Maclagan, Margaret; Harlow, Ray; King, Jeanette; Keegan, Peter; Watson, Catherine
January 2004
Te Reo;2004, Vol. 47, p7
Academic Journal
Māori and English have been in intimate contact for well over a century and a half. This paper presents initial results from a longitudinal study of the changes in the pronunciation of Māori and the influence of English over time. The pronunciation of English and Māori monophthongs for four speakers, two born in the 1880s and two in the 1970s, is analysed acoustically. The speakers' English pronunciation is similar to that of contemporary New Zealand born speakers for whom analyses are already available. Acoustic analyses of their Māori vowels shows change over time. The older speakers maintain significant qualitative and quantitative distinctions between the long and short vowel pairs. These distinctions are breaking down in the younger speakers. The changes seen could reflect influence from New Zealand English or the beginnings of internal language change.


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