Drunk Settlers To Blame For Australian Accent - Linguist
A new theory claims that the Australian accent originated from drunk settlers.
Dean Frenkel, a lecturer at Victoria University, wrote an opinion piece this week in Melbourne daily newspaper The Age arguing that the Australian accent was heavily influenced by the drunken slurs of the country's original settlers.
"Our forefathers regularly got drunk together and through their frequent interactions unknowingly added an alcoholic slur to our national speech patterns," he wrote.
"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," he explains in the piece. "If we all received communication training, Australia would become a cleverer country."
The article quickly drew criticisms as other linguists say it doesn't have much evidence.
"There is no evidence that alcohol consumption has any long-term effect on one's own language, let alone transgenerational language transmission," Aidan Wilson, a Ph.D. candidate in linguistics at the University of Melbourne said.
"They say New Yorkers have nasal voices because they have to cut through the noise of the traffic," he told the Australian Broadcasting Company. "The original [joke] for Australia was we speak in a slurred and closed-lip way to keep the flies out of their mouths. ... They're all completely baseless [and] I want to see the evidence, I want to see the instrumental valuations." Dr. Rob Pensalfini, a senior lecturer in languages and cultures at the University of Queensland said.