Australian English and How It Is Impacted by Society

Topics: English language, Australian English, Australia Pages: 3 (978 words) Published: April 8, 2013
‘As our society has changed, Australian English as a unique variety has virtually disappeared, leading to a significant loss of national identity. It seems we no longer want to be different.’ Discuss.

Australian English is a unique, thriving and clear identity that presents itself through language. Our language is unique in its use and meaning of words reflected in our use of the subsystems of language including the lexicology, morphology and semantics that have Australian’s priding themselves on being friendly, fair and informality; and also phonological features such as the Australian accent which is the one of the main marker of Australian identity that is easily distinguishable among the world. Although Australians have had some foreign influences, our language and identity is still as strong as it’s always been.

The semantic features of Australian English are different in that certain language meaning and use vary from other forms of English. “An Australian’s greatest talent is for idiomatic invention. It is a manifestation of our vitality and restless imagination” (S Baker) supports the notion of our idioms reflecting the difference in language use and meaning, idioms such as ‘out of pocket’ – spent more than what was received, ‘up a gum-tree’ – being in trouble and ‘fair shake of the sauce bottle’ – having a fair go which is used by the prime minister in attempt create a sense of friendliness and informality to reach out to a different audience. Idioms can not only reflect national identity but can be narrowed down to for example a Melbourne identity, ‘More front than Myers’ which shows our dislike of people who ‘big note’ themselves, also manifested in the term Tall Poppy Syndrome. In these idioms, there is also a sense of identity created by the humour of these non-literal terms that associate our language with one of wit. Australian’s pride themselves on being friendly, fair and informed. These qualities are reflected in the language used with an...
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