ONZE - NZILBB - UC Intranet

ONZE - Origins of New Zealand English Project

[ONZEMiner software has been renamed Labb-CAT Software]

The Origins of New Zealand English (ONZE) Project endeavours to chart the origins, features and changes of New Zealand English (NZE), and to apply the findings to theories of language and language change. ONZE

With a strong emphasis on acoustic analysis, sociolinguistic variation and speech perception, the project continues to make relevant and important contributions to the linguistic community, as well as documenting an important aspect of New Zealand’s society and identity.

The aim of ONZE is to not only document features, patterns and changes in NZE, but to use this information to make wider theoretical statements about language in general. We aim to combine the documentation of social patterns in NZE with refined acoustic analysis, and we consider the results in light of theoretical models to better understand how both the production and perception of language actually works. We are committed to scientifically robust studies, using the latest in language related technology and statistical software.

The main reason for the original genesis of the ONZE project was the discovery by Elizabeth Gordon of a remarkable set of recordings  - the Mobile Unit Recordings. These have allowed ONZE researchers to document the emergence of NZE amongst its very first speakers. The fact that the very first stages of the dialect are captured on tape make NZE a valuable testbed for theories of new-dialect formation, and a large number of papers have addressed this issue.

The ONZE corpora comprises of three collections

The primary research focus at ONZE is variation and change in New Zealand English, this topic has numerous projects.

The ONZE Project is based in the Department of Linguistics at  the University of Canterbury. It is currently funded by the University of Canterbury through a College of Arts Grant and the Marsden Fund.

The Principal Investigator of the ONZE Project is Professor Jen Hay.


ONZE Project
Linguistics Programme
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 364 2149

You can also email us.

  • New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain and Behaviour
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800, Christchurch
    New Zealand
  • Tel: +64 3 369 5920
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