|Te reo Māori|
|Native to||New Zealand|
|Number of native proficient speakers is unknown.|
149,000 self-report knowledge to some extent
| Latin (Māori alphabet)|
Official language in
|Regulated by||Māori Language Commission|
Māori ( // ; Māori pronunciation: 
The Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. Māori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of canoe voyages some time between 1250 and 1300. Over several centuries in isolation, the Polynesian settlers developed a unique culture, with their own language, a rich mythology, and distinctive crafts and performing arts. Early Māori formed tribal groups based on eastern Polynesian social customs and organisation. Horticulture flourished using plants they introduced; later, a prominent warrior culture emerged.
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.
Cook Islands Māori is an Eastern Polynesian language. It is the official language of the Cook Islands, as well as being an indigenous language of the Realm of New Zealand. Cook Islands Māori is closely related to New Zealand Māori, but is a distinct language in its own right. Cook Islands Māori is simply called Māori when there is no need to disambiguate it from New Zealand Māori, but it is also known as Māori Kūki 'Āirani, or, controversially, Rarotongan. Many Cook Islanders also call it Te reo Ipukarea, literally "the language of the Ancestral Homeland".
A national census undertaken in 2013 reported that about 149,000 people, or 3.7 per cent of the New Zealand population, could hold a conversation in Māori about everyday things. As of 2015 [update] , 55 per cent of Māori adults reported some knowledge of the language; but of these speakers, only 64 per cent use Māori at home and only around 50,000 people can speak the language "very well" or "well".
The 2013 New Zealand census was the thirty-third national census. "The National Census Day" used for the census was on Tuesday, 5 March 2013. The population of New Zealand was counted as 4,242,048, – an increase of 214,101 or 5.3% over the 2006 census.
The Māori language lacked an indigenous writing system. Missionaries arriving from about 1814 learned to speak Māori, and introduced the Latin alphabet. In 1817 Tītore, and his junior relative, Tui (also known as Tuhi or Tupaea) sailed to England.They visited Professor Samuel Lee at Cambridge University and assisted him in the preparation of a grammar and vocabulary of Māori. Kendall travelled to London in 1820 with Hongi Hika and Waikato (a lower ranking Ngāpuhi chief) during which time further work was done with Professor Lee, who gave phonetic spellings to a written form of the language, which resulted in publication of the First Grammar and Vocabulary of the New Zealand Language (1820). By 1830 the CMS missionaries had revised the orthography for writing the Māori language; for example, ‘Kiddeekiddee’ became, what is the modern spelling, ‘Kerikeri’. Māori distinguishes between long and short vowels; modern written texts usually mark the long vowels with a macron. Some older texts represent long vowels with double letters (e.g. "Maaori"); for modern exceptions see "Long vowels" below.
Thomas Kendall was a New Zealand missionary, recorder of the Māori language, schoolmaster, arms dealer, and Pākehā Māori.
The Latin or Roman alphabet is the writing system originally used by the ancient Romans to write the Latin language.
Tītore (c1775-1837) was a Rangatira (chief) of the Ngāpuhi iwi (tribe). He was a war leader of the Ngāpuhi who lead the war expedition against the Māori tribes at East Cape in 1820 and 1821. He also led the war expeditions to Tauranga and Maketu in 1832 and 1833, following the incident in the Bay of Islands that is known as the Girls' War.
The English word comes from the Māori language, where it is spelled Māori. In New Zealand, the Māori language is often referred to as te reo [tɛ ˈɾɛ.ɔ] "the language", short for te reo Māori.
The spelling "Maori" (without a macron) is standard in English outside New Zealand in both general and linguistic usage.The Māori-language spelling Māori (with a macron) has become common in New Zealand English in recent years, particularly in Māori-specific cultural contexts, although the traditional English spelling is still prevalent in general media and government use.
A macron is a diacritical mark: it is a straight bar (¯) placed above a letter, usually a vowel. Its name derives from Ancient Greek μακρόν (makrón) "long", since it was originally used to mark long or heavy syllables in Greco-Roman metrics. It now more often marks a long vowel. In the International Phonetic Alphabet, the macron is used to indicate a mid-tone; the sign for a long vowel is instead a modified triangular colon ⟨ː⟩.
New Zealand English (NZE) is the variant of the English language spoken and written by most English-speaking New Zealanders. Its language code in ISO and Internet standards is en-NZ. English is one of New Zealand's three official languages and is the first language of the majority of the population.
Preferred and alternate pronunciations in English vary by dictionary, with // being most frequent today, and // , // , and // also given.
New Zealand has three official languages: English, Māori, and New Zealand Sign Language.Māori gained this status with the passing of the Māori Language Act 1987. Most government departments and agencies have bilingual names—for example, the Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua—and places such as local government offices and public libraries display bilingual signs and use bilingual stationery. New Zealand Post recognises Māori place-names in postal addresses. Dealings with government agencies may be conducted in Māori, but in practice, this almost always requires interpreters, restricting its everyday use to the limited geographical areas of high Māori fluency, and to more formal occasions, such as during public consultation. Increasingly New Zealand is referred to by the Māori name Aotearoa ("land of the long white cloud"), though originally this referred only to the North Island of New Zealand.
