Are we seeing a Te Reo Mori revival?
New Zealand we have aspirations to hit one million New Zealanders being able to speak Basic Maury by tweeting Foodie one million speaking basic today in twenty years as the government plan. Some say that's impossible in the findings is released and the Royal Society Journal and Based on Census Data Make It look pretty bleak. They say the language is on its way to extinction. But what if we've I've got the numbers wrong. Unfortunately the question on the census is essentially. I would say vague since what I'm saying is I don't think. The census gives us a reliable pitcher. I'm Sharon Break Kellyanne today on the detail language expert Chris Lane crunches the data NC. He's cautiously optimistic. And he tells me why as an Australian he's passionate about to deal my brother marriage and I've original one and hey tribe. A group of people had their own particular language as a chart. I learnt that the last night if Speaker had died in the nineteen sixties axes. But I knew three year study called gift. Theriault a boost help us reach the million by twenty forty even for people who don't speak speak or learn at the study's been given six hundred sixty thousand dollars from the twenty nine thousand nine miles John Fund. BHUTIA WRONG AHO. To quote explore explore with the adult language acquisition can be facilitated by awakening. This latently acquired knowledge called a Proto Lexicon foof well to put into plain language. His Professor Genetic Hang From University of Canterbury we've discovered that Non Mardi speaking. We can use. The islanders actually have quite an in depth knowledge about The funder takes the sound structure of the Mari language. And we think. I've built this up through incidental exposure through their lives so from schools where they might to a few Wyatt to being present speeches. Go to New York. Aw Poor Chord devenue always inspired to uphold the mono of my Tepa as code in the words of the Moldy Pavilion. The people with you. Oh okay okay okay. Hi Marie welcome ceremonies detail. Model Train. J. Singing the national anthem. We were quite surprised to find that people who can't speak model dark. No the means of very meaning Mardi. Weeds have built up quite an extensive knowledge of the word forms of Mardi Protons Lexicon. Yeah so what that means. Is We know that infants. For example when they are exposed to the language. Pick pick-up what we call a proto lexicon and that's woods before you attach meaning to them so imagine a child you're listening to me now and you can understand you know you can hear. Yeah the different words and I'm speaking but wind children listening to adult. Speaking at order sounds like one long gobbled Piece of sand and perhaps get the same sort out of an experience of you've ever traveled overseas and been in a situation where people speaking a different language that you don't understand you can't hear the words that will just sounds you know a complete You know experience. So that's what it's like for children young children and what they do is they proceed. Only sounds and they hear some sounds mock walk on often and more in combination with other sounds and they gradually Lynn Woods but when we say we learn them they understand the form so they might hear the word kit it for example. I'm being spoken a lot around them. And so they get used to. And they realize that it's a weird obviously not consciously they registered it and then they'll attach meaning meaning to the word. They'll see that Kit That's associated with that fluffy animal that I play with so a product is that knowledge of the forms of of our language before you attach meaning to it. We've known and fence go through the sort of stages part of being able to be speakers of a language but we've never known before WH- anywhere in the world that adults could build up a proto leaks Akon and New Zealanders just the ideal place to study this. Because we have a language like Mardi any that is reasonably widespread people get exposed to it incidentally but we know they don't speak it so for example. What kind end of woods did you grow up with? You grew up on the west coast. What sort of Mardi words did you grow up with it? You know you almost take for granted that you you don't realize that you know them but you do I guess even place name so I grew up in So one was growing up on you that was exposed so that would assault written. I heard it spoken But I didn't know that it was made up of Hokey and take out the meanings of those but I got to know those sorts of sound around and combinations and so on and When I went to private school and one of the Fist Mardi songs that we went was to teeter my And we saying that and we saying that without knowing where to meet. It's the sort of exposure that I got as a child in any of us. Why is it important in the whole context of Terrell? Well what we're going to is with saying. Well I K if an adult non MARDI speaking New Zealand's this Proto Lexicon Ken. We ate debated cat. Does it play a role when they do start to Lean Mari and we've got a natural tro sort of laboratory really at the University of Canterbury like most universities in New Zealand. We have teacher training mcchicken and off teach trainees and New Zealand. Two courses and basic real Mari and it came to pray. We have students in these courses. Not only he from New Zealand but we have a reasonably large contingent from Canada. Who Come over to do teacher training in New Zealand? So we're going to be able to try and recruit these. He's Students by New Zealanders and the Canadians and heavy look at what they know before the cost stats. And we'll look in teast. How well may acquire Qua the meanings of the Wu Mardi Woods taught in the course immediately at the end of course in the inner but later on to see how well they retain it and we're hoping to find that are not Speaking Zealanders actually acquire the meanings of words Mardi Woods quicker with more depth than the Canadians and the implications for this for New Zealand? Is that New Zealand. We have an aspirational aim to have one million New Zealanders being able to speak Basic Lisa Marie by twenty forty. Now that's only twenty years away More and more New Zealand is learning to deal. But if we can say well actually actually you've got a little