A Dialect Survey of the Lexicon of Australian English
The first dialect study of regional variation in the lexicon of Australian English (AusE), which has generally been thought to be regionally uniform, has found two classes of regional words, obligatory and elective, which give rise to two regional distribution patterns. Mapping the distribution of regional names for 67 items has identified four major dialect regions, two of which have sub-regions, as well as two minor sub-regions, and several local regions identified by only one or two words. A comparison with other English-speaking countries found several characteristics of regional variation unique to Australia, but also strong similarities to other previously colonised countries. The nature of regional variation in AusE has obscured the existence of previously unnoticed regional diversity within the well-known uniformity of the language.
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