Which British accent is closest to the general Australian accent?
Does this correlate with where the majority of British Australians originate?
Any comments on the variations of either accents by regions are welcome.
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Although there is a play/ply shift /pleɪ/ > /plʌɪ/ in various vowel sounds that is common to Cockney/Estuary English and standard Australian English, this is somewhat misleading:
Australian English began to diverge from British English after the First Settlers, who set up the Colony of New South Wales, arrived in 1788. By 1820, their speech was recognised as being different from British English. Australian English arose from the intermingling of early settlers, who were from a great variety of mutually intelligible dialectal regions of Great Britain and Ireland, and quickly developed into a distinct variety of English which differs considerably from most other varieties of English in vocabulary, accent, pronunciation, register, grammar and spelling.