1st Edition

Folklinguistics and Social Meaning in Australian English

By Cara Penry Williams Copyright 2020
    208 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    206 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Folklinguistics and Social Meaning in Australian English presents an original study of Australian English and, via this, insights into Australian society. Utilising folklinguistic accounts, it uncovers everyday understandings of contemporary Australian English through variations across linguistic systems (sounds, words, discourse and grammar). Focusing on one variation at time, it explores young speakers’ language use and their evaluations of the same forms. The analysis of talk about talk uncovers ethnic, regional and social Others in social types and prevailing ideologies around Australian English essential for understanding Australian identity-making processes, as well as providing insights and methods relevant beyond this context. These discussions demonstrate that while the linguistic variations may occur in other varieties of English, they are understood through local conceptualisations, and often as uniquely Australian.

    This book harnesses the value and richness of discourse in explorations of the sociocultural life of language. The findings show that analysis attending to language ideologies and identities can help discover the micro–macro links needed in understanding social meanings. The volume explores a wide range of language features but also provides a deep contemplation of Australian English.

     1. Introduction

    2. Conceptualising social meaning

    3. Studying social meaning via folklinguistics

    4. Phonetic and phonological variation

    5. Lexical variation

    6. Discourse and grammatical variation

    7. Social types and language ideologies


    Cara Penry Williams has a master’s degree in applied linguistics and a PhD in linguistics from the University of Melbourne. After many years of teaching and researching at the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University, she is now a Lecturer in English Language at University of Derby in the UK and an Honorary Research Fellow at La Trobe University.