Theory Suggests Australian Accent Developed Over Drinks

istock collage
istock collage / istock collage

One Australian academic has a theory about how the Australian accent developed that is sure to raise a few eyebrows (and, perhaps, a few stubbie holders). Victoria University professor Dean Frenkel suggests that the blending of dialects in the colony over time that eventually led to the Aussie accent mostly happened while the speakers were intoxicated. So on top of influences from Aboriginal, English, Irish, and German, the Australian accent also has a few pints to thank for its lazy spin.

“The Australian alphabet cocktail was spiked by alcohol,” Frenkel writes at The Age. The lecturer believes that a lot of Australian's key pronunciations are the result of drunken conversations—and that the country's forefathers were drunk so often that the sloppy slur snuck its way into everyday speech, affecting communication:

"The average Australian speaks to just two-thirds capacity—with one-third of our articulator muscles always sedentary as if lying on the couch; and that's just concerning articulation. Missing consonants can include missing 'T's (Impordant), 'L's (Austraya) and 'S's (yesh), while many of our vowels are lazily transformed into other vowels, especially 'A's to 'E's (stending) and 'I's (New South Wyles) and 'I's to 'OI's (noight)."

Frenkel worries that this lazy speech negatively impacts the country. "Poor communication is evident among all sectors of Australian society and the annual cost to Australia may amount to billions of dollars," he writes. "If we all received communication training, Australia would become a cleverer country. When rhetoric is presented effectively, it enables content to be communicated in a listener-friendly environment, with well-chosen words spoken at a listenable rate and with balanced volume, fluency, clarity and understandability."

[h/t: The Independent]