General Features of Australian English

?   Mon Jul 11, 2005 5:30 pm GMT
In this dialect survey http://home.unilang.org/main/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6488&start=0&sid=929d60cecee50ded9b6e2a45886c3036, here are two of the Australians responses:

<<Age : 20 Location where you grew up, or location where you learned English: Australia

1. Do you distinguish pronunciation between: caught and cot Yes

Mary, marry, merry Yes
draw and drawl Yes
card and cord Yes
pour and poor No
the vowels in father and bother Yes
pull and pool Yes
wine and whine Yes
toon and tune Yes
fill and feel Yes
fell and fail Yes
horse and hoarse No
hull and hole Yes
new and nu (greek letter)
flour and flower Yes
hire and higher No
loot and lute No
rood and rude No
choose and chews No
you and yew No
the first vowel in furry and hurry No
the first vowel in mirror and nearer Yes
the vowels in bad and lad No
the vowels in bit and kit No
bred and bread Yes
pause and paws No'
'tenor and tenner No
board and bored No
pane and pain No
toe and tow No
sole and soul No
meat and meet No
rode and road No
vain and vein No
rap and wrap No
The vowels in brute and fruit No
The i in libel and the i in Bible Yes
The vowels in dimmer and simmer No
The vowels in gunner and scunner No
not and knot No
mews and muse No
nome and gnome No
roil and royal Yes
taut and taught Yes
2. Do the following sentences sound okay to you? (Don't worry about "technically" correct grammar, just tell me if these sound allright in your opinion, or if you use them.)

I might could do it tonight. No
Do you want to come with? No
We stood on line for two hours. No
She is in hospital. Yes
We seen the movie yesterday. No
The car needs cleaned. No
We are in five. No
3. Write the word that you use to refer to these: source of water over the sink or tub

a carbonated drink soft drink
the thing that you drink out of at the park tap
center of a peach --
Two or more people group
tiny candies put on top of an ice cream cone or cupcake --
the night before Halloween --
small glowing insect visible after dark dragonflies>>

And

<<Age : 18 Location where you grew up, or location where you learned English: Australia Mine are mostly the same as Raza's except for these:

1. Do you distinguish pronunciation between:

flour and flower no
the first vowel in furry and hurry yes
bred and bread no
taut and taught no
2. Do the following sentences sound okay to you? (Don't worry about "technically" correct grammar, just tell me if these sound allright in your opinion, or if you use them.)

Do you want to come with? Yes(Slang, though it'd be like 'Wanna come with?')
3. Write the word that you use to refer to these:

center of a peach - stone
tiny candies put on top of an ice cream cone or cupcake - sprinkles, Hundreds & Thousands>>

Here's my question:

Are these general features of Australian English?
Felix the Cassowary   Tue Jul 12, 2005 1:38 am GMT
I would say there's some oddities in them, particularly the first. In particular, I've never heard a normal Australian distinguish wine/whine, flour/flower (I'd be hard pressed to tell how in a non-rhotic accent!), bred/bread, libel/bible (I have no idea how this might be done), roil/royal or taut/taught (nor this), nor have I heard an Australian not distinguish bad/lad, not doing which sounds Kiwi (if as /bed/, /led/) or British, or furry/hurry. IOW, TMK my English is normal :) I'm a 20 year-old from Victoria, and here's my list of diffs (if different from one, it's included, so all disagreements should be listed. I hope):

wine and whine No
flour and flower No
the first vowel in furry and hurry Yes
the vowels in bad and lad Yes
bred and bread No
The i in libel and the i in Bible No
roil and royal No
taut and taught no
2. Do the following sentences sound okay to you? (Don't worry about "technically" correct grammar, just tell me if these sound allright in your opinion, or if you use them.)
We are in five. Yes (assuming you mean cinema number, else I have no idea what it means)
3. Write the word that you use to refer to these:
source of water over the sink or tub -- tap
center of a peach -- stone
tiny candies put on top of an ice cream cone or cupcake -- hundreds and thousands, sprinkles
small glowing insect visible after dark ?
The real Felix the Cassow   Tue Jul 12, 2005 10:05 am GMT
Hmvl. I don't recall posting that here. To Wikipedia, yes, but not to here.
Jim   Wed Jul 13, 2005 1:34 am GMT
I put it all down to trollcraft. What's described here is not a normal Aussie accent.
?   Wed Jul 13, 2005 1:41 am GMT
''I put it all down to trollcraft. What's described here is not a normal Aussie accent.''