bit of a hit stat. We're not saying that learning a language is easy but maybe the exposure that you've had that you don't even know that you've head to Tokyo Mardi through your lifetime. It's going to give you a little bit of a hit star that would be I. Think an amazing incentive for getting more people to learn to deal yes is it also a case for putting more words into our every time language. You know when I grew up in the news or Read it in the newspaper. They were the odd words. I gaze like Mariah or Hui but it feels like today there are are a lot more words and everyday joost. What would that be create? Yes they certainly isn't people during research on that. And and the tracking that and yes. It's more and more. You may have heard the south non more New Zealanders some sometimes using Mardi words even when the English alternative. I've heard Sports people packing sports people talk about traveling overseas with the final choice to compete. And what they mean by that is the relative sleep sleep appearance or whatever and often friends so I think we are using more more Maori Woods. when I spoke to earlier this week you talked about your sister. Who's lived in Australia Australia for twenty to thirty years and she wind up to y Tung? And you told me that you know she notice quite a big change range and the way we use language. That's right I mean over my lifetime. It when I grow up I told you I grew up in Hokkaido Takata but when I grew up it was hokey tiger and still lives pronunciation for a lot of New Zealanders but increasingly. It's becoming expected that we will give a motive pronunciation to Mauri placenames Kevin Brady Iraqis and the fix it on. Hold okay. It is my sister who's been away for a long time came back and said Oh my goodness i. We went to. Why tangy and I've just discovered that I've been saying wind would marry wrong own these years? Please tell me how to pronounce it correctly. We haven't had any walker jumping recently. we you know. There's a lot of phrases that have come into New Zealand English. I'm in no way swayed constant social media great state by Al Pacino Arrive. You'll tell molly buxom freezing pockets as a why he named Molly leader I about a deep hurt calling someone put the puppy is rather a compensating statement to dismiss out on the he. It's quite the feature of New Zealand English that anyone from overseas comes. You open most newspapers you'll find Probably even some headlines with Mardi weeds in them and and really is the most distinctive feature of our lexicon advocate blurry in New Zealand is the use of Maury Woods we called it the Dole. Oh to apprenticeship scheme this now coupon my he. It's all about young people on the unemployment benefits if this goal of one million New Zealanders speaking what basic today. Oh by twenty four becomes reality. What will we sound like when we chat to each other old? How will it sound? Do you think Oh. I think he'll be just increasing use. is beside of more modern weeds. Perhaps people code switching switching From speaking being English and I'm putting in a prep amaury sentence or a phrase so not just words phrases and even sentences. You've talked me a little bit about. In what your research will do. By looking at this Cohort of students. The Canadian in the New Zealand students. What else will you look it over? The three years will also be doing other sorts of experiments where we'd get people to play a little game that teaches awesome the meanings of Somali Woods. So we will do more experimental type research that will be drilling down into Happy People Attach meanings to Mardi Woods And one of the outcomes is going to be actually were Language Teachers and general a lot of people who teach languages tell Luna's to expose themselves to the target language as much as possible. You know put on a podcast You know listen to as much as possible. Just have of it in the background. And so this an instinctive realization that that sort of exposure is going to help people with language learning and give a lot more incentive for people when the learning languages to be able to pick it up things up a bit quicker. What's your own experience Geneva? I mean to you speak. The language is so I started listening to the Amora longtime ago. I think I started when I was fifteen. So it's been a long long journey. Why did you start learning? It's really hard to sign. I can't really quite remember but I was attracted to the language is a secondary school student and then I studied further at university and becoming involved with the Mardi community joined. What at the time was called Mardi Club at university and we did have Capela hacker and got to know people and I I really felt Gosh Afam New Zealander I? This is part of being a pocket hat. New Zealander is I am is being. Engaging with indigenous is culture here sought became really important part of exploring my identity is a New Zealander. And what is your dream with language. What what would you like to happen? ISA would like to see more and more people we know few started learning to do in the eighty s and ninety S. Actually a lot automotive were quite suspicious of paccar non Mari Learning to new at the time. And that's because the language was an even more vulnerable state But nowadays Mari are much more accepting the fact that we have aspirational name of a million New Zealanders means that we have a lot of non Maury we. We want a lot of non Mary to be able to speak a little bit of today's language. Experts can't seem to agree on whether the language is doomed. Oh not the trouble is we. Just don't have the data to give a full picture of exactly who speaks to both Mari and non Marty I think by needs to be cautiously cautiously optimistic. Kind of shaking revival. Chris Line calls himself an independent researcher. He used to lecture in linguistics at Victoria University University. And he's been looking at various surveys on the language for many years. What my paper for publications as is the fact that you get quite a different looking pitcher depending which statistics you look at based on what question has been asked so in the censuses assistant question that's asked asked in what language or languages can you have a conversation about a lot of everyday things says the census question if you just look at