Saturday, July 24, 2010

Maori Legal History

More legal history from Aoteaora. Voxy, an online newspaper, has a report on a project at the Victoria University of Wellington to collect the legal sources of New Zealand's indigenous people. The report commences:
Two major funded works in Maori have recently been completed by researchers and staff at Victoria University's Law Faculty, following two years of hard work.

The Faculty's Legal Maori Project team has created a Legal Maori Corpus and Legal Maori Lexicon, which will both be invaluable resources for researchers of Maori legal history and Maori linguists.

The Legal Maori Corpus is an unprecedented collection of modern and historical Maori legal language texts totaling just on eight million words.

"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 Maori language texts ever compiled," says project co-leader and Faculty lecturer, Mamari Stephens.

All texts pre-1910 are now publicly available for researchers to use, and will enable them to analyse patterns of language use and vocabulary, as well download the texts themselves for their own use. The post 1910 texts will be made available once copyright permissions are gained.
More here. The Corpus and a Legal Maori Lexicon are available here.