Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Aussie R and YA : A Personal View

You may or may not have seen #IPA #symbol charts before.
After I post the charts I'm going to discuss what those symbols mean to an actual speaker.

What you thought I was French Canadian or British?
Some people just don't read profiles!?

You'ld think given our multi-ethnic and multilingual population we might have more deviance form British or American English perhaps towards Irish or Scots English or sounds from Italian or Greek or Cantonese or Serb-Croat but no.

The melting pot effect has given us the sounds about and an accent allegedly NON RHOTIC.

We have an initial R  but R at the end of the words and syllables in works like park or lurker tends to merge with other sounds.

To native speakers who have NOT studied linguistics it sounds like a final R to us but an R sound that changes vowels to a full rounded longer sound. Frankly to me it sounds like a lot of other dialects of English are far more NON RHOTIC especially the dialects used in some of the Southern states of the USA! I have wondered why despite having many people, adults and children, who are bilingual in a variety of languages that have far more palatals than English, like Italian, or Vietnamese, that we have SO FEW!

The most notorious example of this is AUSTRALIA which tends to be pronounced formally as OSTRALEEA or informally in the broadest Aussie accent as OSTRAYA.

Its the whole rounding thing again with R at the start of a syllable also effecting sounds that follow.

If you're trying to describe Australian English without using IPA symbols I would suggest you type "arh"to emulate that rounded lengthened sound and not "AH".  

I tend to shift from formal or informal rhoticisms depending on context and who I'm speaking to  or what I'm reading aloud, and I sometimes apparently stress my "R" to the point of sounding less Australian for various reasons with one of them probably being a grandmother who had a Glasgow Scots English accent and speech therapists teaching a standard closer to British than Australian English.

We do have an R but it tends to fuse with other consonants and vowels!