An interpreter is on hand at sessions of the New Zealand Parliament for instances when a Member wishes to speak in Māori.Māori may be spoken in judicial proceedings, but any party wishing to do so must notify the court in advance to ensure an interpreter is available. Failure to notify in advance does not preclude the party speaking in Māori, but the court must be adjourned until an interpreter is available and the party may be held liable for the costs of the delay.
A 1994 ruling by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council Te Reo , broadcast entirely in the Māori language, with no advertising or subtitles. The first Māori TV channel, Aotearoa Television Network (ATN) was available to viewers in the Auckland region from 1996, but lasted for only one year.in the United Kingdom held the New Zealand Government responsible under the Treaty of Waitangi (1840) for the preservation of the language. Accordingly, since March 2004, the state has funded Māori Television, broadcast partly in Māori. On 28 March 2008, Māori Television launched its second channel,
In 2008, Land Information New Zealand published the first list of official place names with macrons, which indicate long vowels. Previous place name lists were derived from computer systems (usually mapping and geographic information systems) that could not handle macrons.
According to legend, Māori came to New Zealand from Hawaiki. Current anthropological thinking places their origin in eastern Polynesia, mostly likely from the Southern Cook or Society Islands region, and says that they arrived by deliberate voyages in seagoing canoes—possibly double-hulled, and probably sail-rigged. These settlers probably arrived by about AD 1280 (see Māori origins). Their language and its dialects developed in isolation until the 19th century.
Since about 1800, the Māori language has had a tumultuous history. It started this period as the predominant language of New Zealand. In the 1860s, it became a minority language in the shadow of the English spoken by many settlers, missionaries, gold-seekers, and traders. In the late 19th century, the colonial governments of New Zealand and its provinces introduced an English-style school system for all New Zealanders. From the mid 1800s, due to the Native Schools Act and later the Native Schools Code, the use of Māori in schools was slowly filtered out of the curriculum in order to become more European.Increasing numbers of Māori people learned English.
Until the Second World War (1939–1945), most Māori people spoke Māori as their first language. Worship took place in Māori; it functioned as the language of Māori homes; Māori politicians conducted political meetings in Māori, and some literature appeared in Māori, along with many newspapers.[ citation needed ]
Before 1880, some Māori parliamentarians suffered disadvantages because Parliament's proceedings took place in English.[ citation needed ] However, by 1900, all Māori members of parliament, such as Sir Āpirana Ngata, were university graduates who spoke fluent English. From this period, the number of speakers of Māori began to decline rapidly.[ citation needed ] By the 1980s, fewer than 20 per cent of the Māori spoke the language well enough to be classed as native speakers. Even many of those people no longer spoke Māori in the home. As a result, many Māori children failed to learn their ancestral language, and generations of non-Māori-speaking Māori emerged.
By the 1980s, Māori leaders had begun to recognise the dangers of the loss of their language, and initiated Māori-language recovery-programs such as the Kōhanga Reo movement, which from 1982 immersed infants in Māori from infancy to school age. There followed in 1985 the founding of the first Kura Kaupapa Māori (Years 1 to 8 Māori-medium education programme) and later the first Wharekura (Years 9 to 13 Māori-medium education programme). Although "there was a true revival of te reo in the 1980s and early to mid-1990s ... spurred on by the realisation of how few speakers were left, and by the relative abundance of older fluent speakers in both urban neighbourhoods and rural communities", the language has continued to decline. The decline is believed "to have several underlying causes". These include:
Based on the principles of partnership, Māori-speaking government, general revitalisation and dialectal protective policy, and adequate resourcing, the Waitangi Tribunal has recommended "four fundamental changes":
The changes set forth by the Tribunal are merely recommendations; they are not binding upon government.
There is however evidence that the revitalisation efforts are taking hold, as can be seen in the teaching of te reo in the school curriculum, the use of Māori as an instructional language, and the supportive ideologies surrounding these efforts.In 2014, a survey of students ranging in age from 18–24 was conducted; the students were of mixed ethnic backgrounds, ranging from Pākehā to Māori who lived in New Zealand. This survey showed a 62 per cent response saying that te reo Māori was at risk. Albury argues that these results come from the language either not being used enough in common discourse, or from the fact that the number of speakers was inadequate for future language development.
The policies for language revitalisation have been changing in attempts to improve Māori language use and have been working with suggestions from the Waitangi Tribunal on the best ways to implement the revitalisation. The Waitangi Tribunal in 2011 identified a suggestion for language revitalisation that would shift indigenous policies from the central government to the preferences and ideologies of the Māori people.This change recognises the issue of Māori revitalisation as one of indigenous self-determination, instead of the job of the government to identify what would be best for the language and Māori people of New Zealand.
