Thursday, November 06, 2008

Also, WTF?

The New Zealand accent: you're doing it wrong.


Anastasia said...

dude, what the hell was that?

wellygirl said...

THAT is a bunch of Aussie comedians 'taking the piss' out of the New Zealand accent. It's a big hit all over Aussie, and also strangely here in NZ. I don't get it myself, but people (mostly guys - the kind that also quote Ben Stiller movies) quote it all the time.


StyleyGeek said...

Wellygirl, it does seem to be popular here. I've heard random Aussies muttering, "Beached as, bro" around the place lately. Sometimes in my direction. I was feeling vaguely insulted until I found the video and realised what they were on about.

I wouldn't have guessed it was Aussies doing the accent, though - it sounded a bit Sewth Efrican to me at times. Although maybe that's what you get when you try to shift an Aussie vowel in a Kiwi direction.

Jana said...

Hilarious, and so surreal, especially because the accent is wrong - I think that's what makes it funny.

It took me ages to realise they were saying "beached as". I kept hearing "Beach Des".

Lucy said...

I was wondering why one of my cousins had "beached as, bro" as his facebook status.

Maybe the bird is meant to be Sewth Efrican, since he doesn't say "chup", and they're making fun of two accents at once?

Sarah said...

I saw it ages ago. I thought it was cute!

And doesn't NZ have different regional accents? Some Kiwis sound almost indistinguishable from Aussies, while others do have really outrageous accents...

StyleyGeek said...

NZ doesn't really have regional accents. The only ones that linguists say are clearly distinct is Southland vs the rest of the country. NZ accents do vary a lot, but the variation is sociolinguistic rather than regional (i.e. varies by education level, socio-economic class, gender, age, etc).

I'm not sure where you are from, Sarah, but I think very few NZers would say that NZ accents sound "almost indistinguishable from Aussies". To people outside of NZ and Australia, the two accents sound very similar, but NZers and Australians themselves are hyper-aware of the (admittedly quite few) really clear markers of difference, such as the vowel in "fish", the vowel in "red" and the vowels like in "bead" that for Australians are often diphthongized.

(Interestingly, though, experiments have shown that NZers and Australians, when played tapes of various NZ and Aussie accents, do not label them correctly anywhere near 100% of the time.)

Finally, I have seen research suggesting that regional accents seem to be developing among school children in NZ now, so maybe in 20 years or so, the regional accents in NZ will be more distinct.

Wow, that was more info than any of you probably ever wanted to know.

Sarah said...

Actually, no, that was great! Although it's so long since I took a linguistics subject that I'd forgotten what a dipthong is and had to Wiki it... are you able to kind of spell out how bead would be pronounced if it were dipthongised vs. not dipthongised?

I suppose I may be comparing Kiwis who've lived in Australia for ages vs. Kiwis who haven't lived here for very long... I am Australian, btw.

Oh, and how do southern-NZ accents vary from the rest of the country?

StyleyGeek said...

Southlanders (South of Dunedin, I think) traditionally have spoken a rhotic dialect - i.e. they actually have an [r] following a vowel where the rest of us don't, e.g. historically in words like "car". Modernly it is not as widespread as it once was, and even for those speakers that still have this, it only tends to happen on the vowel found in words like "nurse".

There are also some lexical differences ("crib" for "bach" (beach house) and various others that don't come to mind right now).

It's hard to "spell out" the vowel in "bead" the way an Australian would say it with a diphthong, as English orthography is so crap. But the diphthong they would produce there sounds to me a bit like it's half-way between the vowel in "bay" and the vowel in "boy". Very Kath-and-Kim :)

(Phonetically, I think it's actually a diphthong that starts around about the position of [I] and moves to [i]. Felicity Cox has done a lot of recent work on the phonetics of Australian English, if you are interested, but I'm too lazy to go look it up right now.)

Anonymous said...

Saw that on a tshirt recently :-p

sexy said...