KLM-MD11
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Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 5:03 am

Hello y’all,

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

Silly question really, but intriguing to me…

Answers / remarks very welcome

KLM-MD11
GELUK IS GELUL MET EEN K
 
Sonic
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 5:10 am

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
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 5:22 am

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
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 5:30 am

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
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 6:06 am

KCLE,

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
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 6:18 am

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).

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
mls515
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 6:18 am

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.

 
Guest

RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 6:40 am

Accent? What accent?

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy



VH-ADG
 
ryanb741
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 7:51 am

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
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 9:34 am

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!!)
cheers
Bill
"...every aircraft is subtly different.."
 
Pendrilsaint
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 10:27 am

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
 
Skyway1
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 10:45 am

I know what you mean Pendrilsaint!! All of my mother's family are from Kentucky, and she says "warsh" all the time! Lately I have been noticing it quite a bit and it drives me friggin nuts!

Chris  Smile
KNUK, KNUK, KNUK woowoowoo
 
Alpha 1
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 11:42 am

Dammit, ADG, you beat me to that line!!

I think it's the Brits that have accents, not us Yanks.  Big thumbs up
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 12:23 pm

Ah sho nuff don' have no ascent. Ah think it mus' be them forners that has an ascent. Ain't me, thas' fo sho.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
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STT757
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 1:09 pm

I think I have a heavy NY/NJ accent, since everytime I go on vacation the first thing people say after I open my mouth is "you from NY"?.

That said I think the difference in Boston, NY, Southern and Mid-Western accents is just as pronounced as the differences between US/Canada, Britains and Aussies speach.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
Guest

RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 2:02 pm

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.


VH-ADG
 
QANTASforever
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 2:33 pm

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????


Elocutionally yours,

QANTASforever
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
Illini_152
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 3:29 pm

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...

- Mike
Happy contrails - I support B747Skipper and Jetguy
 
TNboy
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 4:42 pm

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??
Cheers
Bill
"...every aircraft is subtly different.."
 
roguetrader
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 4:50 pm

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?

RT
 
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TNBoy

Wed May 01, 2002 5:55 pm

Here in WA it is pronounced Derby...never Darby.

There are also other regional pronounciations....e.g. Castlemaine.....people from some states pronounce it as Cars-el-maine....others Cassel-maine.

The best place to see regional dialects in use is in the pubs.  Laugh out loud

http://www.australianbeers.com/pubs/ordering/ordering.htm
 
Banco
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 6:44 pm

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
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 7:09 pm

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.
Cheers
Bill
"...every aircraft is subtly different.."
 
Guest

RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Wed May 01, 2002 7:58 pm

did someone mention pub?

pub = boozer, bar, drinking establishment, the local hole ....
 
Skyway1
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Thu May 02, 2002 12:05 am

It's funny because when I lived in Wisconsin people there said I had a "hillbilly" southern accent. When I came back to Ohio people here said I talk like I'm from Chicago! Just plain weirdness!

Chris  Smile
KNUK, KNUK, KNUK woowoowoo
 
Pendrilsaint
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Thu May 02, 2002 4:56 am

The best part about having a southern accent, is proving to the shock of people that you arent, in fact, a backwoods redneck just because of the way you speak=P On to the "gotten" thing....dont most people in the U.S. say that? I guess im so used to hearing it in the appalachians that I never noticed it....heck, I even think I use that one=P
 
JetService
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Thu May 02, 2002 6:32 am

We have different accents just within our state of Indiana (Superfly may attest to this). Northern Indiana has no accent whatsoever (like Michigan), and Southern Indiana has a hillbilly accent (like Kentucky). Also, I noticed Wisconsin and Minnesota have accents similar to those in Canada. But my style of English (absolute lack of accent) is the benchmark of the English language (just like the newscasters).
"Shaddap you!"
 
mls515
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Thu May 02, 2002 12:11 pm



When I said that new English speakers sound like Americans, I didn't mean that they were tought specific American English, but that they definately just happen to sound like us much more so than the stereotypical English accent, even in the UK. Give an immigrant family in the UK a generation, they'll sound like every other Brit.
 
QANTASforever
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RogueTrader...

Thu May 02, 2002 4:37 pm

Australia is 100% completely independent from the country of Great Britain except that we simply share the queen. It can be rather offensive to most Australians to claim that we are 'too much like the UK' so please be more considerate of our nationhood in the future.

QANTASforever
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
Banco
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Thu May 02, 2002 6:11 pm

QANTASForever, you may have been fortunate enough to miss out on RT's rants about Australia, but fear not: he does not seriously hold that view - he is just winding you up. A response to the tune of calling them a bunch of rebels who should be locked up would be quite appropriate.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
AerLingus
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent Fro

Thu May 02, 2002 11:53 pm

My accent is definitely the "neutral" American accent.

Since the mid-20th century, the accent groups in the United States have begun to mingle with each other more. This can be attributed to people more willing to relocate around the country. It's impossible to find a traditionally "southern drawl" or "texan" area of the United States in which there aren't "neutrals" and vice versa. I think you'll find that within another few decades the American accent will have homogenized to something that will sound more like the neutral accent.
Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
 
PerthGloryFan
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RE: Where Did Usa/australians Get Their Accent From?

Fri May 03, 2002 1:15 am

What I wanna know it how the hell did the South African and New Zealander accent come from????
Me too QFforever.

Maybe it's my old age but lately NZ'ers are becoming unintelligible to me!
Once I knew "sux" was the number between five and seven, and "fush and chups" was fried seafood and deep fried potato pieces; but last night a Kiwi women on TV rambled on for about four minutes and I had no idea what she said!

As for RT's list:
fanny = a girl's name
pecker = according to our unknown Prime Minister, John Wotisname, determination or courage
bonnet = the lid over the engine of a motor vehicle
loo = abbrev. of Woolloomoolloo, a Sydney suburb
lory = ??, maybe "lorry" - dunno, over here we call a truck a bloody truck
wc = frist initials of a great cricketer
beer = nature's nectar, aaaah, a mildly effervescent amber liquid brewed from hops and yeast, must be served cold - hey we do talk the same language after all!!

PGF

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