Breadcrumbs

‘Mātauranga’ rising in science digital media

8 February 2018

Louise Stevenson.

Summer research scholar Louise Stevenson has spent her time collecting linguistic data from Twitter and the web in order to analyse how te reo Māori loanwords are being used online in the science sphere.  Her research is part of a bigger project by Dr. Andreea Calude looking at Māori loanwords in New Zealand English.

The work has focused on material published on the National Science Challenges’ websites and Twitter accounts. The entire inventory contains over 1,500,000 words.

The top ten most frequent Māori loanwords found in the corpus are: Māori, Mātauranga, Hapū, Whenua, Whānau, Kaitiakitanga, Kai, Kāhui and Aotearoa.

Though some words (Māori, Whānau) were expected, Louise says the biggest surprise was ‘Mātauranga’, which means wisdom or knowledge. It is perhaps connected to the title of one of the National Science Challenge frameworks, but she says it may also be growing in use in the wider science genre or New Zealand English in general. Recent research indicates more te reo Māori words are being used in English than ever before, and the data echoes that.

New technology means that information from social media such as Twitter can be collected with ease, and Louise says collecting material from social media has the potential to really kick off as a result. She is interested in the potential for mining the growing medium. “In some ways social media is a different representation of ourselves, different to both formal written English and spoken English. That’s been exciting to work with.”

While she has been carrying out her research, debate has been raging in the public about the use of te reo Māori. She says it has made her work even more interesting. “It’s been really cool,  because it shows how relevant the work is.”

Related stories

More urban, more youthful, more gender balanced

That's the new face of the Olympics, which University of Waikato researchers been involved in…

When a cyber-intruder is in your home

Locks and traditional alarms can’t keep cyber-criminals out, but a Waikato researcher has developed an…

Innovate or perish: strategies in an uncertain world

New Zealand businesses are constantly looking over their shoulder to assess the threat from disruptive…

Happiness is breaking out

Happiness and wellbeing research is flourishing at University of Waikato.

Women’s surfing riding wave towards gender equity

The World Surfing League recently became the first US-based global sporting league to offer equal…

Counting Ourselves survey for trans and non-binary people getting strong response

Researchers have been overwhelmed by the huge response to Counting Ourselves, a community-led survey on…

Swarms, Artificial Intelligence and New Zealand’s Security

Dr Reuben Steff is looking at how Artificial Intelligence is going to have immense implications…

Major Endeavours for researchers

University of Waikato academics have been awarded funding for a broad range of major research…

The seeds of inspiration

University of Waikato researchers have been awarded funding to investigate new ways of reducing earthquake…

Disgusting, grotesque and offensive

Dr Dan Weijers is looking at how to deal with the public rejection of new…

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, ka pai!

New research indicates people are using more Māori words in English, as well as understanding…

Don Klinger web

To measure or not to measure

Professor of Education Don Klinger says large-scale testing has its place.