Western Australian English


Western Australian English

Western Australian English, or West Australian English, is the collective name given to the variety or varieties of English spoken in the Australian state of Western Australia (WA). As with the other regional varieties within Australian English, these have distinctive vocabularies.

While there is no well-known "West Australian accent", some linguists have suggested that Western Australians tend to pronounce words such as beer with two syllables (IPA|/biː.ə/ or "be-ah"), in cases where other Australians use one syllable (IPA|/biə/). [http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2005/01/28/1106850111479.html]

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Macquarie Dictionary, there are three localised, regional varieties of English in WA: "Perth English"; "Central West Australian English" and "Northern West Australian English". While there are many commonalities, each has its own variations in vocabulary. [http://abc.net.au/wordmap/default.htm]

Some common British usages, which are rare in other parts of Australia, have survived, such as "verge" (meaning the area between a road and a paved footpath), which is known by the term "nature strip" in the rest of Australia.

Some US terms, such as "crosswalk" (also known as a "pedestrian crossing" or "zebra crossing") have also found a niche in WA.

Many words from Aboriginal languages have found their way into West Australian English. Examples include "gidgee" (or "gidgie"), a Noongar word for spear, as used in modern spear fishing; and "gilgie" (or "jilgie"), the Noongar name for a small freshwater crayfish of the South West. Another (or possibly an invented word intended to sound "Aboriginal") is "boondie" which means a small stone (and is pronounced with a ʊ, like the vowel in "bull").

There are also many unique, invented slang words, such as "ding", meaning an Italian immigrant. (This word is often considered derogatory and/or offensive).

ee also

*Australian English
*Regional variation in Australian English
*Australian words
*Australian English phonology
*Other regional varieties:
**South Australian English

References

*Maureen Brooks and Joan Ritchie, "Words from the West: A Glossary of Western Australian Terms." Oxford University Press (1994). ISBN 0-19-553628-2
*Rhonda Oliver, Graham McKay and Judith Rochecouste, "Lexical Variation among Western Australian Primary School Children", "Australian Journal of Linguistics", vol. 22, no. 2 (October 01, 2002) pp. 207 - 229.


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