Non-Māori-speaking New Zealanders have a Māori proto-lexicon

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Journal Article
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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
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Oh Y
Needle J
Todd, Simon
Beckner, Clay
Hay, Jennifer
King, Jeanette

We investigate implicit vocabulary learning by adults who are exposed to a language in their ambient environment. Most New Zealanders do not speak Māori, yet are exposed to it throughout their lifetime. We show that this exposure leads to a large proto-lexicon – implicit knowledge of the existence of words and sub-word units without any associated meaning. Despite not explicitly knowing many Māori words, non-Māori-speaking New Zealanders are able to access this proto-lexicon to distinguish Māori words from Māori-like nonwords. What's more, they are able to generalize over the proto-lexicon to generate sophisticated phonotactic knowledge, which lets them evaluate the well-formedness of Māori-like nonwords just as well as fluent Māori speakers.

Oh Y, Todd S, Beckner C, Hay J, King J, Needle J (2020). Non-Māori-speaking New Zealanders have a Māori proto-lexicon. Scientific Reports. 10(1). 22318-.
Ngā upoko tukutuku/Māori subject headings
Nga Upoko Tukutuku / Maori Subject Headings::Reo Māori | Reo rangatira; Te reo Māori; Te reo rangatira; Māori language::Matareo | Language learning; Language teaching
ANZSRC fields of research
Fields of Research::47 - Language, communication and culture::4704 - Linguistics::470411 - Sociolinguistics
Fields of Research::47 - Language, communication and culture::4704 - Linguistics::470401 - Applied linguistics and educational linguistics
Fields of Research::45 - Indigenous studies::4507 - Te ahurea, reo me te hītori o te Māori (Māori culture, language and history)::450712 - Te mātai i te reo Māori me te reo Māori (Māori linguistics and languages)
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