Beginning in about 2015, the Māori language underwent a revival as it became increasingly popular, as a common national heritage, even among New Zealanders without Māori roots. Surveys from 2018 indicated that "the Māori language currently enjoys a high status in Māori society and also positive acceptance by the majority of non-Māori New Zealanders".
As the status and prestige of the language rose, so did the demand for language classes. Businesses were quick to adopt the trend as it became apparent that using te reo made customers think of a company as "committed to New Zealand".The language became increasingly heard in the media and in politics. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – who gave her daughter a Māori middle name – made headlines when she toasted Commonwealth leaders in 2018 with a Māori proverb, and the success of Māori musical groups such as Alien Weaponry and Maimoa Music further increased the language's presence in social media.
Comparative linguists classify Māori as a Polynesian language; specifically as an Eastern Polynesian language belonging to the Tahitic subgroup, which includes Cook Islands Māori, spoken in the southern Cook Islands, and Tahitian, spoken in Tahiti and the Society Islands. Other major Eastern Polynesian languages include Hawaiian, Marquesan (languages in the Marquesic subgroup), and the Rapa Nui language of Easter Island.
While the preceding are all distinct languages, they remain similar enough that Tupaia, a Tahitian travelling with Captain James Cook in 1769–1770, communicated effectively with Māori.Māori actors, travelling to Easter Island for production of the film Rapa-Nui noticed a marked similarity between the native tongues, as did arts curator Reuben Friend, who noted that it took only a short time to pick up any different vocabulary and the different nuances to recognisable words. Speakers of modern Māori generally report that they find the languages of the Cook Islands, including Rarotongan, the easiest amongst the other Polynesian languages to understand and converse in.
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Nearly all speakers are ethnic Māori resident in New Zealand. Estimates of the number of speakers vary: the 1996 census reported 160,000,while other estimates have reported as few as 10,000 fluent adult speakers in 1995 according to the Māori Language Commission: Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori. As reported in the most recent national census in 2013, only 21.31 per cent of Māori (self-identified) had a conversational knowledge of the language, and only around 6.5 per cent of those speakers, 1.4 per cent of the total Māori population, spoke the Māori language only. This percentage has been in decline in recent years, from around a quarter of the population to 21 per cent. However, the number of speakers In the same census, Māori speakers were 3.7 per cent of the total population.
The level of competence of self-professed Māori speakers varies from minimal to total. Statistics have not been gathered for the prevalence of different levels of competence. Only a minority of self-professed speakers use Māori as their main language at home.The rest use only a few words or phrases (passive bilingualism).
Māori still [update] is a community language in some predominantly-Māori settlements in the Northland, Urewera and East Cape areas. Kohanga reo Māori-immersion kindergartens throughout New Zealand use Māori exclusively. Increasing numbers of Māori raise their children bilingually.
Urbanisation after the Second World War led to widespread language shift from Māori predominance (with Māori the primary language of the rural whānau ) to English predominance (English serving as the primary language in the Pākehā cities). Therefore, Māori-speakers almost always communicate bilingually, with New Zealand English as either their first or second language. Only around 9000 people speak only in Māori.
The use of the Māori language in the Māori diaspora is far lower than in New Zealand itself. Census data from Australia show it as the home language of 11,747, just 8.2% of the total Australian Māori population in 2016. However, this could just be due to more Māori immigrants leaving to Australia.
There was originally no native writing system for Māori. It has been suggested that the petroglyphs once used by the Māori developed into a script similar to the Rongorongo of Easter Island.However, there is no evidence that these petroglyphs ever evolved into a true system of writing. Some distinctive markings among the kōwhaiwhai (rafter paintings) of meeting houses were used as mnemonics in reciting whakapapa (genealogy) but again, there was no systematic relation between marks and meanings.
The modern Māori alphabet has 15 letters, two of which are digraphs: A E H I K M N O P R T U W NG and WH. 98), Toogee and E tanga roak for Tuki and Tangaroa (1793, Northland, p216), Kokramea, Kakramea for Kakaramea (1801, Hauraki, p261), toges for toki(s), Wannugu for Uenuku and gumera for kumara (1801, Hauraki, p261, p266, p269), Weygate for Waikato (1801, Hauraki, p277), Bunga Bunga for pungapunga, tubua for tupua and gure for kurī (1801, Hauraki, p279), as well as Tabooha for Te Puhi (1823, Northern Northland, p385).The five vowels have both short and long forms, with the long forms denoted by macrons marked above them - Ā, Ē, Ī, Ō and Ū. Attempts to write Māori words using the Latin script began with Captain James Cook and other early explorers, with varying degrees of success. Consonants seem to have caused the most difficulty, but medial and final vowels are often missing in early sources. Anne Salmond records aghee for aki (In the year 1773, from the North Island East Coast, p.
