Aussie Academic Reckons Accent Was Formed From Ancestors Being Drunk

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Aussie Academic Reckons Accent Was Formed From Ancestors Being Drunk

Some people like to claim the Aussie accent is one of the sexiest in the world, competing with the likes of the English, the Irish and Americans. The land Down Under doesn't have nearly as many variations as our European, UK or US counterparts, but there might be some subtle hints to suggest a person is from the bush or a big city.

There are also a few differences between people from different capital cities.

Despite those minor variances, it's a far cry away from the British ancestors, who brought English to Australia more than 200 years ago. It's hard to pinpoint what caused Aussies to develop the particularly lovely tongue, but one academic thinks he's cracked the code.


Credit: 20th Century Fox/Crocodile Dundee

Victorian University lecturer Dean Frenkel wrote in The Age: "The Australian alphabet cocktail was spiked by alcohol. Our forefathers regularly got drunk together and through their frequent interactions unknowingly added an alcoholic slur to our national speech patterns.

"Missing consonants can include missing 't's (Impordant), 'l's (Austraya) and 's's (yesh), while many of our vowels are lazily transformed into other vowels, especially 'a's to 'e's (stending) and 'i's (New South Wyles) and "i"s to "oi"s (noight)."

Sure, Aussies don't mind a beer or two, and certainly enjoy shortening every word imaginable and chucking an a, e, o or z on the end - but to claim that ancestors were all drunk all the time and that produced our accent might be a slap in the face to some Aussies.


Credit: Channel 9

Unsurprisingly, Mr Frenkel's allegations have raised a few eyebrows and received a lot of criticism.

Linguist Dr Rob Pensalfini has dubbed the report as 'absolute rubbish', telling the ABC: "They say New Yorkers have nasal voices because they have to cut through the noise of the traffic. The original one for Australia was we speak in a slurred and closed-lip way to keep the flies out of their mouths.


"They're all completely baseless...I want to see the evidence, I want to see the instrumental valuations."

He adds that it's a bit of a cliché that drunk people slur their words, saying that there are many people who over-articulate after having one too many pints because they're intently focusing on what they're trying to say.


Some people might be proud at the thought that our accent is associated with our love of a cold one - however it's not the classiest thing to have attached to our culture.

It's pretty hard to definitively prove exactly what caused the Aussie tongue to develop like it did, but most of us are pretty happy with the way it is.

Sources: The Age, ABC

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: accent, Australian News, Funny, Interesting, History, Alcohol, Community, Weird, Beer, Australia

Stewart Perrie
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