Australian English Phonology

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Vowel System

/ɔ ɔː/ in the table below are in two different places. This is because they could be considered in either position. /ɔ/ is open-mid rather than close-mid like the other mid vowels, and it is very laxly rounded, if rounded at all. /ɔː/ is used only in the word "gone" [gɔːn]. It's not an allophonic variation of /ɔ/ or /oː/. It's worth noting that if we consider /ɔ(:)/ unrounded, then all unrounded vowels have long/short pairs, and rounded vowels are long, aside from /u/, which doesn't contrast with a unrounded vowel.

AusE monophthongs according to TAMcL
Front Back
rounded unrounded rounded unrounded
High i iː u uː
Mid e eː øː ɔ (ɔː)
Low æ æː a aː ɔ (ɔː)
AusE diphthongs
Start front Start back
Start high Start low End unround End round
End high ɪi æi oi ɔy
Mid æɔ ɑe


AusE diphthongs №2
End high End mid
Start high Start low
Start front ɪi æi æɔ
Start back oi ɔy ɑe

Proposed Vowel orthography

Jonathan's proposal, №1

AusE monophthongs
Front Back
rounded unrounded rounded unrounded
High i ei eu u ou
Mid e ee eo o (oa) oo
Low a ea a aa o (oa)
AusE diphthongs
End high End mid
Start high Start low
Start front ii ai ao
Start back ui oi ae


Jonathan's proposal, №2

AusE monophthongs
Front Back
rounded unrounded rounded unrounded
High i ei eu u ou
Mid e ee eo o (oa) oo
Low ae ea a aa o (oa)
AusE diphthongs
End high End mid
Start high Start low
Start front ii ai ao
Start back ui oi oe


Jonathan's proposal, №3

AusE monophthongs
Front Back
rounded unrounded rounded unrounded
High i ii iu u uu
Mid e ie io o (uo) uo
Low a ia au ua o (uo)
AusE diphthongs
End high End mid
Start high Start low
Start front ei ai ao
Start back oi ou oe

Hiatus

Like many languages, Australian English forbids hiatus. Here is how it resolves the problem obtained when two vowels collide:

If the ffirst vowel is in set (1), then [ɹ] is added:

(1) ɪː eː aː oː øː ə uə~uː

If the fist vowel is in set (2), then [j] is added:

(2) æi ɪi ɑe oi

If the first vowel is in set (3), then [w] is added:

(3) æɔ ʉː ɔʉ

If the first vowel is in set (4), then it can’t end a word:

(4) ɪ e æ æː a ɔ u

Examples:

Here is a fair amount of far and away the poorest examples of Australian hiatus. These’re only on display if you can see ’em. I always saw the boy in the window, until a cow interfered with you over there. Keep low or you might be hit.

hɪː-ɹ-ɪz ə feː-ɹ-əmæɔnt əv faː-ɹ-ən ewæi ðə poː-ɹ-əst ɪgzæːmpəlz əv əstʃɹæɪliən hɑe-j-æɪtəs. ðɪizə-ɹ-ɔʉnli ɔn dəsplæi-j-ɪf jə kən sɪi-j-əm ɑe-j-oːwæiz soː ðə boi-j-ɪn ðə windɔʉ, antɪl ə kæɔ-w-intəfɪːd wɪθ jʉː-w-ɔʉvɐ ðeː. kɪip lɔʉ-w-ə jə mɑet bi hit

Pronouns and Clitics

This page illustrates some (synchronic) irregularities in English pronoun+clitic combinations. This focusses mainly on cliticised forms of "to be" and "to have" in Australian English. The IPA scheme used is Wikipedia's.

(Diachronically, most of these irregularities are expected, particularly when the expected forms are not ever found.)

An E in the Actual column means the Expected forms are also found. When unstressed, one expects to find vowels shortened or merged with /ə/. Such forms aren't shown unless they occur too when stressed.

Orthography Pronoun Clitic Expected Actual
we're wiː ə 'wiːjə, wɪə weː
we've wiː əv 'wiː(jə)v, wɪv E, wev
you're jʉː ə 'jʉːwə joː
you've jʉː əv 'jʉː(wə)v E, jɔv
they're ðæi ə ðæijə ðeː