ERIC Number: ED482038
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: N/A
"'Whaia Te Reo': Pursuing the Language": How Metaphors Describe Our Relationships with Indigenous Languages.
This paper discusses the use of metaphors in describing relationships with indigenous languages, focusing on native and newly-fluent speakers of Maori in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Data come from interviews with male and female Maori speakers age 19-44 years who discussed their commitment to becoming fluent speakers of Maori and used a range of metaphors to explain how they perceived the language. Their images were supplemented with information from a variety of other sources, such as contemporary rhetoric, proverbs, and song. The paper discusses four principal metaphors employed in talking about the Maori language, comparing them with similar metaphors used in the Native American situation: language as a treasure, language as a journey, language as water (diving into the water), and language as sustenance (namely food) and as growth. Overall, among the relatively large group of newly fluent speakers of Maori, there was a tendency to emphasize the benefit to the individual of learning the language. These speakers did not see themselves as part of a language revitalization movement, but were learning the language for themselves. However, native speakers who were estranged from the language tended to use metaphors to emphasize the benefits for the language. (Contains 52 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Indigenous Populations, Language Maintenance, Maori, Metaphors, Native Language Instruction, Native Speakers, Uncommonly Taught Languages
For full text: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/NNL/.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff.
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand