ENLA310-16S1 (C) Semester One 2016

New Zealand English

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2016
End Date: Sunday, 26 June 2016
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 4 March 2016
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 20 May 2016


The entire history of New Zealand English can be tracked in the Origin of New Zealand English corpus (ONZE), housed at the University of Canterbury. Using this extensive collection of spoken language, we can compare the accents of the very earliest New Zealand born settlers to those of contemporary speakers, to examine how New Zealand English has changed. This allows us to answer interesting questions not only about New Zealand English but also about language change in general. This course has a practical focus which will provide hands-on experience in the analysis of New Zealand English. Students are trained in sociolinguistic methodology and in how to use the ONZE corpus, and are given the opportunity to conduct their own piece of research on language variation and/or change in New Zealand.

Variation in language is not just random, but can be structured. This variation often leads to change, such that one generation of speakers can sound different from the next. This course explores linguistic variability and examines (a) how language varies according to a whole range of different factors (e.g. speaker gender and social class, and e.g. how the connections people can be correlated with particular linguistic forms), and (b) how language changes over time.  For (b) we will compare the speech of older speakers with that of younger speakers, and we will also use archive data so we can go much further back in time.  The course will include practical research-based analysis of New Zealand English, with access to the Origins of New Zealand English database.

This course is excellent preparation for applications to summer scholarships in linguistics, and for anyone wishing to work as a research assistant for the NZILBB. We always encourage the best work to be submitted to the New Zealand English Journal for possible publication.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will (1) understand how to collect variable language data (2) understand the principles underlying the transcription and coding of linguistic data, (3) be able to display complex data in tabular and graphical form, (4) be able to critically evaluate rival.


LING206 or
LING207 or
LING210 or
LING215 or
LING216 or
LING217 or


Equivalent Courses

Course Coordinator

Kevin Watson


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
'Seen' class test 20% Due week 6 (in class).
Take-home exercises 30% Due week 3 and week 7.
Research poster 20% Due week 10.
Research paper 30% Due week 12.

Course links

Library portal
The course outline is available on LEARN (only for students enrolled in this course).

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,435.00

International fee $5,825.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if less than 1 person applies to enrol.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences.

All ENLA310 Occurrences

  • ENLA310-16S1 (C) Semester One 2016