Australian and American Accents

Pseudo-aussie   Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:53 am GMT
I would like to share my views with you my fellow Antimooners about the Australian accent's similarities with the American accent.

I noticed that Australians pronounce the following sounds exactly the same way as those of the Americans:

- "a" sound in words "dam"/"lamb"/"dance"/"chance"/"hand"/"snags" etc.
- "ow"/"ou" diphthong as in "town"/"how"/"about"/"house", etc.
- Exaggeration of the words "Darwin" and "debate".
- The "r" sound is rhotic enough in "reach" but not in "year".
- The "t" in "mountain" (which virtually disappears).

At first, I always mistake Aussies when they speak for Americans and eventually I would hear traces of British English or for Brits and as they go on, I would detect traces of American English. I could only tell that their Aussies by their "strine" pronunciation in words like "day".

Sometimes, I also mistake Americans especially those residing in the west coast for Australians because of their intonation until I hear them without "strine".

Can anyone in this forum tell me what path does the Australian English is taking. Is it on its way towards Americanization or what?

Is American English also somewhat being influenced by Australian English?
Kate Blanc   Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:51 pm GMT
Australian English is a Cockney-derivate, it has nothing to do with the US English (except for some spellings like ''Labor party'').
pen15   Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:57 pm GMT
Aussie sounds nothing like American.
---   Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:21 am GMT
I agree. If I had to choose, I'd say that American has more in common with pretty much any of the Southern English accents than with Australian. It even seems to have similarities with Irish. Australian is in a category all its own. It's very distinct to me. Nasal and twangy, strange pronunciation of the vowels in "throw" and "you", that strine you mentioned, and an annoying upward intonation at the end of every sentence.
br   Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:38 am GMT
Yes they do pronounce words like "chance" with the original vowel, like most North American dialects as well as many varieties of British English besides RP.
Of course they pronounce the /r/ in reach-- I don't know of any dialect of English that doesn't. But as you said they don't pronounce the /r/ in year. That's just like RP though. There are many BE dialects that glottalize the t in mouintain. Anyway I don't really see how any of those particular features show that AuE is closer to NAE than to other dialects of English.
Uriel   Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:01 am GMT
Aussies sound far more like Brits to Americans. We have to strain to hear the difference, since we are blinded by the whole non-rhotic thing, which marks both as foreign.

Not sure how Darwin and debate CAN be exaggerated, or how "debate'would be pronounced any differently in British English. and since Aussies say "Dahwin" and we say "Darrwin", I can't see any major convergence in our accents on that word.
Pseudo-Aussie   Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:15 am GMT
If you want to hear real accents just listen to how they speak on this video and they sound like American than Brit.

Aussie English heard in TV news in formal gatherings such as the video that pen15 posted is Received Pronunciation therefore sounds somewhat like Brit English. However, those that are heard on TV soap operas sound like Americans.
AuAm   Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:08 am GMT
This video shows that younger Aussies speak that sound American.