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

Rare giant squid caught in the Bay of Plenty will assist MPI research

A giant squid caught off Whakaari/White Island, will be used by University of Waikato marine…

Researchers focussed on tackling the difficult environmental decisions

A team of University of Waikato researchers, led by Professor Iain White, have received $625,000…

Cyber security project led by the University of Waikato receives $2m from MBIE

A team of University of Waikato cyber security researchers have received $2m in Ministry of…

Emerging climate policies to affect the producers of oil, gas, and coal

A University of Waikato expert in energy law and mining says countries producing fossil fuels…

Dr Kim Hébert-Losier

University of Waikato study puts Nike shoes under the spotlight

As World Athletics clarifies the rules on shoe technology in the face of the Nike…

Debashish Munshi, Priya Kurian and Sandy Morrison

100% climate resilient?

New research asks how prepared is Aotearoa’s highly valuable tourism sector for the coming impacts…

Professor Anna Strutt

Waikato professor accepts two new international appointments

University of Waikato Professor of Economics, Anna Strutt, joins some of the world’s best academic…

Dr Jessica Pasisi

Research on climate change aims to give voice to Pacific people

A University of Waikato researcher says some of the current colonial representations of climate change…

University of Waikato Radiocarbon dating

Waikato researcher re-writing history of ancient human movement across the Pacific

A University of Waikato researcher is re-writing the history of ancient human movement across the…

Maui Hudson

Indigenous genomics under the microscope at SING conference

The University of Waikato is hosted the first ever SING Indigenous Genomics Conference as international…

It's time to care about our insects

Dr Chrissie Painting, along with 70 other researchers from 21 countries, are calling for immediate…

University education researchers receive over $822,000 in research funding

Three research projects involving Waikato researchers have received funding from the Teaching and Learning Research…