New Zealand Accent - Phonetic Breakdown

Phonemic symbols are broad measurements of speech sounds. See notes below.

Select audio below.

Notes: New Zealand English, which was established on the islands by colonists during the 19th century, has been shaped by three main influences; the accent from southern England, the Scottish English accent and the Maori language.

Tips for learners:

• There is a distinctly nasal resonance, similar to Australian and South African English, present in the New Zealand accent caused by a slightly lowered position of the velum(soft palate) and a natural point of tension at the back of the oral cavity.

• /l/ is 'dark' in environments, though generally not as dark as in Australian English.

• New Zealand English is non-rhotic, so /r/ is only pronounced before a vowel sound, but not a consonant sound.

• Occasionally 'r' can be a trilled sound due to the Scottish influence, especially on South Island.

• /h/ is sometimes dropped in certain mid-sentence pronouns.

• /j/ is not dropped following alveolar consonants in words such as new, duty, tune, assume.

• New Zealand English speakers only pronounce a »word-final 'r' if the next word starts with a vowel and often use the intrusive 'r'


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