Australian English as a regional epicenter

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This paper explores whether an evolving regional standard of English could impact on the development of neighboring varieties while still consolidating its own identity. In the case of Australian English this can be seen in several kinds of lexical innovation, which are uniquely or strongly associated with it and have subsequently entered the New Zealand lexicon, e.g. convict terms adapted for agriculture, Aboriginal loanwords, and morphological developments such as hypocoristics ending in -ie/-y and -o. The historical context for these 19th century Australian inputs to New Zealand English was the participation of Australian emigrants in the New Zealand pastoral industry. It shows that a regional variety can exercise areal influence before becoming a fully fledged epicenter.


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