Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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  • Can you t[æ]ll I’m from M[æ]lbourne?

    An overview of the dress and trap vowels before /l/ as a regional accent marker in Australian English

  • Author(s): Deborah Loakes 1 , John Hajek 2  and Janet Fletcher 2
  • View Affiliations Hide Affiliations
    1 The University of Melbourne / ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language
    2 The University of Melbourne – ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language
  • Source: English World-Wide, Volume 38, Issue 1, Jan 2017, p. 29 - 49
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/eww.38.1.03loa
    • Version of Record published : 17 Jun 2017


This study gives an overview of the merger of the and vowels before laterals, which occurs for some speakers of Australian English in the state of Victoria (in the south-east of the country), as well as in some other varieties of English. Research on this phenomenon in Australian English has been preliminary to date, but has uncovered some general tendencies in distribution, as well as possible motivators for actuation and spread of the change. The aim of this paper is to describe and orient the phenomenon in the context of English worldwide, and while we work with some illustrative experimental data, our aim is not to provide a detailed quantitative sociophonetic perspective here. This paper further aims to illustrate the extent of the variability seen in the Australian English community with respect to ongoing change.


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