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Using 'Making Māori Sentences'

Using the reference book Making Māori Sentences (by Lyndsay Head, 1989, Auckland: Longman Paul)

This book sets out the basic parts or ‘building blocks’ that make up phrases and sentences in Māori. It was developed by the writer, Lyndsay Head, to serve the needs of second language learners of Māori. It provides simple explanations of aspects of the structure of simple sentences in Māori. It does not claim to be comprehensive. As a book for beginners, it sometimes does not tell the whole story, but that can be useful as a starting point.

You will no doubt also want to access other descriptions of the structures of Māori. Each has its own features. Each uses slightly different technical terms to describe the different types of words, phrases and sentences of Māori. So, to access any one of the published grammars you have to become familiar with the basic set of terminology that is used in that particular grammar. Remember too that sometimes the authors choose to omit aspects of structure to make the explanations more accessible to learners.

Making Māori sentences (PDF, 15 MB)

Here are some that you may find useful:

  • Bauer (1997) The Reed Grammar of Māori. Auckland: Reed.
  • Biggs, B. (1969) Let’s Learn Māori. Wellington: A. H. and A. W. Reed.
  • Harlow, R. (2001) A Māori Reference Grammar. Auckland: Longman.

You will also find lists of structures throughout textbooks such as Hoani Waititi’s Te Rangatahi series from the 1960s (Wellington: Government Printer) and Timoti Karetu’s Te Reo Rangatira (1974. Wellington: Government Printer).

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