From 1814, missionaries tried to define the sounds of the language. Thomas Kendall published a book in 1815 entitled A korao no New Zealand , which in modern orthography and usage would be He Kōrero nō Aotearoa. Professor Samuel Lee of Cambridge University, in 1817 worked with the Ngāpuhi chief Tītore and his junior relative Tui,and then with chief Hongi Hika and his junior relative Waikato, to establish a definitive orthography based on Northern usage, which was published in 1820. The missionaries of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) did not have a high regard for this book. By 1830 the CMS missionaries had revised the orthography for writing the Māori language; for example, ‘Kiddeekiddee’ became, what is the modern spelling, ‘Kerikeri’. This orthography continues in use, with only two major changes: the addition of wh to distinguish the voiceless bilabial fricative phoneme from the labio-velar phoneme /w/; and the consistent marking of long vowels. The macron has become the generally accepted device for marking long vowels (hāngi), but double vowel letters have also been used (haangi).
The Māori embraced literacy enthusiastically, and missionaries reported in the 1820s that Māori all over the country taught each other to read and write, using sometimes quite innovative materials in the absence of paper, such as leaves and charcoal, carved wood, and hides.
The alphabet devised at Cambridge University does not mark vowel length. The following examples show that vowel length is phonemic in Māori:
|tatari||to wait for||tātari||to filter or analyse|
|tui||to sew||tūī||Parson bird|
Māori devised ways to mark vowel length, sporadically at first. Occasional and inconsistent vowel-length markings occur in 19th-century manuscripts and newspapers written by Māori, including macron-like diacritics and doubling of letters. Māori writer Hare Hongi (Henry Stowell) used macrons in his Maori-English Tutor and Vade Mecum of 1911,as does Sir Āpirana Ngata (albeit inconsistently) in his Maori Grammar and Conversation (7th printing 1953). Once the Māori language started to be taught in universities in the 1960s, vowel-length marking was made systematic. At Auckland University, Professor Bruce Biggs (of Ngāti Maniapoto descent) promoted the use of double vowels (e.g. Maaori); this style was standard there until Biggs died in 2000.
Macrons (tohutō) are now the standard means of indicating long vowels, —set up by the Māori Language Act 1987 to act as the authority for Māori spelling and orthography.after becoming the favoured option of the Māori Language Commission
Most media now use macrons; Stuff websites and newspapers since 2017,TVNZ and NZME websites and newspapers since 2018.
Major exceptions using double vowels are:
Occasionally, diaeresis are seen instead of macrons (e.g. Mäori) due to technical limitations in producing macronised vowels on typewriters and older computer systems.
Māori has five phonemically distinct vowel articulations, and ten consonant phonemes.
Although it is commonly claimed that vowel realisations (pronunciations) in Māori show little variation, linguistic research has shown this not to be the case.
Vowel length is phonemic; but four of the five long vowels occur in only a handful of word roots, the exception being /aː/. As noted above, it has recently become standard in Māori spelling to indicate a long vowel with a macron. For older speakers, long vowels tend to be more peripheral and short vowels more centralised, especially with the low vowel, which is long [aː] but short [ɐ]. For younger speakers, they are both [a]. For older speakers, /u/ is only fronted after /t/; elsewhere it is [u]. For younger speakers, it is fronted [ʉ] everywhere, as with the corresponding phoneme in New Zealand English.
As in many other Polynesian languages, diphthongs in Māori vary only slightly from sequences of adjacent vowels, except that they belong to the same syllable, and all or nearly all sequences of nonidentical vowels are possible. All sequences of nonidentical short vowels occur and are phonemically distinct.With younger speakers, /ai, au/ start with a higher vowel than the [a] of /ae, ao/.
The following table shows the five vowel phonemes and the allophones for some of them according to Bauer 1997 and Harlow 2006. Some of these phonemes occupy large spaces in the anatomical vowel triangle (actually a trapezoid) of tongue positions. For example, as above, /u/ is sometimes realised as [ʉ].
|Close||i[i], [iː]||u[ʉ], [uː]|
|Mid||e[ɛ], [eː]||o[ɔ], [oː]|
Beside monophthongs Māori has many diphthong vowel phonemes. Although any short vowel combinations are possible, researchers disagree on which combinations constitute diphthongs.Formant frequency analysis distinguish /aĭ/, /aĕ/, /aŏ/, /aŭ/, /oŭ/ as diphthongs.
The consonant phonemes of Māori are listed in the following table. Seven of the ten Māori consonant letters have the same pronunciation as they do in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For those that do not, the IPA phonetic transcription is included, enclosed in square brackets per IPA convention.
