Māori Language Program at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

Dr. Mary Boyce

Mary Boyce is the Māori Program Coordinator. Mary is a Pākehā New Zealander, with affiliations to Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rākaipaaka and Rongomaiwahine through her son. She began her Māori language learning journey as a young adult and has spent many years learning, teaching and researching the language.

Before taking up the position here at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, she worked for Huia Publications, the leading Māori publishing company where she led a research unit, and amongst other tasks, did corpus compilation and analysis to inform the production of resources in Māori for immersion education settings.

She taught at Victoria University of Wellington for 22 years, first in the Department of Māori Studies in the 1980s, and then in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies in the 1990s. While in the Department of Māori Studies, Mary taught Māori language proficiency classes and courses on the sociolinguistic status and history of the language, and on language structure.

In the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies she taught language teaching methods and academic writing and lectured on language and power, language maintenance and shift and the role and status of the Māori language.

Her research has been focused on Māori language learning and teaching. She designed and compiled the first significant corpus of spoken Māori, the Māori Broadcast Corpus, and used that to identify high frequency vocabulary for learners of Māori. She was the lexicographer on the team that produced Tirohia Kimihia, the first monolingual dictionary of Māori to be published (2006).

Her current major research project is the Legal Māori Project, a corpus and dictionary project which will culminate in a dictionary of Māori legal terms. The Legal Māori Corpus is the largest known publicly available corpus of Māori, and includes approximately 8 million words of written legal texts in Māori.

She is also exploring the spoken language of young speakers of Māori. Her work is currently focused on the language used in the playground at school.

Curriculum Vitae