Māori Loanwords on Twitter


Our Github repository provides code for analysing the use of Māori Loanwords in New Zealand English (NZE) Tweets.

It's Cool to Kōrero! - Mai FM radio station

The use of te reo Māori words in the variety of English spoken in New Zealand has been studied intensively over the past thirty years. When arriving in New Zealand, it is not uncommon to be greeted with the phrase "Kia ora!" at the airport.

Our project aims to contribute to this body of knowledge by building tools which help us analyse the use of Māori words on Twitter. If you would like to see more about the study of te reo Māori in NZE - here is a useful link with a reference list.

These pages detail the corpus of Tweets we have collected (the Māori Loanword Twitter Corpus), including how we went about cleaning it and increasing its size using Machine Learning techniques. We also include some initial analyses that we have conducted on this data. Our project developed from three main research questions:

  1. Do people use Māori borrowings (or loanwords) on Twitter?
  2. If so, which words, how do they use them, and how does this use compare with other genres of NZE?
  3. Have the meanings of the borrowed words evolved through use and over time, and if so, how?

Feel free to contact us for further details.


Special thanks to:
The University of Waikato, Marsden Fund, Royal Society of New Zealand