The pronunciation of wh is extremely variable, [f] (as found in English). Another allophone is the bilabial fricative, IPA [ɸ], which is usually supposed to be the sole pre-European pronunciation, although linguists are not sure of the truth of this supposition. At least until the 1930s, the bilabial fricative was considered to be the correct pronunciation. The fact that English f gets transcribed as p and not wh in borrowings (for example, "February" becomes Pēpuere instead of *Whēpuere) would strongly hint that the Māori did not perceive English /f/ to be the same sound as their wh.but its most common pronunciation (its canonical allophone) is the labiodental fricative, IPA
Because English stops /p, t, k/ primarily have aspiration, speakers of English often hear the Māori nonaspirated stops as English /b, d, g/. However, younger Māori speakers tend to aspirate /p, t, k/ as in English. English speakers also tend to hear Māori /r/ as English /l/ in certain positions (cf. Japanese r). These ways of hearing have given rise to place-name spellings which are incorrect in Māori, like Tolaga Bay in the North Island and Otago and Waihola in the South Island. t becomes an affricate /ts/ before /i/ in modern Māori.
ng can come at the beginning of a word, like sing-along without the "si", which is difficult for English speakers outside of New Zealand to manage.
h is pronounced as a glottal stop, [ ʔ ], and wh as [ʔw], in some western areas of North Island.
r is typically a flap, especially before /a/. However, elsewhere it is sometimes trilled.
In borrowings from English, many English consonants are simplified to the nearest available Māori consonant. For example, the English fricatives /tʃ/, /dʒ/, /s/ are transcribed as h, English /f/ as p, and English /l/ as r (the l is sometimes retained in the southern dialect, as noted below).
Syllables in Māori have one of the following forms: V, VV, CV, CVV. This set of four can be summarised by the notation, (C)V(V), in which the segments in parentheses may or may not be present. A syllable cannot begin with two consonant sounds (the digraphs ng and wh represent single consonant sounds), and cannot end in a consonant, although some speakers may occasionally devoice a final vowel. All possible CV combinations are grammatical, though wo, who, wu, and whu occur only in a few loanwords from English such as wuru, "wool" and whutuporo, "football".
As in many other Polynesian languages, e.g., Hawaiian, the rendering of loanwords from English includes representing every English consonant of the loanword (using the native consonant inventory; English has 24 consonants to 10 for Māori) and breaking up consonant clusters. For example, "Presbyterian" has been borrowed as Perehipeteriana; no consonant position in the loanword has been deleted, but /s/ and /b/ have been replaced with /h/ and /p/, respectively.
Stress is typically within the last four vowels of a word, with long vowels and diphthongs counting double. That is, on the last four moras. However, stressed moras are longer than unstressed moras, so the word does not have the precision in Māori that it does in some other languages. It falls preferentially on the first long vowel, on the first diphthong if there is no long vowel (though for some speakers never a final diphthong), and on the first syllable otherwise. Compound words (such as names) may have a stressed syllable in each component word. In long sentences, the final syllable before a pause may have a stress in preference to the normal stressed syllable.
Biggs proposed that historically there were two major dialect groups, North Island and South Island, and that South Island Māori is extinct.Biggs has analysed North Island Māori as comprising a western group and an eastern group with the boundary between them running pretty much along the island's north–south axis.
Within these broad divisions regional variations occur, and individual regions show tribal variations. The major differences occur in the pronunciation of words, variation of vocabulary, and idiom. A fluent speaker of Māori has no problem understanding other dialects.
There is no significant variation in grammar between dialects. "Most of the tribal variation in grammar is a matter of preferences: speakers of one area might prefer one grammatical form to another, but are likely on occasion to use the non-preferred form, and at least to recognise and understand it."Vocabulary and pronunciation vary to a greater extent, but this does not pose barriers to communication.
In the southwest of the island, in the Whanganui and Taranaki regions, the phoneme /h/ is a glottal stop and the phoneme /wh/ is [ʔw]. This difference was the subject of considerable debate during the 1990s and 2000s over the then-proposed change of the name of the city Wanganui to Whanganui.
In Tūhoe and the Eastern Bay of Plenty (northeastern North Island) ng has merged with n. In parts of the Far North, wh has merged with w.
In the extinct South Island dialects, ng merged with k in many regions. Thus Kāi Tahu and Ngāi Tahu are variations in the name of the same iwi (the latter form is the one used in acts of Parliament). Since 2000, the government has altered the official names of several southern place names to the southern dialect forms by replacing ng with k. New Zealand's highest mountain, known for centuries as Aoraki in southern Māori dialects that merge ng with k, and as Aorangi by other Māori, was later named "Mount Cook", in honour of Captain Cook. Now its sole official name is Aoraki/Mount Cook , which favours the local dialect form. Similarly, the Māori name for Stewart Island, Rakiura, is cognate with the name of the Canterbury town of Rangiora. Likewise, Dunedin's main research library, the Hocken Collections, has the name Uare Taoka o Hākena rather than the northern (standard) Te Whare Taonga o Hākena.Maarire Goodall and Griffiths say there is also a voicing of k to g – this is why the region of Otago (southern dialect) and the settlement it is named after – Otakou (standard Māori) – vary in spelling (the pronunciation of the latter having changed over time to accommodate the northern spelling). Westland's Waitangitaona River became two distinct rivers after an avulsion, each named in a differing dialect. While the northern river was named the Waitangitāhuna River, the southern river became the Waitakitāhuna-ki-te-Toka, using the more usual southern spelling (ki-te-Toka, "of the south", would be rendered ki-te-Tonga in standard Māori).
