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Maori Language Facts and Information

Information About Maori Language

Maori language topics and discussion
Maori speakers in the Phrasebase community
 
Extinct: no
Family: Malayo-Polynesian
Branch: Polynesian
Continent: Australia
Country: New Zealand
 
Region: Far north, east coast, North Island.
Countries Where Spoken: 50,000 to 70,000 speakers (1991 Fishman, p. 231), 100,000 who understand it, but do not speak it, out of 310,000 or more Maori people (1995 Maori Language Commission).
Countries Where Official: New Zealand
   
Native Speakers: 50,000
Speakers Total: 70,000
  
Phrasebase members who speak Maori at a native level: 21
Phrasebase members who speak Maori at a conversational level: 21
Phrasebase members primary language they are trying to learn is Maori: 61
Phrasebase members secondary language they are trying to learn is Maori: 168
  
Three Letter Code: MBF
Alternative Names: NEW ZEALAND MAORI
Dialects:
 
Summary: Formerly fragmented into a number of regional dialects, some of which diverged quite radically from what has become the standard dialect. 71% lexical similarity with Hawaiian, 57% with Samoan. All or most use English as second language. 30,000 to 50,000 adult speakers over 15 years old (1995 Maori Language Commission). 33% of fluent speakers are over 60 years old, 38% are between 45 and 59. Until the 20th century spoken throughout New Zealand. The Moriori dialect in the Chatham Islands is extinct. Official language. VSO. 322 government-funded Maori language schools, including for pre-schoolers. Volcanic plateau. Christian. Bible 1858-1952.
 

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