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Spring 2023

First and foremost, intelligibility is at the core of our work; a close second is authenticity.  If you cannot be understood by the audience, then all authenticity brought to the dialect is irrelevant. There will be moments when we make a choice that seems less authentic, but always for the purpose of clearer communication. 


Rehearse and sing in dialect. Memorize your text in dialect. Revisit sound clips periodically to tap back into the sound/feeling of the dialect. ASK QUESTIONS if you are not sure about anything!



Australia is the 6th geographically largest country in the world and 55th largest according to population (24 million). It has a very high standard of living and life expectancy (82.5 years!). Over 85% of the country’s population lives within the 3 largest cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane (largest —> smallest pop.). The population was indigenous for nearly 65,000 years. The Dutch arrived in the early 17th century bringing settlement, infectious disease, conflict, and eventually colonization leading to a 150 year decline to the indigenous peoples. Currently only about 3% of folk identity as Aboriginal, Torres Strait islander, or both.

Reef 1.webp
Outback 2.webp

In 1788 the British Government established a new penal colony in New South Wales for convicts arrested in Ireland, British Isles, South East England, Scottish Highlands, and Wales. This move was also after the loss of the American colonies and a desire to acquire more land was strongly prevalent. Because of this eclectic linguist gathering, there is a variety of sounds that feed the Australian speech.

By the 1890s there was such a great influence of Cockney English from the children of convicts that it had developed into the sound we associate with broad/general Australian accents. While Australia became independent in 1901 it is a sovereign country and officially the Commonwealth of Australia.

Outback 3.jpeg

Oral Posture

Amy Interview - coming soon...

Genevieve Bell, A.I. Specialist

  • Jaw: held raised/narrower; very mobile

  • Tongue: VERY ACTIVE!!! 

    • tip/blade — rests behind the top of the bottom teeth with great ease and fluidity of darting to the upper teeth and alveolar ridge as needed

    • body (front/middle) — is levitating; think of the front being magnetized the hard palate

    • back —  is super active and engaged through channeling and some potential root advancement

  • Lips: 

    • Corners — are pinned (pull into the cheeks) and can often be found a bit retracted leaning into an easy lip spread that brings the sound lateral rather than forward

    • Body — body is capable of fluidity, but we tend to see a more active bottom lip like our Brits

    • "Lip Twinge" — the risorious muscle balances along protruding and pulling giving an often asymmetrical snarl smile to the lips (technically, the risorious quaffeling ignites the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi to raise into that snarl-like expression)

  • Velum: fairly mobile and often will lower to bring in nasality

  • Some Possible Thinking sound/home base: [ɐm], [ɑm], [ɔm], [om]

  • Placement: back of the oral cavity below velum and uvula: back and relaxed like a surfer waitin’ for the waves

  • Food Image/Taste/Texture: Holding something carefully on your tongue: pop-rock candy, a flake of melting cotton candy that turns chewy, bubble gum mashed lightly to the roof of your mouth

  • “Yeah, nah” = “no”

  • "Nah, yeah” = “yes”

Prosody: Rhythm, Stress, Pitch

  • CHEAT CODE: Diphthongs, keep them loooooooooong [ɫõːːŋ] and slide-y! This could give a familial drawl sensation. 

  • Elision is present, giving the speech pattern a fairly liquid and relaxed sound.

  • Overall tempo is quite quick, even with long vowel sounds.

  • Volume play (Yay!), as well as pitch and elongation, are used for for stress.

  • There is a great deal of musicality to this accent, relying on pitch somewhat similarly to their British counterparts.

Notable Patterns

  • QUESTIONS & LISTS → lots of uplift lilt/pitch play at endings of questions in a BIG way

AUS_Prosody Image_Question_1_edited_edit

"Is it still all about the hair?"

Question Prosody Sample
Question Prosody Sample - Slow
  • HIGH RISING TERMINAL→ Upswing; statements often follow similar question pattern with a liberal swing up in pitch on the final word onset with a swift little fall at end.

AUS_Prosody Image_High Rising Termina_3_

"It’s not gonna make much difference to this crew.”

High Rising Terminal Sample, Male
High Rising Terminal, Male - Slow
AUS_Prosody Image_High Rising Termina_2_

“Not that there’s anything wrong with having those jobs.”

