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 had 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 chance that such an accent existed.
I didn’t fairly know methods to really feel about it. I’d all the time thought that for these like me who don’t “look Australian,” a typical Australian accent is likely one of the finest methods to show that we belong. It says: Similar to the remainder of you, we in all probability know methods to have a dialog concerning the footy and are properly versed in throwing shrimps on the barbie (to be trustworthy, 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 related misgivings when scripting 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 best way somebody seems to be, and it’s simple 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 studying modern Australian speech, and whereas her analysis up to now hasn’t discovered something like the kind of accent Baopu and I had 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 complicated British accent on the opposite. However that hole has narrowed in the previous few many years, 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.