Research on various dialects of English has demonstrated the existence of so-called near-mergers. The present study examines the identification and discrimination of the vowels of Western Sydney Australian English, for which no such mergers have been previously documented. We find evidence for perceptual confusion of /i/-/I@/ (in /hVb@/), despite significant acoustic differences in productions of these two vowels. This meets the defining features of a near-merger.
Bibliographic reference. Bundgaard-Nielsen, Rikke L. / Best, Catherine T. / Tyler, Michael D. / Kroos, Christian (2008): "Evidence of a near-merger in western sydney australian English vowels", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 1121.