ERIC Number: ED180200
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
The Maori Language in the Ninteen Seventies.
Benton, Richard A.
In a survey of the Maori population of New Zealand, it was determined that the use of Maori is in alarming but not irreversible decline. The decline is most evident in urban areas, where Maori speakers face pressures from an English-speaking majority. Younger Maori were generally found to be less proficient than their older relatives. Even rural Maori communities are producing fewer fluent Maori speakers. Where Maori has been maintained, it is rarely the dominant language, having been subjected to varying degrees of pidginization and borrowing from English. The changing patterns of Maori usage are viewed as conforming to the classic syndrome of the death of a language. The role of language prestige and the communications explosion in influencing younger Maori to learn only English is discussed. Maori is thought to be revivable only through a campaign for public awareness of the value of cultural maintenance. If another generation is allowed to pass without a maintenance movement, it is predicted that the Maori language will die. (JB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: New Zealand Council for Educational Research, Wellington.
Identifiers: Maori (People); New Zealand; Pidginization
Note: Paper presented at the symposium, "The Future of Indigenous Languages in the Pacific," ANZAAS Congress (49th, Auckland, New Zealand, January 1979); Maps will not reproduce well