Exploring Māori/Aotearoa English from socio-cognitive and cultural linguistic perspectives (full title)Māori English: A socio-cognitive & cultural linguistic take (short title)

Wider research context

This project is located in the field of World Englishes (WEs) and sheds new light on Māori English (ME), the variety that is traditionally associated with the indigenous Māori population in the linguistic and cultural context of New Zealand (NZ). ME can be characterized as a post-colonial contact variety that co-exists with and is related to general New Zealand English (NZE) and that continues to be influenced by the current socio-cultural embedding of the Māori people, their culture and their language, Te Reo Māori, in NZ. 


The project intends to explore potential differences in language use among young New Zealanders of different ethnicity (Māori and Pākehā ‘NZ Europeans’) and with diverse linguistic repertoires (monolinguals and bilinguals) by concentrating on the lexical-and cognitive semantic dimensions of language use. Based on the hypothesis that the diverse experience of Māori bilinguals can surface in their use of English when compared to Pākehā speakers of English, the project aims at disclosing Māori culturally specific contents in English, as evident in: a) topics and themes, b) loans, codeswitches and calques, c) figurative language and d) cultural conceptualizations.


Based on data gathered from a story-telling task involving 140 New Zealanders of Māori and non-Māori ethnicity, the project applies methods from cognitive sociolinguistics and cultural linguistics to focus on variation in the use of English among the different groups of New Zealanders. A particular focus of the analysis will be on the semantic dimension of language use while controlling for the variables of ethnicity and bilingualism.


The project is in line with the latest developments in research on WEs and proposes a new approach that combines insights from cognitive sociolinguistics and cultural linguistics, two research frameworks that have only recently begun to be applied to the study of WEs.

The project will be based on the linguistic analysis of an entirely new and unique set of spoken data that was elicited from a story-telling task conducted with 4 groups of speakers that differ in terms of linguistic repertoires (monolinguals and bilinguals) and ethnic affiliation (Māori and non-Māori). A further major objective of the project is to gather this data in the New Zealand Stories Corpus, a specialized corpus of narrations which will be made freely available to the research community upon completion of the project.

Primary researchers involved

The project will involve a team of researchers based at the University of Klagenfurt (Austria), including the Principal Investigator, Marta Degani, two student assistants and a computational linguist. Further support will be given by a range of international cooperation partners in NZ and at EURAC Bolzano.  

Schlagworte: World Englishes, New Zealand Englishes, Māori English, cognitive sociolinguistics, cultural linguistics, corpus-linguistics, storytelling, figurative language
Kurztitel: FWF: Maori English
Zeitraum: 01.05.2023 - 30.04.2026
Kontakt-Email: -
Homepage: -


MitarbeiterInnen Funktion Zeitraum
Marta Degani (intern)
  • Antragsteller/in
  • Projektleiter/in
  • 01.05.2023 - 30.04.2026
  • 01.05.2023 - 30.04.2026
Egon Stemle (extern)
  • wiss. Mitarbeiter/in
  • 01.05.2023 - 30.04.2026
Maja Gajic (intern)
  • stud. Mitarbeiter/in
  • 01.05.2023 - 30.04.2026
Nicole Imrich (intern)
  • stud. Mitarbeiter/in
  • 01.05.2023 - 30.04.2026
Andreea Calude (extern)
  • Kooperationspartner/in
  • 01.05.2023 - 30.04.2026
Jeanette King (extern)
  • Kooperationspartner/in
  • 01.05.2023 - 30.04.2026
Hemi Whaanga (extern)
  • Kooperationspartner/in
  • 01.05.2023 - 30.04.2026
Hineitimoana Greensill (extern)
  • Kooperationspartner/in
  • 01.05.2023 - 30.04.2026


Projekttyp Forschungsförderung (auf Antrag oder Ausschreibung)
Förderungstyp §26
  • Angewandte Forschung
  • 602026 - Kognitive Linguistik
  • 602048 - Soziolinguistik
  • 602011 - Computerlinguistik
  • 602008 - Anglistik
  • Humans in the Digital Age
Genderrelevanz Genderrelevanz nicht ausgewählt
  • Science to Science (Qualitätsindikator: n.a.)
Klassifikationsraster der zugeordneten Organisationseinheiten:
  • Für die zugeordneten Organisationseinheiten sind keine Klassifikationsraster vorhanden
Arbeitsgruppen Keine Arbeitsgruppe ausgewählt


Keine Partnerorganisation ausgewählt