LING310-15S1 (C) Semester One 2015

New Zealand English

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 23 February 2015
End Date: Sunday, 28 June 2015
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 6 March 2015
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 22 May 2015


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.

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.


LING210 or
LING215 or
LING216 or
LING217 or
ENLA210 or
with permission of Linguistics Head of Department


Course Coordinator

Kevin Watson


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
'Seen' class test 01 Apr 2015 20% Due in class.
Take-home exercises 30% 1 in term 1, 1 in term 2.
Research poster 20 May 2015 20%
Research paper 05 Jun 2015 30%

Course links

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

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,393.00

International fee $5,825.00

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

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences.

All LING310 Occurrences

  • LING310-15S1 (C) Semester One 2015