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Understanding the place of Australian English: exploring folk linguistic accounts through contemporary Australian authorsThis paper explores Australian English (AuE), utilising a folk linguistic approach and engaging with its use in novel-writing. It is argued that discussions by contemporary Australian authors about their approaches to writing and voicing characters, and the actual voices authors give to their characters can be used as data to gain new understandings of what language forms have social meanings within AuE. The value of this analytical approach is then illustrated with interview and text extracts from one Australian author, revealing that this type of analysis provides insights into both the folk linguistic understandings of an author and how language variation is employed within the fiction series to index local types. It is concluded that such an approach can be generalised to better understand variation in AuE as accessed by other language-focussed professions and their differing conceptualisations of language, as well as to further understand variation in other varieties of English, and in other languages.