The standard Māori r is also found occasionally changed to an l in these southern dialects and the wh to w. These changes are most commonly found in place names, such as Lake Waiholaand the nearby coastal settlement of Wangaloa (which would, in standard Māori, be rendered Whangaroa), and Little Akaloa, on Banks Peninsula. Goodall and Griffiths claim that final vowels are given a centralised pronunciation as schwa or that they are elided (pronounced indistinctly or not at all), resulting in such seemingly-bastardised place names as The Kilmog, which in standard Māori would have been rendered Kirimoko, but which in southern dialect would have been pronounced very much as the current name suggests. This same elision is found in numerous other southern placenames, such as the two small settlements called The Kaik (from the term for a fishing village, kainga in standard Māori), near Palmerston and Akaroa, and the early spelling of Lake Wakatipu as Wagadib. In standard Māori, Wakatipu would have been rendered Whakatipua, showing further the elision of a final vowel.
Despite being officially regarded as extinct,many government and educational agencies in Otago and Southland encourage the use of the dialect in signage and official documentation.
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Maori has mostly a VSO (verb-subject-object) word order, is analytical and makes extensive use of grammatical particles to indicate grammatical categories of tense, mood, aspect, case, topicalization, among others. The personal pronouns have a distinction in clusivity, singular, dual and plural numbers and the genitive pronouns have different classes (a class, o class and neutral) according to whether the possession is alienable or the possessor has control of the relationship (a category), or the possession is inalienable or the possessor has no control over the relationship (o category), and a third neutral class that only occurs for singular pronouns and must be followed by a noun.
Biggs (1998) developed an analysis that the basic unit of Māori speech is the phrase rather than the word. The lexical word forms the "base" of the phrase. "Nouns" include those bases that can take a definite article, but cannot occur as the nucleus of a verbal phrase; for example: ika (fish) or rākau (tree). Plurality is marked by various means, including the definite article (singular te, plural ngā), deictic particles "tērā rākau" (that tree), "ērā rākau" (those trees), possessives "taku whare" (my house), "aku whare" (my houses). Some nouns lengthen a vowel in the plural, such as wahine (woman); wāhine (women). In general, bases used as qualifiers follow the base they qualify, e.g. "matua wahine" (mother, female elder) from "matua" (parent, elder) "wahine" (woman).
Statives serve as bases usable as verbs but not available for passive use, such as ora, alive or tika, correct. Grammars generally refer to them as "stative verbs". When used in sentences, statives require different syntax than other verb-like bases.
Locative bases can follow the locative particle ki (to, towards) directly, such as runga, above, waho, outside, and placenames (ki Tamaki, to Auckland).
Personal bases take the personal article a after ki, such as names of people (ki a Hohepa, to Joseph), personified houses, personal pronouns, wai? who? and Mea, so-and-so.
Like all other Polynesian languages, Māori has a rich array of particles, which include verbal particles, pronouns, locative particles, articles and possessives.
Verbal particles indicate aspectual, tense related or modal properties of the verb to which they relate to. They include:
Locative particles (prepositions) refer to position in time and/or space, and include:
Possessives fall into one of two classes of prepositions marked by a and o, depending on the dominant versus subordinate relationship between possessor and possessed: ngā tamariki a te matua, the children of the parent but te matua o ngā tamariki, the parent of the children.
Definitives include the articles te (singular) and ngā (plural) and the possessive prepositions tā and tō. These also combine with the pronouns.
The indefinite article he is usually positioned at the beginning of the phrase in which it is used. The indefinite article is used when the base is used indefinitely or nominally. These phrases can be identified as an indefinite nominal phrase. The article either can be translated to the English ‘a’ or ‘some’, but the number will not be indicated by he. The indefinite article he when used with mass nouns like water and sand will always mean 'some'.
|He tāne||A man||Some men|
|He kōtiro||A girl||Some girls|
|He kāinga||A village||Some villages|
|He āporo||An apple||Some apples|
The proper article a is used for personal nouns. The personal nouns do not have the definite or indefinite articles on the proper article unless it is an important part of its name. The proper article a always being the phrase with the personal noun.
|Kei hea, a Pita?||Where is Peter?|
|Kei Ākarana, a Pita.||Peter is at Auckland.|
|Kei hea, a Te Rauparaha?||Where is Te Rauparaha?|
|Kei tōku kāinga, a Te Rauparaha.||Te Rauparaha is at my home.|
Demonstratives occur after the noun and have a deictic function, and include tēnei, this (near me), tēnā, that (near you), tērā, that (far from us both), and taua, the aforementioned (anaphoric). Other definitives include tēhea? (which?), and tētahi, (a certain). The plural is formed just by dropping the t: tēnei (this), ēnei (these). The related adverbs are nei (here), nā (there, near you), rā (over there, near him).
