Maori
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
New Zealand

Geographical region
Formerly all of New Zealand (Aotearoa); presently mainly Northland and east coast of North Island.

Language codes
MAO (POLLI); MBF (Grimes 1996: Ethnologue); MAO (Biggs 1971)

Alternate language names
New Zealand Maori

Genetic affiliation
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

Dialect names
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.

Alphabet
A, E, I, O, U, WH, NG, H, K, M, N, P, R, T, W (Biggs 1990).

Word order typology
VSO

Remarks
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

BAUER, WINIFRED.
1993. Maori

BIGGS, BRUCE.
1981. The complete English-Maori dictionary

BIGGS, BRUCE.
1990. English-Maori, Maori-English dictionary

BIGGS, BRUCE.
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

HARLOW, RAY.
1985. A wordlist of South Island Maori (in series: Te reo monographs). Auckland. Linguistic Society of New Zealand

HARLOW, RAY.
1987 (second revised edition). A wordlist of South Island Maori (in series: Te reo monographs). Auckland. Linguistic Society of New Zealand

KRUPA, VIKTOR.
1966. Morpheme and word in Maori

ORBELL, MARGARET.
1968. Maori folktales in Maori and English. Auckland. Blackwood and Janet Paul Ltd

SAVAGE, STEPHEN.

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

[TRAD.].
1858-1952. The Bible

[TRAD.].
1837-1862. New Testament

[TRAD.].
1833-1862. Portions of the Bible



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