image of Māori loanwords in New Zealand English
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The Indigenous language of ANZ, Māori is undergoing significant revitalisation, following severe loss of vitality caused by English colonialism. One dimension to this revitalisation is the normalising of borrowings from Māori into New Zealand English (NZE). However, there are currently no empirical studies of adults’ naming patterns for concepts that can be lexicalised by Māori words in NZE. We report on a picture-naming experiment in which 48 participants are asked to name a set of target and control pictures depicting everyday concepts from three semantic categories which involve Māori borrowings: flora/fauna, people/places, material culture. Following a background questionnaire, we group participants into three categories, depending on their orientation towards Māori language and culture. Results suggest a clear association between participant orientation and their use of Māori loanwords. Alternative interpretations are discussed, including questions for future research on the relationship between NZE lexical variation and language planning.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: Māori ; indigenous languages ; New Zealand English ; loanwords ; picture naming task
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