Research on New Zealand English vocabulary

A major role of the New Zealand Dictionary Centre was to maintain and update the database of New Zealand English from which The Dictionary of New Zealand English was compiled. The Centre prepared editions of The Dictionary of New Zealand English. Anyone with an interest in New Zealand words and their use, including new words, new uses of older words that have evolved in New Zealand, or earlier uses of words than previously recorded can send us such information.

The Centre published a number of other New Zealand Dictionaries, ranging from works designed for school use to larger comprehensive dictionaries such as the New Zealand Oxford Dictionary. This landmark international encyclopedic dictionary contains more than 100,000 definitions, including 12,000 New Zealand entries, along with 20 appendices containing significant New Zealand data. The Centre committed to the study of all words in New Zealand English, including those borrowed from other languages and those from particular domains of use (e.g. New Zealand English words of rural origin).

Oxford University Press published a number of 'regional' dictionaries, including The Australian National Dictionary, The Dictionary of South African English, and The Canadian Oxford Dictionary. The public interest in these publications is a measure of the importance of regional varieties of English in the construction of national identity in these post-colonial societies.

Specific areas of research at the Centre

Withdraw and Apologise: A Diachronic Study of Unparliamentary Language in the New Zealand Parliament, 1890-1950 (Ruth Graham 2016)

A Diachronic Exploration of the Contribution of the Marine Environment to a Distinctive New Zealand  English Lexicon, 1796 - 2005  (Cherie Connor 2010)

The Lexicon of Public Sector Reform in New Zealand 1984 - 1994 (Katherine Quigley 2010)

The Presence of Māori Words in New Zealand English (John Macalister, 2003)

The Rural New Zealand English Lexicon 1842-2002 (Dianne Bardsley, 2003)