Rhoticity and hiatus breaking in Australian English: Associations with community diversity

Andy Gibson, Joshua Penney, Felicity Cox

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

Abstract

Australian English is considered non-rhotic, however increasing ethnolinguistic diversity may lead some speakers to exhibit partial rhoticity, particularly in areas of high diversity. r-sandhi is a phonological phenomenon that differentiates rhotic and non-rhotic varieties allowing realisations of /ɹ/ to arise in V1#V2 hiatus in non-rhotic speech whilst being absent in nonprevocalic contexts. V1#V2 hiatus can also be resolved by glottalisation/glottal stop insertion. We present an auditory analysis showing that children and teenagers from diverse areas are more likely to exhibit instances of non-prevocalic-r and are also more likely to use glottalisation to mark word boundaries in potential r-sandhi contexts.