A preliminary dictionary of Maori gainwords compiled on historical principles
Thesis DisciplineMaori Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis is a preliminary dictionary of Maori gainwords compiled on historical principles. It will serve as the starting point for a fully fledged historical dictionary of Maori gainwords. The sources are a selection of all those Maori language publications printed between the dates 1815 and 1899. A large number of source items were photocopied from other institutions, and the binding and subsequent availability of these was not always in the order wished for. The research therefore has its limitations (clearly indicated by the use of the word 'preliminary' in the thesis title). Full coverage of all printed Maori publications between 1815 and 1899 has not been possible. Despite this, this preliminary dictionary offers a good indication of the extent of new gainword vocabulary introduced within the time frame. This thesis suggests that the terms loanword and borrowing should be replaced by the new term gainword or gain, and that the process by which new items of vocabulary enter a language should be known as gaining .. 'Gaining' is a positive process, and the word 'gainword' is normally devoid of any negative connotations or implications of cultural imperialism. This thesis is the first extended scholarly research into Maori gainword lexicography. Although 'preliminary', the dictionary is the first devoted solely to Maori gainwords - previous dictionaries of Maori have had gainwords as appendices, or have listed small numbers of gainwords in their general corpus. This dictionary builds on those earlier dictionaries by giving gainwords their own dictionary. This thesis will indicate that nearly all new items of vocabulary introduced into Maori language during the period researched were introduced by English-speaking Pakeha. English-speaking (and some few French-speaking) Pakeha controlled the printed word for some considerable time - up until the first Maori-controlled publication, Te Hokioi in 1861, in fact most gainwords were therefore imposed. The frequency count for Maori-driven gains done for this thesis will give only some slight indication of Maori use and acceptance of gains between 1815 and 1899.