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Is 'Austrayan' Accent Facing Extinction?

The native Australian accent is on its way to extinction, suggests speech scientists.

The melting pot of multi-cultural voices and dialects may push the “Austrayan" accent out the window.

Macquarie University phoneticians, Felicity Cox and sallyanne palethorpe launched a new interactive website named 'Australian Voice' urging citizens to upload their own voice clips in a bid to save the tone.

“Many factors have played a part in shaping the way we speak, from the dialect mix present in the early days of the colony, to social changes during World War I, the dismissal of the Whitlam Government, and the increasing linguistic diversity resulting from multi-culturalism," says Dr Cox.

Today many children are born to migrant parents who speak a variety of ethno-cultural Australian English. This reflects their ethnicity which is non-Anglo, such as Lebanese Australian, which also affects the accent.

Story first published: Friday, February 5, 2010, 15:08 [IST]
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