5. The changing sound of the Māori language
Māori is the indigenous language of New Zealand. Its increasingly close contact with English over the last 150 years led to its endangerment, though it is now subject to active revitalization efforts. This chapter reports on some results from the MAONZE (Māori and New Zealand English) Research Project, which is studying aspects of the mutual influence of Māori and English in the area of pronunciation. Three groups of male speakers are analyzed, with birth dates ranging over 100 years (1880s to 1980s). Acoustic analyses of vowels and diphthongs are presented together with analyses of the stop consonants and /f/ (<wh>). The results show that there has been considerable change in all the analyzed aspects of Māori pronunciation. Some changes could reflect languageinternal change, but since they relate closely to similar changes that have taken place in New Zealand English over the same time period, they probably also represent external influence.