High Rising Terminal Sample, Female
High Rising Terminal Sample, Female - Slow
  • DOWNWARD FIZZLE OUT: begin strong and then trail away, perhaps into vocal fry

AUS_Prosody Image_Trailing Down 1_edited.jpg

"Let me tell you a story about artificial intelligence.”

Downward Fizzle Out Sample
Downward Fizzle Out Sample - Slow
Oral Posture
Reef 2.jpeg

Australian accents feature relatively little regional variation, despite the size of the country. By comparison, we see a greater shift in sound geographically across the US (New York vs. Southern vs Minnesota vs Southern California) and within the UK (Received Pronunciation, Cockney, Estuary, MLE, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol). We can look at them as ‘Broad ’ or ‘General ’ or ‘Cultivated ’. It is important to recognize that Australian Aboriginal English* is not taken into consideration with this classification and is considered by some as its own dialect. Additionally, there is a great influence of American culture that is evolving the language.

*To find out more about Australian Aboriginal English, see Works Cited at the bottom of this page.


Pronunciation: Salient Sounds


/r/ → [ ɹ̈ ]

Australian is non-rhotic, meaning the /r/ sound isn’t pronounced at the end of a syllable or immediately before a consonant.


you can see the FUTURE // you’re already PART of an ENTIRE system // one of the things to SHARE

00:00 / 00:20

The linking and intrusive /r/ are present here in a bracing position [ɹ]. 

became Prime MINISTER OF Australia

00:00 / 00:07

the IDEA OF eliminating poverty // around AUSTRALIA AND and more recently over sees

00:00 / 00:17

NOTE: lexical sets that include r-coloring will be affected by this rule: lettER → commA, NEAR, CURE, NURSE, SQUARE, START, NORTH, FORCE



    It was a year ago today. 

    Slashed the cotton sofapart.

    Have some raavocado on youoats.

    The sheliate a sanga under the Sydney Harbour bridge. 

       (The WOMAN ate a SANDWICH under the Sydney Harbour bridge.)

/l/ → [ɫ]

The /l/ sound becomes velarized, moving the back dorsum towards the velum in the mouth, similar to the action most American English speakers do when saying the word PULL (versus the tip of the tongue rising action in the work LIKE). This is heavily used in nearly all /l/ occurrences. The exception is when the /l/ comes before a [j], then a light /l/ is used. 

it houses LOTS of government apartments // ALL GLEAMING GLASS and curved LINES

00:00 / 00:21

Ending /t/ and /d/ → [ʔ] and [t]

A glottal stop [ʔ] can occur when a /t/ is in a final position of a word. When a /d/ is the terminal sound of a word it can commonly be devoiced [t}

and the enviornMENT and the building and the BUILT WORLD // nineTEEN EIGHTY-five // the antiDOTE // interSTATE CLIENT particular

00:00 / 00:32

Vowels & Diphthongs 

DIPHTHONGS: in general, these combination vowel sounds are lengthy due to either a shift in the sound comninations from your personal dialect or from the Aussie tendency to 'chew' the sound.



The final diphthong ends more open below the equator tongue and is significantly rounded



(Out, home, lonely, grow)

Now, I won’t  joke with him - he’s too cowardly.

This sounds a lot like a vowel coming out of my mouth.


from the OUTside // a wash using a SHOWER // one of the HOUSES of the twenty-five HOUSES you see on the screen


ɐ̝ɨ̯ / ʌ̟ɨ̯

This diphthong starts lower in the middle or back of the mouth and moves up to the very top of the mid or central mouth — there is a great deal of variation in the clouds of these sounds: the final phthong can often be [ʉ], but I find the absence of rounding to be a good starting point to keep it central rather than back [u].


FUN: Aussies will often abbreviate words by adding an /o/ to the end:

   Bottle (liquor) shop → bottle-o

   Service station → serv-o

   Professor Morgan as a friend → Jess-o

   Philly Eagles fans today → dev-o (devastated)



(Go, nowhere, over)

I stubbed my toe on the freaking sofa!

I won’t get cold if I ride the boat tonight.

Eeny, meany, miney, moe - catch a tiger by his toe.


