Blog Archives

A story of story-telling, Miriam Meyerhoff

Michael C Corballis
Auckland University Press, $40.00,
ISBN 9781869408633

Many people have remarked that, more than language itself, how we use language is what sets humans apart from other animals. Whales, elephants, birds, other apes, seem to be able to communicate a few things to each other, and we’re starting to find out that some animals can even tailor their communication to specific addressees (“I want food/sex from you; not you”). But we still have no evidence that any other animals tell stories. 

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Posted in Language, Non-fiction, Review

One in every home, Hilary Stace

The Raupo Dictionary of Modern Maori  P M Ryan Raupo, $60.00, ISBN 9780143567899 Every household and office in Aotearoa New Zealand will have times when they need an easy-to-use Maori dictionary. As more te reo words and phrases drift into

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Posted in Language, Māori, Non-fiction, Review

Snorts and foamings, Peter Russell

Q and Eh: Questions and Answers on Language with a Kiwi Twist Laurie Bauer, Dianne Bardsley, Janet Holmes and Paul Warren Random House, $39.99, ISBN 9781869793432   This book by four professional linguists at Victoria University aims to explain aspects

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Posted in Essays, Language, Non-fiction

They fuck you up, Andrew Fieldsend

The Ship of Dreams: Masculinity in Contemporary Pakeha and Maori Fiction of Aotearoa/New Zealand Alistair Fox Otago University Press, $45.00,  ISBN 9781877372544 In this academic but engaging study of masculinity in contemporary New Zealand fiction, Alistair Fox of the University

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Posted in Gender, Language, Literature, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Telling responses, Hamish Clayton

Look This Way: New Zealand Writers on New Zealand Artists Sally Blundell (ed) Auckland University Press, $44.99,  ISBN 9781869403713 Art and letters have always had a close working relationship in New Zealand. Our cultural landscape is pock-marked with painter-poets, jacks-of-all-trades

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Posted in Art, Essays, Language, Non-fiction, Review

Earshot rules, Nelson Wattie

Languages of New Zealand ed Allan Bell, Ray Harlow and Donna Starks Victoria University Press, $49.95, ISBN 0864734905 When I returned to New Zealand in 1989 after a quarter-century in Europe, I was naturally curious about how European languages fared

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Posted in Language, Non-fiction, Review

A particular dedication, Hilary Stace

Books in Maori: An Annotated Bibliography, 1815-1900/ Nga Tanga Reo Maori: Nga Kohikohinga Me Ona Whakamarama compiled in the Alexander Turnbull Library by Phil Parkinson and Penny Griffith Reed, $120, ISBN 079000951X New Zealand has traditionally lacked “bibliodensity”. This term

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Posted in History, Language, Literature, Māori, Review

In the beginning was the word, Nelson Wattie

The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary ed Tony Deverson and Graeme Kennedy Oxford University Press, $130, ISBN 0195584511 Lexicographers are celebrating the 250th anniversary of the publication, on 15 April 1755, of Samuel Johnson’s dictionary, the book that made their profession

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Posted in Language, Non-fiction, Review

Lore meets law, Kate Riddell

Mihipeka: Call of an Elder Karanga a te kuia Mihi Edwards Steele Roberts, $29.95, ISBN 1877228222 The Tribes of Muriwhenua: Their Origins and Stories  Dorothy Urlich Cloher (Maori translation by Merimeri Penfold) Auckland University Press, $29.95, ISBN 1869402693 Rere atu,

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Posted in Autobiography, Biography, History, Language, Māori, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Winged words, Jane McRae

Nga Pepeha a nga Tipuna: The Sayings of the Ancestors ed Hirini Moko Mead and Neil Grove Victoria University Press, $59.95, ISBN 0864733992 Maori sayings are “ready bits of loftiness and sonority”, to use George Steiner’s apt characterisation of formulaic expression.

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Posted in History, Language, Māori, Non-fiction, Review
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