 248–249 identity 84, 95, 147–150, 160, 163, 165, 183, 193, 213, 224 immigration 4–5, 9, 16, 89, 92, 106, 120, 160, 176–177, 214, 232 Indian English 37, 41, 162 Indigenous Australian languages 3–4, 84, 96, 120, 134, 142–144, 147, 211–212 Indigenous words in Australian English 86, 88–89, 211 intonation 74, 114, 140–141, 182 Italian Australians 164 Jespersen cycle 51–56, 63, 115 Kriol 147, 240 language contact 88, 185 languages other than English (LOTEs) 92, 185, 235, 240, 244 Lebanese Australians 157, 160, 163, 165 levelling 57, 178–181, 185 lexicographers 84, 86, 121, 123–125, 130, 214 listening experiments 23, 113 London 54, 86, 181, 184, 186–187, 189, 212–213 London English 8, 178, 181, 186, 189 Macquarie Dictionary 9, 86, 93–94, 121, 123–124, 167, 202, 217 Mainstream Australian English (MAusE) 15–16, 18–21, 23–25, 77, 104, 109–111, 114–115, 139, 157, 165, 219, 224 mate 59, 85, 87, 92–95, 147, 160–162, 197, 199 Melbourne 6, 53, 72–74, 78, 90, 107–111, 121–122, 125, 131, 137, 158, 161, 182, 184–185, 243–244, 251 migrants 4–5, 7, 85, 91–93, 95, 125, 160, 164–165, 231–232, 234, 239 modality 7, 34–37, 39, 41–46 Monash Corpus of English (MCE) 53, 243–245, 248–251 Monash Corpus of Spoken English 70–71, 73–74 monophthongs 18–22, 107 multiculturalism 92 multiple negation 52, 54, 56–59, 62

nativisation 200, 210–211, 213 negative polarity item (NPI) 52–54, 249 New South Wales (NSW) 24, 70, 72, 89, 105, 108–109, 113, 122–123, 125–126, 128, 175–177, 212, 219 New Zealand 5, 24, 56, 72, 86–87, 96, 112, 183, 187, 189, 206, 210, 213, 215, 220, 230, 241, 243 New Zealand English (NZE) 2, 37–38, 41, 43, 46, 56, 63, 86, 108, 114, 120, 123, 178–180, 183–184, 188, 220 Northern Territory 88, 122, 124–125, 147 Perth 79, 107–108, 110–111, 125, 147–148, 161–162, 185 politeness 39, 74, 87, 144, 249 pragmatics 66, 134, 144–145, 251 prestige, covert 58–59, 77, 128, 148 processing studies 112, 114 prosody 79, 105–106 punctual never 7, 52–53, 60–62 Queensland English 24, 122, 124–125, 135, 146, 212 quotatives 66, 68–69, 75–76, 131, 204 Received Pronunciation 177–178, 214 regional variation 3, 8, 38, 43, 107–109, 120, 122, 126, 135, 180, 185, 211, 218–220, 248 shortenings 85–86, 123, 189, 226 slang 88, 91, 135, 186–188, 205, 226, 232 social media 137, 148, 150, 196, 241 social networks 115, 147, 149, 158–159, 163 social variation 104–105, 108, 120, 123, 126, 128, 130, 156, 185 South Australia 6, 24–25, 122, 124–125, 130 Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) 93, 229, 235 spelling 9, 197–198, 200–201, 212, 217 swearing 51, 53, 87, 186, 188, 228 Sydney 4, 6, 19–20, 22–23, 27, 105–108, 110, 113, 115, 121, 125, 128, 130, 135, 148, 156, 164–165, 175, 177, 185–188, 194, 211–212 Sydney Speaks 7, 74, 159, 161, 164 taboo language 51–54, 63, 199 Tasmania 88, 122, 124–125, 127, 175, 182 tense 7; past tense 34–35, 37, 128–129, 219; present perfect 7, 35–36, 38, 45–46, 127, 129–130 TRAP vowel 18, 23–24, 26, 106–107, 109, 112

Index usage guides 211, 216–218 UWA Corpus of English in Australia 70, 76, 79 Victoria 4, 23, 89, 108–109, 111, 122–123, 125–126, 175, 177, 182 Western Australia 75, 107, 124, 126, 135, 141, 147, 175, 212


White Australia Policy 4–5, 214 World War I (WWI) 90, 125, 213 World War II (WWII) 2, 5, 95, 106, 185, 194–196, 198, 212, 214–215 yeah-no 7, 69–70 younger speakers 23, 25–27, 57, 111, 128, 130, 177, 202–204, 233–234