Skip to main content
Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Marking Vowels

The way in which the distinction between types of vowels is marked is of less importance than the insistence that they be marked. One method of marking long vowels is to place a macron over a vowel which is long. This seems to have been adopted by W. W. Williams in an early edition of the Dictionary. Criticisms of this method are chiefly based on the fact that an ordinary linotype machine does not have a macron and printing costs are increased if macrons are used. Moreover, the placing of macrons breaks the flow of handwriting in much the same way as does the crossing of t's.

A second method of marking long vowels is by doubling the vowel. The users of this method state that it fits the pattern of the language rather well, but is more an academic reason for preference. In contrast to the macron, the use of double vowels does not break the flow of handwriting and does not present any printing difficulties. Examples of the two methods:

  • tangata = man (singular)

  • tangata = men (plural)

  • taangata = men (plural)

Next Part: Prefixes