Journal article

New insights into /el/-/AE l/ merging in Australian English

Penelope Schmidt, Chloe Diskin-Holdaway, Debbie Loakes

Australian Journal of Linguistics | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2021


A merger exists in Australian English in which /el/ is realized as [æl] for a number of speakers, particularly in Victoria. There have also been some observations of /æl/ raising to [el], termed “transposition”. Although thought to be characteristic of older speakers, empirical evidence for transposition is scant. Here we report the discovery of substantive degrees of merging in thirteen older speakers, aged between 51 and 80, from Ocean Grove, Victoria. Auditory and acoustic methods showed bidirectional vowel movement, with speakers converging on both the /æ/ and /e/ phonemes. Increasing velarization of the lateral has been posited as a factor in the development of the merger in Victoria, a..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council (ARC)

Funding Acknowledgements

Debbie Loakes was supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) [grant number: CE140100041].