Australian English Essay

1118 words - 5 pages

Strine:
‘Stralyan Slang from Singlet and Stubby

The question “What makes us Australian?” has underscored Australian politics and culture since the Second World War.
Is it the colour of our skin?
No; immigration means that 10% of all Australians are now of non-European extraction.
Is it our culture?
Perhaps, but there are hundreds of different cultures co-existing in Australia, again, due to immigration, and if we were to take White Australian Culture as national, then - how unique is it really in comparison to New Zealand, Canada, the U.K. and the like?
“Ah!” I hear you say, “But what about our language? Now that’s something we almost all have in common.”
All right then, does ...view middle of the document...

It rose to fame with the Australian Television satire Summer Heights High.
From the words mentioned above, Bogan and Ranga are two which can be described as slang. Fittingly enough, there is another slang term used to denote the very same slang it defines: Strine.
The colloquialisms of our Language, known nationally as Australianisms, take three forms. The first, diminutives, are abbreviations on nouns such as ‘afternoon’, ‘breakfast’ and ‘football’. These turn into arvo, brekky and footy. A similar pattern can also be followed for other words like journo, from journalist, and hecky, from hectic, a noun for an aggressive, hard-drinking youth. The second, nicknames, are endearing variations on one’s first or last name such as Whitey, from White, Johnno, from John, and Jezz, from Jeremy. The third form of Australianisms are incomplete comparisons, these include ‘sweet as’ and, similarly, ‘sick as’, expressing pleasure or approval.
The Australian accent is just as, if not more, Australian than our strine or colloquialisms, and it would simply be unthinkable to barbeque a shrimp without one. From 1788 it developed haphazardly from a mish-mash of British and Irish dialects. None, however, of the first generation of Australian born children would have spoken the dialects of their parents.
Dr. Bruce Moore: “A speaker with some very pronounced dialect sounds might find it very much to their advantage to modify those sounds if they caused significant misunderstandings for the speakers of other dialects.” He continues, “...many of the really distinctive dialect variants that existed among the speakers of their [the children’s] parents' generation would have been eliminated. A process of dialect levelling would have taken place.”
Soon, Australian pronunciation splintered into three categories: Cultivated Australian, the accent of the well-educated, General Australian, the accent we recognise today, and Broad Australian, the accent of Strine. Cultivated Australian English, most similar to British Received Pronunciation, is now only spoken by 10% of the population and is on the decline. General Australian is spoken by 80% of the population and is a compromise between Cultivated and Broad. Broad Australian is spoken by 10% of the population and is the accent most commonly identified as stereotypically Australian.
However, even within the category General Australian, there exist regional variations. The most passionately disputed of these is the ‘gra-ph or gra-rph dilemma’. In South Australia and Victoria the word ‘graph’ is...

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