Australian accent is a product of early settler's heavy drinking, claims academic

Dean Frenkel is calling for compulsory rhetoric lessons in Australia's education curriculum

Olivia Blair
Wednesday 28 October 2015 09:30 GMT
Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, drinking a beer
Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, drinking a beer (GETTY IMAGES)

The Australian accent is the product of colonial settlers getting drunk, according to one of the country’s speech experts.

Dean Frenkel, a tutor and lecturer at Victoria Unviersity in Melbourne said that while it also had origins in Aboriginal, English, Irish and German, the Australian accent is partly a result of their ancestor’s love of alcohol.

Writing in The Age, Mr Frenkel said: “The Australian alphabet cocktail was spiked by alcohol. Our forefathers regularly got drunk together and through their frequent interactions unknowingly added an alcoholic slur to our national speech patterns.

“For the past two centuries, from generation to generation, drunken Aussie-speak continues to be taught by sober parents to children.”

Mr Frenkel says “poor communication is evident among all sectors of Australian society” and says the average Australian speaks to two-thirds of their capacity.

“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, especially 'a's to 'e's (stending) and 'i's (New South Wyles) and “i”s to “oi”s (noight).”

The lecturer is calling for rhetoric lessons to be included in the education curriculum as he believes this would “raise” the country’s “standards of communication”.

Despite Mr Frenkel’s concerns, the Australian accent seems to be popular with people across the world.

A survey earlier this year revealed it to be the fourth “most attractive” accent, behind British, American and Irish.

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