Varieties of english around the world: Australian english
Alkain Arizmendi, Maddi
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Although English is the native language of the majority of the population in Australia, not many EFL learners have a comprehensive knowledge of the characteristics of Australian English, in comparison with other major varieties of English such as American or British English. This paper aims to describe Australian English (AusE) so as to shed some light on it. In order to do so, the sociohistorical context in which AusE emerged and developed is covered in the first section, followed by a large section which deals with a detailed description of the most salient linguistic features of the variety of English spoken in Australia. This section not only focuses on AusE phonetic and phonological features, but it also reviews the main characteristics of this variety relating to the linguistic levels of morphosyntax and lexis. Australian English is a mixture of British dialects, mainly from the southeast of England, from which three major accent types have developed, namely Broad, General and Cultivated. Australian English is rather homogeneous across regions; the use of an accent type over others depends on social factors. Broad accent, being the most marked accent, displays many salient phonetic realisations, whereas Cultivated pronunciation is close to RP. Certain AusE phonetic and phonological features, such as the fronting of monophthongs, contribute to the uniqueness of this variety, whereas the morphosyntactic structure of AusE is relatively similar to that of British English and American English. At the level of morphosyntax, AusE mostly differs from the northern hemisphere varieties in aspects related to the verb phrase, like tense and modality. AusE lexicon is distinct from the lexis of other English varieties in that it includes borrowings from Aboriginal languages, slang that British convicts used in the past, as well as hypocoristics or diminutives, the latter possibly being one of the most characteristic features associated with Australian English.