Pronouns have singular, dual and plural number. Different first-person forms in both the dual and the plural are used for groups inclusive or exclusive of the listener.
|1.INCL||au / ahau||tāua||tātou|
Like other Polynesian languages, Māori has three numbers for pronouns and possessives: singular, dual and plural. For example: ia (he/she), rāua (they two), rātou (they, three or more). Māori pronouns and possessives further distinguish exclusive "we" from inclusive "we", second and third. It has the plural pronouns: mātou (we, exc), tātou (we, inc), koutou (you), rātou (they). The language features the dual pronouns: māua (we two, exc), tāua (we two, inc), kōrua (you two), rāua (they two). The difference between exclusive and inclusive lies in the treatment of the person addressed. Mātou refers to the speaker and others but not the person or persons spoken to ("I and some others but not you"), and tātou refers to the speaker, the person or persons spoken to and everyone else ("you, I and others"):
The possessive pronouns vary according to person, number, clusivity, and possessive class (a class or o class). Example: tāku pene (my pen), āku pene (my pens). For dual and plural subject pronouns, the possessive form is analytical, by just putting the possessive particle (tā/tō for singular objects or ā/ō for plural objects) before the personal pronouns, e.g. tā tātou karaihe (our class), tō rāua whare (their [dual] house); ā tātou karaihe (our classes). The neuter one must be followed by a noun and only occur for singular first, second and third persons. Taku is my, aku is my (plural, for many possessed items). The plural is made by deleting the initial [t].
|Number||Person||a class||o class||neutral||a class||o class||neutral|
A phrase spoken in Māori can be broken up into two parts: the “nucleus” or "head" and “periphery” (modifiers, determiners). The nucleus can be thought of as the meaning and is the centre of the phrase, whereas the periphery is where the grammatical meaning is conveyed and occurs before and/or after the nucleus.
The nucleus whare can be translated as "house", the periphery te is similar to an article "the" and the periphery nei indicates proximity to the speaker. The whole phrase, te whare nei, can then be translated as "this house".
A definite and declarative sentence (may be a copulative sentence) begins with the declarative particle ko. If the sentence is topicalized (agent topic, only in non-present sentences) the particle nā begins the sentence (past tense) or the mā (future, imperfective) followed by the agent/subject. In these cases the word order changes to SVO. These agent topicalizing particles can contract with singular personal pronouns and vary according to the possessive classes: nāku can be though of as meaning "as for me" and behave like a emphatic or dative pronoun.
Forming negative phrases in Māori is quite grammatically complex. There are several different negators which are used under various specific circumstances.The four main negators are as follows:
|kāo||Negative answer to a polar question.|
|kāore/kāhore/kāre/||The most common verbal negator.|
|kore||A strong negator, equivalent to 'never'.|
|kaua e||Negative imperatives; prohibitive|
|ehara||Negation for copulative phrases, topicalized and equative phrases|
Kīhai and tē are two negators which may be seen in specific dialects or older texts, but are not widely used.The most common negator is kāhore, which may occur in one of four forms, with the kāo form only being used in response to a question. Negative phrases, besides using kāore, also affect the form of verbal particles, as illustrated below.
|Present||kei te||i te|
The general usage of kāhore can be seen in the following examples. The subject is usually raised in negative phrases, although this is not obligatory.Each example of a negative phrase is presented with its analogue positive phrase for comparison.
|'We are not going tomorrow'|
|'We are going tomorrow'|
|'Nobody has arrived yet'|
|'Some people have arrived'|
The passive voice of verbs is made by a suffix to the verb -ia (or just -a if the verb ends in [i]) or -tia/-hia. Example: Kua hangaia te marae e ngā tohunga (The marae has been built by the experts).
Polar questions (yes/no questions) can be made by just changing the intonation of the sentence. The answers may be āe (yes) or kāo (no).
Although Māori is mostly analytical there are several derivational affixes:
From missionary times, Māori used adaptations of English names for days of the week and for months of the year. Since about 1990 the Māori Language Commission / Te Taura Whiri o te Reo Māori has promoted new ("traditional") sets. Its days of the week have no pre-European equivalent but reflect the pagan origins of the English names (for example, Hina = moon). The commission based the months of the year on one of the traditional tribal lunar calendars.
New Zealand English has gained many loanwords from Māori, mainly the names of birds, plants, fishes and places. For example, the kiwi, the national bird, takes its name from te reo. "Kia ora" (literally "be healthy") is widely adopted greeting of Māori origin, with the intended meaning of "hello".It can also mean "thank you", or signify agreement with a speaker at a meeting. The Māori greetings "tēnā koe" (to one person), "tēnā kōrua" (to two people) or "tēnā koutou" (to three or more people) are also widely used, as are farewells such as "haere rā". The Māori phrase "kia kaha", "be strong", is frequently encountered as an indication of moral support for someone starting a stressful undertaking or otherwise in a difficult situation. Many other words such as "whānau" (meaning "family") and "kai" (meaning "food") are also widely understood and used by New Zealanders.
John McCaffery, a language expert at the University of Auckland school of education, says the language is thriving, with other indigenous peoples travelling to New Zealand to learn how Māori has made such a striking comeback. 'It has been really dramatic, the past three years in particular, Māori has gone mainstream,' he said.
