KLM-MD11 From Greece, joined Mar 2002, 471 posts, RR: 1 Posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 9305 times:
Following the topic of “in the place where you live is there an accent” I came to the following question I’ve been wondering about many times: Where did Americans get the American accent from, and Australians theirs????
What I’m trying to say is that “American” sounds much different than the average British “English” and if I’m not mistakin’ the first English-speakers in the States way back in the 1700’s came from Europe (and probably Great Britain) but I don’t know of any European-English accent that sounds like American. Let alone Australian-English which is way off, but still sounds more "British" than American
Sonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 9273 times:
This is because at 700s there weren't airliners and sattelitte TV. Those colonisers were isolated. Of course, their language changed and British English also changed, but to other side. All languages changed through time and accents also.
Vulindlela From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 480 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 9261 times:
In places like America and Australia, it seems natural for accent to vary. The thing that I cant understand is how so many distinct accents can continue to exist within countries like England and Germany. This always amazes me.
"If you take everything I've accomplished in my entire life and condense it down into 1 day, it looks decent!"
Kcle From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 686 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 9253 times:
I heard that people from my part of the United States speak the truest form of English, with no accent. There are slight variations in dialect, but in general, the people north of the Ohio River, west of New England, east of the Mississippi River, and north to southern Canada, speak without any major accent. New Yorkers have their accent, Canadians have a slight accent, Bostonians have their accent, and Southerners have a quite noticable accent.
Dash80 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 187 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 9240 times:
My master's work at OU was in accents in broadcasting.
You are partially correct. However, that "lack" of regional accent extends through the middle plain states through the Rocky Mountains and extends up and down the west coast. Listen to Tom Brokaw, he's probably best known for his "lack" of accent or to put it in other terms he has a general "American" accent. Also, be careful when you state the "truest" form of English, some people in the UK might disagree from you.
Some other points:
-Most linguists agree that the purest Elizabethean English accent (the basis of all modern English accents world-wide come from) can be found in isolated areas of the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States and on some isolated barrier island off the Carolina coast...even purer than in the UK.
-Also, I believe the basis for the Australian accent stems from the English Cockney or End-end dialect. Can somebody confirm or deny this?
LH423 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 9230 times:
Because the middle section of the US is generally regarded to have no accent, many news broadcasters go out there to practise their accent and perfect it so in many ways, their points or origin and/or social status can't be accurately determined.
As I said in the other related post, Boston has an accent that in many ways resembles a British accent (ie, end "r"s aren't pronounced, etc).
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Mls515 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3081 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 9228 times:
I don't know where you got that geographic area Kcle. I've always found that it really depends on the family and the accent is passed down. Like people in the south, some sound like complete hicks while others do not. There's a definate urban/rural influence. But then again, some areas have an ethnic influence on their accent. For example, at my university about a third of the students are from the Chicago area. I can usually tell by the way someone talks if they are a suburban Chicago kid or not. The immigrant communities in the Chicago area definately influenced the Chicago accent (think Superfans, but not as extreme).
It also seems to me that when a non-native speaker learns the language, they sound more American than British. I found this to be true when I was studying in the UK and went around Europe. That's my reasoning for why us Americans sound the way we do, since many many of our ancestors had to learn it for the first time when they got here.
Ryanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3222 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 9203 times:
Mls515 - that is such a true fact - foreigners learning English end up with American accents. My cousin (who is half French, half German but lives in Dubai in the UAE) has an American accent, and my wife (who is Thai) now has an American accent even though she lives in the UK with me! It's really wierd how that happens.
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
TNboy From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 1131 posts, RR: 18
Reply 9, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 9181 times:
A lot of people think that Australians derived their accent (what accent??) from Cockneys - and in many movies, non-australian actors seem to play Australians with some variation of a cockney voice. This really makes Australians cringe, because it sounds nothing like us.
Obviously, the British settlers would have come here with their own accent, but over the years, I suspect the lifestyle, isolation, heat, etc., have all contributed to what is often referred to as the Aussie drawl. Also the post-war immigration boom, which seems to have mellowed out the more extreme versions, which now are probably mainly only found in the outback. We tend to not open out mouth too wide when we speak, and this contributes. Probably this started as a defence against the flies!
It's always amusing to see the higher-profile Aussie actors sounding so American (or British) in the movies, and yet revert to their native Australian when the come back home. But I've never heard an American actor who has been able to get the Oz accent right (especially Meryl Streep!!)
