There is nothing more iconic than a thick Australian accent; the kind that elicits fond memories of Russell Coight.
But it’s not just Coight’s broad “‘ow ya gawen?” that you hear in everyday life (unfortunately).
There are countless variations of the Australian accent that only seem to be evolving. Our accents might be ever-changing, but linguists Arthur Delbridge and A.G. Mitchell still managed to sort them into the three categories in 1965: broad, general and cultivated.
These classifications were explained using points of reference such as:
Broad: The thick Aussie drawl (generally associated with the working class)
General: The most commonly heard English.
Cultivated: The “prestige” accent marked by a heavier adoption of the British accent.
In order to understand this more clearly, one could use three recognised Australians as a point of reference.
Broad: Pauline Hanson.
General: Julia Gillard.
Cultivated: Cate Blanchett.
The Australian Journal of Linguistics put out a paper in 1997 that sought to provide greater clarity between how to classify the broad, general and cultivated accents.
Researchers analysed the vowel sounds of a variety of speakers in order to determine which features corresponded with each category of accent.
Speaking of Australia, what about that lamb ad? Agree? Disagree? (Post continues after audio.)