Jim,

What about normal Aussie word use though. Is what's described here not normal Aussie word use either?
?   Wed Jul 13, 2005 1:50 am GMT
''I put it all down to trollcraft. What's described here is not a normal Aussie accent.''

Why? I thought you said on another thread that you distinguished ''bred'' and ''bread''?
Jim   Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:31 am GMT
I do distinguish betweem "bread" and "bred": it's not uncommon in Sydney. However I've never heard any Aussie distinguish between "flower" & "flour". Nor have I ever heard any Aussie merge the first vowel in "furry" and that in "hurry". Also the BAD-LAD split is almost universal in AusE (as far as I know). But ay, I could be a troll too, y'never know ... at least I use the same name (though elsewhere "Jimp" or "Jym").
Uriel   Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:06 am GMT
Just out of curiosity, Jim, how do Australians pronounce "furry" and "hurry" or "bread" and "bred"? And I'm showing my ignorance here, but what is the bad-lad split?
Felix the Cassowary   Thu Nov 03, 2005 4:31 am GMT
Probably you've long forgotten or found out, and no longer care, but...

"Furry" and "hurry" are distinguished as /f3:ri/ and /hari/; "furry" has the same (long) vowel as "fur" or "bird", whereas "hurry" has the same (short) vowel as "cup" or "come". As we pronounce it, the vowel in "furry" sounds much like the in "Gthe", although it's not quite the same; unlike in American English, there's no inherit R-ness about it. The vowel in "hurry" is quite different from the American vowel in "cup" or "come", and sounds almost identical to Spanish or Italian or Japanese "a". If you know phonetic descriptions, the vowel in "furry" is a long front-of-centred close-mid usually rounded vowel, whereas the vowel in "hurry" is a short open central unrounded vowel. As you can no doubt guess, they sound very different to an Australian!

I've never heard "bread" nor "bred" distinguished, but I'm informed that amongst those who do (from Sydney, Adelaide, Perth or Canberra), "bred" has a short vowel /e/, and rhymes with "red"; whereas "bread" has a long vowel /e:/, and rhymes with "haired". (Note that Australians are amongst those who only pronounce R's before vowels.)

The bad-lad split is a split of the short vowel // as in "cat" into two vowels with the same quality (sound) by different quantity (length). The split is largely rule based: before /g/, /n/ and /m/ in the same syllable, you get the long vowel /:/, otherwise you get the short vowel //. However, there are many exceptions; the most important ones are that in the four adjectives "bad", "sad", "mad" and "glad" have lengthened vowels, whereas irregular verbs retain short vowels.

Some examples of where you get the long vowel:
bad, ban, lamb, fanning, manning (John's manning the stall).
Some examples of where you get the short vowel:
bade (as in "I bade him farewell"---not often used), lad, ran, Manning (proper name)

The split is related to one that occurs in some dialects of American English. In Philidelphia and New York City, and maybe a few others, you get a so-called "tense //", which is really a diphthong in much the same environment, except that in American English, the tense // also occurs where Australian English has the trap-bath split (the broad A, we pronounce words like "glass" or "after" as /gla:s/, /a:ft@/ (an American would spell our pronunciation as "gloss" and "ofta"). (Also, NYCE has the tense a before all d's, so that "bad" and "lad" rhyme; whereas PhilE has the tense vowel in "bad", "glad" and "mad", but *not* in "sad", so that whereas "bad" and "sad" rhyme for me, but "sad" and "lad" don't, a PhilE speaker has "sad" and "lad" rhyming, but "sad" and "bad" don't. ... There's a handful of other non-regular differences, and maybe a few regular diffs too.)

