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Old 12-07-2014, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
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I can see the connection to New Zealand and Australia, but how did it descend in to something so far from similar in the Americas? How could it have changed that much in a mere couple hundreds of years? I know it has obviously changed within the UK over that time too, but it just seems so far removed.
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:30 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse44 View Post
I can see the connection to New Zealand and Australia, but how did it descend in to something so far from similar in the Americas? How could it have changed that much in a mere couple hundreds of years? I know it has obviously changed within the UK over that time too, but it just seems so far removed.
The US was settled quite a bit earlier than NZ and AU by English speakers. The language has also been influenced by a lot more immigrants over a longer period of time. Also, as you mentioned, the language in the UK as changed as well and a lot of American English retains some things no longer in British English. The English language is continuing to change to this day. I can't speak for the other countries but in the US, new accents are still developing. Two examples of this are the California Vowel Shift and the quite unique North Cities Vowels shifts which involves vowels that have not changed in the last 1000 years elsewhere in English.
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Actually, some forms of UK and Irish accents do sound similar to American.

West Country accent in England is very similar to North American accents, except that they don't have vowel shifts.
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Probably the different immigrants that came in to the US.
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theropod View Post
Actually, some forms of UK and Irish accents do sound similar to American.

West Country accent in England is very similar to North American accents, except that they don't have vowel shifts.
Agreed, and I know Aussies who genuinely can't differentiate between American and (Northern) Irish or American and Southern Scottish accents.

Canadian vowel sounds seem very Scottish influenced to me, while NE American accents sound fairly "British" in their intonation and cadence.
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Østenfor sol og vestenfor måne
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North American English is the more conservative of the English dialects. It is British English that has undergone the most change over the centuries. Since Australian and New Zealand were settled later, those changes were brought to those countries. Certain later developments in British English, such as non-Rhoticism, did cross the Atlantic to parts of America.
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:09 AM
 
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This is one Brit's perspective on the Australian accent and dialect: Becoming fluent in 'Australian' - Telegraph
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:25 AM
 
43,659 posts, read 44,385,284 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentoo View Post
The US was settled quite a bit earlier than NZ and AU by English speakers. The language has also been influenced by a lot more immigrants over a longer period of time. Also, as you mentioned, the language in the UK as changed as well and a lot of American English retains some things no longer in British English. The English language is continuing to change to this day. I can't speak for the other countries but in the US, new accents are still developing. Two examples of this are the California Vowel Shift and the quite unique North Cities Vowels shifts which involves vowels that have not changed in the last 1000 years elsewhere in English.
I too think that it is the influence of the large amount of immigrants to the USA that changed the American accent to differ more from the British one.
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Old 12-08-2014, 06:35 AM
 
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
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I think, due the same reason of what happened with Portuguese in Brazil and other former colonies of Portugal such as Angola and East Timor. The colonisation in both USA and Brazil happened much earlier, thus retaining features no longer in use in the former metropolises. Moreover, the contact with native tribes and inmigrants may perform a huge influence in the language. As for Brazil, the saying "bom dia" ("good morning") as "bon gee-ah", instead of "bon dee-ah", like in Portugal, is a direct influence of the kiMbundu language, spoken by former slaves coming from the area which nowadays is Angola.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Vancouver
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This documentary is from the 1980's so quite old, but the history is there. You might enjoy it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mj9jJiPwsp0

...and for a bit more background on the language itself, this is another good documentary.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsVz5U76kX0
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