At college, he researched the phenomenon. When he requested folks to hearken to voice recordings of Asian-Australians and non-Asian Australians with none context, most have been capable of distinguish between the 2. It was a part of his undergraduate linguistics diploma, so not definitive by any means, however he believed it pointed to the likelihood that such an accent existed.
I didn’t fairly know really feel about it. I’d at all times thought that for these like me who don’t “look Australian,” a typical Australian accent is among the finest methods to show that we belong. It says: Similar to the remainder of you, we most likely know have a dialog concerning the footy and are effectively versed in throwing shrimps on the barbie (to be sincere, I can do neither of these issues). It says: We’ve sufficiently shed our foreignness, so please settle for us into the mainstream. It’s, admittedly, a really model-minority mind-set.
“There’s this ingrained concept that the accent binds us collectively,” Baopu mentioned. “So to say, no we don’t share the identical accent, there’s one thing destabilizing about it.”
He had some hesitations when doing his analysis. What was the profit in in search of out factors of distinction? Was he creating extra chance for division? I had comparable misgivings when penning this — particularly when Baopu didn’t acknowledge the Asian-Australian accent within the actuality TV contestant I believed I’d heard it in.
We might hear accents the place none exist due to the way in which somebody seems to be, and it’s simple to enterprise into the realm of stereotyping, mentioned Catherine Travis, a linguistics professor on the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language on the Australian Nationwide College.
Professor Travis has been studying modern Australian speech, and whereas her analysis thus far hasn’t discovered something like the kind of accent Baopu and I have been discussing, she mentioned there was one thing notable about the way in which second-generation Chinese language-Australians communicate.
Australian English used to have a big class distinction — from one thing like your stereotypical Crocodile Dundee accent on one finish to one thing resembling a fancy British accent on the opposite. However that hole has narrowed in the previous few many years, she mentioned. There’s been a shift towards a extra common middle-class accent, and Chinese language-Australians have been on the forefront, generally adopting new methods of talking earlier than the remainder of the nation catches up.