Australian English

From IBWiki

Jump to: navigation, search

This article is a proposal

It has not been ratified and therefore the information on this page is not protected by QSS.
You are welcome to correct errors and/or express your opinion at the Discussion Page.

Comments interspersed.



Australian English spelling was standardised during the 1930s in an effort to further unite the people.

Query: should it not be "Australasian English"?

1. Thorn is used to represent [T] and [D].

Why? Is there a reason why a new letter is introduced? Do Aussies *here* distinguish between thorn, edh and dee?

2. Latin -tion/-cion are now all spelt with -cion

Why? There haven't been any -tion words in IB English since probably the 15th century or so -- whenever it was the two merged originally. Is there a reason for going back and changing all those words?


3. -er remains as such.E.g þeater

I suppose it could be "changed to" -er -- there was never an -er form in IB English for it to "remain as such" as far as I know.

I thought -er was kept for comparatives? Uniformity being the reason for standardisation.
It is, but þeater isn't a comparative adjective, it's a noun. In IB English, we might have "Odeon's a bigger þeatre þan Cinemat".

4. As i followed by spirant gh is lengthened in all common forms of english, the sound remains spelled as -igh. E.g Night, sight, fright, delight etc

The sound in several forms of British English is in fact [Ixt], apparently, hence the odd Brithenig inspired spelling. Never mind -- it looks like you're just levelling the spelling from -ch/-gh to -gh, not changing the actual sound, [xt].

5. Final [-k] is spelt as -ck. E.g plastick, barbarick.

6. Gerund and the present participle are both spelled -in. E.g singin, walkin, speakin.

That actually makes good sense, given the general "lower class" source of Australasian English.


Final -s is always pronounced as a hard z.

Odd, given that "lower class" English back home has [s], but I have no problem with this. Just please don't introduce -z as an ending!

I thought we could use this as an obvious dialectal distinction from Standard England English.
OK, though most dialects have [s] rather than [z] in final position. Mind you, there are many folks in the South that voice initial voiceless (as well as final) sibilants. Quite striking: vowks = folks, vox = fox, zound = sound, etc. I'm not suggesting you make that the standard for Australasia!

My, your, our are often pronounced ma, ya, ar.

I is often pronounced as a schwa.



2nd person singular is ye (NB. NOT pronounced as 'yee' as in Scots). 2nd person plural is youse on the Eastern seaboard, and y'all on the Western coast.

Again odd, given that "lower class" English is all tha/ye but apparently there's some Scots influence there!

I did think of this however due to the nature of Colonial Australian society *Here, where the class distinction broke down due to the small and isolated population, I decided to keep them. The distance from the ruling peoples' who sent them all to "Terra Nullius" in the first place, in my mind, aided this break down.
Keep what? I'm not sure I understand this.


Verb conjugations in the present tense are all the same except for the 3rd person singular. E.g I see, ye see, he sees.

Again, quite odd. What caused the radical shift, and why is the 3s, mm, "singled" out in this manner?

The negative is formed mostly through the construction I do not speak as oppose to Sowthron I speak not.

Since there is a current of "lower class" speech that goes for "I do not speak", this makes some sense.

Personal tools