At college, he researched the phenomenon. When he requested folks to take heed to voice recordings of Asian-Australians and non-Asian Australians with none context, most have been in a position to 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 chance that such an accent existed.
I didn’t fairly know how you can 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 without doubt one of the greatest methods to show that we belong. It says: Similar to the remainder of you, we in all probability know how you can have a dialog in regards to the footy and are nicely 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 stated. “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 searching for out factors of distinction? Was he creating extra risk for division? I had comparable misgivings when scripting this — particularly when Baopu didn’t acknowledge the Asian-Australian accent within the actuality TV contestant I assumed I’d heard it in.
We could hear accents the place none exist due to the best way somebody seems to be, and it’s straightforward to enterprise into the realm of stereotyping, stated 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 learning trendy Australian speech, and whereas her analysis to this point hasn’t discovered something like the kind of accent Baopu and I have been discussing, she stated there was one thing notable about the best way second-generation Chinese language-Australians converse.
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 a long time, she stated. There’s been a shift towards a extra common middle-class accent, and Chinese language-Australians have been on the forefront, typically adopting new methods of talking earlier than the remainder of the nation catches up.