FOCUSED design // so we had the GOALS // the voice that she’s heard on the PHONE // even KNOWING it // if we ONLY FOCUS // anyone who KNOWS me KNOWS that I love to talk



Starts in the back of the mouth rather than the front and travels all the way across the mouth to a KIT ending



(Crikey, guy, I, time, nice, In the Heights)

I’ve got to get my driver’s license renewed.


by the TIME you’ve actually // Australia’s largest autonomous MINDS // that AI will FIND its way

00:00 / 00:42
00:00 / 00:53
00:00 / 00:26

Lexical Set Keywords


Description // Additional Words



Onset vowel sits right under the schwa [ə], so unrounded open-mid central, giving us a greater distance to travel



(day, place, cable, pay)

G’day mate!

I really need a change of pace.


MAKE scales seem // through an experimental EDUCATION program // if not ELMINATING poverty // which transLATED

00:00 / 00:28

MONOPHTHONGS: these singular sounds like to travel becoming either a diphthong or migrating to a more close or more forward homebase. 


iː / ɪiː / əi

As we might hear in Southern American and Cockney, this vowel can often glide into a diphthong, particularly if the word is being stressed.



(Seen, feel, clean, trees)

I have to clean my house for the upteenth time!

Who left these heaps of clothes here? It wasn’t me!


was infectious DISEASE // know where the traffic’s gonna BE // joy in BEING a leader // I don’t think anyone in this room would DISAGREE // in September twenty sevenTEEN// and I’ve got no policy to RELASE // in the twenty-sixTEEN election

00:00 / 01:15



This sound can more resemble an [ɪ] or FLEECE sound. It is important to keep KIT and DRESS separated - this helps different from New Zeland



(kid, milk, sister, women, business)

Well, this year sucked since COVID hit.

How busy is the inner city? Just a tiny bit.

Do get political


so, so SIMPLE // BIG ideas need BIG words // DISCUSSING resting BITCH face

00:00 / 00:33



Since the DRESS sound moves higher to a close-mid placement rather than an open-mid, it is essential to keep it tight different from the KIT set.



(Then, anybody, get, empty)

Empty the memo bin and then you can go home.

Ya reckon we’ll get to watch some telly, Arden? Def-o Ez-o!


collaboratively and COLLECTIVELY // first STEP the MEDical doctor went away // I was very very unimPRESSed

00:00 / 00:25



That levitating dorsum moves the cup forward rather than in the back of the mouth for this lexical set.



(But, love, blood, pub)

The Weasly twins are bludger pros.

Just chuck the bloody oath and do it!


now I’ve got no BUCKET of MONEY today // there’s no MONEY // to the sort of BUGS

00:00 / 00:26


partial split

ɑ / æ

This is a generational change in which British English is being subdued to American English influence. With this change, you are free to vary it - as long as when you do adopt the merger you are applying the sound to the correct lexical set!


Some folks say it’s regional where a majority will use TRAP if a nasal precedes the vowel. South Australian Victoria almost always uses BATH.



Liquid U



As we see in GOAT, the oral posture here moves that dorsum forward to a centralized sound here in GOOSE. In this long monophthong sound, we loose the rounding.

EXCEPTION: When an alveolar plosive or nasal [t], [n], or [d] is followed by a /u/, we had the slightest /y/ sound in-between. /t/ + /u/ may sometimes include an affricate [t͜ʃjʉː]



(kangaroo, who are you, News, student, tune, during, twenty-two)

Lucky you! You’ve gotten to see a kangaroo!

Future me needs to Google what a kangaroo likes to do.

How fortunate - the students are going to New York.

Tonight I’ll be serving  up chook and goon, (which is: chicken and boxed wine)


as I walk into the meeting ROOM

00:00 / 00:05


to build something NEW // I ASSUMED that at the start

00:00 / 00:13

VOWEL(S) + /r/



In the centering diphthong of START the /r/ is dropped and the onset is more forward. For PALM, we are moving it forward, Give it length!