Tuvaluan, often called Tuvalu, is a Polynesian language of or closely related to the Ellicean group spoken in Tuvalu. It is more or less distantly related to all other Polynesian languages, such as Hawaiian, Maori, Tahitian, Samoan, and Tongan, and most closely related to the languages spoken on the Polynesian Outliers in Micronesia and Northern and Central Melanesia. Tuvaluan has borrowed considerably from Samoan, the language of Christian missionaries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Polynesian languages form a language family spoken in geographical Polynesia and on a patchwork of outliers from south central Micronesia to small islands off the northeast of the larger islands of the southeast Solomon Islands and sprinkled through Vanuatu. Linguistic taxonomists classify them as a subgroup of the much larger and more varied Austronesian family, belonging to the Oceanic branch of that family.
Oromo is an Afroasiatic macrolanguage which is primarily composed of four distinct languages: Southern Oromo, which includes the Gabra and Sakuye varieties, Eastern Oromo, Orma, which includes the Munyo, Orma, Waata/Sanye varieties, and West Central Oromo. Like with the varieties of Arabic, Oromo is a dialect continuum, so language varieties spoken in neighbouring regions differ only slightly, but the differences accumulate over distance so widely-separated varieties are not mutually intelligible.
Tongan is an Austronesian language of the Polynesian branch spoken in Tonga. It has around 180,000 speakers and is a national language of Tonga. It is a VSO (verb–subject–object) language.
Tahitian is a Polynesian language, spoken mainly on the Society Islands in French Polynesia. It belongs to the Eastern Polynesian group.
Niuean is a Polynesian language, belonging to the Malayo-Polynesian subgroup of the Austronesian languages. It is most closely related to Tongan and slightly more distantly to other Polynesian languages such as Māori, Sāmoan, and Hawaiian. Together, Tongan and Niuean form the Tongic subgroup of the Polynesian languages. Niuean also has a number of influences from Samoan and Eastern Polynesian languages.
Tokelauan is a Polynesian language spoken in Tokelau and on Swains Island in American Samoa. It is closely related to Tuvaluan and is related to Samoan and other Polynesian languages. Tokelauan has a co-official status with English in Tokelau. There are approximately 4,260 speakers of Tokelauan, of whom 2,100 live in New Zealand, 1,400 in Tokelau, and 17 in Swains Island. "Tokelau" means "north-northeast".
Marquesan is a collection of East-Central Polynesian dialects, of the Marquesic group, spoken in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia. They are usually classified into two groups, North Marquesan and South Marquesan, roughly along geographic lines.
Pukapukan is a Polynesian language that developed in isolation on the island of Pukapuka in the northern group of the Cook Islands. As a "Samoic Outlier" language with strong links to western Polynesia, Pukapukan is not closely related to any other languages of the Cook Islands, but does manifest substantial borrowing from some East Polynesian source in antiquity.
Taba is a Malayo-Polynesian language of the South Halmahera – West New Guinea group. It is spoken mostly on the islands of Makian, Kayoa and southern Halmahera in North Maluku province of Indonesia by about 20,000 people.
Sa or Saa language is an Austronesian language spoken in southern Pentecost Island, Vanuatu. It had an estimated 2,500 speakers in the year 2000.
The Owa language is a language of the Solomon Islands. It is part of the same dialect continuum as Kahua, and shares the various alternate names of that dialect.
The Maori Language Act 1987 was a piece of legislation passed by the Parliament of New Zealand that gave official language status to the Māori language, and gave speakers a right to use it in legal settings such as in court. It also established the Māori Language Commission, initially called Te Komihana Mo Te Reo Maori, to promote the language and provide advice on it.
Bruce Grandison Biggs was an influential figure in the academic field of Māori studies in New Zealand. The first academic appointed (1950) to teach the Māori language at a New Zealand university, he taught and trained a whole generation of Māori academics.
Mortlockese, also known as Mortlock or Nomoi, is a language that belongs to the Chuukic group of Micronesian languages in the Federated States of Micronesia spoken primarily in the Mortlock Islands. It is nearly intelligible with Satawalese, with an 18 percent intelligibility and an 82 percent lexical similarity, and Puluwatese, with a 75 percent intelligibility and an 83 percent lexical similarity. The language today has become mutually intelligible with Chuukese, though marked with a distinct Mortlockese accent. Linguistic patterns show that Mortlockese is converging with Chuukese since Mortlockese now has an 80 to 85 percent lexical similarity.
Nuaulu is a language indigenous to the island of Seram Island in Indonesia, and it is spoken by the Nuaulu people. The language is split into two dialects, a northern and a southern dialect, between which there a communication barrier. The dialect of Nuaulu referred to on this page is the southern dialect, as described in Bolton 1991.
Māori phonology is typical for Polynesian languages, its phonetic inventory is one of the smallest in the world with considerable variation in realisation. The Māori language retains the Proto-Polynesian syllable structure: (C)V(V ), with no closed syllables. The stress pattern is unpredictable unlike many other Polynesian languages.
|Maori edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|