Off to Bundy on the Beemer: Diminutives in Australian EnglishThe use of diminutives is evident throughout languages of the world, particularly in shortening personal names of those around us (Jo for Joanne or Bobby for Robert). But diminutives for everyday objects, places and public figures are by no means as common. Australian English excels in the creation and use of diminutives, a feature which was noted early in the nineteenth century. Vandy, for instance, is used as a diminutive for a Vandemonian or person from Tasmania. Use of this term is recorded from as early as the 1850s.
With a database of approximately 5,500 examples, Emeritus Professor Roland Sussex will discuss the ways in which diminutives are formed and their social meanings in Australia.
Emeritus Professor Roland Sussex is Chair of the Library Board of Queensland; Research Fellow, Centre for Educational Innovation and Technology, University of Queensland and a popular guest on the ABC radio talkback show – A word in your ear.
Saturday, 18 June 2011
10.30am - midday
Brisbane Square Library