Story: Speech and accent

Lynn of Tawa meets Elton John, 1980

New Zealanders often encounter problems conversing with people from other English-speaking countries when their pronunciation of the TRAP vowel is mistaken for the DRESS vowel. Watch this 1980 clip of Lynn of Tawa (comedian Ginette MacDonald), in which she interviews singer Elton John. He has trouble with her pronunciation of 'All Blacks' as 'All Blecks'. Though Lynn of Tawa’s pronunciation is made extreme for comedy purposes, it is based on the characteristics of New Zealand English. 

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How to cite this page:

Elizabeth Gordon, 'Speech and accent - Features of the New Zealand accent', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 June 2023)

Story by Elizabeth Gordon, published 5 Sep 2013