Talk:Australian English phonology

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Talk:Variation in Australian English

Madder[edit]

Here's a potential minimal pair: madder and madder. The only problem is that I don't think I've heard the latter ever pronounced so I'm only guessing that it would have /æ/ as opposed to the former's /æː/. Jimp 01:32 (UTC) P.S. Though it be only a guess as I've mentioned this is perhaps interesting in itself: why would I guess so? Indeed if I read the article on the plant using the pronunciation of the surperlative in my head, it does sound off, so what's the go here? Jimp 01:37, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Two sides of the same coin:
That pair alone isn’t enough to prove that /æː/ is a phoneme in Australian English; the syllable boundary could be after the /d/ in “more mad” (keeping with the morpheme boundary) but before it in the plant’s name (for a basic CV.CV word). Better evidence for the difference is pairs like ran~Wran or mad~lad. Even ran~Wran could be described with “ran” being faithful to the length of the base form, “run”, but “Wran” following the regular course.
As for the way you’re reading it; that’s simple: lengthening doesn’t (never) happens if the consonant is followed by a vowel or approximant, unless a morpheme boundary intervenes; the contrast is restricted to closed syllables. You’re treating the plant’s name as monomorphemic, so lengthening would be anomalous.
Felix the Cassowary 12:56, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
That's some interesting stuff there Felix. However, wouldn't /mæ.də/ break the rule (with its short stressed vowel in the open syllable)? Jimp 07:10, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
No; that’s precisely what you expect. English /æ/ lengthening is not Swedish vowel lengethening. The plant is /mæ.də/; the superlative is in some (possibly historical) way /mæd.ə/ [mæːd.ə]. Today, it might be the case that the superlative is /mæːd-ə/ [mæː.də] where the length is retained from the underlying specification, rather than added.
Also, don’t forget that /d/ doesn’t/didn’t generally cause lengthening; it’s just the case that four words ending in -d happen to have long vowels: mad, glad, sad and bad. All other words ending in -ad have a short /æd/: had, fad,[*] lad, dad, pad, ... and I also read neologisms like spad, blad with short vowels.
[*] I’ve always pronounced the “politically correct” name for a certain brand of fake cigarette lollies I liked as a kid as [fæːdz], presumably because the old name for them was [fæːgz]. But a passing superficial fashion is [fæd].
Felix the Cassowary 15:12, 2 April 2007 (UTC)


I disagree about 'dad'-- for me and everyone I know it's long.Marquetry28 (talk) 05:19, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

How about these?

  • span (one past tense of spin) — span (e.g. like wingspan)
  • can (verb) — can (noun)
  • ran (past tense of run) — Wran (surname)
  • bade (past tense of bid) — bad (not good)

JIMp talk·cont 15:30, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

T Glottalisation?[edit]

The article claims that some speakers glottalise the 't' where it is found on the end of a word (eg 'paint'). I have lived in Australia my whole life however and have never heard this from a native speaker of Australian English. T glottalisation is for all I know I feature of South-Eastern Estuary and Cockney British accents. Is it possible that these speakers, if they exist, are those who have spent time in the United Kingdom and picked up this feature? Saruman-the-white (talk) 08:40, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

It's more likely that you are not understanding what's being described than that you haven't heard the phenomenan. Cox & Palethorpe (2007) say:

"Glottal stops may function as allophones of /t/ (glottalling) in syllable-final position before syllabic /n/ and other non-syllabic sonorants (for example, button [bɐʔn̩], cotton [kʰɔʔn̩], butler [bɐʔlə], light rain [lɑeʔɹæɪ̃n] or not now [nɔʔnæɔ]) (Tollfree 2001). It is very unusual for glottal stops to replace /t/ intervocalically, before syllabic /l/ or /m/, or in pre-pausal position. Glottal reinforcement (glottalisation) of voiceless stops is, however, often found, particularly in syllable-final nonpre-vocalic environments, and is commonly accompanied by laryngealisation." (p. 343)

Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 15:04, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
I asked three different people (two general, one broad) to say, "I want to paint the wall" and "push the button", and all three glottalised the T's in "paint" and "button". It does seem to be fairly common. Orderinchaos 12:52, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Do you mean they flapped the t's? (ie, pronounced them more as D's? as Australians and North Americans do) ie "buddon" for button? Glottalising would be more like "bah'on" for button or "wor'ah" for water (a complete loss of the "t" as in Cockney: glottalisation) rather than "buddon or wader" as in AusE. I have never encountered this phenomenon in any native speaker of Australian English, whereas flapping is universal with the possibly exception of the cultivated accent.Saruman-the-white (talk) 14:44, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
See the above quote, which claims that Australian English glottalizes /t/ in button but not water.Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 15:46, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

It is indeed very common. I too say [ˈbaʔn̩] (glottalised) and [ˈwoːɾə] (flapped) in normal speech. I only pronounce [ˈbatn̩] and [ˈwoːtə] when enunciating. --101.112.163.217 (talk) 01:37, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Neutral vowel at end of word[edit]

I'm not sure how to type in the "upside down" e to indicate neutral vowel. However it's very common nowadays, if not universal, with people under the age of 30, to hear this vowel pronounced as a flat and very pronounced "a".

For example: "My father is a doctor" will be pronounced by most young Australians (particularly female) as "My Fathah is a Doctah" with the stress moved from the first syllable and equal emphasis given to both syllables.

A really obvious example is the pronuciation of "year" by most young people. Instead of a smooth transition to a final neutral vowel, the word is now regularly pronouncedas "yee-hah" as if a double syllable. --MichaelGG (talk) 08:41, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

I've heard those things too. They do seem to me to be more common (but not universal) with young people in my experience. Accentman (talk) 04:41, 12 June 2013 (UTC)