Is there Aboriginal influence on the Australian accent?

Or is there something else that makes the Australian accent so… Australian.

WAG…it is the resulting evolution of a cockney accent over 200 years.

Most of the original inhabitants were common convicts who, back in 18th century England would possibly have had common working class London accents.

Since I wasn’t there, I am relying on movies and TV shows that depict 18th century London. Awright Guvnor!

I don’t think all naughty boys and girls were Londoners - convicts were transported from all parts of GB + Ireland.

The original inhabitants were the Aboriginal people, and in the Sydney region they would have spoken various Aboriginal languages that are now extinct.

The convicts that were sent there between 1788 and 1868 came from all parts of the UK, including a lot from Ireland (which was all part of the UK back then. There are some Irish influences on Australian English, e.g., “youse” as the plural form of “you”. However, a lot of Australia’s population growth came from free settlers, especially during the gold-rush period in New South Wales and Victoria in the 1850s. Free settlers also came from all parts of the UK, and not just from London. So the Australian accent is a blend of different UK dialects.

Unlikely. There were lot more Native Americans in what is now the US when the first settlers landed here as compared to Aboriginals in the Australia, and I’ve never heard of any hypothesis that Native languages influenced the American accent (loan words, yes, but not the accent).

Besides, the Australian accent is ever so similar to the NZ accent (yes, I know there are some differences) and the natives there are Polynesians. More likely the accent reflects the source of the various settles to Australia and NZ.

In my opinion, the main reason for the differences in the NZ accent is that there were more Scots migrating to New Zealand than to Australia.

(And my favourite trivia question related to this is: Which major New Zealand city is named after the capital of Scotland?)

Dunedin? Been there, nice town!

Not only named after, but it also shares the same street plan.

Yes – Dunedin is the Gaelic name the capital of Scotland.

Given the amount of interaction between colonists and Indians, I’m quite sure Native American pronunciations of English must have affected US accents.

To see how accents of non-native-speakers affect pronunciations, look no further than Cheech Marin, born and raised in the USA, as an English speaker, but you can certainly hear how Spanish-accented English has affected his natural accent.

But whether there were enough Australian aborigines, and whether there was enough intermingling going on to have resulted in any influnce on the accent there, I don’t know.

Otepoti? :slight_smile:

But surely the accent would have been swamped out by the English, German, and Scotch-Irish accents that flowed in.

You can see this in Miami as well. There’s a distinctive Miami accent that my ears immediately picked up when I moved there. Lots of born-and-raised residents have it, but usually they’re of Cuban ancestry.

Got any linguists that agree with you on that? Like I said, I’ve never heard that claim made before, but maybe I’m wrong…

And which Native language(s) would have influenced the English of the US-- there were hundreds.

He’s a comedian, and more than likely exaggerates his “accent”. But even if he doesn’t, that isn’t proof of your assertion about Native American influence on American English Accent.

I don’t think so. There was a lot of intermarriage going on in the Virginia colony. And the big wave of Scotch-Irish immigration didn’t come along for over 100 years after the founding of the colony. Something has to explain why American English diverged from British English, and I suspect the divergence in part was caused by the influence of Indian-accented English and (in the South, mainly) African-accented English.

No, I don’t want to pretend any special expertise in linguistics. All I’m offering is some knowledge of history, and my own observations (like the Cheech Marin thing).

True, but there were some large “families” of native languages which shared common characteristics. (Algonquian and Iroqoian were, IIRC, the two largest in the East.)

Considering the Australians incorporated some Aboriginal words into common usage, it has to influence pronunciation. The largest influence would be the dialect of the immigrants. The more foreign words that are incorporated into an established language, the greater the influence on common pronunciation. All will blend over time into something new.

Just thought of a better example. You can hear the influence of French on the accents in Louisiana.

As has been said, it is quite unlikely that American Indian languages had much influence on the American accent, and I also have never seen any serious proposal that that was the case. The reason that the American accent “diverged” from British English is in large part simply that they were separated, and underwent separate evolution. They were of course similar at the time of colonization, but British English as well as American English has changed in the intervening time. The various regional American accents differ in part because of differing percentages of colonists from different regions in the British Isles, plus immigrants from other areas such as Germany.

I also don’t think an African “accent,” whatever that might be, had much influence on the general Southern US accent.

You need to do more than “suspect” that these influences were important - you need to provide some actual evidence or cites to support it.

I thought I did provide some evidence: The way the French accent affects English as spoken in Louisiana. The way a Mexican-Spanish accent affects English as spoken in southern California and southern Texas. It only takes ears to hear how the accents of non-native speakers in those areas wind up affecting the way English is spoken.

If those accented forms of English are affecting English pronunciations now, why wouldn’t Indian and African pronunciations of English have affected English as spoken in, say, colonial Virginia?

What is your basis for this assertion?

I missed this bit before.

You acknowledge that German pronunciations may have affected American accents, but not Indian or African pronunciations? Isn’t that sort of inconsistent?