New Zealand English is one of the youngest dialects of English. It exhibits a number of unique features and the use of words from the indigenous Māori language is probably the most salient and easily recognisable one.
In our latest research, we found that the process by which Māori words are most frequently borrowed resembles the Darwinian concept of evolutionary fitness.
Of words and genes
Borrowings from Māori are so common that visitors to New Zealand only have to exit the plane to be greeted by haere mai.
Authors: Andreea S. Calude, Senior Lecturer in Linguistics, University of Waikato