Journal article

Can you t[ae]ll I'm from M[ae]lbourne? An overview of the DRESS and TRAP vowels before /l/ as a regional accent marker in Australian English

Deborah Loakes, John Hajek, Janet Fletcher

English World-Wide: a journal of varieties of English | John Benjamins Publishing | Published : 2017


This study gives an overview of the merger of the DRESS and TRAP 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..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We acknowledge funding from The ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, and from The University of Melbourne, and thanks are due to Joshua Clothier for assistance with data analysis.