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Cook Island Maori English: A unique language variety from the South Pacific

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posted on 2023-09-06, 03:29 authored by Aileen K. Wiglesworth

The indigenous Polynesians of the Cook Islands refer to themselves as Maoris and to their ancestral language as Maori. The Cook Islands Maori language has persisted since contact with the West in the early 19th century, through missionary and colonial periods, and since independence which came in 1965. Today, Cook Islanders are predominantly bilingual in English and Maori. The English spoken by Cook Islanders is a unique variety, characteristic of the language contact situation, its speakers call "maroro (gloss: flying fish) English." My objective in this paper is to establish a compelling argument for the uniqueness of Maori English by providing examples of distinguishing semantic, phonological and syntactic features. I will also refer to historical experiences of Cook Islands Maoris since contact that have influenced their language usage. My underlying theme is the construction of social identity through language choices.

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ProQuest Dissertations & Theses

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English

Notes

Thesis (M.A.)--American University, 1996.

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http://hdl.handle.net/1961/thesesdissertations:5275

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application/pdf

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Part of thesis digitization project, awaiting processing.

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