Longevity of an ethnolectal marker in Australian English: Word-final (er) and the Greek-Australian community

Elena Sheard

Wednesday, December 14th, 2022, 3.30pm – 5pm

Abstract

This paper builds on a prior study of (er) lengthening in Australian English that demonstrated (er) in prosodically final position (other, remember) has displayed incremental lengthening between the 1970s and 2010s, a change led by Greek Teenagers in the 1970s. Here, I extend the analysis to subsequent generations of Greek Australians. Analyses of 3941 prosodically final (er) tokens reveal that Greek-Australian Adults born in the 1960s maintain their leading role in the lengthening of (er). Young Adults born in the 1990s, however, display diminished ethnic differentiation, demonstrating limited longevity of the ethnolectal status of (er).