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New Zealand English

Jennifer Hay, Margaret A. Maclagan, Elizabeth Gordon

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This book is a comprehensive but accessible description of English as it is spoken in New Zealand. New Zealand English is one of the youngest native speaker varieties of English, and is the only variety of English where there is recorded evidence of its entire history. It shares some features with other Southern Hemisphere varieties of English such as Australian English and South African English, but is also clearly distinct from these. For the past two decades extensive research has focused on the evolution and ongoing development of the variety. New Zealand English presents the results of this research in an accessible way.

Key Features

  • A succinct but comprehensive account of the phonetic, phonological, morphosyntactic, lexical and discourse features which are characteristic of the dialect.
  • A discussion of the historical development of New Zealand English.
  • A description of the current social and regional variation within the variety.
  • An indication of the areas where change is currently occurring.
  • Sample texts and an annotated bibliography of relevant literature.

There are also several associated audio files, which provide examples of many of the phenomena discussed:


1. Geography, demography and cultural factors
2. Phonetics and phonology
3. Morphosyntax
4. New Zealand vocabulary and discourse features
5. The origins of New Zealand English
6. Variation within New Zealand English
7. Selected bibliography of works on New Zealand English
8. Sample texts.

About the Author

Jennifer Hay is Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Margaret A. Maclagan is Associate Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Canterbury

Elizabeth Gordon is Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Canterbury

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