"Mark J. Reed" wrote:

> > > [Qstreili@] with au as the o in lost not as the au in cause say all my
> >
> > I'm afraid I can't tell any difference between the two, when short.
> There is no difference in some dialects.  When I'm saying "Australia"
> naturally, the "au" sounds just like the "a" in "father", which
> is also the same as the "o" in "lost" and the "au" in "cause".
> "Short o" and "ä/â" are just indistinguishable in my idiolect;
> "cot" and "caught" sound completely identical.  So "Australia" comes out
> something like [As'trejlj@].
> When I'm trying (and no doubt failing miserably) to sound like an Aussie,
> it's more like [Os'tr&lj@], but that [O] sound does not exist at all in my
> natural accent.

If you don't have [O] what do you have for the vowel in "court", "fort",
"port" and other "or" words?

The vowels in GA "court" and RP "court" are the same. The distinction is
rhotic v non-rhotic. In non rhotic RP caught and court are homophones. So,if
you want to say "caught" the RP way just say GA "court" without pronouncing
the "r".

However, in RP the "au" in "Australia" is not the same as the "au" in "caught"
(at least in careful speech) "Australia" has the British short "o" [Q] sound
of words such as "not", "lot" ,"cost" , etc. The first syllable of "Australia"
rhymes with the first syllable of "ostrich"; both [Qst]
If you can say the British short "o" you can say "Australia" the RP way

How it is in Australian, I leave to the Australians on the list

David Barrow