Play soundbites of Australian voices on Audio Illustrations . . .
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Do people from different places speak with different accents? Use our Regional Accents Map to find out . . .
This website celebrates the many and varied Australian English voices.
aussie accents to be preserved for posterity
We are pleased to announce the launch of a national initiative to collect the accents of 1000 Australian English
speakers. Australian English accents from adults of all ages from various locations in all states and territories will be collected to represent the regional and social diversity of Australian English. To become involved visit (austalk.edu.au).
Australian English is the standard language spoken in Australia. It is the language used by people who are born
and raised in this country and also by those who immigrate during childhood or early adolescence. In addition to English, over 200 languages are spoken in Australia and more than 50,000 people speak an Australian indigenous language (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006).
Amongst native-born Australians, at least three categories of English exist: Standard Australian English, varieties of Aboriginal English, and various ethnocultural Australian English dialects. Australian English functions as a significant and extremely powerful symbol of national identity. It is one of the well-known World Englishes and is a mature dialect with its own internal norms and standards. All Australian English dialect types significantly reflect Australian identity but, in addition, reveal the cultural affiliation of the speaker, whether Australian, Lebanese, Greek, Indigenous, Vietnamese or the myriad of other cultural choices available to Australians in the 21st century. The label ‘Australian English’ should be considered a term that embraces all of these various dialectal types. Such a modification to the traditional concept of Australian English will help capture the linguistic landscape of the changing Australian culture.
Prominent Australian author, Tim Winton, in his 2009 Miles Franklin Award acceptance speech, acknowledged the important cultural value of embracing Australian stories and telling them with our own accent. "The cultural cringe died a long slow death while I was a kid. I was a beneficiary of a new optimism and confidence in Australia . . . Australian writers began to be honoured at home and to be treated as equals abroad. I feel incredibly lucky to have come of age in a country that honours its own stories and accents." A video of his speech can be found at http://breath.timwinton.com.au.
level of study
relevant information for your level of study
In addition to presenting an educational website, we have structured the site so that students and researchers can easily access the information most relevant to them.
If you have explored the introductory pages and are keen to learn more about the Australian accent, the STUDY BASICS section will equip you with a basic understanding of the relevant linguistics terms and approach to study so that you can better understand the ADVANCED STUDY information. On the Further Study page, you'll find a great deal of information about the way in which vowels and consonants are pronounced by speakers of Australian English, including many audio examples and interactive charts.
This site will be continually updated as new research information becomes available.
reference this site
Please acknowledge any reference to this site using the following:
Cox, F. and Palethorpe, S. (2010) Australian Voices, Macquarie University, http://clas.mq.edu.au/australian-voices
Warning: This site contains the images and voices of people who have passed away.
Have you ever spoken to your friend, and stopped for one second to consider not only what he is saying, but also how he is saying it? The language, the structure and what this tells us about his voice. One can argue that the ‘voice’ is incredibly important. It is the ‘voice’ that enables Human beings to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas orally to one another. Universally, we find there is a distinct importance on this idea, as despite the circumstance, the ‘voice’ provides us with important insights into the individuals and the messages they are conveying. However, in particular it is the language that individuals utilise at their exposure, which creates the power in their voice. For instance, we find that simple things such as the use of formal language juxtaposed to colloquial language, emotive language compared to rigid and objective language, all play a part in the representation of the ‘voice’. The film ‘The Castle’ and the song ‘You are the voice’ by John Fernham in particular, give us clear insights into not only the notion of voice, and how language influences ones voice, but rather Australian voices in particular. Throughout these texts, the power of language is used to represent ideas about the differences between the ‘authority’ and the ‘underdogs’ and their power and powerlessness respectively. By association, we find that the Australian voice is then further revealed through the exploration of language, as we see notions of justice, mateship and the Aussie battling mentality – central aspects of Australian culture and the Australian voice.
From the outset, we find that there is a profound contrast between the voice of the ‘underdog’ in comparison to the ‘authority’. When Darryl Kerrigan faces the Judge at the tribunal in an attempt to protect their home from acquisition by ‘Airlink’, we find a disparity in the language conventions used by each. Darryl’s lack of formality and legal language is evident through his constant use of colloquial...