Sociolinguistics of Australian English Essay

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Sociolinguistics of Australian English

Behind every language lies a fascinatingly intricate structure, which contains much more than a simple set of symbols. Language is not merely a code used to switch a text from one idiom to another, but an entity with its own complex, intriguing characteristics. In fact, exact translations do not even exist from one language to another because every dialect possesses unique aspects that have come about from centuries of social change and interaction. In return, language, through everyday speech, as well as literature, shapes society. Therefore, “language is one of the most powerful emblems of social behavior.”[1] From this idea emerged sociolinguistics, one of the most important
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Books such as A Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms[2] and the national Macquarie Dictionary[3] contain thousands upon thousands of examples of jargon not found in any other English-speaking nation. However, the linguistic properties of AE are much more profound than vocabulary. In order to examine this issue more thoroughly, this study poses questions including the following:

· How and when did AE originate?

· What are AE’s unique characteristics, and of what are they the results?

· What are the linguistic differences of AE within Australia, particularly with respect to geographical region, gender, and age?

· What social consequences and attitudes arise from AE?

Compared to that of many other dialects, the history of AE is relatively young. British colonization of Australia did not begin until the late eighteenth century; however, the characteristic Australian accent appeared within only one generation of the 1788 establishment of the first penal colony.[4] The fact that “white” Australia has its roots in the penal system undoubtedly affects Australian culture, including language. Even today, tourists can visit the historic gaols of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and many other towns and cities. Australian convicts of the early years, like Ned Kelly, still possess a place in popular culture through films, television, literature, and artwork. Obviously today Australia

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