Volume 44, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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Work on variable (ing) has highlighted its long-term stability and shared conditioning across English varieties. Here, we ask whether similar stability and conditioning holds in Australian English over time and across ethnicity. The data come from sociolinguistic interviews with 204 Australians stratified according to age, gender, social class and ethnicity, drawn from the project. Analyses of 13,000 (ing) tokens reveal very low alveolar rates, but generally similar conditioning to that of other English varieties, with the exception of word class, for which variability was initially largely limited to verbal tokens before extending to include the pronouns and . Ethnic differences are evident in rates of use: Italian Australians evince higher, and Greek and Chinese Australians lower, rates of [n]. These differences are accounted for by class affiliations, suggesting that (ing) may be an ideal variable for considering the interplay between social class and ethnicity.


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