Lots has been written about this; a googling will turn up lots of dubious reliability.
Uriel   Thu Nov 03, 2005 5:44 am GMT
Whoa -- blast from the past, but thanks, Felix!

FRANCES -- you do this bread/bred thing? You're from one of those places mentioned.... ;)
Frances   Thu Nov 03, 2005 8:58 am GMT
Yes I have all these things being said on a website (the last mp3 on the page):

http://www.geocities.com/south_australian_stress

Otherwise, for my other answers see the old post: http://www.antimoon.com/forum/posts/7086.htm (btw my website has moved to the above address)

I think there is definitely a split between "bad" and "lad" for Australians. I personally say "roil" and "royal" the same way. I think I do tend to stretch "libel" so it almost sound like "liable" so I have to say it does not sound the same as "bible". I should do a recording for you sometime. I also think I split bread-bred.

(btw hello Felix, fellow wikipedian :))

I call them stonefruit and they have stones btw - peaches etc. That is technically correct
Felix the Cassowary   Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:06 am GMT
Just to clarify, when I said that those places had the bread-bred split, it just means that people on the Internet have claimed that they have it, and lives in those places. I've never heard it, and I've never seen anything written about it. Most certainly I don't mean to claim that everyone or even a significant minority of people in those places have it; nor that places apart from those don't have it. I also don't want to imply that Frances (Hello!) and other people who claim to have it don't, I'm just trying to disclaim as much knowledge on the topic as possible!

On a completely unrelated note Frances, as a SAn living in Melbourne, how obvious is the celery-salary merger of Melburnian speech to you? Aparently though I can't hear or make the difference in English speech, I can if I'm listening to or trying to reproduce foreign speech (more specifically the Swedish word I think's spelt "kella", something like /ʃella/, meaning "spring").
Frances   Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:04 pm GMT
Felix - I thought I had a bread-bred split because it sounds like that when I say it in my head but when I record it, there doesn't seem to me that there is a difference between the two. But my mp3 has been appropriated by some other website (or was so on my older website) to justify that it does occur. We need it to be fed through one of those programmes that the determines the frequency of sounds to determine if it is.

(KIRK if you are around, can you do it?)

Now that I have lived here in Melb for about 10 months (and just far enough from the ASX on Collins St :)), I can now hear both SA and Vic "accents"* but I couldn't hear the SA one because it just sounded like "normal" speech to me, so I wouldn't expect you to hear the Vic "accent".

(* I put it in quotation marks because of this debate of whether it exists in the first place).

Now in regard to salary-celery merger - certainly does exist in most people. Not all Melbournians talk the same, some have particularly strong "accents", but on the whole it does occur.

Other things that I have realised are on this post: http://www.antimoon.com/forum/posts/6707.htm

Also the second syllable in "anything" gets schwaed and sounds like an-uh-thing when a Victorian says it.

I've noticed that SA probably schwas vowels more often than other Australians and that's probably why we get asked if we are Kiwi here (or if they are pretty educated about this topic, tell me that I have a strong SA accent). Grant65 (on wiki) doesn't agree with this hypothesis though.

But there is something different going on with the SA "accent", I hear it loud and strong when I go back to SA to visit. Another pecularity is that "you" (or "ou") gets really truncated (this is actually mentioned in literature too). I was in Adel last week and was served at the counter and the lady said to me "thank yoy", that's what it sounded to me. Mine is slightly truncated but not that much.
Guest   Sat Nov 05, 2005 7:32 am GMT
Interesting to see the term "quotation marks"; another example of the enthusiasm with which younger Australians embrace newer influences. Baby boomers and older are happy to stick with the conventional English and Australian usage "inverted commas".
Guest   Sat Nov 05, 2005 8:24 am GMT
Are you younger and enthusiastic, Frances?