November 21, 2023
Push on to awaken ta rē Moriori
An Auckland University linguist says the Moriori language is not dead, only sleeping, and it can be woken up.
John Middleton is doing his doctorate on the structure of Polynesian languages- especially Tokelauan – but he’s also working with the Hokotehi Moriori Trust of Rekohu-Chatham Islands to reconstruct ta rē Moriori.
He says it has a lot in common with te reo Maori.
0:14Both languages are very closely related, just like say, Tokelauan and Samoan – very, very closely related. And lots of the words and the structures and the sentence styles are very similar.
John Middleton says while there are as yet no native speakers of ta rē, Moriori use many words from their language on a daily basis.