New Zealand English

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The development of a new variety of English in New Zealand after 1840 is recent enough for us to be able to study how it happened. In the 1940s, recordings were made of old New Zealand-born people, some of whom were born as early as the 1850s. These recordings show that those born in the 1850s and 1860s had speech similar to their immigrant parents – they sound Scottish or Irish; however, for people born in the 1880s this was changing. Those who grew up in South Island towns sound similar to those born in North Island towns, irrespective of where their parents came from. We know that a distinctive New Zealand accent developed quickly and spread throughout the country over a period of 20-30 years.

Excerpt taken from ‘Introduction to New Zealand English’ blog post by Dr Elizabeth Gordon

New Zealand English words recently recorded in the OED

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The OED works in partnership with external experts from or in New Zealand to ensure that our entries for New Zealand English words draw from local knowledge and expertise and reflect the everyday reality and distinctive identity of the New Zealand English-speaking community.

New Zealand English pronunciation

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