data from that census question mouth is still l.? Seem to be in decline. But I've looked at data now from four different surveys which comes from answers to different question. which is what is the first? It's language that you learned to speak as a child at the other important part of the analysis if we split people up according to win they were born we can. Let's see a patent so people who were born up to the nineteen fifties this affair proportionate those who have vowed safe offers language Mardi people born in the sixties and seventies very small number of first language speakers if we look at Mardi born in eighteen nineties the sexiest a greater percentage of those who have Maria fist language. Compared with that previous group porn sixties and seventies and so I have looked at this informative and surveys and surveys. You have to be very careful about you. Imagine Viagra all the time that you know these differences a big enough they'd beyond imagine a very We can be pretty confident as to what they mean so the next question is why. Are we getting these different results. And my argument is that unfortunately the question on the census as essentially I would say is vague. Since what I'm saying thing is I don't think the census gives us a reliable pitcher. I think we're actually getting a somewhat more reliable pitcher if we look at those first language statistics two six which do show evidence of a revival If we compare the first language into the speaking proficiency the thing we see there is this quote a lot of people who you have moldy or say their mouth as a first language but then as adults I say well actually now my proficiency is not very good good. So there's a degree of attrition which I might they might have been born into a home where molly was was spoken more than English English but for various reasons they have lost the language year in the world. Think of it is you can get kids started a- As fiddling with speakers you speak to them as young children or whatever but then there's another whole journey in maintaining language and getting it into account of adult level of usage. I think add knowledge of what's really happening is is actually really quite patchy. Yeah an undischarged sort of shed a bit of light on it up to the nineteen sixties. It was a really a very negative attitude towards mountie and let him out. He went who could speak language speaker to their children in the seventies you start stop to get a lot of vegetation for Mardi language in schools that this petition ninety seventy two petitions so And various things starting batting up like data to teach Mari to families and so on. That's a beginning of a big change of consciousness for Mardi but also this. I've seen this sort of gradual change of consciousness. furtherest two vessels. Well because I'm not mighty and I think that Sultan important pad you know to have a sense that is more acceptance of the language is probably an important padded his. It's a mysterious process. I remember twenty years ago trying to find a sort of guidebook to how do we go about language revitalization. Is there some way somebody. That's down at the control. You how it works no. Nobody's really done this. Kind of a revitalization vitalize ation of an indigenous language. Lots of people all around the world. Look to Mardi Moutier in the front this really. What about Wales I think don't well seniors wiles as an executive somewhat different example while to sound very well in using education to will both I maintain and actually expand language but at the most recent statistics are looked? At for Welsh they have not turned around the intergenerational national language transmission the learning of the language in the home is still appears to be declining and wells. There is a kind of revival through education And we may have thought that was sort of the case with Maui because a lot of the research has tended Vegas on Coronado and could Copa Oh papa and educational interventions and so. We've almost noten what's been happening in families and the other thing I found also also in the research is that people. His his language is melody. Were extremely likely to go to Colorado and could cope up a so the the things are sort of and twenty again. I think ear. There really is strong evidence of this sort of groundswell reversal of the previous loss of mountain As the revival is actually going on but meanwhile we I suspect we won't even say it in the twenty s since the statistics. We might see this Quiz Jeff Question. You ask different questions you get different. Data epilepsy steals statistical. Issue here. And what's your thinking because I think the government's goal is one million Terrell speakers by twenty forty. Actually I haven't really looked at in detail depends Has Been indicated. The question probably match on exactly how you define line. Who's a speaker and what questions you ask people? Just go about that sort of cautiously optimistic. It's a had struggled really elite and as an important to yo you know you're not just doing it for the sake of looking at data as as the revival of the language important to your peers. It is I grew up in strider and yet my my brother marriage and aboriginal one hit tribe. A group of people had their around particular language. As a child I learnt that the last night if speak here had died in the nineteen sixties. This who it was struck from the saddest. Saddest thing yeah and But I came ever hit a New Zealand in the seventies and started lending Mardi about the second year that I was here and I had a wonderful experience with that actually become reasonably proficient in speaking which I know you're Loa can still understand what people say. So I you know I do have a strong personal bond with the language itself and I would the whole the concept of the the survival and revival of languages. That's sort of close. That's the detail today. I'm Sharon Kelly. The detail is brought to you by newsroom. Dot Co dot did and made possible by iron seed and inside Iran Air had the subscribe button to stay across the detail everyday we day. And if you're on April please leave a rating as it helps other listeners find us. This episode was engineered by Jeremy Ansell and produced by Alexia Russell. And thanks to Janet King and Chris Lane Con whitten.