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Department of Linguistics

Can you account for the regional differences in accent that do exist within Australia?

Regionally, Australian English is a very uniform dialect. There are not the regional differences that are present in Britain or the US for instance. There is however regionalism in accent that gives listeners clues to the origin of a speaker. This is not the same as regionalism in words where speakers from different parts of the country use different words for the same meaning. In terms of accent there are a few regional markers. Young people from Victoria, for instance, may be more likely to say “Malbourne” for Melbourne, and their words “salary” and “celery” may sound the same or similar. Western Australians may be more likely to ask for a “beerar” at the pub or comb their “hairar”. South Australians may use a vowel-like sound for “l” at the end of words. For instance, “milk” may be pronounced as “miook”.