Death narratives are common in literature on the Māori language. While there is a place for language death, such a strong focus on death may be limiting our scholarship. Conclusions drawn from such approaches may risk overlooking key information about language health, and this could pull the scholarship further away from reliable language health conclusions. This article discusses the need to offer space to new language conversations in contemporary times. The most recent published scholarship in the Māori language discipline is examined to support a new discussion.
Adult Māori-language learners are an under-researched yet crucial part of efforts to revitalise te reo Māori. This paper presents and analyses a qualitative case study of the learning journey of Julian Wilcox. As an exemplar learner, Julian’s story helps to shed light on the factors that led to his development of proficiency in te reo Māori and these insights may have implications for other Māori-and Indigenous-language learners. We have used a framework based on the literature to analyse Julian’s story (narrative inquiry).