(Large, market, party, hard)

Everyone has a backyard party that gets gnarly.


always a good START // as to why these were the health TARGETS

00:00 / 00:14


As we drop the rhotic sounds, NORTH and FORCE become THOUGHT vowels. All three of these lexical sets will rise in the mouth toward the vellum into a back rounded sound with lots of time: [oː]



(taught, daughter, fall // warm court, sport // morning, course, fork)

I caught it, but I took it north.

Moving forward, only gorgeous thoughts allowed.


and I want you to start on a PROJECT

00:00 / 00:06


requires something MORE // and many STORIES // works with POOR people

00:00 / 00:24


10,        9,         8,          7,         6,        5,      4,       3,        2,      1

ten    nɒɪ̯n    ɜɪ̯ːʔ    se.vɪ̝n    sɪ̝ks    fɒɪ̯v    foː    θɹ̈əi̯    tju    wɐn


I didn’t come here to fuck spiders

ɒɪ̯  dɪ̝n̩  kɐm  hɪ̝ə  tʉ  fɐk. spɒɪ̯dəs


The shelia ate a sanga under the Sydney Harbour bridge.

ðə  ʃɪiːɫəɹ‿ɜɪ̯ʔ  ə  seŋgəɹ‿ɐndə  ðə  sɪ̝dnɪ  hɐbə  bɹɪ̝d͡ʒ


Crikey! I stubbed my toe on his face!

I’ve asked you to empty this for the umpteenth time.

Yea nah mate, the kangaroo’s there in the morning.


In-Depth Sound Samples

Below are longer, more comprehensive samples of Aussies speaking. 

Youngbloods is an excellent resource for not only listening to an authentic Aussie sound, but for touring the continent and learning more about the biology, geography, and culture. 

"... the investigative podcast recounts and further explores the story of two university friends caught up in Australia’s biggest ever case of insider trading. Hosted by Walkley Award-winning investigative journalist Angus Grigg, The Sure Thing is a true story of intrigue, betrayal, crime and an $8 million heist."

This newscaster always seems to say midly/wildly inappropriate things during his interviews. If inappropriate humor is your cuppa - you can get lost watching additional clips of his interviews. It's also a great place to pick up on some slang.

Robert Irwin, Steve Irwin's son, has a slightly less Broad sound than Steve, but still hits all the salient sounds with great length.

Play with these sounds! The technical work is important, but don’t let it dictate the sounds you are making. Test the boundaries and find the flow of the prosody.

  • My YouTube playlist

  • IDEA - the International Dialects of English Archives: this is a highly valuable resource for any dialect sampling. You can fine a wide range of gender/age/geographic location for Australian speakers here.

  • AusTalk - database with multiple sound samples

  • Casefile Podcast — you can look for Australian specifically and navigate toward the earlier podcasts for a more unfiltered Australian sound

  • The Howie Games Podcast - he interviews Australian athletes providing a wide range of dialect samples

  • Hamish & Andy Podcast - a comedy duo

  • YBS Youngbloods on YouTube

  • Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia (from Wales, moved to Adelaide at age 5)

  • Linda Burney, first indigenous member of parliament (from New South Wales)

  • Huh Sheridan, actor

  • Paul Pholeros, architect, (multiple TedTalks)

  • Mariam Veiszadeh (TedTalk)

  • Genevieve Bell, AI Specialist 

  • Barlates Body Blitz - get a workout in!  @barlatesbodyblitz

  • Wanted (Netflix)

  • Sisters (Netflix, Prime)

  • Strictly Ballroom (Amazon, YouTube)

  • Packed to the Rafters (Hulu, Prime)

  • Rake (Netflix)

  • Offspring (Netflix, Hulu

  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Amazon, YouTube)

  • Last Man on Earth (Hulu)

Listening Suggestions

Works Cited

***Not previously linked/attributed in above breakdown***

Aboriginal Australians, Facts and Information.” Culture, National Geographic, 4 May 2021,


“Australia's Cultural Diversity - Racism. No Way.” Racism. No Way!, 18 Sept. 2022,


“Knowing the Aussie Accent.” Australian Geographic, 2 Sept. 2018,


This text provides general information. Statista assumes no liability for the information given being complete or correct. Due to varying update cycles, statistics can display more up-to-date data than referenced in the text. “Topic: Migration in Australia.” Statista,


“Variation in Australian English.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Dec. 2022,

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