Australian Vernacular English

Australian Vernacular English is a variety which can be heard in the conversational speech of some Australians, especially working class and country men. It is characterised by the frequent occurrence of certain phonological and grammatical features that are rare or absent in more standard varieties. Some Australians consistently use the full range of Australian Vernacular English features in conversation while others use only part of the range. The strongest input into this speech tradition appears to have come from the dialects of southeast England, especially London Cockney. Australian Vernacular English may be contrasted with two other mainstream varieties of Australian English: Standard Australian Colloquial English and Standard Australian Formal English. Although Australian Vernacular English is arguably an endangered language – its basilectal speakers make up a diminishing proportion of the total population – it is likely to remain strong in places where men gather to do manual work, play sports or socialise. Andrew Pawleyʼs Handbook chapter (Pawley 2008) is mainly based on data from Tasmania.

No. Feature Value