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Australian English Reimagined: Structure, Features and Developments

1st Edition

Edited By Louisa Willoughby, Howard Manns

Australian English is perhaps best known for its colourful slang, but the variety is much richer than slang alone. This collection provides a detailed account of Australian English by bringing together leading scholars of this English variety. These scholars provide a comprehensive overview of Australian English’s distinctive features and outline cutting-edge research into the variation and change of English in Australia. Organised thematically, this volume explores the ways in which Australian English differs from other varieties of English, as well as examining regional, social and stylistic variation within the variety.

The volume first explores particular structural features where Australian English differentiates itself from other English varieties. There are chapters on phonetics and phonology, socio-phonetics, lexicon and discourse-pragmatics as these elements are core to understanding any variety of English, especially within the World Englishes paradigm. It then considers what are arguably the most salient aspects of variation within Australian English and finally focuses on historical, attitudinal and planning aspects of Australian English.

This volume provides a thorough account of Australian English and its users as complex, diverse and worthy of study. Perhaps more importantly, this volume’s scholars provide a reimagining of Australian English and the paradigm through which future scholars may proceed.


Table of Contents

1. Introducing Australian English (Louisa Willoughby and Howard Manns)

Part 1: Features of Australian English

2. Phonetics and Phonology of Australian English (Felicity Cox)

3. Tense, Aspect and Modality in Australian English (Peter Collins and Xinyue Yao)

4. Negation in Australian English: from bugger all to no worries (Isabelle Burke)

5. Reimagining Discourse-pragmatic Features of Australian Englishes (Celeste Rodríguez Louro)

6. The Lexicon of Australian English (Howard Manns)

Part 2: Internal Variation in Australian English

7. Sociophonetics of Australian English (Debbie Loakes)

8. Lexical and Morphosyntactic Variation in Australian English (Lee Murray and Howard Manns)

9. Aboriginal English(es) (Greg Dickson)

10. Ethnolectal Variability in Australian English(Joshua Clothier)

Part 3: Historical Development of Australian English

11. History of Australian English (Kate Burridge)

12. American Influences on Australian English (Minna Korhonen)

13. Codification of Australian English (Pam Peters)

14. Attitudes to Australian English (Louisa Willoughby)

15. The Australian National Corpus (Simon Musgrave and Michael Haugh)


ISBN 9780367029395

Published November 13, 2019 by Routledge

274 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations



Louisa Willoughby is a senior lecturer in linguistics in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University.

Howard Manns is a lecturer in linguistics in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University.



"Australian English is a dynamic epi-centre of global English, the third one next to British and American English. This book edited by Willoughby and Manns assesses the rich current state of research and suggests future avenues to increase knowledge of Australia’s mainstream, ethnic and regional Englishes, the theories that develop under its influence in sociolinguistics and educational politics, and shows how Australian identitites are being recast."

Gerhard Leitner, Institute of English Language and Literature, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

"Australian English Reimagined is a comprehensive account of Englishes in Australia. It synthesizes a rich body of historic and contemporary research to interrogate our commonly-held beliefs about our language and how it is changing. This volume explores the intersection of language and social factors such as gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, age and attitudes. It considers the origins of Australian English, the colloquialisation of its syntax, the influence of other regional varieties and the uniqueness of Aboriginal and migrant varieties. Peppered with delightfully illustrative details, this makes for a wonderfully absorbing read."

Rebecca Swain, Project Coordinator at Digital Learning Design & Teacher of English, Carey Baptist Grammar School, Australia

"As an update on the state of knowledge on Australian English, this edited volume would be hard to beat. It surveys the major research in a digestible fashion, providing extensive bibliographies to the chapters. It charts the movement across time from English in Australia to Australian English, its origins and development, and national acceptance as its own standard. The book ranges across distinctive structures and features, discourse stand-outs like yeah no and final but, and the gamut of vowel and consonant forms. It covers regional and ethnic variation, including Aboriginal Englishes, the influence of americanization, and the greater impetus towards informality that marks AusEng off from other Englishes. The authors are a who’s-who of the research community, skilfully brought together by the editors, Willoughby and Manns. This is a book to relish."

Allan Bell, Emeritus Professor of Language & Communication, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand


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