While some people find an Australian accent sexy or pleasing to the ear, speech expert Dean Frenkel calls it a "national speech impediment" possibly borne from "a symptom of inferior brain functioning."
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Frenkel, a tutor and lecturer at Victoria Unviersity in Melbourne, claims that while Australia's accent has its roots in English, Irish, Aboriginal and German dialects, it was formed under rather entertaining conditions.
"The Australian alphabet cocktail was spiked by alcohol," writes Frenkel in The Age. "Our forefathers regularly got drunk together and through their frequent interactions unknowingly added an alcoholic slur to our national speech patterns. For the past two centuries, from generation to generation, drunken Aussie-speak continues to be taught by sober parents to their children."
Frenkel breaks down the linguistic issues further, framing the accent as one of laziest ways to communicate.
"The average Australian speaks to just two thirds capacity — with one third of our articulator muscles always sedentary as if lying on the couch; and that's just concerning articulation," he writes. "Missing consonants can include missing "t"s (Impordant), "l"s (Austraya) and "s"s (yesh), while many of our vowels are lazily transformed into other vowels, especially "a"s to "e"s (stending) and "i"s (New South Wyles) and "i"s to "oi"s (noight)."
So what's Australia to do? Frenkel recommends that the country embrace language education on par with standards found in the U.S. education system. Such courses would promote rhetoric that embraces "well-chosen words spoken at a listenable rate and with balanced volume, fluency, clarity and understandability."
As one might expect, not all linguistic experts share Frenkel's consternation over the Australian accent, nor his theories for its inebriated origins.
"I can't entertain the notion that early Australians were more intoxicated that anyone else," Linguist Aidan Wilson told Mashable Australia. "To cause sound changes in a language, you need to be affecting the way you talk at every moment of every day. I personally find it laughable that Frenkel thinks that there was a critical mass of constantly drunk people — new mothers included — that would enable children to essentially learn inebriated English."
Wilson also dismissed Frenkel's physical arguments over articulator muscles, adding that Aussies use just as much of their mouths as anyone else.
"We learn English by the age of 3, and master it by the age of 6," he added. "There is no problem with our natural method of language acquisition. This was the case before there was education in the world, and it will continue to be the case for as long as there are humans."