Pendrilsaint From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 685 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 9162 times:
Speaking of the unchanged elizabethean accent in the Appalachians that is a very big truth. One of the last strongholds of Elizibethean English was in a 'neighborhood' of the town I live in that extends far into the mountains. The dialect remained until television began to infiltrate the area in the 60's. There are still some strange words in this community that I have almost never heard used anywhere else. Basic stuff like you'ns of course...but adding r's to words...which used to be a sign of proper speaking in Britain I believe (centuries ago) ...such as words like wash..become warsh...I dont know if this has anything to do with the pockets of eliz. english...but people here constantly misalign pronouns and verbs...Like...Them is windows...just odd..lol
ADG From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 9121 times:
God Bill do you still cringe when you hear "a deengo took my baybeeee" .. .*shudder*.
Indeed, in Australia you have vast differences in accents with words such as Castle (CAYSTLE CAHSLE).
Funniest thing i've heard in a while is the way that Americans over here say router, we pronounce that rowter and they pronounce it rooter which of course, in Australia means "one who fornicates" (hope that's not to crass for you guys).
It's sort of like why people get nicknames like "wombat" because a wombat eats roots & leaves.
QANTASforever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 9117 times:
The modern cosmopolitan accent is really a perfect mix of american east coast and West London. I have met many Americans living in England and many Englishmen living in the US and the likeness to Australian dialect is quite astounding. I must admit that I do cringe when we are supposed to have a 'drawl' or to speak as though we were all born in the back field of a farm in the middle of nowhere. What I wanna know it how the hell did the South African and New Zealander accent come from????
Illini_152 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1000 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 9103 times:
I'm joining this late, but those accent boundaries in the US seem to be a little off.
You've got the New England, Boston, New York accents pretty well isolated. But there's also the Southern drawl, and the Appalacian dialects. I've noticed a bit of a southern drawl as far north as central IL, it just depends on how rural of an area you're in.
But there's also the Chicago accent, with it's Brigeport dialect too. And you have also missed the northern midwest dialect. North Dakota, Minnisota and Norther Wisconsin seem to sport it pretty well, doncha know .
As an aside, its funny how quickly you can pick up one of these accents when you're immersed in it. My first flight instructor was from the Chicago suburbs, and thats where I was too. But she had also graduated from UND. Talking to her normally, midwestern accent, with a SLIGHT hint of a bit of Bridgeport. But, when she got a phone call from one of her college friends, it was like a switch was thrown. Instant North Dakota accent (if you don't know what I mean, go rent the movie Fargo)
I too have noticed myself slipping into a bit of a southern drawl after spending a week drunk in Florida, hanging around with a buch of guys from Kentucky. Of course, that might have been due to the alcohol too...
Happy contrails - I support B747Skipper and Jetguy
TNboy From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 1131 posts, RR: 18
Reply 18, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 9094 times:
Spot on, ADG. I've just remembered that in Western Australia, Albany is pronounced Al-bany (not Orl-bany) and Derby is Darby (not Derby). The other great difference betweeen Americans and Australians is the placement of what they refer to as their "fanny". In America, I understand it's for sitting on. Here of course, in females anyway, it's in a rather more frontal position. Don't you love it when they make that blunder in public??
RogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 9093 times:
The main problem with what you say, TNboy, stems from the fact that your so-called independent nation is still too close to Britain. All those things you mentioned are the same as British mis-uses of their own language.
fanny, pecker, bonnet, loo, lory, wc, beer: what do these things mean to you?
Banco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 52
Reply 21, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 9070 times:
To say that Elizabethan English is spoken in a part of the US is not quite true, although it is likely that many US accents are nearer to how English was spoken in some parts of England then than English English is today.
It always amuses me when when words like "gotten" are referred to as Americanisms. They are not. They simply died out of common usage in Britain.
Nevertheless, all accents have evolved from 300 years ago. The Australian one may have changed from a London accent, but that is indeed how it started out. It is noticeable how many southern English accents are mistaken for Australian ones by Americans; this suggests that no matter how much the English and Australians may protest about it, to an untrained ear they are quite similar.
The generic American accent is directly sourced (and then mixed with Irish) from the west country of England. Don't forget Plymouth is where the Pilgrim fathers were from! If you travel down there you can hear the link between them - a modern day English west country accent has many similarities to a North American one.
As for people being taught American English, I can't say that I see it like that. Some countries certainly do - especially those with strong links to the US, but many others do not. It jut depends where they learn it, and how their own language is pronounced.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
TNboy From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 1131 posts, RR: 18
Reply 22, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 9065 times:
Oh Rogue, you must be overtired. There will be tears before bedtime if you continue like this.
Our "so-called independent nation" just voted to retain the status quo with Britain and the monarchy - I simply report the result, and do not try to explain why. Some things are difficult to comprehend.
And what do those words mean to me? They mean that your mind is precisely where I thought it was.