Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Legal Māori Text Corpus released

Victoria University’s Faculty of Law is proud to announce that researchers and staff involved with the Legal Māori Project have just completed two of their major funded works: The Legal Māori Corpus and the Legal Māori lexicon.

The Legal Māori Corpus is an unprecedented collection of modern and historical Māori language texts, comprising 8 million words in total. “When we started the project two years ago we had no idea the final size of our corpus would be so great, and to our knowledge, it is the largest structured corpus of Māori language texts ever compiled,” says project co-leader and Faculty lecturer, Māmari Stephens.

All pre-1910 corpus files are now publicly available for researchers to use in order to analyse patterns of language use and vocabulary, with digitised versions of the source documents being available for download and re-use. The post-1910 texts will made available by the end of the Project once copyright permissions are gained.  

The Legal Māori Lexicon is a glossary of all legal terms identified during the course of the project so far. Almost 2000 terms have been collated with their English translations and will also soon be publicly available. These terms, and their frequency of appearance in the Corpus will form the basis of the final dictionary, due for completion in early 2012.

Says Māmari Stephens: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the hard word put in by all involved with getting these outputs produced on time and in accordance with our FRST agreement.  Many of these contributors are either current or former students of the Law Faculty, and I am grateful beyond words to all of them.”

They are: Assistant Professor Mary Boyce, University of Hawai’I; Tai Ahu; Dulce Piacentini; Paranihia Walker; Max Sullivan; Phoebe Monk; Emma Kuperus; Ed Willis;
Rachael Hoare; Debbie Broughton; Joeliee Seed-Pihema; Rama Chadwick; Hannah Northover; Harvey Buchman; Dave Moskovitz.

Ka nui aku mihi matakuikui ki a rātou.  Ka haere tonu te mahi, ka puta mai tonu nga hua.

For further information, please contact

Nicky Saker
Communications Adviser
Faculty of Law
(04) 463 6310