Language facts sheet by Niklas Jonsson
©1997-1999 POLLI & Niklas Jonsson
A bibliography of works refered to in this file may be found in the
Polynesian Literature List.
Country/territory where spoken
Formerly all of New Zealand (Aotearoa); presently mainly Northland and east
coast of North Island.
MBF (Grimes 1996: Ethnologue);
MAO (Biggs 1971)
Alternate language names
New Zealand Maori
Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Eastern
Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Central
Pacific, Eastern Fiji-Polynesian, Polynesian, Nuclear Polynesian, East
Polynesian, Central Polynesian, Tahitic
North Auckland Maori, Taranaki, Wanganui, Bay Of Plenty Maori, Rotorua-Taupo,
South Island Maori
Maori speaking population
100,000 (1987), 3% of the population in New Zealand. 330,000 Maori people live
in New Zealand.
A, E, I, O, U, WH, NG, H, K, M, N, P, R, T, W (Biggs 1990).
Word order typology
71% lexical similarity with Hawaiian, 57% with Samoan. Until the 20th century
Maori was spoken throughout New Zealand. It was formerly fragmented into a number of regional
dialects, some of which diverged quite radically from what has become the
standard dialect. Moriori is sometimes classified as dialect of Maori. Most or
all Maori speakers are bilingual in English. Some bilingual schools exist, as
well as Maori pre-schools and use of Maori for legal needs.
Data last updated
16 December 1998
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPGY - MAORI
1981. The complete English-Maori dictionary
1990. English-Maori, Maori-English dictionary
1996. He whiriwhiringa: Selected readings in Maori (in both Maori
and English). Auckland. Auckland University Press
BIGGS, BRUCE/HOHEPA, P./MEAD S.M. (editors).
1967. Selected readings in Maori.
Wellington. A.H. and A.W. Reed
1985. A wordlist of South Island Maori (in series: Te reo
monographs). Auckland. Linguistic Society of New Zealand
1987 (second revised edition). A wordlist of South Island Maori (in
series: Te reo monographs). Auckland. Linguistic Society of New
1966. Morpheme and word in Maori
1968. Maori folktales in Maori and English. Auckland. Blackwood and Janet
1983 (originally printed 1962). A dictionary of the Maori language. Suva. Suva Printing and Publishing Co
TAYLOR, CLYDE ROMER HUGHES.
1972. A bibliography of publications on the New
Zealand Maori and the Moriori of the Chatham Islands
WAITITI, HOANI R.
1969. Te rangatahi 2. Wellington. Department of Education
WILLIAMS, HERBERT W.
1971. A dictionary of the Maori language. Wellington.
A.R. Shearer Government Printer
1858-1952. The Bible
1837-1862. New Testament
1833-1862. Portions of the Bible